In launching the Kindle Fire, Amazon made a solid statement that it is more interested in making its platform stand on its own than be ‘one with Android’.
Although the Kindle Fire’s OS is based on the 2.x version of Google’s Android, it bears no Google branding and runs no Google apps. Instead, it has its own, much complimented, new UI and its own market for apps called the Amazon Appstore.
The guidelines for submitting Kindle Fire applications to the Appstore have been posted on Amazon’s site and a read-through of them gives you the distinct impression that Amazon wants its Appstore to be a more carefully curated experience than the Android Market.
In fact, many of these points read very much like those put forth in Apple’s App Store guidelines. Some of the highlights:
- Can I sell apps that require root access on Kindle Fire? No. Kindle Fire does not support apps that require root access.
- My app requires access to Google Mobile Services. Will it work on Kindle Fire? Apps that run on Kindle Fire do not currently have access to Google Mobile Services (GMS).
- When do I need to submit my app to make sure it is available for the Kindle Fire launch? Keep in mind that we test all apps before publishing them in the Amazon Appstore. While we generally find that we can complete app testing in one week, some apps may take longer for us to evaluate.
- And further: We’re testing our entire catalog of published apps now to ensure each app provides a high-quality customer experience on the device. If we find a problem with your app on Kindle Fire, we’ll notify you and provide instructions for making your app available on Kindle Fire as appropriate.
There are also a set of content guidelines that prohibit copyright infringement and pornographic content, much like Apple’s.
Many of these points are carried over from the standard agreements for Appstore developers that has been posted previously, but when taken in context with Amazon’s desire to differentiate its Kindle Fire tablet from Android as a whole, it’s interesting.
It seems that Amazon really wants to make sure that the Fire is a more curated and cohesive experience than most Android tablets.
They’re not locking everything down though, as installation of ‘non-Appstore’ apps will be permitted without rooting.
On another interesting note, Amazon’s Appstore does not support in-app purchasing, at least not yet. It is working on a solution for this though.
“Because Google’s in-app purchasing technology requires access to Google Mobile Services,” says Amazon, “it will not work on Kindle Fire. We are working on a solution that will let you sell digital content in your apps using Amazon’s merchandising and payments technology. Our solution is currently in Beta and available by invitation only.”