Over the past year, with the percentage of Americans who own tablets rising from 10% to 19%, and those who own some form of e-reader rising from 18% to 29%, developers who wish to remain relevant need to figure out a strategy for tablet application development—and need to do so quickly. A Pew Research Center survey released in January cited these “striking statistics,” which it attributed to cheaper prices and the holiday season.
So what does this mean for you? If you’re ready to carve out your Nook in the market, or light your development shop on Fire, you need a few best practices to get started.
Ameesh Paleja, director for Amazon Appstore for Android, offers up 10 tips for developers jumping into Kindle Fire development:
1. Review the resources available in the Amazon Appstore for Android Developer Portal. A lot of helpful information, including a Kindle Fire FAQ to assist developers in building and updating apps to be compatible with Kindle Fire, can be found there. The Amazon Appstore Developer Blog is another good resource.
2. Design for the specific size and resolution of the device. Kindle Fire has a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024×600 and an abstracted LCD density of 169. Your manifest should specify support for large screens, and your app should occupy the full screen and render properly.
3. Adjust for the soft key bar. Please note that the device will reserve 20px of height to display a soft key menu, yielding a height of 1004px when in full-screen portrait mode and 580px when in full-screen landscape mode. Some apps have encountered problems when rendering text or text boxes for user input, or when user interactions or necessary text appear at the bottom of the screen and may be obscured.
4. Adjust for the quick-settings buttons. When the soft key bar is maximized at the bottom of the screen, Kindle Fire will also display the quick settings buttons at the top of the screen. We have noticed that some apps will force-close when any of the quick-settings buttons are used from within the app. Please ensure your app handles “on pause” and “on resume” activities properly.
5. Design for the hardware requirements of the device. Your app should not require a gyroscope, camera, WAN module, Bluetooth, microphone, GPS or micro-SD to function. In cases where your app would otherwise support these features, we find it best to inform users that the feature is not supported rather than taking the user out of your application.