Developers can now sell Web apps in Amazon's Appstore

HTML5 game developer said Amazon's support will help spread the word

Developers can now submit Web apps and offer them alongside native Android-based programs on Amazon's Appstore.

The change will make it easier for developers to distribute HTML5-based apps via Amazon's store without having to convert them to Android-specific versions.

"With this announcement we no longer have to perform that post-production work. We can just submit the URL of the game and then Amazon takes care of the rest, so for us its about improving efficiency," said Erik Goossens, CEO at Spil Games, whose Dream Pet Link is one of the first games to take advantage of the new distribution option.

Goossens also sees Amazon's move as a statement of support for HTML5, which is important to companies that are betting on the technology.

"Having a company like Amazon do something like this helps us spread the word," Goossens said, adding that he would like to see the same option on Apple's App Store and Google Play.

Developers still have to convert their apps to native iOS and Android versions to make them available via Apple's App Store and Google Play.

The development of HTML5 and related technologies such as JavaScript and CSS has had its ups and downs in the last couple of years. Spil, like many other companies, bet too much too early, according to Goossens. But the technologies have now matured to the point where they are great for creating casual games, he said.

To help developers, Amazon is offering the Web App Tester, a tool that lets developers test the app on a production-like environment on a Kindle Fire or Android device, without first submitting it to Amazon's store. The tester offers a suite of tools to help developers debug code and ensure apps will look and work great, according the company. Amazon has also published a list of what it thinks are best practices for developing Web apps.

Interested developers with HTML5 apps can get started at the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal.

When announcing its HTML5 apps push Wednesday, Amazon also took the opportunity to highlight the Chromium-based runtime that powers Web apps on its Kindle Fire tablets. With the runtime, the company has made sure Web apps can achieve "native-like performance," Amazon said.

The Appstore can be downloaded and installed on any Android-based smartphone, but the store is also a central part of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, which ships with it installed. Earlier this year the company expanded the reach of its store by making it available in an additional 200 countries around the world.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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