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Questions about preparing an apk for the Amazon Android App Store

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

Amazon’s documentation is surprising lacking in information about the submitting binary process. From what I can tell, you submit an unsigned binary and they wrap it in their own code and produce a signed apk?

This leaves several questions:

  1. Does the Amazon App Store perform a zipalign for you?
  2. If you have your app in the Android Market (Google’s) already, is it recommended to use the same package name or a different one? Does it make any difference?
  3. I also saw elsewhere, that they offer the option to download the apk they prepare and sign it with your own key. Is it recommended to take this and then sign it with the same key you are using in the Android Market? Does it make any difference?

Are there any other considerations or pitfalls that one should know before diving into this process?

Thanks

How to&Answers:
  1. Yes. Amazon wraps your binary with code specific to their appstore that allows them to collect analytics data and enforce DRM. The app will be repackaged after that.

  2. You should use the same package name. The Amazon distribution agreement currently has a number of provisos; e.g., that your app is not priced lower on another app store. They also do occasional checks to see whether the version of your app on the market is up to date. These checks are primarily done using the package name; changing the package name of your app could easily be viewed by them as a means to evade the terms of the agreement.

  3. No. There may be good reasons why one would want to do this, but none that I can think of. By default, Amazon signs your apk with a signature that is specific to your Amazon developer account.

Other:

Read this. In particular, ensure that the app links correctly to the Amazon app store and not the Android market, or others. I don’t have inside data, but I’d wager a fair amount that the vast majority of submissions that Amazon turn down fall afoul of that requirement.

Edit: Point 2 is no longer correct; see comment below.

Answer:

Here is the reply I received from the amazon mobile app distribution team for a question concerning whether to submit signed or unsigned apk’s:

You can submit signed, or unsigned binaries to the store – we will then apply our signature to your app in either case. If you need to sign your app with a known signature (if you are using Facebook authorization for example) you can choose to upload your app using our self signing process (you will need to ask us for this to be enabled for you).”

The most straight forward way to submit an app is to export your signed apk from Eclipse (all zip aligned are ready to go), then upload via the Distribution Portal using our DRM and signature.

For the latest update of my app I just took the same signed apk I previously released to google play, and it worked well.

Answer:

I have only published two little applications that sell almost nothing, but both got aproved and I followed exactly the same procedure I follow for publishing on the Android Market: I just exported the signed .apk from eclipse and also used the same package name. So far I have no problems, so I guess it’s ok.

Answer:

You should zipalign during every build, as a matter of practice.

I use the same exact build process for Amazon as I do before publishing to Google. Only difference is an Interface’s variable to determine the market link (at build time, if/else is compiled out).