Devs Buying Into Amazon’s Fire Phone

If there was one word to describe Amazon, it would be “disruptive”. The company has been dominant in the online retail market, but it has also pushed into other services such as video streaming with Amazon Prime, tablets, and even drones. Amazon’s recently-announced Fire smartphone is an intriguing a product within a given market that the company has ever produced.

Its hardware is high-end enough, with a quad-core Snapdragon chip and a 4.7-inch (1280x720) display with a 13MP camera around back, but it’s the four front cameras, Firefly button, and services such as Mayday, ASAP, X-Ray, and more that set the smartphone apart from the field.

Amazon Fire phone

We’ve already discussed these items if you want a primer, but in any case, the key to this pricey phone will be how heavily developers buy in; having the aforementioned capabilities is one thing, but having apps that use them in creative and powerful ways is another thing entirely.

In the relatively short time since Amazon released multiple APIs and SDKs for the Fire phone, it would seem that devs are indeed jumping on board. The company said in a press release that the rate of app submissions has more than doubled since the Fire phone launch (and tripled over the last year).

“When we launched Fire phone, we couldn’t wait to see what developers were going to build with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly,” said Mike George, Vice President, Amazon Appstore in the release. “While the underlying technologies for Dynamic Perspective and Firefly are sophisticated, we’ve made it simple for developers to harness their capabilities.”

Fandango and eBay, for example, utilize the Dynamic Perspective capability to scroll through items and even filter search settings without touching the screen. Game developers are using the same tech to allow users to “look around” in a 3D environment without moving the phone. The Trove news service shows users news based on items they capture in the real world with the Firefly button. And so on.

The Fire phone’s ultimate popularity remains to be seen, but getting app developers on board early, as it seems Amazon is doing, will be the key.