Submitting Your App to Amazon Store
Note: To submit to Amazon you must first become an Amazon Developer.
Please review Testing Amazon Apps prior to submitting.
Each publisher has their own unique requirements that you must adhere to when submitting apps to their stores. Amazon has a very straightforward submission process, but there are a few caveats you should be aware of.
1. You must not use registered trademark in your app name. Amazon scans app titles and compares them to a database of registered trademarks. They will automatically reject those apps that have any trademarked words and you will receive an email from Amazon asking you to prove your right to use the name. The documentation must be either a confirmation letter from the intellectual property rights holder or a copy of the applicable license.
2. Some Android features do not work in Amazon’s apps.
3. You cannot use outside monetization in Amazon’s apps — only those that are available through their SDK (which is integrated in Skybuilder).
The Amazon Submission Process
The upload process is straightforward, and Amazon provides clear guidelines. Publishing to the Amazon Appstore requires the following:
• An Amazon customer account and an Amazon developer account
If you do not have an Amazon customer account, create one at Amazon.com.
If you do not have an Amazon developer account, go to the Amazon Apps & Games Developer Portal and sign in with the same email address as your Amazon customer account. The portal will guide you through the account creation process.
• An app for Android devices that you want to make available to millions of Amazon customers
• Each app that you submit must comply with Amazon’s content policy. If Amazon determines that an app contains, facilitates, or promotes content prohibited by their guidelines, they will reject the submission. For more information about the content policy, see the Approval Process and Content Guidelines section of the developer FAQs.
• Image assets for product promotion. You must provide screenshots and large and small icons for promoting your app on the Amazon Appstore. You may optionally provide a promotional image and videos.
Following is an overview of the Submission process.
1. To add a new app to Amazon, login to your developer portal.
2. At the bottom of the dashboard click the Add a New App button and then select Android from the popup screen that opens.
3. When you click Next, the portal displays a page where you must enter basic information about your app. Complete the app’s Basic Information.
• App Title – this is the app name that users will see when viewing the Amazon Marketplace app listing.
• App SKU – (optional): Amazon does not require or use the app SKU. However, adding a unique identifier can help you track multiple versions of your app. If you want to use a SKU – just invent one that is unique to that app.
• Category – use the dropdown menu to select the most fitting category for your app.
• Customer Support Contact – you may select the default info you have already provided. If you check the box to use that info, the remaining fields are not required.
• Customer Support Email Address (required) – enter a support email address here that users can use to contact the company (you) when they have a query.
• Customer Support Phone (required) – enter a support telephone number here that users can use to contact the company (you) when they have a query.
• Customer Support Website (required) – if your company has a website with a support page, e.g. contact form or details, add here the direct hyperlink to that page.
Once you save the basic information form, you will be taken to a page with six tabs that must be completed. When all required information on a tab has been completed, a green check mark will appear next to the tab’s title. All tabs must have a green check mark before you can submit your app. The button to submit your app will not be enabled until all six tabs have green check marks.
5. First Tab: General Information will be pre-populated from the Basic Info completed earlier.
6. Second Tab: Availability and Pricing:
a. You will select the countries where the app will be sold,
b. Choose the type of app: free or paid.
c. Indicate if the app is available in other app stores. and where.
d. When you would like the app to be available on Amazon.
e. Whether you want to participate in Amazon’s FAD (free app of the day) feature.
7. Third Tab: Description. On this tab you should enter as much information and targeted keywords woven into the description as possible. Don’t just keyword-stuff, however. Think of all the words/phrases a person might use to find your app and weave those words/phrases into the description.
8. Fourth Tab – Images and Multi-media. Here you will upload your images and, if you have created one, your videos about your app. As with all apps, you should strive to have high quality images for your app. Requirements are as follows:
- Small icon (required): A representative icon for display within the Amazon Apps & Games Developer Portal. The PNG file should be 114px × 114px with a transparent background.
- Large icon (required): This image is scaled and used extensively throughout the Amazon Appstore and on Amazon devices, so it should be of the highest possible quality. The PNG file should be 512px × 512px with a transparent background.
- Screenshots (required): A minimum of three and a maximum of 10 app screenshots for use on Amazon product detail pages. These must be PNG or JPEG files, landscape or portrait mode. Depending on the devices you are targeting, allowable image sizes are:
- 800px × 480px
1024px × 600px
1280px × 720px
1280px × 800px
1920px × 1200px
2560px × 1600px
- 800px × 480px
In order to qualify for the Appstore Developer Select promotional program, the minimum size of the screenshots is 1280px × 720px.
- Promotional Image (optional): A PNG or JPEG file in landscape orientation, 1024px × 500px for use in promotional placements. This image should not be a screenshot, but an attractive representation of your app that includes your app’s name. It must be easily read in a scaled-down version.
- Video (optional): Up to five videos related to your app. Amazon will embed the videos, so it is important that you meet the specifications listed here:
- 720px–1080px wide (4:3 or 16:9)
- 1200 kbps or higher
- MPEG-2, WMV, QuickTime, FLV, AVI, H.264 MPEG-4
Note: If the file size of a single video is greater than 125MB, you must upload the video or videos via Secure FTP. For details on uploading via SFTP, click on the link under the Video upload section.
9. Fifth Tab: Content Rating. On this tab you will provide specific information about your content. It is very important that you provide the correct ratings for your app. Amazon uses these ratings to target your app to appropriate audiences. An incorrect description could result in your app failing during the submission and testing process, or in Amazon pulling your app from the Appstore after it has been published.
• For each of the listed categories, select the radio button in the column that best describes how often your app makes use of or refers to the listed item. You will use one of three selections: “None,” “Light to Moderate,” and “Strong”.
• None means exactly that – there is none of that particular item in your app.
• Light to moderate means the item occurs once or rarely and is not fundamental to the overall purpose and/or intent of the app.
• Strong means the item occurs regularly and is fundamental to the overall purpose and/or intent of the app.
In the “This app also contains”… area, select the check box for each element contained in your app. Making the appropriate selections here will shorten your app’s review period:
• Account creation or other personal information collection
• Location detection or Location Based Services
• User Generated Content or User to User Communication
When you are ready, click Save. Amazon will check all fields on the tab to ensure the required fields are complete. If so, a green check mark will appear on the Content Rating tab to indicate that you can continue to the next step.
10. Sixth Tab: Binary Files. Use this tab to set permission and device support options, and to upload your APK file to the Amazon Appstore.
- Apply Amazon DRM? (required): Regardless of whether you choose to apply Amazon DRM, Amazon wraps your app with additional code that enables the app to communicate with the Amazon Appstore client. When your app starts, it communicates with the Amazon Appstore client to determine whether the current user is entitled to use your app.
If you select the Yes (Recommended) radio button, DRM is enabled and your app will only run if the signed in user has an entitlement to your app. If you select the No radio button, DRM is not enabled and the app will run no matter who is signed in.
Your app will always communicate with the Amazon Appstore client when it starts, even if you choose not to apply DRM.Amazon DRM is not tied to the key you used to sign your app. Amazon removes your signature and re-signs your app with an Amazon signature that is unique to you, does not change, and is the same for all apps in your account. You can see the SHA-1 and MD5 hashes of your Amazon signature on Settings > My Account.
NOTE: DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and is Amazon’s way of keeping other people from copying your app and running it on their own devices without downloading from Amazon. For free apps this is not really necessary, but it is entirely your decision.
- Binary file (required): Drag and drop the APK file onto the Upload Binary box. Alternatively, you can click the words Upload Binary and use your operating system’s file selection mechanism to find and select the APK file to upload.
NOTE: If your binary file is larger than 125MB, click SFTP instructions and naming convention. Use your FTP client to upload your files with the given credentials. Before uploading, confirm that you have renamed any assets larger than 125MB per the instructions on the page.
After Amazon’s next publish cycle (about every 30 to 90 minutes), you should receive an email from Amazon indicating that your binary was uploaded correctly.
When you return to the Binary File(s) tab, you should see your file.
- Device Support (required): Use the check boxes to select at least one device on which your app runs. In most cases, you will want to select all devices to assure the broadest possible distribution of your app. However, if your app targets phones with a screen resolution of 800px × 400px or less, you should disable Kindle Fire HD devices.
Note: If you are providing multiple binaries, on subsequent uploads Amazon disables the options selected here.
- Language Support (required): Select the at least one language supported by your binary. Supporting your app with multiple languages is a strong driver of international sales. The default selection is English.
- Export Compliance (required): You must accept the following export compliance statement by selecting the checkbox:
I certify this App may be imported to and exported from the United States and all other countries in which we operate our program or in which you’ve authorized sales to end users (without the need for us to obtain any license or clearance or take any other action) and is in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations governing imports and exports, including those applicable to software that makes use of encryption technology.
Amazon requires this statement because, before we can sell your app, Amazon must know that every app you submit complies with applicable export and import regulations.
- Binary Alias (required): Provide a unique name for your APK file. You may choose to use the provided default name of your Skybuilder APK file — or give it another. It doesn’t really matter as Amazon uses this name internally, and customers do not see it.
- Testing instructions (optional): In most cases you will leave this field blank. However, if your app has difficult-to-discover features, you should include directions here for finding them. Also, if you need to resubmit your app based on feedback from Amazon, or if your app needs user credentials or other information for testing, you can use this field to respond to the test report emails you receive from Amazon.
When you are ready, click Save. Amazon will check all fields on the tab to confirm that the required fields are complete. If so, a green check mark will appear on the Binary File(s) tab. If all of the tabs have green check marks, you are ready to submit your app.
11. Final: Submit Your App. When all tabs have green check marks the Submit App button should be enabled. It is found at the bottom of the Binary Files tab. You can change the information on any tab until you submit your app. When you are ready, click Submit App
12. Wait for Approval.
The Amazon Approval Process
The Amazon Approval Process is as follows: 1) “Submit” the APK file; 2) Amazon verifies the submitted files 3) Amazon review the content of the submitted files 4) Amazon notifies you of issues OR that the app has been approved; 5) The app is goes LIVE in the Amazon Store.
Updating an Existing App
Once Amazon approves an app and makes it live on the Amazon App store, you can keep it up to date by submitting updated versions through your Amazon Developer Portal
To update a live app, follow these steps:
1. Sign in to your Amazon Developer account. Once signed in you are on the dashboard page.
2. Scroll down to the Dashboard section to see a list of apps that you have created. Click the name of an app you wish to update.
3. Near the top of the page, in the area below the name of your app, click Add Upcoming Version.
4. A confirmation message will appear above the metadata tabs. Click OK to proceed.
5. The portal creates a new set of metadata tabs for you. The General Information, Availability & Pricing, Description, Images & Multimedia, and Content Rating tabs are marked with green checks mark to indicate that the required fields have been pre-filled with the information associated with the live version your app. If necessary, you may edit the information on those tabs.
6. Fill out the fields of the Binary File(s) tab. The information needed is the same as if you were submitting a new app.
Important: In order for your app to update properly for existing users, you cannot submit the SAME version number – it must be a higher version number than the previous submission.
7. When you are ready, click Save. Amazon will check all fields on the tab to confirm that the required fields are complete. If so, a green check mark will appear on the Binary File(s) tab to indicate that you can continue to the next tab.
8. Click the Release Notes tab. A set of release notes is required for each translation defined on the Description tab.
9. Click Edit and add your release notes to the Release Notes text box. If you have more than one translation, click Save and Continue to go to the next language. Otherwise, click Save.
When you click Save, Amazon checks all fields on the tab to confirm that the required fields are complete. If so, a green check mark will appear on the Release Notes tab. If all of the tabs have green check marks, you are ready to submit the updated version of your app.
All tabs for your app should now have green check marks, and the Submit App button should be enabled. You can change the information on any tab until you submit your app.
10. When you are ready, click Submit App.