Fire OS 5 Preview Opens Up New Options for .NET Developers

Amazon opening up its Android-based tablet app platform means developers can target their apps for yet another revenue opportunity.

Microsoft developers have yet another target device for which to develop apps: Amazon's Fire OS 5, which will run on upcoming Amazon Fire tablets. The development capability comes in the form of a Fire OS 5 Preview that Amazon recently launched to help developers port their apps to the Android-based platform.

"[Because] Fire OS 5 is based on Android Lollipop, we can make this update while preserving even more compatibility with existing Android apps than ever before," blogs Mike Hines, Amazon's Appstore Evangelist. "This means that even more of your apps should work on Fire devices with no additional engineering effort."

The fact that the Amazon tablet OS is based on Android Lollipop means it shouldn't be too much of a stretch for developers who are already familiar with Android. Still Amazon's version has some peculiarities that make it different enough, such as Fire pointing to the Amazon AppStore for app installation, and use of Amazon's proprietary Silk browser for Web links, as starters.

Amazon makes it easy to test app cross-compatibility, through an App Testing Service available on its portal page. It's just a matter of dragging an app onto the drop spot, where the app gets churned and results are spit out after a little more than a minute.

Developers can start participating in the preview by going to Hines' blog and clicking on the provided link. (The blog also has links for setting up an Amazon AppStore account, which is also required.)

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