The Kindle Fire HD is launching later this week. Amazon needs developers on board to make sure early adopters have plenty of apps to use once they get their hands on the device in the coming weeks. They already released the tools that developers will need, but they're now just getting around to detailing the requirements.
The Kindle Fire and Fire HD are a lot like the iPad 2 and "new iPad." Apps can work on both devices, but developers are encouraged to create their apps with both devices in mind. That means making apps that take advantage of the higher screen resolution afforded by the better hardware. To that end, Amazon has released a few materials for developing HD apps.
First and foremost, Amazon says that all apps should support the three resolutions across the Kindle Fire line - 1024x600, 1280x800 and 1920x1200. The first two resolutions will be available on Kindle Fire devices later this week. Developers have until November 20 to take advantage of the massive resolution afforded by the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD. They have also created the "User Experience Guidelines" that will show developers how to best make use of screen real estate.
Developing for Kindle Fire HD also means that you will be developing for Android 4.0. It's a highly modded version of the popular mobile OS, but it still contains a lot of the same code from ICS. Amazon has added their own software in the form of API 15. Developers should get used to both when developing for the Kindle Fire HD. Amazon has prepared a "Development Best Practices" guide for those who are now just starting to develop for ICS with Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon also suggests that developers implement hardware acceleration, which is afforded by ICS, into their apps. To do this, you will need to add support for the Android 4.0.3 API 15 libraries. Hardware acceleration wil be especially important for apps that rely on video or animation for movement. It will create a much smoother experience for the end user.
Developers wanting to hop on board the Kindle Fire HD gravy train need only join the Mobile App Distribution Portal. From there, you can download the Amazon Mobile App SDK and submit your apps for approval.
The Kindle Fire HD has the potential to finally take on the iPad at its own game. Developers will want to jump on board before it really takes off. Getting the first big hit on the Kindle Fire HD will ensure success down the road as well.