OnQ Blog

Guest Blog: Amazon Fire TV - The Living Room Beckons to Android Developers

Sep 9, 2014

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

The only thing better than a successful app is a new hardware platform to run it on.

You’ll be glad to know that Amazon Fire TV is built around the Snapdragon 600 processor. That puts you in the fast lane to a new platform, audience and marketplace for your Android apps optimized for Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors.

I’ve invited Mike Hines, technical evangelist for Amazon Appstore, to present “Porting tablet apps to the Amazon Fire TV” at the 2014 Qualcomm Uplinq™ Conference in San Francisco. Here’s his summary of the Fire TV opportunity for developers:

Smartphones got your app into your users’ pockets.

Tablets got your app onto their desk.

Amazon Fire TV will get your app into their living room.

We’ve rolled out Amazon Fire TV, a set top box powered by Snapdragon that upscales the familiar Android user experience from mobile devices to in-home, big-screen gaming and entertainment. In fact, it upscales your developer experience the same way for two reasons:

Most of the Android apps and games you’ve already written and optimized for Snapdragon will run on Fire TV with almost no NRE (non-recurring engineering).

When you create new apps for Fire TV, you can use the same tools and frameworks for Android and Snapdragon that you’ve been using.
Not the same old set top box

Fire TV combines the muscle of a gaming console with the development potential of an Android device, then places it in the location of a set top box – in the living room. Here are some of the features we’ve built into it:

We started with the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Krait 300 processor to get as much power as possible while keeping a low thermal profile.
The Snapdragon processor includes the Adreno 320 GPU, which means console-quality performance for games with native 1080p HDMI output.
Most set top boxes contain only about 512MB of memory. Fire TV includes 2GB of RAM because mobile apps are used to that amount. (Besides, would you rather develop for 512MB or 2GB? Thought so.)

Think of Fire TV as a high-end phone that happens to look good on a living room TV screen.
It’s an easy win for developers. You can submit your existing Android apps optimized for Snapdragon processors to the Amazon Appstore, where Fire TV users can discover and install them. Or, for new apps, you’ll optimize for Snapdragon-powered smartphones and get an extra hardware platform in the deal.

 

Next steps: See the presentation at Uplinq 2014

Have you registered for the Qualcomm Uplinq mobile developers conference yet? Qualcomm registered developers get 50% off the conference registration fee. Plus, every registered attendee at our 2014 Qualcomm® Uplinq™ Conference in San Francisco will receive an Amazon Fire TV at no additional cost.
Look for the presentation “Porting tablet apps to the Amazon Fire TV” scheduled for Friday, September 19, at 2:00pm. I’ve filled it with everything you need to know about developing for Fire TV. I’ve also left time for your questions, so bring a bunch.
Here are a few of the topics I’ll cover:

Monetization models
Supported Android API levels
Multiplayer support on your TV
Game Controller API and Bluetooth® connections
Second-screen integration
Landscape vs. portrait mode

Amazon Fire TV is a way for you to reach a new, TV-focused, console-like market you haven’t had with Android before. Can you smell the opportunity?

 

Watch the video above and have a look at the Fire TV page for more details. See you at Uplinq!