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Amazon brings apps to bigger screens with Fire TV


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Tim Ferguson

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Amazon is enabling apps designed for its Android-based Kindle Fire tablets and other Android devices to be brought to living rooms, with the Amazon Fire TV box.

Fire TV will allow users to download and use app and games — as well as stream movies, television and music — to their HD TVs via their mobile device. Amazon touted the technology as providing a means for developers to increase their customer base.

The process of developing for Fire TV is similar to the apps built for the Kindle Fire tablets, meaning there is no need to learn new frameworks in order to optimise products for the service.

The device includes controllers for mobile games and a remote which supports a range of apps and games. Fire TV also supports app purchases and in-app payments.

The technology means the TV screen can be used in situations when a mobile device might have been used previously — for example to display weather or traffic information. It also supports multi-player games.

Developers launching apps on Fire TV will be considered for Amazon’s app promotion programme, Appstore Developer Select. If chosen, they will receive 500,000 Amazon Coins, which can be distributed to customers when they purchase the app.

In February, Amazon said its app promotion programme had a significant impact on downloads and sales of qualifying apps in the run-up to Christmas.

The Amazon Coins virtual currency was extended to all Android devices in the US, UK and Germany in February. Previously, Amazon Coins could only be used on Amazon’s range of Kindle Fire tablets.

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