Amazon announced the addition of web app (HTML5) support through its Mobile App Distribution Program, enabling developers to target “millions” of Kindle Fire and Amazon Appstore users in “the same, convenient way as native apps”.

The company said that developers can submit and distribute mobile web content without using third-party software or doing native app development, and can use Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API for JavaScript in order to build sales of digital goods into apps.

Amazon said that web developers and content publishers have been facing challenges when building, optimising and distributing web apps for mobile devices.

This included the need to convert content to native apps using some form of “wrapper” to make them available via an app store, with on-device debugging providing “a challenging and necessary prerequisite” to achieve a strong performance across a large variety of HTML5 implementations.

Among the tools being offered is a web app tester, enabling developers to test in a “production-like environment” before submitting to Amazon, and offering a suite of debugging tools.

“By launching support for HTML5 web apps in the Mobile App Distribution Program, we’re giving web developers the tools they need and all the benefits that native apps already enjoy in the Amazon Appstore and on Kindle Fire. This opens up new possibilities—starting with faster discovery, access to tools for increased monetisation, and the ability to reach new customers for greater exposure,” said Mike George, VP of Amazon Appstore, Games and Cloud Drive.