Amazon launches cloud-based push messaging for Kindle devices

News Rene Millman Dec 14, 2012

New beta allows developers to push notifications to app users from the cloud

Amazon has announced a new cloud-based push messaging system for its Kindle Fire devices.

Dubbed Amazon Device Messaging, the new service will allow app developers to send messages to individual users on specific devices. This means that developers no longer need to write their own push notification systems.

Amazon said the new cloud-based system would increase battery life as apps would not have to connect to an array of different servers to constantly check for new messages. The system will however only work on second generation Kindle devices.

The Amazon Device Messaging cloud-based system allows apps to post a notification, display a custom user interface, or sync data.

The API will be free to developers who have been accepted onto Amazon’s beta programme. Amazon already had a system called SNS that offered push notifications for web apps, but ADM is a dedicated version aimed at Kindle tablets. Developers will be able to send free messages up to 6KB in size.

Kindle developers have already started to express their interest in Amazon Device Messaging. “We are very excited that Amazon is extending the Kindle platform capabilities with push messaging and look forward to building on top of it for a richer, more engaged application experience,” said Scott Kveton, chief executive of Urban Airship.

This brings Kindle Fire users into line with users of iOS and Android devices which have their own notification systems. Amazon uses a forked version of Android that did not have a notification or messaging system as it could not use Google’s Cloud Messaging. It is thought that the cloud messaging system could pave the way for Amazon to develop its own Kindle-based smartphone.

Developers can sign up for the new cloud messaging service through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal