PM4A on Amazon AppStore

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CharmCityCrab
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PM4A on Amazon AppStore

Unread post by CharmCityCrab » 2015-10-03, 00:10

If Pale Moon for Android development is restarting (Not really sure what the status is on the that at present- two point releases for stability and bugs, but no official announcement that the platform is officially going to be actively developed for again long-term with new features and compatibility with new devices or versions of Android- maybe that is to be determined) or restarts sometime in the future, one possibility I wanted to throw out there is publishing it in the Amazon App Store for Android as well as the Google Play Store and as an .apk

Why? Well, the Amazon Appstore is widely used on Android devices that don't qualify for Google Play *and* is on all Amazon Fire devices (Which don't include Google Play either). That's not a *huge* marketshare, but Amazon is probably the number one site in the US and some other countries for buying stuff on the Internet, and the Fire devices are often advertised on it's front page. Plus, they are putting out a $50 Kindle Fire tablet. The $50 price point may sell like hotcakes to low income folks and people who just want to mess around on a tablet that is a little different or larger/smaller than their phone or PC or more ebook centric or whatever. The Fire OS is close enough under the hood that stuff for Android can just run, but different enough user interface wise that casual viewers often see it as a separate platform (Although I hear the latest revision is moving a bit closer to Android in some ways). At that price point, it may sell enough to make Fire OS a player- a player that doesn't need to be really developed for separately, it runs Android apps.

The other thing is- there are basically no browsers of note in that appstore. No Firefox, no Chrome, etc.. All the browsers listed are things that have less name recognition than Pale Moon. Pale Moon would instantly become the #1 most recognizable web browser available in that store. Toss in the phrases "forked from Firefox" and "compatible with Ad-Block and other add-ons" into the description page, and it'd come up #1 on a lot of searches. Since Kindle Fires don't include the Google Play store and often sell to people who don't know what an .apk is, but include a web browser called Silk that as far as I know doesn't block ads, I could see a lot of people going into the store and searching for Firefox or an Ad-Blocker or whatever. Pale Moon could come up first in that kind of search and them *bam* new users. :) Those in the know who have a Fire could just download the .apk, but putting it in the Amazon app store is a marketing opportunity, potentially.

Here are the guidelines for submitting an app:

https://developer.amazon.com/public/sup ... g-your-app

I'm not really pushing for it. If I get a Fire, I could just install the apk and that'd be fine with me. Also, I don't even know that Pale Moon for Android is coming back. I just think it'd be a good way to essentially advertise the browser to more potential users and expand the userbase. It could become the #1 browser other than the default Silk browsers for Kindle Fires.

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New Tobin Paradigm
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PM4A on Amazon AppStore

Unread post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2015-10-03, 00:43

The status of PM4A is that as of Pale Moon Codebase 25.7.1 ./mobile/android building was un-busted and produces stable enough builds and we did not want to leave previous users out of the loop with security patches if it could be at all avoided. However, no new Android specific development is occurring for reasons previously outlined.

We are still in need of developer(s) versed in Android development as well as the mozilla side of things of our codebase (I am using mozilla as a generic/historical term here) for proper developmental advancement and sustainability of Pale Moon for Android as a product.

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Re: PM4A on Amazon AppStore

Unread post by Moonchild » 2015-10-03, 01:08

On submission, Amazon wraps your app with additional code that enables the app to communicate with the Amazon Appstore client to collect analytics, evaluate and enforce our program policies, share aggregated information with you and others regarding the program, and for other purposes. You can use Live App Testing to see how this additional code will impact the behavior of your app.

Additionally, Amazon removes the signature you used to sign your app and re-signs it with an Amazon signature
And why, exactly, would I want Amazon to mangle my APK, add Amazon code to it that isn't required for the App to function (and may interfere with it) even for non-Amazon Android devices, with carte blanche as to what that wrapper code does ("and other purposes"), as well as have them remove my signature to be replaced with theirs, binding any future distribution and app data profiles to Amazon exclusively?...
"If you want to build a better world for yourself, you have to be willing to build one for everybody." -- Coyote Osborne
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Re: PM4A on Amazon AppStore

Unread post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2015-10-03, 01:12

Oh wow.. So Amazon pulls some of the same stuff as F-DROID.. Was not expecting that.. Though I should have since their android powered kendalls are locked down almost as bad as an Apple device.

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Re: PM4A on Amazon AppStore

Unread post by CharmCityCrab » 2015-10-03, 03:58

Moonchild wrote:
On submission, Amazon wraps your app with additional code that enables the app to communicate with the Amazon Appstore client to collect analytics, evaluate and enforce our program policies, share aggregated information with you and others regarding the program, and for other purposes. You can use Live App Testing to see how this additional code will impact the behavior of your app.

Additionally, Amazon removes the signature you used to sign your app and re-signs it with an Amazon signature
And why, exactly, would I want Amazon to mangle my APK, add Amazon code to it that isn't required for the App to function (and may interfere with it) even for non-Amazon Android devices, with carte blanche as to what that wrapper code does ("and other purposes"), as well as have them remove my signature to be replaced with theirs, binding any future distribution and app data profiles to Amazon exclusively?...
In theory? For greater marketshare and browser visibility. Pale Moon would easily be the best known, and best browser in general, in the Amazon app store, and could gain unexpected fans there because it'd stand out in the crowd who might later adopt it on desktop, their Android phone, and so on and so forth.

However, I understand why you wouldn't want to submit it given Amazon's overreaching policies for submissions to their app store. They do seem to be requiring an usually high level of "compromise" considering that their marketshare is at best 3rd or 4th in the tablet ecosystem.

I know in the digital age, Amazon has always said that they are about selling digital products and subscriptions and making money off those. They often sell the hardware at minimal levels of profit (Perhaps even at cost, or at a loss) on the theory that once people buy it, they'll use it to buy a bunch of e-books, MP3s, and so on so forth from them. Maybe their app store is intended to follow a similar model, where the app is the product for people they lure in with less expensive Kindles ($50 for a tablet is really hard to turn down), and make money from them using the analytics or whatever they are adding to the code.

Under the circumstances, I might well make the same decision as you and tell Kindle Fire owners to download the .apk if they want PM on their tablets, unless Amazon changes their policies. I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the potential opportunity. I'm not necessarily saying "Go do it". In some ways, the link is just a way of giving you options and letting you check it out to see if you find it suitable, which you did and decided it wasn't. :)

Thinking about it more, the Amazon policy you quoted above might actually mean a submission to the store could find itself inadvertently in violation of some of the open source licenses used by it's own code, depending on what "secret sauce" Amazon is adding to the mix and how they're adding it.

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Re: PM4A on Amazon AppStore

Unread post by Moonchild » 2015-10-03, 12:41

Integrity > marketshare
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Re: PM4A on Amazon AppStore

Unread post by CharmCityCrab » 2015-10-03, 18:09

Moonchild wrote:Integrity > marketshare
That's a refreshing attitude to see the owner/lead developer of a web browser take. Thanks.

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