Here’s a funny story: Urban Airship, a backend service provider for mobile developers, recently discovered that its push notifications offering works on Amazon’s new Kindle Fire…by accident. Although the company makes an Android push client called Helium, it had no clue that those notifications would also work on Amazon’s Kindle Fire out of the box. The company only found out after some developers started integrating the push mechanism into their own apps. Surprise!
Well, maybe that’s not entirely unexpected news. After all, the Kindle Fire is an Android-based device. However, the version of Android it runs has been extensively customized. Amazon removed Google’s services, including the Android Market, C2DM (Android Cloud to Device Messaging framework), Google in-app payments support and more. The Fire also doesn’t support any apps that require the camera, gyroscope, GPS, Bluetooth, a microphone or a micro-SD card.
So yes, it was kind of a surprise for the folks at Urban Airship to discover that their code worked just fine on the Fire without any further customizations.
One of the first developers to use UA’s push notifications feature is Glu, the Android games publisher behind dozens of titles, including Bug Village, Eternity Warriors and Contract Killer. Says Glu VP of Sales & Marketing Mike DeLaet, their team just integrated the Urban Airship SDK into all their apps on day one of the Fire’s release and notifications began working immediately.
It seems like Urban Airship is riding a wave of good news these days, with last month’s acquisition of SimpleGeo and its $15M Series C. Now it finds out that Kindle push works, too, without any code changes, opening up the service to what’s shaping up to be the number two tablet computer behind the iPad. Nice.
To support developers trying to add push to their Kindle apps, Urban Airship has added this section to its developer FAQ. The company will make an official announcement later today.