Amazon Enables Mobile Gaming With Apple-Like Features on Kindle Fire
Amazon’s new GameCircle allows gamers on the Kindle Fire to record and track their achievements and to save their game play to the cloud — like features found in Apple’s Game Center.
In a blog post this morning, Amazon said that GameCircle is now available for Kindle Fire through a series of APIs for developers. End users likely won’t see the features until developers have time to integrate the APIs into their apps.
For now, it appears that GameCircle is only available for apps distributed on the Kindle Fire — not for apps distributed more broadly through Amazon’s Appstore, which operates on almost any Android-based tablet or phone.
Amazon’s GameCircle has three main features:
- Achievements allow players to earn trophies, badges and awards while they are playing games.
- Leaderboards provide a way for players to view their scores in comparison to others.
- Syncing players’ game progress to the cloud allows players to pick up exactly where they left off, which comes in handy if they must delete and reinstall an app, or are switching between devices.
The third feature is the most curious, because it would be most helpful to people who have more than one Kindle Fire. At this point, with only one Kindle Fire device on the market, that doesn’t seem like it could be helpful to too many people. But it may provide further evidence that Amazon is working on other devices, including new tablets — as John Paczkowski wrote this weekend — as well as smartphones.
The syncing is also the one feature that sets itself apart from Apple’s Game Center. On the other hand, one of Apple’s features that Amazon does not have is multiplayer functionality, allowing gamers to play against other at the same time.
Here’s a video from Amazon describing the new features: