Amazon lets developers make money by selling physical goods from Android apps

The Mobile Associates API integrates Amazon's store with mobile apps

Developers can sell physical and digital items from within their apps using the new Mobile Associates API for Android-based devices.

When using the new API, developers earn up to 6 percent on qualifying in-app customer purchases while allowing their users to buy and receive goods through Amazon's 1-Click checkout and Prime shipping, the company said Tuesday.

Developers can, for example, sell a toy version of one of the characters in a game and then automatically enable users to play as that same character or if the app is about improving nutrition over time they can offer health-related products like vitamins and supplements, Amazon said.

When a customer makes a purchase from within an app the merchandise is presented with a dialog box showing product details and cost. The customer can then complete the purchase using 1-Click and the items are shipped directly from Amazon to the user, according to the retailer.

To integrate, developers first have to initialize the Mobile Associates API, and tell Amazon what they're selling. Developers can choose to supply a specific set of ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Number), search terms, or use the Amazon Product Advertising API to query a list of ASINs and product information, according to Amazon.

To help users get started, Amazon posted a start guide, sample code, and documentation on its developer website.

Amazon has in the last couple of months stepped up its developer push in a number of different ways.

Earlier this month, Amazon Web Services announced Simple Notification Service with Mobile Push, which the company pitched an easier way for developers to add notifications than previously has been possible. Using one API, developers can send notifications to iOS and Android-based devices, including Amazon's own Kindle Fire tablets.

Developers can now also submit Web apps and offer them alongside native Android-based programs on Amazon's Appstore.

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