Amazon is most popular for being an online retailer, but software developers, system administrators, and geeks also know the company for providing cloud infrastructure and services. With its new Amazon AppStream, Amazon now wants these people, particularly mobile app developers, to leverage is Amazon Web Services (AWS) in order to solve one of the biggest problems plaguing Android devices: hardware fragmentation.
It is no secret that developing Android apps is no walk in the park. Nevermind the different Android versions currently still in use. The staggering amount of hardware combinations alone is enough to give any developer a splitting headache, especially those who want to reach as many devices and people as possible. Most decide to simply target the lowest common denominator, leaving them no choice but to create sometimes mediocre apps or less than stunning content.
Amazon believes it has the solution, which, unsurprisingly, involves its cloud business. It is launching Amazon AppStream to let developers offload all of the app or at least the most resource intensive parts, like 3D graphics or number crunching, to the cloud. Amazon’s cloud, to be exact. This way, developers no longer have to worry about hardware constraints such as CPU, GPU, or storage, and simply focus on creating the best app and content that they can and be assured that it will all be delivered equally to any device. Amazon AppStream takes care of delivery and updates and its AppStream STX Protocol monitors the network conditions and adjusts the stream appropriately.
What this basically means is that the app just runs on Amazon’s servers. What users interact with, instead, is a video stream that can play up to 720p at 30 fps, not unlike a remote desktop setup. To some extent, this means practically handing your app over to Amazon, which might be a price some developers will be willing to pay. Amazon AppStream is currently in a limited preview stage only available to the US East Region.