As Apple has proven with its iPhone 5 maps blunder, people care about having quality maps on their mobile devices. Until now, however, there’s not been a maps API built specifically for the Kindle Fire. Amazon is fixing that this week.
Amazon announced that its Maps API is now available for all developers. The API was available since September in an open beta, but this week marks the first time that it’s been available to everyone in a stable release. The retail giant says that its maps API has been developed with Kindle Fire apps in mind, and that various developers have already integrated into their own Kindle Fire apps.
For now, the Amazon Maps API is pretty simple. It has two core features that developers can take advantage of:
- Interactive Maps. You can embed a Map View in your app for customers to pan, zoom and fling around the world. You have the option to display a user’s current location, switch between standard maps and satellite view, and more.
- Custom Overlays. You can display the locations of businesses, landmarks and other points of interest with your own customized markers and pins.
It should be interesting to see what developers will do with the Amazon Maps API on Kindle Fire devices. The obvious use of the API is to build mapping apps, but I can see game developers creating some pretty unique AR games using it. The API could also point to the existence of a rumored Amazon phone since the company will need its own maps app for such a device.