Amazon hopes to simplify mobile app testing with new tool

Live App Testing is available via Amazon's developer console

A new tool called Live App Testing from Amazon lets mobile developers distribute apps to a predefined group of users before the apps are launched.

In-house testing is great for isolating and fixing bugs, but it's not enough to ensure that an application will work correctly once regular users start installing it, Amazon said in a blog post Wednesday.

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To allow developers to be better prepared, Amazon has launched Live App Testing, which is the latest move in the company's push to make its Appstore more competitive against Google Play. Doing that will make it easier for Amazon to sell more Kindle Fire tablets and Fire smartphones.

With Live App Testing, developers can create a version of their app that's only distributed to select testers via email. The email includes instructions on how to download the app and begin testing it.

The apps can be tested on any Android-based device, including Kindle Fire tablets and the Fire smartphone, which started shipping at the end of July.

Live App Testing is available via the company's developer console. To get started, developers can click on the tool's tab, add metadata about the app and the APK (application package file) they want to test. Users that will be able to test the app are added via the console.

Improved versions can be uploaded using the console without having to submit a new app. There is also a report developers can access to see how the test is going, including the number of crashes.

Once the testing is done, the app can be published on Amazon's Appstore for all to download.

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