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Mobile IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, David Miller, JP Morgenthal, AppDynamics Blog

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Amazon Web Services Launches New Capabilities for Mobile Developers

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced several new capabilities to make it easier for developers to build, deploy, and scale mobile applications. Amazon Cognito is a new service that provides simple user identity and data synchronization that lets developers create apps that authenticate users through popular public login providers, and then keep app data such as user preferences and game state synced between devices. The new Amazon Mobile Analytics service allows developers to easily collect and analyze app usage data, up to billions of events per day from millions of users, and delivers usage reports within an hour of data being sent by the app. AWS is also introducing a new unified Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) that makes it easy for iOS, Android, and Fire OS developers to access the new Amazon Cognito and Amazon Mobile Analytics services as well as popular AWS services like Amazon S3 and Amazon DynamoDB. To get started with AWS Mobile Services, visit http://aws.amazon.com/mobile.

Today, many app developers around the world use the AWS Cloud as infrastructure building blocks for the back-end services that power their mobile applications. Still, these mobile app developers have had to spend valuable time on undifferentiated heavy lifting like connecting apps to storage and database services and integrating core functionality such as authentication, user management, notifications, and usage data analytics. With Amazon Cognito, Amazon Mobile Analytics, and the AWS Mobile SDK, developers are now able to focus more of their energy on what matters, the differentiated functionality of their app that attracts and retains end users.

With AWS Mobile Services, developers can:

  • Securely store, manage, and sync user identities and data (Amazon Cognito)

As more and more users utilize the same apps across various devices running different mobile platforms, developers often have to manage multiple user logins to securely store and retrieve data for their users, reconcile different versions of the data as devices go on and offline, and keep data in sync between devices. With Amazon Cognito, developers can incorporate these capabilities into their apps with just a few lines of code. Amazon Cognito lets developers build apps that allow users to start off as unauthenticated guests and then sign in with Amazon, Facebook, or Google. Amazon Cognito manages the complexity of keeping app data in sync on all devices associated with a user identity. Developers can also use Amazon Cognito’s client SDK to create a local data store, which caches user data on the device so that apps can keep working the same way regardless of whether the device is on or offline. Additionally, Amazon Cognito makes it simple to implement AWS security best practices (such as not embedding AWS credentials into source code) by providing a set of temporary, limited-privilege AWS credentials that developers can use to access AWS services such as Amazon Mobile Analytics, Amazon SNS, Amazon S3, or Amazon DynamoDB from their mobile app. Developers receive 10 GB of storage for synced data and one million sync operations per month for free for up to 12 months with the AWS Free Tier.

  • Quickly access and understand app usage data (Amazon Mobile Analytics)

Analytics such as how many users an app has, how much revenue it’s generating, and what a user is doing with the app are key to app developers. Amazon Mobile Analytics automatically provides this data to app developers without them doing any extra work. The service collects and visualizes mobile app usage data so that developers can understand user behavior and improve the customer experience for their apps. Amazon Mobile Analytics can collect and process billions of events per day from millions of users. It generates reports on active users, sessions, retention, in-application revenue, and custom events. Many mobile analytics solutions deliver usage data many hours after the usage happens. Amazon Mobile Analytics is designed to deliver usage reports within an hour of data being sent by the app so that developers can act on the data more quickly. All AWS customers can begin using Amazon Mobile Analytics at no charge and process up to 100 million events per month for free.

  • Easily connect apps to AWS services (AWS Mobile SDK)

The new AWS Mobile SDK supports iOS, Android, and Fire OS, giving developers an easy way to access AWS Mobile Services like Amazon Cognito, Amazon Mobile Analytics, and Amazon SNS Mobile Push. In addition, it also includes mobile connectors for AWS services such as Amazon DynamoDB (fast, fully managed NoSQL database service that is increasingly becoming the default choice for mobile apps), Amazon Kinesis (fully managed service for real-time processing of streaming data at massive scale that can collect data from mobile devices), and Amazon S3 (largest object storage service in cloud computing), to make them even easier to access with mobile devices and enhance them for mobile use cases by providing capabilities such as optimized network usage by batching data.

  • Send notifications, updates, and promotions across platforms (Amazon SNS)

Launched in August 2013, Amazon SNS Mobile Push provides customers around the world with a fully managed, cross-platform push notification service. Amazon SNS Mobile Push allows developers to easily send notifications to Apple iOS, Google Android, and Kindle Fire devices. Last month Amazon SNS enabled support for Baidu in China, as well as for Windows phone and desktop, and today is delivering messaging Time to Live. With Time to Live, Amazon SNS allows developers to set a time value of up to two weeks for time-specific app messages. If a message isn’t able to reach an app user’s device by the end of the time value, the message is not delivered since it is no longer relevant. Combined, these capabilities allow developers to reach a very broad user base from one single point without managing the complexity of integrating with multiple providers. All AWS customers can begin using Mobile Push for Amazon SNS at no charge and send up to one million notifications each month for free. After that, customers pay $.50 for every million messages published, and $.50 for every million messages delivered ($1.00 total per million push notifications).

“We continue to hear from customers that they prefer to avoid having to build any of the undifferentiated parts of their mobile apps,” said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Mobile at Amazon Web Services. “AWS already provides the backend processing, storage, and databases that customers around the world use to power sophisticated mobile apps. We designed AWS Mobile Services, including Amazon Cognito and AWS Mobile Analytics, to make it even simpler and more cost-effective to build and scale mobile apps on the AWS Cloud.”

Soundtracker is a social music app that makes it easy to discover and play music in real-time. “We see more and more of our customers using our app across multiple devices, often based on different platforms, and they expect their listening experience to follow them around seamlessly,” said Daniele Calabrese, Founder and CEO, Soundtracker. “Amazon Cognito vastly simplifies the process of data synchronization across devices and provides a simple abstraction layer that frees us from the mundane tasks of user record management. Now, we can just write code once for the online case, and under the covers the Amazon Cognito APIs take care of the rest. This affords us more time to concentrate on enriching the features of our application.”

RunKeeper is an iPhone application that enables runners, cyclists, and hikers to track their outdoor fitness activities. “In the process of building our new app, Breeze, we decided to base its entire backend on Amazon Web Services. We decided that we wanted it to share the same login as our RunKeeper app to make it easy for our users. We looked for a mobile solution that would enable users to sign in automatically if they use RunKeeper and that would also support unauthenticated users without any heavy lifting,” said Joe Bondi, Chief Technology Officer, RunKeeper. “Amazon Cognito would allow us to very simply support unauthenticated guests and sync logins with our existing customers. It would also allow us to set granular access policies for our users to deliver high levels of security. Ultimately, Amazon Cognito would help remove complexity in the backend systems for our mobile apps so we can focus on the experience for our users.”

OtherLevels enables publishers to engage, retain, and monetize their mobile audiences through its mobile marketing platform. “When our customers are looking for mobile message delivery, we recommend and use Amazon SNS for mobile push notifications,” said Ramsey Masri, CEO, OtherLevels. “Amazon SNS delivers high performance at large scale and a great price point. With Amazon SNS and new features like support for Windows, Baidu, and cross-platform Time to Live, we can combine powerful messaging functionality with our own advanced targeting to deliver a great mobile marketing platform for our customers.”

Customers can integrate Amazon Cognito and Amazon Mobile Analytics with their mobile apps using the AWS Mobile SDK or API. Both services are initially available in the US East (N. Virginia) Region. For more information on Amazon Mobile Services, visit http://aws.amazon.com/mobile.

About Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services, Inc. began exposing key infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services -- now widely known as cloud computing. The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. Businesses no longer need to plan and procure servers and other IT resources weeks or months in advance. Using AWS, businesses can take advantage of Amazon's expertise and economies of scale to access resources when their business needs them, delivering results faster and at a lower cost. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government and startup customers businesses in 190 countries around the world. Amazon Web Services offers over 30 different services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). AWS Cloud services are available to customers from data center locations in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan, Singapore, Australia and China.

About Amazon.com

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

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