Closed Bug 690791 Opened 9 years ago Closed 7 years ago

submit Firefox to the Amazon Appstore

Categories

(Firefox for Android Graveyard :: General, defect)

All
Android
defect
Not set

Tracking

(Not tracked)

RESOLVED FIXED

People

(Reporter: beltzner, Assigned: akeybl)

References

Details

(Keywords: mobile, productization)

As raised in mozilla.dev.planning, the Amazon App Store for Android is a popular alternative app marketplace, and Firefox does not have any presence there.

We should investigate the terms and conditions of placing an application there, and assuming there's nothing questionable, submit ourselves to be placed in the store.
Depends on: 631824
Wes, why does this depend on bug 631824? Does Amazon not have an update mechanism?
We should first ensure that Firefox is compatible and works well on the Kindle before we place it there, or we could start off with low ratings and negative feedback.
Sorry, I should have left a comment. I just talked to tarend on IRC and he told me that we needed a built-in update check to distribute here. If that's changed, or if I misunderstood and he was talking about a different distribution channel, then someone who knows feel free to change the dependency.
I'm going to give this to Alex (our new release manager) to drive / DRI.
QA Contact: general → akeybl
Assignee: nobody → akeybl
QA Contact: akeybl → general
(In reply to Jaclyn Fu from comment #2)
> We should first ensure that Firefox is compatible and works well on the
> Kindle before we place it there, or we could start off with low ratings and
> negative feedback.

The Amazon App store isn't just for the Kindle Fire

(In reply to Wesley Johnston (:wesj) from comment #3)
> Sorry, I should have left a comment. I just talked to tarend on IRC and he
> told me that we needed a built-in update check to distribute here. If that's
> changed, or if I misunderstood and he was talking about a different
> distribution channel, then someone who knows feel free to change the
> dependency.

I believe that has changed, but let's investigate. Also, as I just commented in bug 631824, what that bug is asking for isn't what we want and may not even be possible. If we need a build with the update channel enabled, that will have to be a separate build.
No longer depends on: 631824
Thomas was concerned about users who install install Amazon Appstore as a third-party app on their devices, then install Firefox through the Amazon Appstore, then uninstall the Android Appstore app.  Then they will stop receiving automatic updates for Firefox (along with all other Amazon Appstore apps).

Personally I think this is an edge case that does not need to block distribution in the Appstore, especially if the majority of Amazon Appstore customers end up being Kindle users (for whom the Appstore is built in and can't be uninstalled).  For the few users who are affected, they can easily update Firefox themselves from the Google Android Market or directly from Mozilla.
Depends on: 690820
OS: Windows 7 → Android
Hardware: x86_64 → All
Summary: submit Firefox to the Amazon App Store → submit Firefox to the Amazon Appstore
See more bug 690820 for discussion of enabling updates for non-Market builds.
from the Amazon AppStore FAQ:

Releasing New Versions

How do I update my app?
Binary updates and bug fixes can be submitted by relevant roles through the developer portal in a similar way to new apps. So long as you don't currently have an app that is in a Review status, you may update your app by accessing the My Apps tab on the Developer Portal and click on Create New Version. Note: If you require changes to your multimedia assets or other metadata associated with your app, this content will need to be edited and saved by an Administrator or Marketer before the new version is submitted by a Developer.
(In reply to Matt Brubeck (:mbrubeck) from comment #6)
> Thomas was concerned about users who install install Amazon Appstore as a
> third-party app on their devices, then install Firefox through the Amazon
> Appstore, then uninstall the Android Appstore app.  Then they will stop
> receiving automatic updates for Firefox (along with all other Amazon
> Appstore apps).
> 
> Personally I think this is an edge case that does not need to block
> distribution in the Appstore, especially if the majority of Amazon Appstore
> customers end up being Kindle users (for whom the Appstore is built in and
> can't be uninstalled).  For the few users who are affected, they can easily
> update Firefox themselves from the Google Android Market or directly from
> Mozilla.

I agree with Matt here. The Amazon Appstore _does_ support updates as long as the Amazon Appstore App is installed on the Android device. That should be good enough to start the process of getting Firefox into the Amazon store.
The legal terms and policies were already under review from a while back, and I just received an update that there are still some blocks.
I think this is a great thing to talk about at the mobile workweek (as well as other android stores like samsung's, etc). Who should Alex sync up with? Right now I have...

Engineering: Mark, Doug, Brad, Wesley (is someone on point?)
PMM: Jaclyn
Product: ?? (anyone currently on this now that Thomas is gone?)
Legal: ?? (sounds like we have been talking to someone?)
RelEng: ?? (if we have talked to anyone let Alex know, if not he should take point on this...probably Aki)
Legal: Harvey
I'll take point from engineering
(In reply to Brad Lassey [:blassey] from comment #8)
> from the Amazon AppStore FAQ:
> [...]

If there are any issues with the Amazon T&C, we should reach out to them and see if we can work out some kind of compromise... We've got a huge desktop userbase, are a key player in the evolution of the web, and not really interested in cheating Amazon's business model (especially since we're free :). I'd like to think that Amazon would be receptive to having Firefox in their appstore, even if their stock T&C might not be a great fit for us.
I just performed some tests on whether there are any conflicts between the Amazon Appstore and Google Market when an app that is available in both is installed. The results are at https://wiki.mozilla.org/Release_Management/Amazon_Appstore#Pulse_test


Here's the TLDR version:
* Applications installed in the Appstore show up in the Market "My apps" section. This is GOOD, as this means that if the Appstore is deleted we should still be able to leverage the Market for updates (needs to be 100% confirmed).
* Users can re-install an app from the Appstore without issue if they've already installed it on the Market. This is OK, and the user's data should be retained.
* Users can "update" an app to an older version in the Appstore if the user updates forward in the Market, and the newer version is not yet available in the Appstore. This is BAD, and led to a crash on start in Pulse (presumably the user data wasn't backwards compatible). This is likely a bug in the Appstore where it offers updates when amazon_app_version != app_version instead of amazon_app_version > app_version.


The first point, if confirmed, probably means that 690820 shouldn't even be considered as a possible blocker (it's basically the same user experience as current).

This third point means that we may need to wait to submit a new version of the app to Google Market until the same version is approved by Amazon (if there's any lag).
(In reply to Alex Keybl [:akeybl] from comment #15)
> Here's the TLDR version:
> * Applications installed in the Appstore show up in the Market "My apps"
> section. This is GOOD, as this means that if the Appstore is deleted we
> should still be able to leverage the Market for updates (needs to be 100%
> confirmed).
I agree with your conclusion, this is good as long as we can confirm it.


> * Users can "update" an app to an older version in the Appstore if the user
> updates forward in the Market, and the newer version is not yet available in
> the Appstore. This is BAD, and led to a crash on start in Pulse (presumably
> the user data wasn't backwards compatible). This is likely a bug in the
> Appstore where it offers updates when amazon_app_version != app_version
> instead of amazon_app_version > app_version.
This could be quite bad. If our only work around is to submit to amazon first, and they have any delay then we're holding back our updates to the majority of users to satisfy a small minority.
Just spoke with Mark about the update concerns. To verify that Amazon-installed apps can be updated in the Google Market, I'll be getting in touch with QA. This will also be a good opportunity to create a matrix for installation/updates in a Google/Amazon hybrid world.

For the 'Users can "update" an app to an older version in the Amazon Appstore' scenario, we don't think this a blocker because the user can always update to the newer version in Market again (if crashing), and security is OK with any lag in installing mobile security fixes introduced by the approval process.

Christian also brought up Amazon product detail localization, which I'll be looking into - probably using the same dev account that QA uses to upload the test app.
I've built a simple binary clock for Android that we can use for testing purposes on both the Google Market and Amazon Appstore, and passed it off to Kevin. The goal is to make an initial submission to the Amazon Appstore by the end of the week. Tony and I discussed building out a test matrix with the tests I performed previously as a starting point. Goals include

* outlining the Amazon Appstore submission and approval processes
* outlining the timeline for approval and the user being first offered an update
* detailing the download/install/update experience through the Appstore (on multiple Android versions)
* testing the interaction with the default app store update process
* understanding the switches/knobs offered to us by the Amazon Appstore (phone only, tablet only, etc.)

Considerations should include making the least number of submissions to the Appstore in order to test the matrix, given approval lag time.
It's been a couple of weeks, so I'd like to provide an update here about getting Firefox into the Amazon Appstore.

So far, with the help of QA we've confirmed:
* There is no option to provide per-language product details (so no extra localization)
* With Firefox downloaded through the Amazon Appstore, the application will be picked up by the Android Market and will be updated 

That means that the remaining blockers are:
* Finalizing product details for submission (the same as Android Market?)
* Make sure we're OK with the app submission terms
* QA will test with a Kindle Fire to make sure there are no major regressions
* Deciding on an initial released version and release date
* Coming up with an APK submission process w/ RelEng

Other investigations (but not blockers):
* QA to verify that there is a bug in the Amazon Appstore where an application can be mistakenly downgraded if upgraded through the Android Market
Is it realistic to try to submit it for Firefox 9 (December 20th)? I think that's a great goal (holidays, fire shipping, new tablet UI, etc). Fx10 would be fine, but I think 9 is better.
(In reply to Christian Legnitto [:LegNeato] from comment #20)
> Is it realistic to try to submit it for Firefox 9 (December 20th)? I think
> that's a great goal (holidays, fire shipping, new tablet UI, etc). Fx10
> would be fine, but I think 9 is better.

After speaking with others, this sounds like a realistic goal. I'm setting up a meeting for next Wednesday as a checkpoint with RelEng/QA/Marketing.
Depends on: 706223
Just adding a note: the Kindle Fire's home screen shows apps with high-resolution icons only when installed through the Amazon App Store -- as long as there's a high-res icon in the app store entry, it should help Firefox look nicer on the Fire than it currently does when installed through .apk downloads.
Depends on: 709178
Depends on: 709874
Firefox for Android 9 was submitted to the Amazon Appstore at around 9:30AM PT on 12/20.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 8 years ago
Depends on: 705026, 705572
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Blocks: 719714
blocking-basecamp: --- → ?
blocking-kilimanjaro: --- → ?
blocking-basecamp: ? → ---
blocking-kilimanjaro: ? → ---
I'm not finding it, only "Firefox Sync" for $0.99.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dmobile-apps&field-keywords=firefox

http://www.amazon.com/Voyage-Apps-FireFox-Sync/dp/B00945H3T8/

As it's not there anymore (if it ever was), I'm reopening this bug.
Status: RESOLVED → REOPENED
Resolution: FIXED → ---
No longer blocks: 719714
Depends on: 719714
This was fixed. Amazon resigns our APK, it is a blocker for using Amazon bug 713777 tracks working with Amazon for a fix.
Status: REOPENED → RESOLVED
Closed: 8 years ago7 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
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