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Amazon launches its own mobile Maps API

Available in beta for developers
Tue Sep 18 2012, 11:56
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet PC

ONLINE RETAILER Amazon is preparing to move away from Google Maps by launching its own mobile Maps API for developers.

Discussing the API in its Mobile App Distribution Blog today, Amazon said it allows developers to embed interactive maps directly into their apps, letting users pan and zoom. The in-app maps can also pull from a user's location and swap between satellite and standard map views, just like you see in Google Maps.

"The Amazon Maps API makes it easy for you to integrate mapping functionality into apps that run on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD," Amazon said in its blog post. "These new devices will also support location-based services through the android.location API."

Because the API is not based on a proprietary mapping service provided by Amazon, the retailer has partnered with Nokia Maps to power the service on the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets that it announced earlier this month.

However, it's unlikely that the service will do much damage to Google Maps. As one of the most popular Maps services out there, Google Maps is the "go to" choice for the majority of users accessing location services across a wide range of mobile devices on the market.

Amazon said its Maps API is available now in beta, and that developers can apply now to get access through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. µ


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