Amazon advises developers on how to protect code from app thieves

Developers whose apps use in-app purchasing need to take extra care to ensure that the functionality is preserved

Developers submitting apps to the Amazon Appstore for Android should consider obfuscating their code if they are concerned about their applications being reverse engineered, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Obfuscating the code modifies the source and machine code to be difficult for a human to understand if the app gets decompiled, according to Amazon.

For Android apps, Proguard is a code obfuscation tool that is provided to developers once they download the SDK (software development kit). The program shrinks, optimizes, and obfuscates the source code, Amazon wrote in the blog post.

Besides obfuscating the code, Proguard also reduces file sizes and boosts the run-time performance of the code.

But Amazon also has a caveat for developers whose applications include in-app purchasing, allowing users to buy digital content and subscriptions -- such as in-game currency, expansion packs, upgrades, and magazine issues -- within apps. If in-app purchasing is available all of the code cannot be obfuscated. Amazon Appstore relies on certain methods being available to call and provide developers with information about a purchase request. If these methods get obfuscated and renamed, the Appstore will not be able to send the information, according to the blog post.

To avoid the latter, developers have to add a few lines of code to ensure the in-app functionality is preserved, the blog post said.

Amazon's introduction of an in-app purchasing API earlier this month highlights how important it has become, and there is a reason for that.

In-app purchases now account for 60 percent of revenue among the 200 highest-grossing applications for Apple and Android, according to a recent survey conducted by market research company CCS Insight and Distimo, which has specialized in app store market analytics.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?