If anyone doubted that Amazon Web Services is fully aboard the mobile applications bandwagon, check out its new Simple Notification Service for Apple, Google and its own Kindle Fire devices. The company promises that Mobile Push for Amazon Simple Notification Service, or SNS, means devleopers can send notifications to all those platforms using one API.
This is a development that UrbanAirship, a vendor specializing in automating push alerts, will likely be following.
According to Amazon:
“SNS Mobile Push alleviates the need to build and operate one’s own intermediary service, and enables developers to push once, deliver anywhere. This reduces the cost and complexity for developers, as they do not have to integrate and maintain different versions of the same push software for multiple mobile platforms.”
The service is free for up to one million notifications per month and then $0.50 per each additional million messages published. It’s been clear for months that AWS has its eye on mobile development, hiring up a storm for a new Palo Alto, Calif. mobile-focused group, for example. And, seriously why would it not given that more people use smartphones and tablets as their primary devices?
In a blog post, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said people want to be alerted about important news on their smart phones or tablets even if they have not opened their mobile apps.
” … baseball fans want to know as soon as their favorite team player hits a home run, so they can watch a video replay and catch the rest of the game. The rising proliferation of cheap and powerful sensors means not only apps but smart devices want to communicate important information. For example, your new car could warn you on your mobile phone when the door is not fully closed, so you can return to lock it properly.”
Amazon is hardly alone in this mobile craze. Microsoft is pushing Windows Azure as a development platform for mobile services, including push alerts. In fact, in what is probably not a coincidence, Microsoft announced general availability of push alerts for Apple, Android and Windows devices, on Monday.
Some pundits, including GigaOM PRO analyst Janakiram MSV predicted (subscription required) that Amazon will put all the mobile services it already offers and combine (or expose) them in its own Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) where it would compete with such companies as Parse (now owned by Facebook, Kinvey, Stackmob and Kii.
That’s looking like a pretty safe bet.
This story was updated at 7:53 p.m. PDG August 15 with more context around the competitive landscape.