Amazon has just announced it's own cloud-based push messaging system built specifically for Kindle Fire apps, called Amazon Device Messaging. Right now it's purely a developer tool, but it should eventually make Kindle Fire apps a lot more useful — previously, developers had to write their own push notification systems, but Amazon's tool should offer some inherent improvements on that option. Amazon specifically calls out the opportunity for increased battery life, because apps won't have to ping servers constantly to check for new notifications. Even better, the API will be free to developers, so there aren't really any downsides to building this solution into apps

This will help bring Amazon's forked version of Android up to par with the standard Google offering as well as iOS, both of which have robust support for push notifications already. It's also exactly the kind of API that Amazon will need if and when it launches the long-rumored Amazon / Kindle smartphone. Amazon's Device Messaging API is available now to registered Kindle Fire developers in a beta now, and will currently run on second-generation Kindle Fire hardware only.