Amazon Kindle to Get New Applications – But Why?

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In case you haven’t heard yet, Amazon has announced that the Amazon Kindle is about to be opened up to 3rd-party developers, and to have its own Kindle app store, so as to create a whole new generation of Kindle applications. Which means that, yay, you’ll be able to play Sudoku on your Kindle – but without a touch screen what’s the point? – while you still can’t perform such basic no-brainers such as making a gift of a book to someone else on their Kindle.

Explains Amazon’s VP of Kindle, Ian Freed, “The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities – we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent.” The incentive to create a Kindle application with the KDK is a purported 70/30 revenue split with Amazon for developers who qualify to have their Kindle applications listed in the Kindle app store on Amazon.


Ironically, it’s very clear that one of the main answers to why Amazon is trying to create a Kindle app frenzy is to retain the toe-hold they have in the portable-device-on-which-you-can-do-cool-things space; the timing of their announcement, which was just a week before Apple unveiled the iPad touch tablet, confirms that. We say ‘ironically’ because, again, no matter how many cool apps may be developed for the Kindle, how cool can they be on a monochrome non-touch screen? Even the cheapest of pretty dumb phones now have full color and touch screen capabilities.

Would you rather play, oh, just about any game on a Kindle, or a smart phone? Now make that comparison to a laptop, tablet, or iPad?

Actually, there’s just no comparison.

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So why is Amazon going in this direction?

Posits research analyst Susan Kevorkian, with IDC, “Apps for the Kindle will enable users to leverage its persistent connectivity to expand Kindle’s functionality beyond digital book and periodical reading.”

But how much further? And enough to take on the app-ability of the iPhone and, now, the iPad, which also have persistent connectivity?

 

Perhaps not. But perhaps.

Sonic Boom has been working with the Kindle Development Kit, and, according to CEO Josh Grant, is already working on some simple games for the Kindle. Says Grant, “We’ll see how those do and get some market data.” The games include word games, puzzles, and card games.

We can see word games going over well, because the Kindle is, after all, all about words, and the lack of a touch screen is more than made up for by the presence of QWERTY keyboard.

But are word games going to be sufficient to take on the iPhone, and now the iPad, and others?

We think not – it will take a whole lot more, and a whole lot more interesting, applications to do that. And so, we too look forward to being surprised by what the Kindle application developers invent.

In the meantime, seriously, Amazon – let me send a book as a gift to someone else’s Kindle!

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Amazon Kindle to Get New Applications – But Why?

  1. any news about as Kindle update to allow users to sort their Books into various “folders” on the Kindle. we have the HOME function so i was thinking along the lines of Home , Home2 , Home 3 within the HOME screen. thanks.

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