Amazon Releasing Software Development Kit to Bring Apps to Kindle

Surely

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
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Amazon Moves to Emulate Apple With Kindle Apps

From here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704320104575016261810857940.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

An excerpt:

Amazon.com Inc. is showing signs of app envy.

The e-commerce giant says it plans to open its Kindle e-reader to "active content"--application programs that would allow the device to take on a wider range of uses.

Amazon's move appears to borrow a page from Apple Inc. and its popular app store for the iPhone. It comes just days before Apple is expected to unveil a tablet computer that is likely to compete directly with the Kindle as a platform for the distribution of electronic books while offering a range of other uses, including music, video and games.

The Seattle-based company said it will invite software developers to build and upload programs that would be sold in the Kindle store later in the year. To aid in that process, Amazon plans to offer programmers access to technology and tools to help them build active content.

Amazon executives had previously been insistent that it sees the Kindle as a purpose-built device for reading. The company also avoided using the word "app" in its announcement.
Interesting.

The timing reeks of Amazon trying to draw some attention away from the possible Apple tablet announcement next week.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Kind of makes sense as amazon tries to differentiate their product from what is quickly becoming a crowded market for ebook readers. I agree with the other poster. Given the screen limitations, I'm not sure there's really that much you can do with it.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
As someone who likes his Kindle, I don't really get it, either. I don't have a great desire to run apps, or active content, or whatever they're calling them, on my Kindle. I could see maybe reference / educational books with more interactive content, but then I read fiction on mine....
 

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Amazon Releasing Software Development Kit to Bring Apps to Kindle

https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

The New York Times reported late last night that Amazon is deploying a software development kit (SDK) to allow developers to bring applications to the company's Kindle e-book reader. The move follows a change in the Kindle Store's e-book royalty program, with the two events suggesting that Amazon is making a major push to tackle Apple's as-yet-unreleased tablet device head-on.
Amazon says it has already released the Kindle Development Kit to a select number of partners, including the video game giant Electronic Arts, and will make it more widely available when a limited beta period starts next month. It anticipates formally adding what it calls “active content” to the Kindle store sometime later this year.
According to the report, Amazon will be allowing free, paid, and subscription-based applications on the Kindle and will use the same pricing structure as its new e-book royalty program: 70% of revenue (after subtracting delivery costs) goes to developers, roughly comparable to Apple's App Store arrangements.

While well-known companies such as gaming firm Electronic Arts and Handmark, developer of Zagat restaurant guides for mobile devices, have been looking into the Kindle SDK, the current Kindle hardware will impose some limitations on the types of offerings that can be included. The Kindle offers only a monochrome e-ink display and has limited graphics capabilities, meaning that traditional-style handheld games and video will not be possible. But certainly a wide array of applications would be able to make their way to the Kindle in one form or another.

Article Link: Amazon Releasing Software Development Kit to Bring Apps to Kindle
 

JMax1

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2006
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Harlem, NY
I think that's a good move - planning ahead. I'd like to see some choose your own adventure ebooks - if they aren't already out...

::edit::

looks like it's already done
 

amac4me

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
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I simply don't get this action as it's too late in my view. Amazon should have made changes to the platform long ago to build the platform.

Kindle is a two-sided platform that serves both content creators (authors, publishers, etc ...) and consumers. The platform as a whole and each side of the platform is subject to positive network effects. Amazon should have tried to build the content side earlier such that network effects would have kicked in to a greater degree by now ... more content, and more Kindle consumers.

To take action NOW by revising royalties to a 70/30 split and now the release of a KDK (SDK) is too late especially given the Apple event next week in which the market is expecting the release of an Apple tablet device.

Amazon, I simply don't understand why it took you so long. Apple is going to change the game once again with a better product, end-to-end user experience, ease of use, and content resulting in an overall better platform relative to the Kindle.

In my view, the beginning of the end for the Kindle is now underway.
 

John.B

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Jan 15, 2008
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In my view, the beginning of the end for the Kindle is now underway.
I think the beginning of the end started originally when they approved that dirt slow display. Because of that design decision, there was never going to be any upward mobility to this device. Who is going to want to game on a device that takes a second or two to refresh the display? Bezos is clueless and is about to have his arse handed to him on this. The Kindle either needs to become a much more powerful device overnight with an updated -- fast -- color screen, or they won't be selling them for the next Christmas season.

I feel sorry for anyone who bought Kindle content for the long term (in a snarky, I-told-you-so kind of way). :p
 

GeekLawyer

macrumors 68020
Ditto. Kindle is about to look like a dinosaur.

Oh wait, it already does! And not a fast or colorful one.
I don't have one - but I'm sure as a ebook reader, it's a nice device. But it's not something I could imagine surfing the web on (tho you can) or playing a game on.

Kindle is about to look like a 13" black and white tube TV compared to a 47" LCD 1080P HDTV. Sure, you could watch Lost on the old B&W, but why on Earth would you want to?
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,457
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Ditto. Kindle is about to look like a dinosaur.

Oh wait, it already does! And not a fast or colorful one.
Why is everyone so sure this SDK was meant for gaming? There are a lot of other applications that could be useful on the Kindle that are not games.

And unless the Apple tablet has some sort of non-transmissive display mode, it isn't going to replace the Kindle for book reading.
 

Sander

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2008
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I think the beginning of the end started originally when they approved that dirt slow display. Because of that design decision, there was never going to be any upward mobility to this device. Who is going to want to game on a device that takes a second or two to refresh the display?
Actually, e-Ink displays have other features which make up for their slowness (for at least some people).

Perhaps "gaming" shouldn't be first on your list here. Think more "interactive books". It would be awesome to have a physics or maths textbook which allowed you to change some parameters of graphs and see the resulting changes a second later.

Or even think "sudoku". Not all games require fast page updates.
 
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