Amazon Announces Kindle Development Kit--Apps On The E-Reader Coming Soon

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News Posted: Thu, Jan 21 2010 6:35 PM
We guess we should have seen this coming, but honestly, we didn't. TheApp Store craze has reached a point where just about everyone isjumping in; there's an app store of some kind available for pretty muchevery mobile platform out there, and now other handheld devices arehopping on the bandwagon while it's hot.

Amazon's Kindle really doesn't need any assistance in the popularitydepartment. Judging by sales, it's doing alright on its own. That said,competition is heating up quickly in the market, and Amazon clearlyknows that it has to work hard to stay one step ahead if plans onmaintaining that lead in the industry. So, what is a company to do?Introduce an app store, of course! By definition, what's beingannounced today isn't an app store per se, but it's darn close.

Amazon has announced that a software development kit (KDK, for KindleDevelopment Kit) will be available to developers starting next month,which will enable them to program games, apps, and all sorts of othernon-book content for the e-reader. E-readers themselves are evolving infront of us, as they can already do a good deal more than just readdigital versions of books. Reportedly, the KDK will allow users to"build active content" that taps into the 3G connection, and EA Mobilehas already confessed that it will be building some games that aresomehow playable on e-paper (Tetris, maybe?). Hallmark and Zagat arealso planning apps, and we suppose that these programs will beavailable for distribution using the existing Kindle bookstore.

Of course, what we really suspect here is that Amazon is planning (andbeta testing, in a way) for the future. We get the impression that acolor-based Kindle is on the way, and it's better to be one step aheadin the app development game than to wait for the color Kindle tosurface and be behind the curve on the app front.
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Kindle gearing to match itself against Apple's tablet? I wonder if Kindle 3.0 will be a hybrid tablet/e-reader as well, and if it will use color e-ink or a dynamic OLED screen.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 23 2010 1:12 AM

I just hope it's color I want to see a color e-reader. I think if Apple does this tablet and it's functional it's going to be a high end alpha shot for it's market. I could be wrong but I think something like this with the existing cult following apple has and the app market which is gargantuan could really take substantial market share from several places.

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Soupstyle replied on Sat, Jan 23 2010 4:43 PM

I'd have to say you are right gibber, Amazon is doing this to try to keep people from switching to Apple's offering after it is announced.

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 9:19 AM

If they don't include an accelerometer and compass, it just ain't worth it.

"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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