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August 2008
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SDK, does the Kindle need one?

Kindle Time MagazineThese days if company’s want a device to be a success it has to support as many different standards as possible, be as useful to the user as possible, be as cheap as possible and be as open as possible. There are always exception to the rule, take iPhone for example, but on the whole its an accurate statement.

One way of opening a device up is by offering a software development kit (SDK), I was reading k.indled today and the question came, If Kindle had an SDK, What would you do with it?

One thing I would do is add support for the .epub format, I’m not sure if it would be possible because I am no programmer, but I feel that Kindle must support .epub one day, its the industry standard and I think this will get a lot more publishers on board, especially the ones who have a lot of technical content which isn’t easy to render on the Kindle.

I think Amazon will have to eventually open up the Kindle and they should do it sooner rather than later, having an ‘app store’ similar to the iPhone app store I think would go a long way in helping the Kindle attain mainstream acceptance, and it could open up a while host of other uses for the Kindle.

What would you create with a Kindle SDK?

Source: k.indled

8 comments to SDK, does the Kindle need one?

  • Well, I’m too technically inept to create anything with an SDK, but I can think of some cool things I’d like to see someone else create:

    - Notepad and/or post-it notes.
    - Calendar with an alarm.
    - Instant messaging client — maybe even one that works directly with other Kindles to add to the social aspect.
    - A utility to share clippings.
    - A utility that can convert location numbers to page numbers based on 1st edition publication. Great for reading groups and citations.
    - A utility to add covers of books you’ve purchased to your screensaver pictures.
    - A utility that would allow you to upload all of your purchases and/or downloaded books to a social reading site such as Shelfari.
    - And obviously the feature that most users have been asking for: FOLDERS.

  • Joshua K

    I am surprised nobody has already tried making or modifying the kindle more. Someone has already figured out how to get access to the filesystem and it runs linux so it shouldn’t be too hard to work with.

    If amazon would let you have a directory on the memory or SD that you can dump kindle java programs into and then they show up in the experimental menu that would be great. They have already mentioned they aren’t against people hacking. They said that kind of thing is bound to happen, but I haven’t seen anything yet.

  • Bob

    I would add Inform and sell interactive fiction (i.e. text adventure games) through Amazon.

  • B. A.

    I am patiently waiting for Amazon to release an SDK for Kindle. There are many opportunities to leverage the Kindle platform and add value for both Amazon and the Kindle owners.

  • Andrew

    * Folders (Tricky instead of modifying the underlying system, may create an app that just has its own folder system for navigating and organizing)
    * Sudoku and other puzzles (fairly easy, especially if the underlying OS is X/Windows linux of some stripe)
    * IM and Twitter clients
    * A POP E-Mail client tailored for the Kindle.

  • Pat Morrison

    When trying a new recipe out, today i have the cookbook lying on a counter. Or I print something from online and pin it up above the stove, where I can see it hands free. But I can imagine having a kitchen-side tablet or pda that not only displays recipe text, but interactively guides and coaches me through the process… reminders of what’s first, what’s next, buttons to indicate I’ve preheated the oven (or whatever), timers to indicate when sub-parts are to start/finish, and for me to indicate that they’re done… and so on. It seems clear how to go about building something like this for certain phones, but the Kindle’s form factor and book contents (and tie-ins) seem like a more appropriate platform for this kind of application. As long as I can wrap the keyboard in something spill-proof.

  • shahar

    I will like to develope:
    1.Right to Left Support
    2.RSS reader
    3.magic marker + note taking util.

  • M.A. Wilson

    You have your wish. Amazon announced an SDK to be released for Beta testing next month. Distribution of apps is modeled loosely after the iPhone.

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