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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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December 2014
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Kindle SDK (KDK) to be available next month

Well. Once more I have to eat my own words… Some time ago I wrote about why Kindle SDK wasn’t a likely thing and today Amazon announced it’s availability. Amazon must have been holding it up in it’s sleeve for quite some time. I believe that bringing all Kindle software to version 2.3 was made in preparation to the SDK announcement. With Amazon’s motto in everything being ease and simplicity I don’t think they would have expected software developers to support apps that should have ran on 3 different versions of the OS.

At the moment little is known about the SDK:

  • I believe that apps will be Java-based like the rest of the Kindle UI.
  • Apps are going to be either free, purchase once or monthly subscription based.
  • Data usage would be limited based on the purchase and subscription price.
  • Limited location services based on cell towers are likely to be available to KDK should user give their consent.

I hope to get on board the KDK during the Beta or shortly thereafter.

Personally I think that Kindle SDK is going to the a success. There is a definite demand for simple things like Folders, interactive Suduku, crossword puzzles, weather, location based search etc. While Kindle browser does work for a lot of websites, it’s slow and cumbersome. Small faster specialized Java app would be much better. But most importantly it looks like these apps will not take away from the reading experience which Kindle’s main selling point.

The rationale is that since people use Kindle for reading and are likely to carry it around anyway, why not use it for other tasks as well, without taking away from the main function? That’s why smartphones succeeded where PDAs failed.

What Kindle apps would you like to see?

Opening the Kindle to Third Party Developers

The Kindle is great for what it does, but it is by design somewhat limited to Amazon’s vision.  I’ve written on this blog before about allowing third party developers on the Kindle.  It looks like with the upcoming holiday season, talk over whether Amazon should release an SDK has started again.

New York Times makes the argument that since Amazon won’t likely release any new hardware (Both the Kindle 2 and DX are new enough that they’ve never been holiday gifts), it may be beneficial for them to find some new way to innovate before the holidays.  Creating an SDK where anyone could make and sell applications would not only increase the Kindle’s possibilities, but also give it a sort of iPhone recognition for innovation.

Of course, Amazon hasn’t already done this for a reason.  Perhaps over the worries of the publishers, or fears of piracy that could result from opening up the ecosystem, Amazon has not allowed third parties into the Kindle.  But here is where the iPhone example really applies.  iPhone apps undergo a nearly draconian review process, yet the iPhone and its apps continue to be a commercial success.  Amazon could easily decide to create a Kindle app marketplace where they vetoed any programs that, say, abused the wireless or allowed ePub on the device.  Some people would definitely gripe about the restrictions, but the sdk would still be an overall success.  Like the NYTimes article suggests, apps could be created for medical or other specialized niches.  The apps would be in high enough demand and would still be okay with Amazon.

One easy entry into Kindle apps could be board games like chess, go, checkers, monopoly, etc. These can be computationally light, especially if you are playing against the Internet server or another human, cause minimal wireless traffic and look well on Kindle’s eInk display. Right now there are two games on Kindle DX – minesweeper and Gomoku. More can be easily added – either free or for a charge. The ecosystem need not be as open as iPhone from the start and can still bring Kindle success. Lets not forget that even for iPhone it took a year for App store to materialize.

Will this really happen? In my opinion it’s a coin toss. Amazon has to come up with something to generate some Kindle buzz this holiday season when competition is stepping on it’s heels. And I’m pretty sure they will. But it might not be an app store.

Also, just wanted to say thanks to the New York Times for linking to Blog Kindle.  Hello any new readers!

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