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Amazon Kindle To Get Apps and EA Games 111

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the in-glorious-greyscale dept.
Lanxon writes "Amazon currently encourages publishers and authors to sell their books and magazines digitally, but the upcoming Kindle Development Kit (KDK), which goes into beta next month, says Wired, will allow software developers to create a variety of different applications. Amazon has already confirmed a Zagat guide for restaurant reviews from Hallmark and a selection of word games and puzzles, such as Sudoku, from Sonic Boom. EA Mobile is also set to release games on the Kindle."The kit itself is expected to be available next month.
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Amazon Kindle To Get Apps and EA Games

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  • Interesting timing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nscheffey (1158691) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:28AM (#30845494)
    Wonder if it has anything to do with this [wired.com]?
  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nimey (114278) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:32AM (#30845532) Homepage Journal

    The designers will have to keep the display in mind - for example, a Solitaire game would only refresh after you make a move, and same for Sudoku.

    Tetris would probably be right out, though.

  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:36AM (#30845596) Homepage

    People can already SSH [thekindlewiki.com] into their Kindles. If I were Amazon, I would be worried about this kind of support making jailbreaks more attractive, possibly putting a nail into the coffin of their future ebook sales.

    Actually... I think that opening the platform up (be it intentionally, or by jailbreaking) will eventually be what makes ereaders a real, viable alternative to printed books.

    Right now, if you get a Kindle you're largely stuck buying your books from Amazon. You can't just go to any ebook retailer and pick up whatever you want.

    Right now, if you get a nook you're largely stuck buying your books from Barnes & Noble. You can't just go to any ebook retailer and pick up whatever you want.

    If they can open up the platform (either with a jailbreak, or an official update, or an app, or whatever) then you'll be able to buy your ebooks wherever you want. Amazon will lose it's vendor lock-in... But they'll pick up sales from folks with nooks and Sonys and whatever else.

  • by Brandee07 (964634) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:38AM (#30845624)

    I'm excited about the possibilities, but worried that some developers will port their apps to Kindle because they can, without considering if it's a good match for Kindle. The Kindle really is a content consumption platform, not a content creation platform (you read, not write, on it). I can see a Twitter client working, however, since 140 characters is about the most I'd ever want to type on a Kindle keyboard. I think Amazon is conscious of this, as they are avoiding the term "app" in favor of "active content."

    In any case, the Kindle's very slow refresh rate poses UI challenges that haven't really been faced before. I'm interested to see how developers contend with it. Another possible issue is battery life. The Kindle's battery is actually very, very small. The reason it lasts so long is that only page turns draw current, and even then only a small amount of current, and then you have to read a whole page before you draw current again. If you're refreshing every three seconds instead of every two minutes, you're going to see a serious drop in battery life, especially if the apps expect wireless connectivity. My two week Kindle battery could drop to two days easily.

    The Kindle for me is still just for reading. While it CAN do email and web browsing and minesweeper, I use my iPhone for all those things. And while my iPhone CAN read my Kindle books, I use my Kindle for that. Reading is so central a part of my life that I'm not willing to sacrifice the quality of the experience on a convergence device- especially one that will start ringing or flash push notifications in the middle of a very suspenseful book.

    But really, the whole thing reeks of Apple envy. This and the royalties change tells me that they feel VERY threatened by the Apple tablet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:41AM (#30845656)

    Somebody seems a little threatened by Apple's 'slate' introduction next week...

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @10:53AM (#30845818) Journal

    Yes, no handheld device ever ran applications before the Apple "Islate" came along. This vaporware is so good, it can travel back in time, and beat all the phones that were doing it 5+ years ago...

    Really though, the whole of the last decade has been a continual trend of convergence (and even that word was a buzzword for years in the '90s).

    And even if you mean in the sense of people making up claims that the "Islate" will be a colour e-reader, there are already models out there doing that (e.g., the Fujitsu Flepia, released last year). By that, I mean ones actually released, not "rumuoured".

  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @01:41PM (#30848240) Homepage Journal
    It pretty much sounds like the Apple iPhone limitations. They won't allow something that simply duplicates the functionality of the Kindle, which is a generic reader. Apps have to do something more.

    I also see offensive material, which again is the iPhone catchall for 'if we don't like, it won't be on the device.' I wonder if they are going to be as liberal in the active content evaluation as they are for [amazon.com] books [amazon.com].

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