Amazon appear to be taking a page from Apple’s book for the Kindle with allowing for the creation of apps by opening the platform up to developers, and bringing out its new ‘Developer Kit’.
The popular e-reader will be taking advantage of it’s 3G technology and long battery life to allow for the development of various apps to be used alongside it’s native functions.
So far two companies are said to be creating apps for the Amazon device; Handmark who are working on a Zagat guide, and Sonic Boom who will develop various games and puzzles.
The developer kit will be launched in February in beta version and will come packed with sample codes, Kindle simulator and documentation which will all be able to run on Mac, PC and Linux computers where a developer can build and test their creations.
Although the name ‘app’ might make people think of the ever increasing and complicated apps of the iPhone/iPod, the Kindle’s apps will be slightly more watered down; being constrained by the black and white e-ink, and the reader’s hardware – this will probably make for relatively simple apps, however it is a beginning to a potential trend for amazon to make its reader a much more all-in-one device.
This news comes ahead of Apple’s expected iSlate/iPad announcement, which seems ever harder to escape comparisons to as the technology and retail worlds pays close attention to the company and ready their own products in the e-reader and tablet markets for a fight for market share.
This may be what Amazon is intending to do, by allowing for apps to be developed, they create a watered down version of what the iSlate is expected to be and may be able to hold out against Apple making deep inroads into the e-reader market, however by this point it might be too late.
Excitement over Apple’s show is at fever pitch, and few seem to be paying attention to much else. This is a welcome addition to an already solid product, the questions left are; will people take to it and is it too much for what is, in essence, supposed to be a book? What will the apps cost? And will it be enough to keep the Kindle going against Apple?