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Doors open on the new Amazon Kindle app developer program

Posted on | February 5, 2010 | No Comments

Amazon announced today the opening of the Kindle development program. You can sign up here.

“The Kindle Store provides you wide exposure to make your active content discoverable and accessible to a very large community of enthusiasts. We’re looking forward to seeing some great innovation!”

Like iPhone apps, there will be a store where consumers can purchase Kindle applications. There are estimated to be 3 million Kindles in use, makes this a big enough market to lure developers to this new mobile app platform.

The Kindle device is quite different from the iPhone/iPad/Android smartphone platforms, which limits the kinds of applications possible. Games, which require rapid screen update rates, won’t work well on the slow but efficient eInk screen. Lack of a touchscreen (or capable pointing device) or application switching also limits the possibilities quite a lot.

If Amazon is to be successful in this initiative, it seems critical that future Kindles receive upgraded hardware (color touchscreen), and also an upgraded OS with task switching, improved UI, and a more robust API and SDK. That’s going to require very deep level of investment by Amazon. Do they have the drive to compete in this competition long term? Do they have a choice if the book market goes digital?

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