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?

10 thoughts on “Kindle SDK (KDK) to be available next month”

  1. When you say “bringing all Kindle software to version 2.3” are you including the K1? Mine is still running v. 1.2, and does not show that any update is available.

    As for apps, that is what my Android smart phone is for. All that I want is folders/content management capability, and maybe the release of the KDK will permit someone to meet that need.

  2. I honestly do not like this idea at all. It seems to me like a desperate cash grab in a now competitor filled market that betrays the original marketing of the Kindle. Like the user above stated, our cellular phones do these things much better and I believe that Amazon should have kept the platform closed and continued to make improvements to the OS internally. The only improvements that I would like to see are the implementation of folders and a more functional web browser, but Amazon will not allow a more usable browser, however capable the machine actually is, because it would cost them on the data side of things.

  3. Amazon has already announced that we will have some way of organizing our books, my assumption is by tags which would be fine by me. Now if they will just legalize someone to make our font selection then I would not have to hack it just to make my tired old eyes read easier.

  4. An interactive fiction parser and the classic Infocom games. Amazon could probably license them pretty cheap at this point.

  5. @jeffrey

    why would it be better to not offer you the option of improving the kindle?

    an improved browser could be available as an app (but at that point data charges could apply) I wonder how they will tell the difference between data fetched by an app and data fetched by the browser? If we are lucky, they won’t charge for web browsing no matter what the app.

  6. I think it’s a great idea. Part of the fun of the current generation of technology is the ability for users to create their own content.

    I know that programmers out there can make better apps for the Kindle than Amazon could ever dream of. I’m not one of those developers, but I’m pretty stoked to see what people come up with that we haven’t even considered before.

    And if there’s nothing original or innovative…then I don’t have to waste precious memory on my Kindle for it. That’s far better than being stuck with add-ons from Amazon that I don’t want or need.

  7. I’m sure they’ll be Java-based seeing as how the logo on the KDK Web site shows a computer using Eclipse…

  8. I love the idea of apps. It allows the user themselves to create unique content for their own software, as well as allowing greater flexability in customization for your product. In fact, this was one of the things that people complained about in other items like the IPhone for a very long time- which is why people started Cracking their phones, to allow customization. I like the idea of being able to change the font, size, and darkness of my PDFs- as of now, many of the books I want to read are in word format and need to be converted to PDF. But on doing so, the font changes and becomes very difficult to read on the kindle- eyestrain! So I’m applauding Amazon’s decision 100%

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