Amazon bring apps to the Kindle

69 kindle-dx-1 apps.jpgAmazon is planning to bring apps onto its Kindle e-reader. The retail site and Kindle-makers have just opened an app-making developer kit for its device, and apps should be arriving on the e-reader sometime later this year.

Kindle apps, I’m gonna call them Kapps would we imagine do a range of things based around the Kindle’s core function of books and reading.

A Kindle is of course a little flat portable 3-G internet-connected computer (could we call it a tablet?) and Amazon have realised they can add value and functionality to it if they let apps on.

Key Kindle features are a 7-day battery life and the electronic display that looks like real paper. There’s already a marketplace for writers to upload work and readers to download and pay for it, so business-wise, the model is already there.

One kindle-app currently in development is from Handmark who are building an active Zagat guide featuring their trusted ratings, reviews, and other guides to restaurants around the world. Sonic Boom is building word games and puzzles.

Perhaps a Facebook app would be fun so you could share thoughts and recommendations with friends, creating online book clubs. Sort of. Other fun stuff would include marginalia apps, letting you write little comments in the margins that others could choose to read and share if they wanted.

With the market for e-readers looking a little shaky, in the face of the Apple Tablet launch on 27th Jan, I guess it makes sense that Kindle-makers get a bit inventive.

[via VentureBeat]
Anna Leach