Feeds

Amazon opens Kindle to third-party apps

SDK thumbs nose at Apple

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Amazon is opening its Kindle ebook reader to third-party software apps as part of an apparent effort to fend off an imminent challenge from Apple's tablet.

Late Wednesday evening Pacific time, Amazon announced that it will offer a Kindle SDK (software development kit) sometime next month. The initial release will be billed as a beta, and it will only be available to a limited number of developers.

"We've heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle," read a canned statement from Ian Freed, the Amazon vice president who oversees the Kindle. "The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities - we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent."

The kit includes sample code, documentation, and a Kindle simulator, which mimics the 6-inch Kindle and the 9.7-inch Kindle DX on Mac, PC, and Linux desktops. Completed apps can then be uploaded to Amazon's online Kindle Store, which currently offers access to books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Apps can be offered up for free, sold for a one-time fee, or distributed with a monthly subscription.

Free apps must be smaller than 1MB and use less than 100KB per user per month of wireless data. One-time-fee apps can larger, but they're also limited to 100KB of wireless content per user per month.

All applications must be smaller than 100MB, and any larger than 10MB will not be delivered wirelessly. They must be downloaded from the Kindle Store to a PC and transferred to the Kindle via USB.

Amazon will not permit voice over IP, advertising, "offensive materials," the collection of customer information without express customer knowledge and consent, or the use of the Amazon or Kindle names. The company also says that content must "meet all Amazon technical requirements," must not act like a generic ereader, and must not contain malicious code.

Kindle owners will be able to download apps from the store "later this year." Developers get 70 per cent of any revenue from their apps, with Amazon pocketing the remaining 30 per cent. Before the split, Amazon will subtract $0.15 per MB for delivery over its wireless network

An Amazon spokesman declined to say how long the beta would run or how many developers would have access to the beta. Asked if today's SDK announcement was an effort to steal some thunder from Apple's tablet - an ereader expected to be unveiled next week - he said: "No, we’ve been working on this for quite some time." But you can judge for yourself.

Amazon has pushed out a flurry of Kindle announcements in recent days. The company recently opened the Kindle Store to publishers across the globe, and just hours before announced the SDK, it upped the revenue cut for book publishers. In certain situations, publishers now get a 70 per cent cut as well. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.