Amazon Opens the Kindle Up to Developers

Maximum PC Staff

Whether or not Apple announces a tablet PC next week, the tech world is fretting about the possible impact. Take, for example, Amazon. It’s cute little Kindle is basically a uni-tasker--it lets you read books and little else. An Apple tablet PC, it’s expected, will be more iPod Touch/iPhone like--a multi-tasker--making it more useful. Amazon’s not waiting to find out if the rumors are true, and is acting to negate some of Apple’s suspected advantage. It has opened up the Kindle to outside developers.

The Kindle Development Kit (KDK) will be available in a limited beta starting next month. The KDK, which is suited for Mac, PC, and Linux environments, will include sample code, documentation, and a Kindle simulator for building and testing apps.

With the KDK and outside developer support, Amazon looks to make the Kindle a more versatile tool, albeit with a monochrome display. Amazon is looking for apps that are free, one-time purchase, or monthly subscription. But there are some limits: “Voice over IP functionality, advertising, offensive materials, collection of customer information without express customer knowledge and consent, or usage of the Amazon or Kindle brand in any way are not allowed. In addition, active content must meet all Amazon technical requirements, not be a generic reader, and not contain malicious code.”

Amazon plans the same revenue split for publishers/authors it announced yesterday: 70/30 after deducting a delivery fee of 15-cents per megabyte. Amazon hopes to have apps available in the Kindle Store later this year.

Image Credit: Amazon

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