Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kindle opened up: Now what?

As you can read here, Amazon has opened up the kindle to develop applications for the Kindle. I believe this move is in anticipation of the launch of the Apple Tablet/E-Reader (which is expected to bring, among other things, world peace). According to the article, developers will get to keep 70% of revenue - a 15 cent per MB Delivery free. Kindle released 3 models for apps - free, one time and subscription based.So would there be 10,000 apps developed for the Kindle? Let's explore various aspects of it:

1. Developer fatigue - The iPhone was the first awesome, super-duper-cool mobile platform open to developers. Then came Android and Blackberry. Now everyone, and their mother, is creating an open platform. This is likely to result in developer fatigue, and resistance to learning how to code in new platforms

2. Drawbacks of e-ink - monochrome, minimal graphics, no touch screen interface etc.

3. The 15 cent per MB charge - which means that the app cannot access the internet (without losing money or being very expensive)

So what kind of apps are likely to be developed for the Kindle?

1. Interactive books - Zagat guides are being developed as an app, but so could be some pretty cool stories for kids, which are book, but also an app. And the story book could have different elements - it changes every time the kid reads it. These books are best for kids above 7 years of age, as before that age, kids just love repetition and consistency (Side Note: I am no child psychologist, just my observation)

2. Mystery book-games - same unpredictability aspect, but for adults! Now, a sherlock homes novel, which is interactive, lets you guess outcomes, and can be used 10 times as there are 10 storied embedded in it!

3. Thought of the day/blog post of the day etc - which is basically a Kindle adoption to an exsting web service. The concern remains - the 15 cent per MB Delivery fee

Other thoughts?

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