KDK – A Developer’s Perspective

by Greg on February 2, 2010

This is a guest post from Eran at Puzux.com. If you like crosswords and sudoku make sure to check out Puzux.com.

As you all have heard, Amazon recently announced it will be opening up the Kindle to application developers. The Kindle Developer’s Kit (KDK) will allow programmers to author applications and games for the device, creating endless new possibilities and potential value for Kindle owners. It also sparks the imagination of developers like us, who strongly believe in the future of electronic reading devices (even after the recent iPad announcement!)

Our company, Puzux, already offers crossword and Sudoku puzzles that can be interactively solved on your Kindle today, through the built-in browser of the Kindle. Our success since we started delivering our puzzles has shown the high demand and true thirst for quality interactive content for the device.

Naturally, we are very excited about the release of the KDK which will hopefully allow us to offer our users even more functionality than today. Here are some of our thoughts regarding the coming KDK from the perspective of an active application provider:

  • Wireless access cost – The Kindle differs from other connected devices in that the wireless cost is covered by Amazon, not the users. This means that it is in the company’s interest to encourage application developers to be somewhat prudent in their access of the net, and we will need to find creative and efficient ways to create a truly connected experience.
  • Advertising – Many application developers for other platforms are not charging users for the app, but base their business model on ads embedded in the application. Kindle users, however, feel strongly about their device, mainly because of its tight identification with the very personal experience of reading. Will they approve of ads on their Kindles – even within apps? Interestingly, in its preliminary announcement of the beta, Amazon specifically states that advertisements are not allowed.
  • Pricing – While it’s usually the application developers that choose their own pricing model, in the Kindle’s case Amazon has defined a pricing model which developers should follow – free, one-time or subscription.
  • Apps or books? – Naturally, the new kit will allow developers to write stand-alone applications for the Kindle. But what about books? Will the KDK allow interaction with existing books on your device? If so, the possibilities are huge – from books that update their content dynamically (e.g. a travel book that downloads current events in the visited location), through interactive books for kids, to books with multiple endings and much more.

These are only some of the questions that the new KDK brings with it. For us at Puzux, finding the answers will be quite an exciting journey! What do you think?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 thorn February 6, 2010 at 9:49 am

hm. an app that would download to kindle webpages for retention/offline reading — nicely formatted, if possible — might be good for students and professionals. syllabi, coursepages; and static pages with readings are much nicer to read on kindle, but its browser is so odd to navigate — and who wants to leave wireless on all the time.

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