A week ahead of Apple's mysterious product unveiling, Amazon has announced they will have an SDK available for developers looking to bring "interactive content" to the Kindle platform.
The new Kindle Development Kit (KDK) will give developers access to programming interfaces, tools, and documentation. There will also be a Kindle Simulator to enable developers to test their content by simulating the 6-inch Kindle and 9.7-inch Kindle DX on Mac, PC, and Linux desktops.
Participants in the limited beta will be able to download the Kindle Development Kit, access developer support, test content on Kindle, and submit finished content. Those wait-listed will be invited to participate at a later date as space becomes available.
What you can and cannot do: 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.
As a display platform, the Kindle is very impressive. The Kindle and Kindle DX are portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Currently, the devices are popular with avid readers, but it is has not achieved the coveted "3rd screen" status. With the release of the KDK, Amazon is making a play for that spot. We will take a look at the KDK when it is available. However, with Apple's imminent move into the eBook space, this move maybe too little too late. [Permalink] -Kindle Development Kit