Amazon Launches The Kindle Dev Kit (aka Kindle App Store)

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With Apple’s looming Tablet launch next week and its rumored e-book deals, e-book giant Amazon is on full alert. Just yesterday, Amazon announced that it would be restructuring its royalty rates and now the NYT is reporting that Amazon is set to announce a Kindle app store today.

So what does a Kindle app store entail? Well, it looks like said store will be opened up to third party developers with apps going on sale later this year.

Amazon will release a set of programming guidelines that other companies — including publishers of books and periodicals — can use to create and sell applications for the Kindle.

Until Amazon introduces more advanced models of the Kindle, developers will be limited by its slow-to-refresh black-and-white screen.

Wait. Does that mean Amazon is working on a color Kindle? Hmm…

(More on Techland: 18 Best Android Apps To Get You Started)

The Times article also points out that Apple execs have been in NY chatting with the “largest trade publishers.”

What’s this about gaming, though? EA Mobile? Huh?

Update: And here’s the full press release:

SEATTLE, Jan 21, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — (NASDAQ: AMZN)–For the past two years, Amazon has welcomed authors and publishers to directly upload and sell content in the Kindle Store through the self-service Kindle publishing platform. Today, Amazon announced that it is inviting software developers to build and upload active content that will be available in the Kindle Store later this year. The new Kindle Development Kit gives developers access to programming interfaces, tools and documentation to build active content for Kindle–the #1 bestselling, most wished for, and most gifted product across all categories on Amazon. Developers can learn more about the Kindle Development Kit today at and sign up to be notified when the limited beta starts next month.
“We’ve heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle,” said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities–we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent.”

The Kindle Development Kit enables developers to build active content that leverages Kindle’s unique combination of seamless and invisible 3G wireless delivery over Amazon Whispernet, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, and long battery life of seven days with wireless activated. For example, Handmark is building an active Zagat guide featuring their trusted ratings, reviews and more for restaurants in cities around the world, and Sonic Boom is building word games and puzzles.

“As the leading worldwide publisher of mobile games, EA Mobile has had the privilege of collaborating with many dynamic and innovative companies in bringing exciting gaming experiences to new platforms,” says Adam Sussman, Vice President of Worldwide Publishing, EA Mobile. “Working with Amazon, we look forward to bringing some of the world’s most popular and fun games to Kindle and their users.”

Starting next month, 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 as space becomes available. The Kindle Development Kit includes sample code, documentation, and the Kindle Simulator, which helps developers build and test their content by simulating the 6-inch Kindle and 9.7-inch Kindle DX on Mac, PC, and Linux desktops.

More on Techland:

Holy Krow They Kracked the Kindle

Skiff’s New E-Reader Sounds Kind Of Dreamy

What We’re Looking Forward To In 2010: Gadgets