Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

55

April 15, 2010 • eBooks, Editorials

Hey Amazon, Where’s Kindle for Android?

Amazon, it’s time to release a Kindle for Android app. Maybe you’re working on one in secret, but why not let people know? You had a coming soon sign hung for the Blackberry and Mac apps for months before those appeared, but not a peep about Android support. And Amazon MP3 is heavily featured on many Android phones, so it’s not like you’re fighting with Google. This is a subject I’ve ranted on before, but in light of the ebook market changing with the entry of the iPad it bears a second view.

What really perplexes me is that you’re just leaving money on the table. The HTC Evo, Nexus One, Moto Droid, HTC Incredible…all these phones have 3.5″-4″ screens. They’re physically and resolution-wise bigger than the iPhone OS, and the Kindle app has been wildly popular on that platform. So there’s no question that the reading experience would be great on an Android phone as well. Not to mention, the iPhone is only on AT&T, and the iPad isn’t even available internationally (yet). So you could double or triple your smartphone reach just by adding Android!

More importantly, Android currently has no major competition. Kobo and eReader have commercial ebook stores for Android, but they each have drawbacks. Kobo’s Shortcovers app is terrible, and while they keep saying plans are underway to update it, nothing has been updated or released yet. And eReader isn’t even available in the marketplace, only on their website! Not to mention their prices and selection generally don’t touch the depth of the Amazon Kindle store. Kindle would be the big fish on the Android platform! On the iPhone, Kindle is facing off against B&N, iBooks, and Kobo. On Android, Kindle would make a huge splash.

Finally, there’s the tablet situation. Android tablets are kind of like cotton t-shirts: everyone makes one, but some are better quality than others. Still, it only takes one good tablet to compete reasonably well with the iPad, and the Kindle should be front and center! Apple is never going to lavish the Kindle for iPad app with any serious attention, because iBooks will forever be the favored child. Android, on the other hand, needs a good crown jewel tablet app, something that makes people really want one. Kindle could easily fill that slot.

I know there are rumors of the Dell Streak having some Amazon content tie-in, but don’t wait for the Streak to get the ball rolling. You made a beautiful interface for the iPad app, now it’s time to get serious and really dominate the smartphone/tablet ebook world! You’re a smart bunch out there at Amazon HQ…why are you leaving a huge potential market out to pasture?

17 Responses to " Hey Amazon, Where’s Kindle for Android? "

  1. I have been reading about how the Android SDK doesn’t allow C++ coding, requiring javascript … and also the whole 256MB limit on program memory (such a Microsoft move!) … wonder if any of that figures in … ?

    • Thomas R. Hall says:

      Android programming is done in Java, not JavaScript. It’s different than BlackBerry, but not hard. And you can also use the NDK to call native C code if you want. So the possibilities are flexible. The content can be stored to the memory card, so there shouldn’t be an issue writing an app. Heck, Aldiko is awesome on it for ePub content!

  2. Carly Z says:

    Could be, though how different/more restricted could Android be over Blackberry???

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