Amazon Woos Developers With Kindle App Development Kit

Amazon expects to make the apps and other content available for upload to Kindle users later this year, according to the Seattle-based company.

The limited beta of the Kindle Development Kit will be available next month and includes sample code, documentation and the Kindle Simulator, which lets developers build and test content by simulating a Kindle or Kindle DX on a Mac, PC or Linux desktop.

Similar to Apple's App Store, Kindle apps developers will receive 70 percent of the revenue, with the other 30 percent going to Amazon, plus a 15 cent per megabyte delivery fee.

"Remember that unlike smart phones, the Kindle does not pay a monthly wireless fee or enter into an annual wireless contract. Kindle active content must be priced to cover the costs of downloads and on-going usage," according to Amazon's Web site.

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Active content will be available in three formats: free applications that are under 1 MB and use less than 100KB per user per month with Amazon paying the delivery costs; one-time purchases with less than 100KB per user per month wireless usage; and monthly subscriptions.

Applications must be less than 100 MB and applications larger than 10 MB must be downloaded to a computer and then transferred via USB to the Kindle.

"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 of Amazon Kindle, in a statement. "The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities--we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent."

Amazon noted that developer Handmark is building an active Zagat guide that features ratings and reviews for restaurants around the world, while another, 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 at EA Mobile, in a statement "Working with Amazon, we look forward to bringing some of the world's most popular and fun games to Kindle and their users."