Amazon delivers development kit for the Kindle

Kit enables developers to build and upload 'active content' for Amazon's e-reader

Amazon on Thursday announced its Kindle Development Kit, which enables software developers to build and upload "active content"  for the Kindle wireless-reader device.

The kit offers access to programming interfaces, tools, and documentation to build content for Kindle. The kit also features sample code and Kindle Simulator, for building and testing content by simulating the Kindle device on Mac, PC, and Linux desktops.

Content possibilities could include travel books that suggest activities based on real-time weather and current events, cookbooks that recommend menus based on the size of the party and guests' allergies, and word games and puzzles. Developers can build content to be available in the Kindle Store later this year.

"The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities — we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent,"  said Ian Freed, vice president for Amazon Kindle, in a statement.

Developers can build content leveraging the Kindle 3G wireless delivery system over Amazon Whispernet networking and the high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, the company said. Kindle features a battery life of seven days with wireless activated.

Participants in a limited beta program next month will be able to download the development kit, access developer support, test content on Kindle, and submit finished content. A wait list will be offered as well.

Kindle and Kindle DX are portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, blogs, and personal documents to an electronic ink display.

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