Tech Friday: App-lying to the Kindle

I’ve decided that Fridays at Manga Xanadu will for now on be Tech Friday!  I’ll post all my tech/gadget type stories on this day from now on.  To inaugurate this, let’s take a look at the newest story about the Kindle; it’s getting apps.

kindle-indiaThat’s right.  You can’t have a device that connects to the net anymore without having some sort of app store to go with it.  And the Kindle is apparently no different.  With CES just recently past, and the Apple iMyth–err iSlate to be announced next week, Amazon has to do something to keep to not only stay competitive, but keep their e-Reader on top, with a wave of new devices threatening to wash them away.  And apps is the new, hip thing.

But what kind of apps can you put on a single-use device like the Kindle? Developers tend to like lots of features to put in lots of options.  The Kindle, and indeed, most e-readers are rather limited on that front.  They are in greyscale, and e-ink, which most of them run on, is slow to refresh.  You won’t be putting a FPS on this thing.  Or anything that requires fast refresh rates.

So what can you put on a Kindle?  Well, think about the audience an e-reader is marketed for.  People who are avid readers are probably more likely to enjoy word based games.  I know I do.  Crossword puzzles, word searches and scrambles, hangman, sudoku, you know, the games that you would buy printed on the cheap newspaper that wore away when tried to erase it, or tore if you wrote too hard.  Those kinds of games would find the perfect audience on the Kindle.  One text-based games as well could work.  Reference material such as guides or databases could work too.  The Kindle is made for reading, so anything that requires it would work well.  And with the Kindle’s whispernet, crosswords may be easier with being able to search for answers online.

I really think apps based around this concept could work.  e-Readers are portable, have long battery lives and are easier to read.  They are ready made for travel.  Puzzle books and text based guides are as well.  Of course, an app that I would love to see be made, would be one that would allow for reading online manga from sites such as Viz’s Ikki and Shonen Sunday, as well as Digital Manga’s eManga.

Techies will scoff at these suggestions, but you know what?  Sometimes, simple is okay.  All apps don’t have to be shiny and jiggly to appeal.  Sometimes, just being able to sit back and do a puzzle can be just as fun.

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