Coulda Been a Contender, Kindle Finally Gets Apps, Two Years Later

<em>“You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Charley…” </em>
– On The Waterfront, 1958

Today Amazon announced a SDK (Software Development Kit) which will allow software developers to build and upload applications that will be available in the Kindle Store later this year.

So Amazon has ‘discovered’ the App Store, no doubt motivated by rumors of a soon to be announced Apple Tablet.

<em>“We’ve heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle,”</em> said Ian Freed, vice president, Amazon Kindle, in a statement. <em>“The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities — we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent.”</em>

I guess we (PlayScreen) were one of those developers.

Back in January of 2008, months before the iPhone App Store launched, we wanted to publish a word puzzle game, Cricklers, for the Kindle. Crickler is a word puzzle, sort of a rolled out crossword puzzle, that is currently run (in Flash) on many Newspaper websites around the world (Times of London, Washington Post etc.). Every day a new puzzle is generated to match that day’s news. You can try it for yourself here:

<a href=”; target=”_hplink”>Crickler News Puzzle</a>

At the time we were constructing a web based (Javascript) version for the iPhone (the iPhone does not support Flash), having launched some of the first iPhone web based games back when the device was released. We exchanged some emails with Mr. Freed, who … much to his credit … saw the value of this app for the Kindle, but Amazon just wasn’t ready to deal with outside developers at that time.

Well fast forward two years and over Two Billion iPhone Apps Downloads later, we’re about to release Crickler for the iPhone … and maybe, someday, for the Kindle as well.

One has to imagine what could have been…


Crickler for the iPhone:

<img class=”aligncenter” alt=”” src=”; />

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