Nov 15, 2011
Amazon’s long-anticipated Kindle Fire finally starts shipping this week. Credit cards are starting to be charged, and media sites are starting to have reviews, that include mentioning some issues with the browser and reading text on the 7-inch screen size. Some other news has hit the wire about an important feature addition to the Amazon Appstore and a drawback about Android permissions.
First, the good news. Amazon has launched an in-app purchases mechanism for Amazon Appstore apps. This will be a key feature for not just apps purchased for the Kindle Fire, but also for anyone who purchases apps from the Amazon Appstore. With free-to-play games rising in revenue and popularity, Amazon geatting a cut, and providing a secure and easy way to pay for them with their built-in payment mechanisms was a necessity. Will their payment APIs also work outside of apps purchased on the Amazon Appstore, say through the Amazon Market? If so, then Amazon may have suddenly become a juggernaut of in-app purchases services. Look at why the App Store worked so well: they had many users’ payment info already stored, so it became very easy for users to start purchasing right away. Amazon has that same advantage.
However, the Kindle Fire will have a significant drawback that will affect the number of apps available at launch. Many apps will not run on the Kindle Fire due to certain permissions not being available on the Kindle Fire. This could be due to the customized Kindle Fire interface on top of Android, but this could limit the apps on the Kindle Fire before developers make their technical adjustments to make them work on the device, if the permissions can be removed or modified. This could be a big issue for developers looking to put their apps on the Kindle Fire in the future, along with any concerns over Amazon Appstore policies; this will be a story worth keeping track of in the near future.