A Look at Apps for Kindle and the Future of the E-Reader

A Look at Apps for Kindle and the Future of the E-Reader

Laura E. Hall
Mar 21, 2011

In the Kindle world, everything's coming up roses: ebook sales are up, software is improving, they're opening up their app store for developers, and there's a rumor that their platform will be redesigned and based on the Android OS. In the meantime, check out our roundup of what's available now.

According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), ebook sales are up 115.8% over last year, and even though the Kindle is facing fierce competition from tablet devices and color e-readers, it's holding its own.

This week, rumors emerged that Amazon may either convert the Kindle platform to one based on Android, or that it's making a full-color tablet that would handle all its digital content, from books to movies. (We personally are huge fans of e-ink, and wouldn't make the switch to a device with a backlight for reading.)

So what's available for the Kindle right now? Many of the apps that are being sold are the workhorses of pre-installed games, like Solitaire, Mahjong, Sudoku and Poker. But there are several other options that hint at the massive potential of this device.

The Basics

Free apps include Mine Sweeper, Blackjack and Video Poker. Slingo is bound to be popular, if its massive internet presence ten years ago is any indication.

Word Games

Word Search (99c), Sudoku (99c), Word Soup ($2.99) and Hangman ($2.99) as well as some miscellaneous word-related games. There's also New York Times crossword apps of varying difficulties and several quiz and trivia games. The most popular one in the store? Scrabble, available for 99 cents.

Language Learning

So far there are apps for learning Italian, French, Spanish and German vocabulary ($3.99 each) or basic phrases ($3.99 each). It's interesting to think of the educational potential for this device and we'll be keeping a close eye on new learning content.

Apps for Kids

Flash Cards: Basic Math for Kids ($2.99) and Fractions for Kids ($2.99), Hangman 4 Kids (99c) and Tic Tac Toe (99c)

Miscellaneous

My Yoga Studio ($1.99) and Anywhere Abs ($1.99) offer step-by-step guides with illustrated poses and a countdown timer. Maze-A-Thon (99c) is about leading a mouse through a maze to the cheese at the end. It may sound simple, but it's got high reviews and is one of the few non-word-based games out there.

So what do you think? Would you install games and apps on your Kindle, or do you want to keep it strictly dedicated to book-reading? Let us know in the comments.

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