Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Kindle apps!

A place to tell us about your work and projects. Self-links encouraged!
Post Reply
benjamin
Posts: 58
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 00:53

Kindle apps!

Post by benjamin » 24 Feb 2010, 07:31

I've been granted access to the Kindle SDK! That's the development toolkit for creating Kindle Apps (sorry, "active content"). We're working first on our own project, but if you have ideas/wishes for applications you'd like to see, I want to hear about them... No promises- I'm not great with Java & have a bunch of other stuff going on, but who knows? Ask & the Internet may provide...

Also if you're aware of cool Java-based apps for other mobile devices, they can probably be ported over easily.

Limitations:
- Apps can't interact with anything else on the device. No managing/analyzing your books, no new translation tools or anything like that.
- Anything Internet-enabled that uses more than 100kb/month has to charge a subscription fee which covers the cost of bandwidth. It's cheap (15 cents/MB), but can add up.
- Can't mess with or duplicate Kindle functionality, so I guess like an app that reads other ebook formats is probably out.

Thoughts?

User avatar
daniel_reetz
Posts: 2785
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
Country: United States
Contact:

Re: Kindle apps!

Post by daniel_reetz » 24 Feb 2010, 12:44


User avatar
rob
Posts: 773
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:50
E-book readers owned: iRex iLiad, Kindle 2
Number of books owned: 4000
Country: United States
Location: Maryland, United States
Contact:

Re: Kindle apps!

Post by rob » 24 Feb 2010, 13:23

Can apps be loaded directly by the user, or do they have to come from the Kindle store? Because if the user can load apps directly, then there is nothing stopping someone from writing an app that does duplicate functionality.

What I would like to see is an epub reader. Strictly speaking, that wouldn't duplicate functionality, because the Kindle readers can't handle epub format. And since they can't handle epub format. And if "your books" is limited to the specific directory where the Kindle azw and tpz files are kept, then handling and organizing epub books wouldn't manage or analyze "your books".

Can you post the actual terms of use for the SDK so we can see what kind of restrictions Amazon has?

--Rob
The Singularity is Near. ~ http://halfbakedmaker.org ~ Follow me as I build the world's first all-mechanical steam-powered computer.

benjamin
Posts: 58
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 00:53

Re: Kindle apps!

Post by benjamin » 24 Feb 2010, 13:41

No ads, offensive materials, collection of user data without permission, use of Kindle's transmarks, malicious code, or "generic readers." Must meet all technical requirements (as far as I know that just means it runs and doesn't violate the security measures in place, ie. the sandbox); and comply with the developer agreement (which was mostly just about reporting to them & fee share). I'm told there's some kind of DRM, haven't messed with it yet.

Oh, also no VOIP, which I think is pretty funny given that it's completely infeasible & on the data plan would be hugely expensive... I can only assume this was an AT&T demand.

Tech docs are here: http://kdk-javadocs.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html

Totally useless FAQ: https://kindlepublishing.amazon.com/gp/ ... =200436000

StevePoling
Posts: 290
Joined: 20 Jun 2009, 12:19
E-book readers owned: SONY PRS-505, Kindle DX
Number of books owned: 9999
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Contact:

Re: Kindle apps!

Post by StevePoling » 24 Feb 2010, 20:25

1) The weakness I've seen in the Kindle and also the Sony readers is that neither do a very good job of organizing books. Get more than a few dozen titles on it and you spend more time looking than I'd like. If you can create an "experimental" interface that just enables you to organize books topically, then launch the reader on your selection, that'd be the boss. Look up books by Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress and Cutter numbers. ISBN if you're desperate.

2) I like to take my Kindle to church and sometimes it's hard to flip from one part of the Bible to another. I want to be able to jump directly to John 3:16 and leave a bookmark where I was so I can jump back. I suppose other documents are set up in a like fashion where you've got book, chapter, section that's well know. I suppose there's a similar organization to the US Code or the Federal Register that would be helpful to jump around.

3) It'd be nice to be able to combine N titles of books on a particular topic into a single archive so that they don't clutter your display. I suppose if you had some naughty or scary titles you wouldn't want your kids to read, you could use a mechanism like this with a password access could keep them out.

4) I'm rather annoyed at having to keep all my ebooks in ePub and MOBI formats. It'd be nice if my Kindle could handle ePub directly. (Yeah, i know this is unkosher. I just want it.)

5) If you have an Android phone, a cool app to get is Google Goggles. It lets you photograph a book's cover then it recognizes the image and searches the web for the book. Usually gets it right, too. I'd like an app to email this info to my Kindle so I can buy the book next time I'm on.

6) How about a Kindle app to scan all the ebooks on your device, get an idea of what kind of books you've got, and then suggest other books you might also like?

7) If you do much work with Gutenberg texts converted to ebooks, you'll recognize that sometimes they look "prettier" than others. A good book designer can really improve a text. And when you scan a book, run it through scan tailor, then through an OCR, the quality of the ebook produced thereby can vary. An automatic quality assessment widget could help you see which ebooks could be improved or re-scanned.

Post Reply