walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Kindle, HTML5, etc.

Recently, Amazon announced a new format for the kFire, with support added to other kindle devices and software in the future. The format involves HTML5.

Not long ago, Apple modified the app store rules in a way that forced apps that sold content to use the Apple mechanism for doing so, rather than sending the user off to a website. In the initial round, it looked like they were also going to require _all_ content used by apps to be available for sale through Apple and that pricing couldn't be adjusted to account for the 30% cut Apple was going to take. During the months long delay between when those rules were announced and when those rules were re-adjusted, FT put out an HTML5 based website which would let them do app-y things without _being_ an app sold through the store, thus rendering themselves impervious to whatever Apple ultimately settled on. Other people shut down their business producing apps and said nasty things about Apple. I asked R. to delay buying me an iPhone until after the issue was resolved.

I have to wonder if the Apple rules dance was an influence on Amazon choosing to develop an HTML5 format for kindle ebooks. The Amazon app store sold stuff to people before the kFire was announced (and which, obviously, still hasn't been released), causing all kinds of debate about whether Amazon was going to make a tablet of its own or just make money off of other people's tablets. My feelings, this time, are similar. It sort of doesn't matter. Maybe Amazon is going to switch from supporting a kindle reader on the iPad to encouraging people to use the browser, once the HTML5 format is out there. That would let Amazon sell much more smoothly within the reading process.

But it doesn't matter. They can do that. They don't have to do that. Should Apple decide to monkey around with the rules about apps and content, Amazon is immune. Which was probably the goal.

I am, therefore, a little surprised about the ongoing debate about epub vs. HTML5 vs. wtf.
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