Updated throughout to reflect Amazon comment disputing this story.
Two developers of third-party apps for Kindle readers say they were informed by Amazon.com representatives this week that the company would be winding down its “Active Content” app developer program for Kindle e-ink devices and would no longer accept any new app submissions.
Following the initial publication of this post, Amazon said that wasn’t the case. I followed up with the two developers, who reiterated and confirmed what they were told. The developers were informed of the news by Amazon in separate phone calls and spoke with GeekWire independently of one another.
The developers said Amazon told them it would continue to sell and support apps that have already been released for Kindle e-readers. However, they said, Amazon told them that it would not be accepting new app submissions.
[Update, Wednesday morning: I’ve now spoken with a third Active Content developer who was similarly told by Amazon recently that their new Active Content apps would not be accepted. The developer was advised to shift focus to Android apps for Kindle Fire.]
The Active Content apps program is separate from Amazon’s third-party development initiatives for Kindle Fire tablets, which wouldn’t be directly affected by the move.
Responding to GeekWire’s initial inquiry on the topic, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, “We continue to support the (Kindle Development Kit) and active content for Kindle e-readers.” After the initial post, the spokesperson responded to the specific statement that Amazon would no longer approve new Active Content app submissions: “This is not the case. We continue to approve titles from developers.”
Waynn Lue of Coliloquy, another Kindle Active Content developer, said via email that he hadn’t been told by Amazon that the program was being discontinued, and didn’t believe our report to be true.
I’m continuing to contact Active Content developers to see if any others received the message from Amazon.
Kindle “Active Content” titles include games and puzzles available for purchase and download by users of Kindle e-readers. Developers of Active Content say their relationship with Amazon has been rocky at times, particularly as the company has broadened its attention to Kindle Fire and the Android-based app ecosystem for the Amazon tablet.