Kindle apps will ration downloads

Amazon is jumping on the app bandwagon, with the launch today of a Kindle Development Kit (or KDK) for its family of Kindle readers, allowing develope

Amazon is jumping on the app bandwagon, with the launch today of a Kindle Development Kit (or KDK) for its family of Kindle readers, allowing developers to write applications using the devices' e-ink screen, long battery life and free 3G wireless downloads.

Just a minute, free 3G downloads? Does that mean you'll soon be able to stream classical music to accompany those classy ebooks you're reading, without paying a penny in data charges?

Developers will be able to write more data-intensive apps, with Kindle users being charged once a month for the bandwidth they use - although there's no details on how much.

Other restrictions include: no VOIP functionality (on 100KB? "Hi Mu---!"); no advertising (really?); no generic ebook readers; and no mention of the Amazon or Kindle brands.

What does that leave? Word games and interactive travel guides should do well (you can always sideload new data occasionally) but it will be interesting to see just how many developers are willing to put in the effort to write for such a specialist platform.