Amazon has stopped pretending that a group of e-reading apps it allowed onto its Android Appstore weren’t available on the Kindle Fire. For whatever reason, the company was effectively hiding e-reading apps from companies like Wattpad, Kobo and Bluefire, even though they worked perfectly fine on the low-cost tablet computer.
Confused about why its app didn’t appear for users on the Kindle Fire, which is proving to be quite a sought-after device, Wattpad engaged in conversations with some folks over at Amazon, which apparently led to a necessary change in policy for all makers of mobile e-reading apps.
It’s unclear when Amazon started showing e-reading apps from rivals (including Wattpad’s) on Kindle Fire, exactly, but it seems they started appearing in listings sometime yesterday afternoon. Possibly, this was part of the Kindle Fire update that was delivered earlier this week.
Either way, this is good news for Wattpad, Kobo and other e-reading app developers, who no longer have to educate people on how to sideload their applications on the Kindle Fire.
Update: Wattpad’s Amy Martin points out to me that, while she’s certain that there were multiple e-reading apps in the listings yesterday evening, right now it’s back to Wattpad only. We’re trying to find out what’s up with that.
However, GigaOm’s Kevin C. Tofel reported yesterday that the browsing block is no more.
I don’t consider Amazon to be an evil corporation, but both the hiding of competing e-reader apps and the browser redirection on the Kindle Fire were business practices bordering on downright shady. It is, however, worth noting that Amazon seems to be paying close attention to all feedback and prone to fixing what needs to be fixed rapidly.