Amazon introduced Whispercast for Kindle back in October of 2012, and now the service is getting an update that allows it to deploy not just books and documents, but also apps. that means organizations like schools and businesses can now widely deploy apps across a number of Kindle Fire devices quickly and easily.
The service improves on the previous way of getting the same app onto a number of different Kindle Fire tablets owned by a single group, which actually required a manual install using everyone’s individual user account. Now, they can not only push out apps from the Amazon Appstore to all of their target devices, but they can also use Whispercast to send an invite to employees who have their own BYOD Kindle Fires. Once those employees join up with the program, they can be gifted the relevant Fire apps direct to their existing accounts.
It’s a pretty convenient feature, and free to use, which makes it all the more attractive. Back when Amazon first debuted Whispercast, it was pretty clear they were trying to make the decision about which platform to choose for broad device deployment easier. Schools benefit immensely from this kind of wide deployment, which, partnered with the Kindle Fire’s lower cost of entry, might help it become a more attractive option for organizations who might otherwise be leaning towards iPads.
Apple offers centralized app distribution to a range of deployed iPads via third-party MDM solutions, but now with Whispercast’s expansion into app territory it can offer some of those same functions without requiring third-party software or solutions, though it is less flexible and extensible than many MDM offerings. It was a natural next step for Amazon to introduce app deployment to Whispercast, so now that it’s here it’ll be interesting to watch if this moves the needle on institutional Kindle Fire adoption.