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Amazon Removes Active Content Section of the Kindle Store

I was just reading over at MobileRead that Amazon has finally removed the Active Content section of the Kindle Store.

AC is the clunky name that Amazon gave to the apps that were developed to run on Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Paperwhite. At one point it included over 490 games, tools, crosswords, test prep apps, and even choose your own adventure type books such as Dusk World (or Coliloquy’s apps).

The image below shows a "where’s waldo" type of game running on my old Kindle Touch.

The feature launched in 2010/2011, and was essentially abandoned by 2014 when Amazon launched the Kindle Voyage. Amazon decided to not support Active Content on its then newest ereader. Later Kindle models also lacked support for Active Content, and that meant it was only a matter of time before Amazon also removed the section from the Kindle Store.

And now one of the last remaining holdovers from that crazy time when ebooks were new is now gone.

There was a time, back in the early ebook era, when everyone was throwing really cool ideas up against the wall to see what stuck. Enhanced ebooks, for example, got tried a dozen times in around 7 years, and failed to find a market every time. Augmented reality ebooks was also tried several times, and for the most part failed because the tech wasn’t there (AR was always going to be a niche product, but it’s time will come).

Digital textbooks were tried and failed several times because students could see they didn’t make economic sense, but then publishers found a way to force them down students' throats (site licenses). And multiple different ereaders were tried, including two-screen models such as the Entourage Edge and the Kno (many of which are dead now).

And now Kindle Active Content is joining all the other formerly great ideas in the ebook graveyard.


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JoeCle July 5, 2020 um 1:07 pm

Really enjoyed the word games on my old kindle. Shame they went away. Haven’t been able to find some of them on iOS or fire apps.

Disgusting Dude July 5, 2020 um 5:55 pm

Follow the money.
And the money is in MMPB replacement.
Active content is better suited to phones, because of the fast, color screens.

Academic more properly belongs on laptops or similar.
And AR on hardware that doesn’t yet exist.
Hololens is showing the way, but it’s still too bulky and heavy.

Amusingly, the AI goggles in STARGIRL are about right. Light, wearable, voice commands, holographic display…
It’ll be a while yet.

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Kenneth Sanchez July 6, 2020 um 4:46 am

How sad, I was really hoping to get to play with that feature soon.

Mrs Tracey Walton July 6, 2020 um 8:01 am

For no reason at all my kindle paperwhite won’t let me put in my wireless network and password it keeps coming back with error. I emailed amazon and they didn’t know why? Either they thought I’d need to upgrade it. Instead of doing that I brought another new kindle even a higher generation that wouldn’t work either. I’m dumb found anyone got any ideas I’m missing reading my books on there.

Disgusting Dude July 6, 2020 um 8:58 am

It won’t let you put it in at all or it rejects it?

Linda July 6, 2020 um 2:36 pm

I had a similar experience several weeks ago. Suddenly I could not open any of my books from the cloud on my Voyage, my iPad or my PC. The Kindle kept reporting problems with Wi-Fi, etc. although Wi-Fi was working well on iPad and PC. To make a very long story short, I reset my router (turned it off then back on) and all problems disappeared.

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dennphill February 13, 2022 um 12:57 pm

Just saw this thread, looking at Active Content. I became enamored of a word game offered by Amazon quite a while ago – Every Word – and found out back in an effort to upgrade my Kindle to a Paperwhite that the game was no longer supported! Once I figured out what the problem was – Version 5 of Kindle was the last to support Active Content (and my game) – I just turned the newr unit in for credit and found and ordered a 5th Gen Kindle (refurbed) on Amazon….and that was several years ago. That Kindle also eventually 'bit the dust' and again I found a refurbed 5th Gen reader. Still using that one. Amazon simply does not care! Next time around, I suspect I will might a problem getting another refurbed 5th Gen Kindle.

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