It’s been a long time since we’ve revisited the rumor about an Android-based Amazon Kindle. Those rumors were rekindled after we learned Amazon would be opening their own application store for Android, but nothing substantial has come up since.
Job postings reveal a lot, though, and Amazon’s looking to hire. They’ve posted at least five new listings this week looking for software developers with Android experience. I tried not to jump ahead of myself when reading that as I’m aware they have an Android application and any number of things is a possibility.
They could be looking to beef up their Kindle application team to produce a new version of the app for Honeycomb tablets, of course. That’s the easy way out as far as guesses go, though. Another plausible guess is that they’re stocking up on developers to make this Android-based tablet a reality.
I still believe in this rumor and for a number of different reasons – the biggest of which being that Amazon hasn’t really clearly stated their direction for the application store. We saw a glimpse of their plans when we learned users would be able to select applications to have preinstalled on Android devices bought from Amazon Wireless, but that can’t be all they’re building a store for.
Let’s take a look at some tidbits from one of these job postings:
Software Development Manager, Systems –
Lab126 is an inventive research and development company that designs and engineers high-profile, portable, hand-held consumer electronics products, like the Kindle. The products we design and engineer are easy-to-use and offer users benefits that are only made possible through tightly integrated digital technologies and wireless connectivity.
As a Software Development Manager, you will be responsible for building and managing a team to work on the next generation platform. In this role, you will work closely with the hardware team to define and productize the hardware platform for the next generation of devices. Your responsibility will range from the early bring-up of the platform to the complete productization and support of the derived products. Your role will also require managing and building a strong team who will take on this challenge. Your team must deliver very high quality and robust products while focusing extensively on power management and performance.
Here they specifically mention that the developer who fills this role will lead a team of engineers who will design high-profile and portable hand-held products, “like” the Kindle. In the text below that, they specifically note that they will be at the heart of the team who works on the “next generation of devices.” A strong fluency in Linux is a must, says the listing – Android runs on top of a Linux kernel, doesn’t it?
It’s not just that the aformentioned crop of Android-specific listings are there (pull them up in one fell swoop by searching for “Android”), it’s that they showed up on the same day of the development manager position (and several hardware-centric positions beneath whoever is lucky enough to fill that role).
Amazon’s not just adding people to their Kindle for Android team, but instead are creating an entirely new team within Lab 126 and is bringing together both software and hardware engineers for whatever these “next generation of devices” will be. Fun times ahead, Kindle fans. [via New York Times]