Amazon.com's Kindle now features two word-puzzle games. Barnes & Noble's Nook already featured Android-based games, opening another software front for the two companies' fierce e-reader competition.
Amazon's Kindle now features two word-puzzle games, bringing
the e-reader's features more in line with those of its erstwhile rival, Barnes
& Noble's Nook.
The first game, "Every
Word," requires you find as many words as possible from six or seven scrambled
onscreen letters. With the second, "Shuffled Row," some 60
lettered tiles are used to make words; once a new word's submitted, new letters
are added. Both are free and available for download from the Kindle
Amazon announced its third-generation Kindle July 28, in a
bid to leapfrog both the Apple iPad and other e-readers. The newest device
features a 6-inch e-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast, Wikipedia
access, support for password-protected PDFs and a lighter body. The Kindle
retails for $189, and a WiFi-only version costs $139.
The Kindle WiFi's price undercuts that of the Nook WiFi by
$10, seemingly another salvo on Amazon's part on the increasingly tit-for-tat
war between the two companies. On June 21, after Barnes & Noble dropped the
Nook to $189, Amazon matched that price. Despite that competition, however,
both companies' greatest threat may be the iPad, which comes with an e-reader
application in addition to thousands of full-color apps.
Although Amazon devotes substantial marketing dollars to the
Kindle device, it has also been aggressive in pushing its Kindle e-reader
application for the iPad, PCs, and a variety of smartphones.
But Amazon, along with Apple, also faces a potential
investigation from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who sent
letters to both companies July 29 demanding a meeting with their lead attorneys
over possible anticompetitive practices related to e-book pricing.
Specifically, Blumenthal is interested in whether Apple's and Amazon's existing
deals with publishers unfairly block smaller competitors from offering e-books
at lower prices.
"These agreements appear to deter certain publishers from
offering discounts to Amazon and Apple's competitors-because they must offer
the same to Amazon and Apple," reads
an Aug. 2 note posted on the Connecticut Attorney General's Website. "This
restriction blocks cheaper and competitive prices for consumers."
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.