Amazon has announced that its Kindle software will be available on Android handsets this month — a move that will likely clear the way for the Android-based tablets that are expected to appear in the coming months.
It’s a big move, because it means that manufacturers of Android tablets will have a ready-made application that lets users buy books through the app itself (something Kindle doesn’t allow in its iPad and iPod versions for competitive reasons) and begin reading them within a minute or so. Perhaps more importantly, it will allow users to do the same with hundreds of newspapers, magazines and blogs in a touch-screen interface similar to that of the iPad.
Some industry observers predict that up to 50 tablets will be introduced in the near future, powered by a variety of operating systems including Android, Windows 7 and even Blackberry. The Wall Street Journal also reported recently that Google and Verizon are working on a Google-branded tablet. With Android handsets outselling iPhones during the first quarter, the time seems ripe for some new rollouts.