Amazon has been offering third-party apps and games for its Kindle eReaders for years… and I’m not talking about tablet apps for the Kindle Fire.

There are a few hundred games and apps available for the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Keyboard, and other eReaders with E Ink screens.

But you can’t run any of them on the new Kindle Voyage.

kindle blackjack

A member of the MobileRead forum noticed it was impossible to download any previously purchased Kindle Active Content apps on the Kindle Voyage, and Nate from The Digital Reader reached out to Amazon for an explanation. He got it: the Voyage doesn’t support these third-party apps and it never will.

Amazon isn’t pulling the plug on Active Content altogether… you can still download and install Scrabble, Solitaire, BlackJack, NotePad Plus, and other apps on other Kindle eReaders including the most recent Kindle Paperwhite and entry-level Kindle models.

But Amazon isn’t really promoting the platform and is instead focused on developing the Amazon Appstore for Fire tablets (and other Android phones and tablets).

So if you’ve been using your Kindle to play games for years and you don’t want to lose the ability, you might want to hold off on updating to Amazon’s new top tier eReader. I suspect there aren’t all that many people who fall into that camp.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has launched a new Kindle that lacks a feature that was available in older models. Older models used to include headphone jacks and support for text-to-speech. But Amazon stopped offering those features with the introduction of the first Kindle Paperwhite in 2012.

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4 replies on “Kindle Voyage is first Kindle not to support third-party apps”

  1. There are good reasons for having non-animated games such as chess and checkers on E-Ink Kindles. When I’m playing chess on my Paperwhite, I stare at the non-moving screen as much as I do when reading. Chess on E-Ink is better than chess on LCD for the same reasons that reading is better on E-Ink.

    With chess on an E-Ink Kindle, I can play chess on a bright sunny day at a park. With LCD screen tablet, it would be harder to see the screen and battery life would be an issue. It would be very annoying to run out of battery while playing chess at a park; my opponent might be very unhappy with me if he or she was winning!

    Same goes for checkers; my kids enjoy that so I have it on Kindle to play it with them.

    Please consider signing my petition to ask Amazon to bring Active Content to Kindle Voyage and 7th-gen basic Kindle:

  2. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I have a keyboard model, and I never used a 3rd party app. And I don’t really use the keyboard on it either. Or the headphone jack. Or the browser. But it’s being used 24/7, someone in the family is always reading something on it.

  3. It seems now that Amazon sells tablets, they are making the eInk products more purely text-focused.

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