Amazon Hiring Web Browser Developers

Michael Calore:

A job posting for a browser engineer at Lab126, the division of Amazon that develops the Kindle, indicates the company is looking for somebody to develop “an innovative embedded web browser” for a consumer product. […]

The Kindle’s current browsing experience is notably sub-par. It’s good enough to check your e-mail, post to Twitter or read Wikipedia, but it doesn’t handle images or more complex web apps particularly well. It certainly doesn’t live up to the same vision of the mobile web being outlined by the iPhone, or Android phones like the Droid or Nexus One.

Calore is right that the current Kindle browser is poor, but I wonder whether this job opening is for the Kindle. One problem Amazon would have with a Kindle armed with a good mobile browser is that it might encourage too much use of the browser — existing Kindles don’t have Wi-Fi and only access the Internet via “free” 3G networking. The reason Amazon can provide free 3G is that it’s typically only used for buying books. Add a great browser and I don’t see how they could afford free 3G. (Maybe future Kindles will be Wi-Fi only?)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010