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Finally, Amazon Opens Kindle Store To The Blind

Posted in Apple Inc

Finally after years of waiting for Amazon to make their Kindle store accessible, the blindness community on the Internet are rejoicing after updating to the newest version of the Kindle for iOS app which hit the App Store on Wednesday May 1.

You might be asking yourself if you need another app in which you can read ebooks. After all, we have access to Apple’s iBooks on our iOS devices, and just recently the Barnes & Noble app was updated with Voice Over support. So why is it such a big deal that Amazon’s Kindle app is now accessible to the blind? Quite simply because when it comes to the ebook market there is Amazon’s Kindle store and then there is everyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not mean to make it seem as though the other ebook stores aren’t important, but when it comes to the number and variety of titles available I think that Amazon wins hands down.

Another reason that this is such a big deal to the blind is what I hope is just the first step in making Kindle hardware accessible. If Amazon does the right thing here and begins to roll out accessible devices we may see a lot of people who are now very loyal to Apple deciding to instead go for the less costly Kindle line of devices.

There continues to be rumors on the Internet about Amazon developing a smartphone. Could this mean that if they do indeed make a smartphone that it will also be accessible? If so, then Apple may find themselves in some trouble. After all, in the past few years I have seen the blindness community flocking to the iPhone simply do to its accessibility. Would they continue to do so if Amazon releases an accessible phone that costs half the price? If you think that Amazon would not sell their own smartphone at a much lower price you just need to look at what they have done with the Kindle tablet line since it was introduced.

Whatever their motive is for finally making their Kindle line accessible, I say it is about time Amazon. I think that you will find that the blind love to read just as much as any other segment of the population, and our money is just as good too.

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