Google is probably not too pleased with the way Amazon created the Kindle Fire HD. Android is an open source operating system, and thus perfectly legal for Amazon to use in creating its own tablet. But the Kindle Fire’s implementation of Android neatly excises Android’s links and hooks to Google services and replaces them with Amazon’s own content ecosystem. This gives Google no incentive to port their extensive list of apps to the Kindle Fire HD, which includes the very popular Google Maps app.
Some Kindle Fire users have complained about not having Google Maps but a small Berlin-based developer named Skobbler may hold a solution. According to VentureBeat, ForeverMap 2 is an app based upon the OpenStreetMap data.
Skobbler co-founder Marcus Thielking explains how they stepped into the gap over on MarketWatch:
“Following our recent launch for Android, we’re pleased to offer ForeverMap 2 to Kindle Fire users, who can now also benefit from a powerful and versatile hybrid map solution. The Kindle Fire has been wildly popular but with no Google Maps and no pre-installed map like most other mobile devices, this is a real opportunity to establish ourselves as the leading brand on this platform, and as a provider of the best map app for its users. We offer Kindle Fire users a solution that’s second to none in the Amazon App Store.”
OpenStreetMap is a crowdsourced mapping project. A Wikipedia for maps, if you will. This is not to mean that is subpar to Apple and Google’s mapping efforts. Apple itself used OpenStreetMap in iPhoto at one point. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some people might wish that Apple continued to use OpenStreetMap, especially after getting lost from Apple’s new mapping tech.
OpenStreetMap may be crowdsourced, but ForeverMap 2 is not free. Maps of cities start at $0.99, states are $1.99, countries are $2.99, and continents are $5.99. A one-time payment of $9.99 gets Kindle Fire users complete and unlimited offline accessibility to all global maps.
While Amazon obviously wants a piece of the app store pie, in the long term they may consider adding the Google Play Android market app as an option. The internet retailer could still focus on promoting their own Amazon Store prominently throughout the Kindle Fire’s user interface but give Kindle users a little more freedom. After all, while it does take some technical know-how it is possible to install Google Play on the Kindle Fire HD already.
Will you be downloading the ForeeverMap 2 app onto your Kindle Fire HD?