Amazon’s Kindle Vella story service is now available on Android and Fire tablets
When Amazon’s Kindle Vella launched, the episodic story subscription service had two major availability limitations: it was only available in the US, and you could only use it on Amazon’s website or on the Kindle iOS app. Well, the latter of those isn’t true any more.
Amazon has announced that Vella is now available on the Kindle Android app which, importantly, includes Amazon Fire tablets as they run a forked version of Android.
If you live in the US and use an Android phone or tablet, you can now simply open the ‘Discover’ tab of the app, then select ‘Kindle Vella’ to find a list of all the serialized stories on the service.
The search function will also list these works, if you already know of ones you’re interested in.
Kindle Vella is comparable to serialized stories of old, or TV shows nowadays – longer works are broken into pieces, and if you like one chapter, you can pay more to read the next one. It’s a great platform for ongoing stories, but unlike TV, there’s a greater level of interactivity between author and reader.
Analysis: what’s the future for Kindle Vella?
Amazon first unveiled Kindle Vella in April 2021, though it only became available with its first texts in July that year. When we first checked it out, there was a limited selection of works, but now there’s a much wider selection of texts on the Kindle Vella website.
That makes it seem like Kindle Vella is in a healthy place. It exists as an easy way for up-and-coming writers to debut smaller pieces of work and assess its popularity, without having to write an entire novel to trial a narrative. If there’s one thing the internet’s great for, it’s letting creatives of all talents and experiences have a shot at creating.
But there are some notable absences in Kindle Vella’s stable of features. Firstly is that it’s only available in the US right now – we’re presuming that’s to do with the legality of writers licensing their creations to the company for profit. But we’d like to see it change, so readers and authors around the world get the opportunity to have their works showcased – and to read them.
Secondly, and equally importantly, is that Kindle Vella isn’t actually available on Kindle ereaders right now. That means, if you like using one of the popular E Ink reading gadgets to read stories, you can’t use the service and have to use smartphones, tablets or computers with their harsh bright displays.
We’d hope that Kindle Vella’s next two milestones are fixing those two issues, to increase the accessibility and availability of the platform. Vella isn’t a year old though, so we can’t ask for the world yet, but here’s to hoping.