Amazon’s Kindle iPhone App Brings Up-To-Date Publications to the iPhone

Amazon's Kindle for iPhone

So far we have seen some great iPhone apps such as Classics and Stanza which turn the iPhone into an ebook reader. Google had recently released an optimized version of Google Books for the iPhone.

However, these iPhone apps had one problem, most of the books that were available via these iPhone apps were public domain books which are out-of-print while I am usually looking for up-to-date publications.

Amazon has just released their Kindle iPhone app which brings over 240,000 Kindle books to the iPhone.

Kindle is Amazon's electronic book reader. Amazon had released the second-generation Kindle (Kindle 2) last week. Surprisingly (in terms of timing), Amazon has also released a free iPhone app that brings Kindle books to the iPhone:

Kindle for iPhone allows Apple iPhone and iPod touch owners to read Kindle books using a simple, easy-to-use interface. You can shop for hundreds of thousands of books at www.amazon.com/kindlestore, and wirelessly transfer the books to your iPhone or iPod touch. Enjoy Amazon’s low prices on Kindle books, including New York Times Best Sellers and most new releases for $9.99, unless marked otherwise.

Some of the features of Amazon's Kindle iPhone app are mentioned below:

  • Buy a Kindle book from your Mac, PC, or iPhone using a Web browser and wirelessly transfer the books to your iPhone
  • Read first chapters of any book for free before you buy
  • Download the Kindle books you already own for free — they are automatically backed up on Amazon.com
  • Adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view the annotations you created on your Kindle device

Kindle for iPhone is far from being perfect, the iPhone app does not connect to the Kindle store, so users
must access it using iPhone's Safari browser to buy
the content. The reading experience on Amazon's iPhone app isn't the best among the iPhone apps that allows users to read ebooks on the iPhone.

You can checkout some screenshots of Amazon's iPhone app below:


Amazon's Kindle for iPhone   
Amazon's Kindle for iPhone


Amazon's Kindle for iPhone   
Amazon's Kindle for iPhone

Comparison between Kindle and Amazon's Kindle iPhone App:

I guess its quite natural to compare the iPhone with Kindle 2 but in my opinion they compliment each other well rather than competing against each other.

Kindle with its screen size and e-ink technology is an ideal replacement for the hardcover and paperback books. Though I don't have a Kindle, I am quite certain that just like a hardcover and paperback book you won't have a problem reading a book on Kindle for long hours.

The iPhone is also a great device to read stuff, in fact it is my preferred device to read feeds. But the iPhone has its limitation. Due to its smaller screen and lack of e-ink technology, it is not comfortable to read on the iPhone for long durations but its perfect if want to read feeds which usually take a few minutes.

The beauty about an iPhone app like Amazon's Kindle iPhone app is that it gives users easy access to their ebooks. There might be times when they don't want to carry Kindle but they will always take their iPhone everywhere. So if they want to catch up on that interesting book they were reading last night (and don't have the Kindle), Amazon's Kindle iPhone app will give them the chance to catch up.

Does it mean the death of iPhone apps such as Classics and Stanza?

The release of Amazon's Kindle app will definitely impact these
iPhone apps. I think they will now cater to users who want to access
public domain books which are out-of-print or those that are not
available on Amazon. I would personally hate to see these iPhone apps disappear as it has been refreshing to see developers of Classics bring their revolutionary reading platform which offers a more realistic reading experience on the iPhone.

Conclusion:

Kindle for iPhone will give a shot in the arm for ebook sales which has already been boosted by launch of Kindle, so it should be a happy day for authors and book publishers.

But having said that Amazon still has some work to do to make their
iPhone app perfect. iPhone users should be able to connect to Kindle
Store directly from the iPhone app, search for books and be able to buy
them using Amazon's 1-click technology rather than using their iPhone's
Safari browser. They also need to improve the reading experience on
their iPhone app.

Amazon has made an important statement with the launch of Kindle books for
the iPhone, they are more interested in selling ebooks then they are
selling Kindle hardware. In my opinion, that's a very wise move.

You can download Kindle for iPhone for free from the App Store using this direct iTunes link.

What do you think? We would love to hear from you folks in the comments below.

  • rez

    Not available on the UK Apps Store!?

    What's with that!?

  • http://crossaffairs.blogspot.com Aman

    IPhone is really cool ..

    http://crossaffairs.blogspot.com

  • Gahsdfg

    "What's with that!?"

    I'll tell you what's with that – it's not on the UK Apps Store. I thought that was obvious?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/iphonehacks iPhoneHacks

    Yeah, Amazon's Kindle iPhone app is currently available only on US App Store.

    I am sure its copyright issues preventing them to launch it across all countries.

  • alyx

    Can you put your own (non-amazon) books or text in Kindle and read them? If not, then Stanza will still be my first choice of a bookreader. I regularly upload snippets of text, docs and ebooks to Stanza from my PC.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/iphonehacks iPhoneHacks

    Hey Alyx,

    Amazon's Kindle App only supports Kindle books.

    Good to know another reason why apps like Stanza will survive.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/iphonehacks iPhoneHacks

    Amazon's iPhone app also includes Whispersync technology which is available on Kindle.

    What does this means?

    When you open an ebook on Kindle for iPhone, it will automatically take you to the page you might be at while reading the ebook on Kindle.

    It's a brilliant feature and it would have been painful to read ebooks between your iPhone and Kindle without the Whispersync technology.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/iphonehacks iPhoneHacks

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/10/technology/kindle.4-427098.php

    Article on why Kindle isn't available outside US which also explains why Kindle for iPhone is only available on the US App Store.

    Excerpts from the article:

    "Brian McBride, managing director of Amazon's British arm, said last autumn during an interview with a trade publication, The Bookseller, that one reason for the delay was the difficulty of reaching agreements with mobile operators to enable wireless downloading of books. In the United States that feature separates the Kindle from rival devices like the Sony Reader."

    "Analysts say mobile operators in Europe, which are eager to generate new revenue from sales of "content" like books, may be holding out for a larger share of the proceeds of book sales than Amazon wants to give them."

  • Lynn

    You can upload your docs to Kindle and then sync for a cost of 10 cents.

  • OperaGirlUSA

    I'm really enjoying Kindle on my iphone- is there any way to organize my titles (example; book series' in order) on the iphone? It also doesn't scroll the title of books if they are longer than the display, so I am stuck guessing if I don't know the "number" in the series. Does that make sense? And can I order them myself? I couldn't find anything, so perhaps this is another feature that coming…

  • Ken

    I doubt Amazon will ever sell books directly in the Kindle iPhone App since Apple wants a 30% cut of all sales.

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