Amazon Kindle for the iPhone

Amazon.com released Kindle for the iPhone yesterday. If you already own a Kindle, any content you've purchased previously can be downloaded in seconds for reading on the iPhone. More importantly for Amazon, though, millions of iPhone owners just became potential Kindle book buyers. (Books can't be bought from the app, but after you buy 'em at Amazon.com, they appear on your phone.)

I downloaded the app this morning. As soon as I signed in, every Kindle book I had ever purchased appeared in my alphabetical "Archive" listing. Tapping one of the color cover images summoned the book, which appeared on my "Home" screen in seconds.

An app called Classics, with its clever graphical bookshelf and delicious "flick to turn the page" (with sound effects and animation!) pretty much sets the standard for iPhone book readers. By contrast, Kindle for iPhone is more utilitarian than clever. The alphabetical list of books can be sorted by Title or Author, and the reading process (you turn pages by dragging your finger across the iPhone's glass surface) is exactly what you would expect it to be. 

Thanks to Whispernet Sync, books I read on both devices stay in sync. When I open a book on the iPhone that I've been reading on my Kindle, the iPhone copy opens to the last page I read on the Kindle device (and vice-versa). Oh — and any illustrations in my books (all of which are rendered in grayscale on the Kindle itself) are in vivid color on the iPhone app. Pretty cool.

As on the Kindle, text size can be adjusted — a good thing for those of us with forty year-old eyes; even so, I'm not sure I would ever want to read an entire novel on the iPhone. (But now I *can* — and that's the most important thing.) 

One thing I won't be reading on my iPhone: any documents purchased elsewhere or personal docs transferred to my Kindle by USB or email. These files don't show up in the iPhone app; it displays Amazon.com purchases only.

Amazon.com released Kindle for the iPhone yesterday. If you already own a Kindle, any content you've purchased previously can be downloaded in seconds for reading on the iPhone. More importantly for Amazon, though, millions of iPhone owners just became potential Kindle book buyers. (Books can't be bought from the app, but after you buy 'em at Amazon.com, they appear on your phone.)

I downloaded the app this morning. As soon as I signed in, every Kindle book I had ever purchased appeared in my alphabetical "Archive" listing. Tapping one of the color cover images summoned the book, which appeared on my "Home" screen in seconds.

An app called Classics, with its clever graphical bookshelf and delicious "flick to turn the page" (with sound effects and animation!) pretty much sets the standard for iPhone book readers. By contrast, Kindle for iPhone is more utilitarian than clever. The alphabetical list of books can be sorted by Title or Author, and the reading process (you turn pages by dragging your finger across the iPhone's glass surface) is exactly what you would expect it to be. 

Thanks to Whispernet Sync, books I read on both devices stay in sync. When I open a book on the iPhone that I've been reading on my Kindle, the iPhone copy opens to the last page I read on the Kindle device (and vice-versa). Oh — and any illustrations in my books (all of which are rendered in grayscale on the Kindle itself) are in vivid color on the iPhone app. Pretty cool.

As on the Kindle, text size can be adjusted — a good thing for those of us with forty year-old eyes; even so, I'm not sure I would ever want to read an entire novel on the iPhone. (But now I *can* — and that's the most important thing.) 

One thing I won't be reading on my iPhone: any documents purchased elsewhere or personal docs transferred to my Kindle by USB or email. These files don't show up in the iPhone app; it displays Amazon.com purchases only.

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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