Just my thoughts

Amazon Kindle software now available for the iPhone

After releasing the second version of Kindle hardware, Amazon had also release a software version of the Kindle reader for Apple's iPhone. As cool as the Kindle is—and I have had the opportunity to use one, they are very cool—the $349 price has kept me from getting one. Now, Amazon is making it clear that they are interested in selling books not hardware. Kindle for iPhone is a free download from the iTunes music store and is capable of reading any of the books available to the Kindle. The app works well, and the reading experience is comparable to other eBook readers available for the phone. When reading a book or article, the user has control over choosing the font size (from 5 different sizes), bookmarking a page, and jumping to marked sections of the book. You navigate from page to page by swiping right-to-left (or left-to-right if you are going backwards) which I must admit felt like a natural gesture at first, but quickly grew tiresome as even a slow reader like me is constantly flipping pages due to the small screen size. Books are added very easily via a Web browser. You simply navigate to Amazon, purchase the books you wish, and the next time you start Kindle for iPhone, your recent purchases are downloaded. My first book was Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. It downloaded in less than 5 seconds on WiFi. I also tried syncing over edge and that worked as well--with Treasure Island downloading in less than 20 seconds. In addition, Kindle for iPhone has Whispersync, which means, anywhere you leave off in you reading is automatically bookmarked and synced to any Kindle device. So, the claim is that moving between your iPhone and Kindle 2 will be seamless. You can download books by ordering them on your iPhone, but the process is not a smooth experience. You click a Get Books link which takes you to a page describing how to get new books, but then links you off to Safari for you to purchase the books. You must then go back into Kindle for iPhone to download and read the new books. Currently, my favorite eBook reader for the iPhone is Stanza. It is very similar to Kindle for iPhone, but I feel it does a couple things better. First, it allows you to move page to page by simply pressing once on the right or left side of the screen. Second, it allows you to download tens of thousands of free books directly from Project Gutenberg very quickly and easily. Third, and this is mostly superfluous, Stanza adjusts it's screen when you turn the phone sideways. In reader mode it will give you a wider column. In title browsing mode, you see your library using Cover Flow. But, the really great thing about the Kindle for iPhone software is that all these books I purchase will just work if I do buy a Kindle. All these books will automatically be available on my newly purchased Kindle. Also, the selection of books is very competitive in price and fairly substantial. If you are interested in trying out the software, here is a list of free and low cost books I found that sounded interesting. Free: Less than $1.00: What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment....
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