03. 04. 2009
Kindle e-book reader for iPhone
The Kindle 2
was just released a few weeks ago, but already there's another way to read the hundreds of thousands of e-books available in the Amazon Kindlestore- the Kindle for iPhone application. You don't have to own a Kindle to use the application; all you need is an iPhone or an iPod Touch, and an Amazon account. If you do own a Kindle, though, the iPhone Kindle reader syncs with your Kindle, so you can seamlessly switch back and forth, from phone to Kindle, with an auto-bookmark feature which remembers the last page you've read.
I have an original Kindle, and haven't felt the need to upgrade to a Kindle 2, so it's nice to have the option to carry my books with me in an even more portable package. Also, the Kindle isn't backlit, so for a quick read before bed, the iPhone is perfect. I think it would be more useful as a Kindle accessory- because I imagine you'd quickly run down your battery if you tried to read an entire book (as the screen is small, you don't get a lot of text per page, so there's lots and lots of page turning, and unlike the Kindle's e-ink display, the iPhone display continues to eat battery time, just by displaying the page) but it's perfect for subway rides, long lines, and traffic (not that I read in traffic, no way, eyes on the road 100%).
When you open up Kindle for iPhone, and register your device- you have immediate access to the books you've already purchased for your Kindle. There's an archive, and you click to download the books onto the phone. You can't buy books directly from the application- you need to go to the phone's Safari browser to get new books.
In the Amazon Kindle store, you can purchase books, or have a free first chapter sent wirelessly to your iPhone or Touch. The free first chapter is probably my favorite feature of the Kindle. And brand-new books are much cheaper than hardbacks- almost everything is $9.99 or less.
The Kindle reader isn't the first e-book reader for the iPhone, but it does have the best selection of books, including most NY Times bestsellers and big new releases. E-reader is another good e-book reader (for iPhone, Palm, and Windows Mobile devices), and you can buy books directly from the E-reader application, but the selection isn't quite as vast.
The Kindle for iPhone is a free app, first chapters are free, and books generally start at about $3 . Until the rumored Kindle 3, with backlighting and huge color screen appears, it's a great way to carry around a ton of books, and even read in the dark. Available now from the iTunes app store.