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Amazon Releases iPhone Kindle Software 232

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the eyestrain-is-fun dept.
palmsolo writes "The Amazon Kindle 2 just started shipping last week, but Amazon surprised everyone late on March 3rd by placing the Amazon Kindle software for the iPhone in the Apple App Store. With the Whispersync technology you can now keep your Kindle and iPhone ebooks in sync and read everywhere you go. Readers on the iPhone also now get access to over 200,000 ebook titles on the Amazon Kindle storefront. Check out the hands-on image gallery and video of the Amazon Kindle software on the iPhone and Kindle 2."
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Amazon Releases iPhone Kindle Software

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @12:04PM (#27065355)

    No Kindle is needed. You can buy books using a web browser on your PC and have the books sent wirelessly to your iPhone/iPod touch.

  • by Repugnant_Shit (263651) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @12:18PM (#27065551)

    No, you don't. I just downloaded it and tried out a sample chapter. I had previously used eReader from Fictionwise, but they were unable to get "The Amber Spyglass," even though they had the first two books of Pullman's Dark Materials series.

    Amazon had the content, so I went and bought Amber Spyglass.

  • I use the Ereader.com ebook reader for the iPhone, and I have to say that the standard font size and type is barely any different from a standard book when held at the same distance. I have absolutely no trouble at all reading books on my iPhone, and its always with me anyway.
  • Tried it out (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrisgeleven (514645) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @12:30PM (#27065699) Homepage

    Surprisingly it is quite readable even on the iPhone's small screen. You just swipe your finger across the screen to flip back/forth through the pages. There is options to change the font size, so really the only complaint you can have is how much/little text fits on the screen before you have to flip a page.

    There are some free books on the Kindle Store (mostly classics like Treasure Island and some religious texts like the Bible), so there is no cost to try out the Kindle iPhone app.

    Really cool how you buy via your web browser. Next time you open the Kindle app, it just automatically syncs what you have just purchased to the iPhone. Since it is just text, it takes just seconds to sync. Should not be painful to use even in poor signal locations and on EDGE. Plus you can download any purchase you make for free again in the future.

    I don't know if if I would buy all of my books this way (I lately have been using the local library), but in a pinch (say on a trip) when I want a book to read and don't want to or can't stop by a bookstore or library, this could work very well.

  • by n9uxu8 (729360) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @12:31PM (#27065723) Homepage
    No pinch gestures in the kindle app, I'm afraid...
  • Having just counted a random page, my iPhone eReader app shows 115 words, in three paragraphs, using the Helvetica Medium font. Perfectly readable and enough on the screen so that you aren't disturbed by the frequency of turning pages.

    But then I'm certain you have never actually tried reading an ebook on an iPhone, just trolling.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @12:59PM (#27066083) Journal
    The trouble is, "pretty much every non-3G app that exists for the iPhone would be just as functional and applicable on an hx4700" if and only if they existed. Apps that don't exist are neither functional nor relevant, no matter how nice the platform they don't run on is or isn't.

    Undeniably, there have been phones with superior specs (and rather more open OSes) floating around for years now. In spite of that, no Kindle support.
  • by TheMCP (121589) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @12:59PM (#27066095) Homepage

    No, the app works just fine if you don't own a Kindle.

  • by illegalcortex (1007791) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @01:13PM (#27066259)

    Most likely because they only have the book rights for all those books in the US. It would have been foolish to have paid extra money for worldwide rights (or even US+UK) when they were going to be testing the Kindle in the US first to see if it would flop or succeed. It may or not also be related to purchasing UK versions of books (because yeah, some books are localized even though it's kind of dumb) and purchasing a different title list based on popularity in the UK.

    I would expect once they purchase book rights to your region, they'll turn on the iPhone app even before they get the Kindle out the door. Unless some exec gets nervous that somehow that will make the Kindle less likely to sell.

  • by Cinder6 (894572) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @01:23PM (#27066399)

    The iPhone is too expensive and not worth the money. The average person would probably buy the iPod because it costs so much less than the iPhone. With the Apple stores and going online and looking around there are always have deals or a refurbished one, you just have to watch for them every few months.

    Last I checked, the iPod Touch was $30 more than the iPhone hardware for an 8GB ($229), and the same price ($299) for the 16GB). (I last checked 1 minute ago.)

    Now, if you're talking data plans, sure, the iPhone ends up more expensive after just one month. But the price difference obviously depends on your current phone plan. I had unlimited Internet on my old Blackjack, and getting the iPhone 3G was only $15/month more for me--and I was told I would have to pay $15/month more for any phone I got, as I was on an older, cheaper data plan than they currently offered (woo, prices went up!).

    YMMV.

  • by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @01:28PM (#27066447) Homepage Journal

    Last I checked you weren't allowed the privilege of purchasing an amazon ebook without having a Kindle registered to your account.

    Did you bother to look since this announcement? Web pages do change, or so I've heard.

    You need a book light for an ebook reader? Seriously?

    You need a book light because it's epaper. Just like regular paper, it doesn't emit any light of its own. The upside with this is that the display only draws power when you turn the page. I think that the convenience of having a device that you can use continuously for days without recharging kind of outweighs the inconvenience of having to provide your own light source.

  • by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @01:53PM (#27066819) Homepage Journal

    OK, why is this flamebait? Even by the unofficial definition that a lot of moderators use ("flamebait" == "you're full of it") that seems a stretch.

  • by rob1980 (941751) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @02:01PM (#27066935)
    Last I checked you weren't allowed the privilege of purchasing an amazon ebook without having a Kindle registered to your account.

    The app registers your iPhone as a Kindle after you put in your account info. I just bought a couple books off of there and I don't own a Kindle myself.
  • by proc_tarry (704097) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @02:06PM (#27066995)
    I subscribe to the Financial Times on my Kindle. I just installed the iPhone app and FT is not available to download, only the books I've purchased.
  • by NiteShaed (315799) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @03:39PM (#27068137)

    I have an iPAQ hx4700 that has a touchscreen bigger than the iPhone's, a 624MHz CPU, and both SD and CF slots; how about an "app" for that, hmmm, Amazon?

    I wouldn't hold my breath, but I've always liked the eReader (available for both Pocket PCs and iPod/iPhone) and the MobiPocket reader (PocketPC, no iPod/iPhone version). Fictionwise.com and ereader.com are both nice online bookstores that support both of those readers.

    I'm frankly getting sick of these Apple "there's an app for that" ads, ads that once again twist reality to make it sound like the planets revolve around a big glowing apple rather than the sun. Pretty much every non-3G app that exists for the iPhone would be just as functional and applicable on an hx4700, but Apple doesn't want people to know that.

    Really now, why on earth would Apple want to raise awareness of Pocket PC devices? Microsoft isn't some little backwater company operating at a disadvantage here....the PPC has been around for ages, and they've done a rotten job marketing it. Direct your complaints here to MS and HP, it's their job to hype Pocket PCs, not Apple's.....

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday March 04, 2009 @03:56PM (#27068363) Journal

    You need a book light for an ebook reader? Seriously?

    They call it "electronic paper" for a reason - because it looks and works like one. Yes, that means you need an external light source to read in the dark. It also means that your eyes don't strain anywhere near as much as they do when you stare at the backlit LCD (which isn't fundamentally different from staring at a pretty powerful lamp shining right into your face).

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