Amazon Launches Kindle App for Windows 8
Bringing Windows 8 into the Kindle App family didn’t take long. Amazon has already got a polished version of the reading software in the Windows Store and ready to use. As always, it’s free of charge. Those familiar with the workings of Kindle apps, including the Kindle Cloud Reader, will find themselves right at home here. There are, however, some peculiarities that make the Windows 8 offering stand out.
All of the standard features are present here. The app can open any document associated with your Amazon account in either Cloud view or locally once you’ve downloaded it. Whispersync takes care of updating your notes and maintaining your position in the document. There are a number of options to customize parts of the display including the margins, font size, and color scheme. A selection of fonts would have been nice, but that’s my only major complaint.
Basically you can assume that this app is a portal for the Kindle Cloud Reader without being too far off. The visual style of the library is more in line with the Windows 8 aesthetic and some of the capabilities the app offers are specific to Windows 8, but once you are reading a book all of that falls away and it’s the same familiar experience.
The Windows 8-specific features are worth bring aware of, though. Amazon has done a good job of integrating the hooks that make Microsoft’s new interface distinct.
The Charm Bar, largely the way you handle searching, sharing, and settings in any Windows 8 app, is the first thing to be aware of. Searching the Kindle App will first pull up your library, making it handy for anybody with a large selection on hand, but will also show the top twenty search results from the Kindle Store. Clicking on any of these will open a browser for shopping. This searching is available even if the app itself isn’t currently open thanks to the way the Charm Bar works, taking a step out of the process of opening or shopping for a book.
Since Charms are the way that all sharing is handled, this is also where you go for that. My first attempt allowed me to share the title of the book I was reading, a note to go with that title, and a link to the book in the store. This function will probably get more robust once Amazon figures out how to handle the even-handed treatment of all social sharing options in Windows 8.
It is also possible, and quite obvious, to “pin” a title to your Start Screen. Any time you select a book or open the app bar while reading, this option is presented. What this means is that the book will show up as a tile in the Start Screen, allowing you to jump directly into your book without worrying about navigating the library. It’s a handy way to keep your current books readily at hand.
Basically, while the Kindle for Windows 8 app doesn’t accomplish anything revolutionary it also doesn’t have any obvious problems. For a launch app, you’re not going to find many better implementations. Check out win8review.com for more information.