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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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Kindle Applications

iPhone Kindle Application

Kindle for iPhone or iPod touch gives you about all of the features you can get on a regular Kindle or Kindle DX.  You can download any of the books from the Kindle Store, sync to pages and adjust the font.  Kindle for iPhone or iPod touch uses a backlit screen so you can read your book in the dark if you want to.  The home screen allows you to sort your books by recently added, author, or title.

Additional features include the ability to download the book in the background for IOS 4.0 devices, read free and out of copyright books from Project Gutenberg and other similar sources.  For a more comprehensive list of features go check out the Kindle for iPhone page on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Software requirement: IOS 3.0

To install: Search for Kindle for iPhone in the iTunes App Store on your computer or on your iPhone or iPod touch.  Get the latest version: 2.5.1.

Windows PC Kindle Application

The Windows PC Kindle Application allows you to read your Kindle books on your computer.  It includes full screen color and brightness adjustments, the ability to sync annotations and last page read, and you can search for all books available in the Kindle Store.

Requirements for the Windows PC Kindle Application:

Windows XP Service Pack 2, Vista and 7.

At Least 128 MB of RAM

Screen Resolution of 800 by 600 or greater

500MHz Intel or AMD processor or faster

100MB of disk space

Most PC’s nowadays fill these requirements easily.

To install: Click “Download Now” on the Kindle for PC product page and the installation should begin automatically.  If it doesn’t, Amazon provides you with a page that gives you a link to try installing it again.

Mac Kindle Application

Kindle for MacKindle for the Mac does has most of the same features as Kindle for PC except that the Kindle for the Mac just allows font adjustments.

Requirements for Kindle Mac Application:

A Mac with a 500MHz Intel processor or faster

512 MB of RAM

Leopard or Snow Leopard OS

800 by 600 or greater screen resolution

100MB of Disk Space

To install: You can install directly from the Kindle Mac Application Product Page, or you can install from the Mac App Store.

Blackberry Kindle Application

Kindle for BlackberryThe Blackberry Kindle Application is available for:

Bold 9000 and 9700

Curve 8520 and 8900

Storm 9530 and 9550

Tour 9639

Torch 9800

To install: Sign into your Amazon account and send an email to your Blackberry or download directly from your browser at “amazon.com/kindlebb”.

This is the only app that is available to just U.S. customers.

iPad Kindle Application

The Kindle for iPad Application is the same as the application for the iPhone, but on a larger device.  It also includes Kindle Audio and Video.

Software requirements: iPhone/iPad 3.2 OS software update.

To install: Download Kindle for iPad from the iPad App Store.

Android Kindle Application

Kindle for Android users can share reading progress, read in landscape or portrait mode, zoom in with a double tap and read over 100 magazines and newspapers in addition to the 810,000 books in the Kindle Store.

Software Requirements: Android 1.6 or greater

To install: Search for “kindle” in the Android Market or use your phone’s sensor to capture the Kindle for Android Application barcode on the product page.

Windows Phone 7 Kindle Application

Windows Phone 7The Windows Phone 7 Kindle application has 5 different font sizes and 3 background colors to choose from. You can also email a link to a book you are currently reading or one from your library to a friend.

To install: Download the Windows Phone 7 Kindle application from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

Kindle app for iPad goes live

Though Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad are touted to be arch rivals in the e-Reader segment, it hasn’t stopped Amazon from building a Kindle app for iPad. Amazon previewed the Kindle iPad app a couple of weeks ago and yesterday, the app made its way to the Apple iTunes Store. The Kindle app for iPhone has been around for a while now and is very popular amongst iPhone users. The iPad Kindle app is a logical extension of the iPhone Kindle app and its release was on the cards after Apple announced the launch of iPad on April 3. However, there’s one major limitation of using Kindle on iPad – Books bought through Kindle app must be read within the app itself. These books will not be viewable in Apple’s iBooks app.

The Kindle app for iPad lets people enjoy the best of both worlds – easy to use Kindle app interface and supreme performance of the iPad. Further, it gives the users a choice to read books from either Amazon or Apple. Customers always want more choices and e-Readers are no exception to this rule. I’ve come across many voracious readers who are addicted to kindle interface and therefore, they are reluctant to try out the iPad. The Kindle app for iPad is welcome news for all such readers.

While a lot of people have been debating the fortune of Amazon Kindle after the launch of Apple iPad, I believe that Amazon will emerge as the major e-Book provider for iPad. Since iBooks is not pre-installed on Apple iPad, many users might prefer to install Kindle app for iPad as compared to iBooks.

I’ll publish a review as soon as 3G-capable version of iPad hits the stores that I intend to get for myself.

Kindle App. vs. Apple iBook App.

PC World has a good article that compares the Kindle application and the Apple iBook application.  The Kindle is not a device, but a platform, that runs on multiple devices such as the Blackberry, iPhone, PC and Mac.  That is one advantage that Amazon has over Apple because currently,

Kindle for iPad

Kindle for iPad

Apple’s new iBook application is only limited to the iPad.  Amazon recently unveiled plans to provide an application for the Apple iPad, which demonstrates that Amazon’s strives to reach out to the widest audience possible.

Considering that the iPad is a newly launched device, and that the price tag is pretty hefty at $499, Apple’s choice to keep the iBook application exclusive does not appear to be a very smart one.  However, eventually, there will most likely be an iBook application available for the iPhone and iPod touch.  It will be interesting to see if Apple branches out to allow an iBook application on Blackberry and Android.

Another marketing strategy that Amazon has going for it in terms of the Kindle platform is the amount of e-books available to download.  The iBook application only has 60,000 titles currently available.  This number will surely increase over time, but Amazon is ahead of the game at the moment with its much larger selection  of 450,000 titles available for readers.

According  to ReadWriteWeb’s article on comparing the two applications, the Kindle application is simple to use and doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that the iBook application uses.  For example, the user sees one page at a time on the Kindle application, whereas with the iBook application, the user can see two pages at a time and the pages turn in a more “engaging” format.  From a user’s standpoint, simplicity is key to create an easy, pleasurable reading experience.



Nicholson Baker Reacts to the Kindle

Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker

Author Nicholson Baker has written a lengthy response to the Kindle for the New Yorker.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it a review, as it’s more a humorous essay about his experiences using the device.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Baker, he’s one of those authors that people either love or hate.  He’s most famous for the extreme stream of consciousness style that most of his prose takes, often getting side tracked and spending more time on minute details than anything of importance.  For example, in his first novel, the purposely plotless The Mezzanine, the narrator spends a large amount of time analyzing the daily wear and tear of shoelaces.  It’s actually one of the book’s recurring motifs.  Depending on your point of view, this is either hilarious or annoying.

It’s the focus on details that makes Baker’s reaction more of an essay than a real review.  After 10 paragraphs of succumbing to the Kindle’s online advertising, making the decision to purchase, and slowly opening the packaging, Baker focuses in on the power adapter.

The plug, which was combined with the USB connector, was extremely well designed, in the best post-Apple style. It was a very, very good plug.

At first, it seems like Baker’s view of the device is extremely negative.  He does have a large number of complaints, mainly about the gray color, default font, and the way newspapers have been formatted for the device.  He also states that he greatly prefers reading Kindle books on the iPhone.  But at the very end he comes to accept the Kindle.

Poof, the Kindle disappeared, just as Jeff Bezos had promised it would. I began walking up and down the driveway, reading in the sun. Three distant lawnmowers were going. Someone wearing a salmon-colored shirt was spraying a hose across the street. But I was in the courtroom, listening to the murderer testify. I felt the primitive clawing pressure of wanting to know how things turned out.

I began pressing the Next Page clicker more and more eagerly, so eagerly that my habit of page turning, learned from years of reading—which is to reach for the page corner a little early, to prepare for the movement—kicked in unconsciously. I clicked Next Page as I reached the beginning of the last line, and the page flashed to black and changed before I’d read it all. I was trying to hurry the Kindle. You mustn’t hurry the Kindle. But, hell, I didn’t care. The progress bar at the bottom said I was ninety-one per cent done. I was at location 7547. I was flying along. Gray is a good color, I thought.

If you have some time to kill, I recommend reading the whole thing.  There’s much more to the essay than a general critique of the device.  Baker sometimes takes the essay in strange directions, getting sidetracked by things like the prevalence of erotic literature available on the Kindle store.  I actually laughed out loud a few times while reading.  If you are a fan of offbeat, dry humor, you should check it out.

Kindle Books Coming to New Devices

Image by TimYang.Net

Jeff Bezos With Kindle DX (by TimYang.Net)

Amazon Chief Executive, Jeff Bezos, has made clear the company’s intention to bring the Kindle’s eBook store to more devices.  Apparently, Amazon views the Kindle and the bookstore as two separate ventures, and is not afraid to let competitors access the same library that the Kindle does.

Currently, the only non-kindle device with access to the book store is the iPhone, through the Kindle for iPhone app.  I would guess that some of the new devices getting Kindle support would have to be the iPhone’s competitors, most likely Palm, Blackberry, or Windows Mobile.

But the most strategic platform to cover would have to be Android.  If Amazon hopes to compete with Google’s upcoming bookstore, it would make sense to first push their own books onto Google’s mobile OS.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Amazon has any current plans to share their eBook format with everybody.  I’m guessing this will at some point be a necessity, however, as eReaders and competing bookstores become more prominent.  Sure, extra support for mobile devices will help the Amazon bookstore, but it won’t affect the buying habits of a Sony eReader user.  Eventually, Amazon will need to open their bookstore to all eReaders unless it wants to lose business to someone like Google.

New Look And Feel, Now For iPhone Too

Thanks to WPTouch WordPress theme and plugin, BlogKindle.com now renders nicely on iPhones, iPod Touches and Android phones

BlogKindle.com on iPhone

BlogKindle.com on iPhone

If you want full version of the website – there is a switch at the very bottom of the page that would let you do just that.

blog-kindle-on-iphone-2

iPhone Kindle Application Updated

Today Amazon has released 1.1 update for the iPhone Kindle Application. There are several new features and they are all good:

  • Landscape reading is now supported. All you need to do is tilt your iPhone. If you don’t want orientation to change automatically – just tap the lock icon in the corner and autorotate will be off.
Kindle iPhone Landscape Reading

Kindle iPhone Landscape Reading

  • 3 different color schemes are now supported to make reading on iPhone’s back-lit screen a bit easier on the eyes: original black-on-white, white-on-black and sepia that looks like an old book
Kindle For iPhone Color Schemes

Kindle For iPhone Color Schemes

  • Images can now be zoomed and panned using iPhone’s multi-touch interface.
Kindle For iPhone Image Zoom

Kindle For iPhone Image Zoom

  • Amazon has launched iPhone-optimized version of Kindle Store and integrated it into the app so now journey from Kindle for iPhone to Amazon.com and back again is comfortable and streamlined. It starts with pressing “Get Books” button in application home screen and ends back in the application with the book already downloaded. The only problem I noticed is that buttons on the website were very slow to respond to my taps. Could be just quirks of my particular iPhone or Internet connection.
iPhone Kindle Store

iPhone Kindle Store

It looks like Amazon is taking eBooks on iPhone market quite seriously. They are also trying to lock in as many customers as possible while there are still relatively few eBook readers on the market.

If you already have the app installed – you just need to update it via the app store, if you don’t – you can install it there for Free.

Of course same application would also run on iPod Touch.

Kindle For iPhone and iPod Touch

As if recent release of Kindle 2 wasn’t enough… Kindle for iPhone application was just released to iTunes marketplace and is available for download! What it does is it brings most of the Amazon Kindle functionality to iPhone or iPod Touch. The application is free to download and can be installed either via iTunes (click here if you have iTunes already installed) or directly through App Store…

kindle-for-iphone-app-store

Once the application is installed – you need to enter your Amazon.com username and password and within seconds you have all the books that you’ve purchased before for your Kindle available in “Archived Items”…

kindle-for-iphone-splash

Couple more taps on the touchscreen and you can start reading away.

kindle-for-iphone-ebook

Ok and now when the hype is gone lets be a bit more specific. The new app can do:

  • Download and display all textual books that are available in the Kindle Store.
  • Synchronize bookmarks, annotations, reading positions etc via the WhisperSync.
  • Add new bookmarks.
  • Text is displayed very clearly and is readable even at the smallest font size (it fact when smallest font size is contains almost as much text as my Kindle which I have set to second smallest font.
  • Once application is registered iPhone immediately becomes selectable in the combo-boxes on the Amazon.com so you can send purchased books to the device.

And now on what it can’t do:

  • It looks like periodicals a missing. At least WSJ that I’m subscribed to didn’t show up anywhere in the application.
  • There is no text-to-speech
  • Regrettably there is no special interface to buy more books. It has to be done via PC or iPhone Safari browser which is doable but not the most comfortable experience you would have. Unfortunately using Amazon Mobile application (also free) is not an option since it only allows adding Kindle books to wish-list. Hopefully Amazon will update it soon enough.
  • There doesn’t seem to be any dictionary functionality.

To sum it up: Way cool, with a room for improvement. While it would seem that releasing such an application would hurt Kindle sales, personally I thing that it would not and overall it would be benefical to Amazon.com. And here is why:

  • While the text is clear and readable, reading from iPhone is not the best experience.
  • iPhone is much less autonomous than Kindle because it’s not meant to run long on a single charge but more importantly because when you are reading an eBook a back-lit display is drawing a lot of power from the battery. There is no way you can read 20,000 pages on a single charge and this was a major selling point to me and many other Kindle owners.
  • So in no way iPhone will be able to even come close to replacing Kindle.
  • On the other hand iPhone is a great opportunity because it is an undisputed leader by number of e-commerce transactions that are initiated and completed using it. This is because it provides excellent mobile browsing experience. You can actually navigate the web and shop with it comfortably.
  • There were 10M+ iPhones sold during 2008 alone. Releasing this application gives Amazon better access to this audience. And by defintion this audience likes to consume information and spend money on gadgets. So I imagine quite a few would first buy a couple of books to their iPhone to do some quick lookup or to read something during some long commute and eventually would buy Amazon Kindle to have a better reading experience with these books.

Another reason I happy about this realease is that in the modern world of proprietary mutually incompatible and overly restrictive DRM systems that hurt honest users much more than pirates having a seemless easy way to access useful copyrighted and legally purchased content across several platforms from two different manufactureres is a step in the right direction.

kindle-and-iphone