In an amazing move late last night, Amazon released a Kindle reader for the iPhone!


Now, instead of just reading your Kindle books on your Kindle, you can now also read your Kindle books on your iPhone!

It’s a magnificent and seamless gift of technology and your iPhone and your Kindle immediately become brothers in helping you keep your place in your book.

You cannot read newspapers, magazines or blogs on your Kindle iPhone — yet! — but that’s fine with me since I have so many Kindle books waiting to be devoured and re-eaten several times in my lifetime.

The Kindle iPhone homescreen looks like this.  You can see I already placed three Kindle books on my homescreen.  When I want to add more, I simply touch on “Archived Items.”

That leads me to my “Archived Items” page where I can scroll down an alphabetized list of all my books by title or author name.

When I find the book I want to read, I touch it, and the book is downloaded and moved to my Home screen.  I touch the “Home” button to return to book selections.

I touch a title to start reading the book.

Unlike reading Google Books on the iPhone, Kindle iPhone books “flip” sideways to turn the page instead of scrolling forever downward.  The sideways flipping is a more natural reading experience.    

As well, the Kindle iPhone books look crisp and outstanding compared to their Google brethren.

Touching a page you’re reading will bring up the user interface where you can move around the book using the Table of Contents, or you can increase the font size, or you can “sync” your Kindle iPhone book with the same book on your Kindle so you can keep your place. 

The virtual dog-earing between Kindle iPhone books and Kindle books is called “Whispersync” and it uses the Amazon Whispernet service to communicate between devices.

There is no question that overnight Amazon have doubled the value of my Kindle by letting me now read all my Kindle books on my iPhone.

Now I don’t have to carry around my Kindle to read a Kindle book!  I only need my iPhone!

I do wonder what would prevent someone from sharing their Amazon login information with the world and then giving away their library for free the reading on the iPhone to everyone who downloaded the free Kindle iPhone App.

I wish the Kindle iPhone App were tethered to the unique Kindle email address of each individual Kindle on which the books appear. 

That would at least allow multiple Kindle users tied to a single Amazon account to keep different bookmarks using Whispersync — right now it seems only one person can read a book on a Kindle and an iPhone and have Whispersync work without having someone else “lose your place” by opening and reading the same book.

That plan would also immediately discourage any sense of self-giving away your Kindle books collection to the iPhone universe.

11 Comments

  1. Gordon —
    Remember they have to have a Kindle first and an iPhone second for this to work. The iPhone App for the Kindle is a reader only. You can’t buy books through the iPhone. You do everything with your Kindle and the iPhone is the added icing of convenience.

  2. I’m giddy for this. It’s like I see for the first time how your library can be carried in lots of different bags. Kindle and iphone and lots of other things to come i’m sure. Can you read a Kindle book on iPhone underground or do you have to have an internet connection to turn pages and the like.

  3. Giddy is a great word, Anne, and I feel the same way. Amazon are doing some really interesting things with publishing even though we’re really only renting our books from them in the end.
    The underground question — subways, trains, tunnels — is interesting. I’ll have to test it, but my sense is that once the book is downloaded from the server with a live internet connection, you’re good to go. I say that because not every book downloads at the same speed. That tells me the bigger books with illustrations are being downloaded in whole instead of in bits.

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