Kindle 2 from Amazon is really a cool device. Still not heard of Kindle? You should check this out. Anyhow, the updated version of Kindle is sleek and contemporary wireless reading device that allows you purchase and read digital book from Amazon.
Probably the price tag (US$359) may scare you away from purchasing Kindle, but Amazon released an iPhone app – Kindle for iPhone that lets you turn iPhone into a Kindle-like device (kind-of). Most importantly, the app is free to download. You can pick one by using this iTunes link.
So, how does Kindle for iPhone perform? Let’s go through the application together.
For the very first time you launch Kindle app, you’ll first go through a simple registration process. You can register easily if you already have an Amazon account. Or you just follow the procedures to apply one.
Okay, the registration is done. But don’t expect the Kindle app will load a collection of digital books for you to read. Unlike other ebook application such as Stanza, the Kindle app does not offer free book. Amazon are selling over Kindle-formatted books for iPhone at an average price of US$9.99. But, don’t stop here. For you to try out the application and the Kindle books, Amazon offers sample chapter for most books. So, you can try before any purchase.
Unexpectedly, Kindle app does not allow you to purchase and download books within the app. Tapping the “Get Books” button will just bring to a “How To Get Books” page. You’ll then need to tap on the “Safari” link that brings you to Kindle Store via Safari browser. The web interface of Kindle Store is not optimized for iPhone, so you may take some time to pick your book. Anyways, I’ve selected a sample chapter of “Outlier”. Once you select a book, go back to Kindle app. It will then sync with your Amazon account and download the book you have just selected.
Simply tap a book title to start reading. To navigate through pages, just flick through by using your finger. If you’d like to optimize your reading experience, tap on the page and Kindle will show you options for customization. You can alter font size, bookmark a page or go to the table of content. Kindle app also lets you use a scrollbar to navigate through pages (to be exact, it’s called location) quickly.
Before leaving the app, Kindle will memorize the latest page you’ve read. So, the next time you start to read the book again, you’ll start from where you left. Amazon also introduces a service called “WhisperSync” to keep your reading experience in sync between iPhone and Kindle (if you have one). Say, you leave off at page 33 of the book when reading on iPhone. The next time you start reading the same book on Kindle device, you’ll also start from page 33. Amazon automatically syncs the reading location in background using Whispersync. This feature is pretty good, but only for Kindle device owner.
I’ve used other ebook readers such as Stanza and eBook Reader on iPhone before. In terms of features, Kindle for iPhone is not very outstanding. It’s just well enough to turn your iPhone into an eBook reader. But if Amazon want to attract iPhone users to buy Kindle book, it should focus on improving the shopping experience from within the Kindle app. Anyhow, Kindle app is worth to download if you want to buy Kindle book from Amazon.