Monday, May 4, 2009

The Kindle App for iPod Touch and iPhone

I have been very reluctant to take a $359.00 chunk out of my pocket to get a Kindle. despite the fact that I absolutely love the idea of having a whole library in my hands. I have used multiple other eBook formats on both a computer and handheld devices. My first PalmPilot had decent resources for eBooks. My first Windows Mobile with Microsoft's Reader was my favorite for years. Mainly because I was able to have the same books on my mobile device and on my desktop/laptop.

The Kindle was touted as the iPod for readers, and it is undeniably doing well. I simply haven't been able to justify buying another dedicated device. So I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks back when the Kindle App for the iPod Touch and iPhone was launched. I downloaded it immediately but waited until I had finished a couple of paper and ink books before downloading my first book. I am a bit behind the times, but I bought Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.

The app worked very well. As soon as I had purchased it and opened the App on my iPod it downloaded in seconds. I was able to send the book to another device too with no trouble at all. Activating and Deactivating devices is all done on Books must be purchased there too. That is one place the Kindle Hardware beats out the iPod app. My two biggest challenges with it were:
  • Battery Life- When I started reading, I was on a bus with Wi-Fi access, and listening to music. The Kindle App allows these process to continue in the background and Whispersync keeps your book 'synced' while online. But this ate up my battery life. It took me a few days of reading to figure it out, but while sitting at home yesterday, I turned off the music, and shut off the Wi-Fi and read for 4 hours without putting to much of a dent in the battery. Half that time with music and Wi-Fi was enough to completely eat through the battery
  • Navigating- Turning pages is about as intuitive as it gets. Easier by some counts than the awkwardly placed buttons on the Kindle Hardware, but I found myself hitting the home button to try and get the navigation tools to open. There was something almost too clean about the reading frame. A simple info button like so many other apps have would have been useful, but I think it would detract from the clean look Amazon was obviously going for.
Considering the two faults I had with the App, I realize they are both user issues that just require me to relearn a little. I would definitely give this app two thumbs up.

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