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My Dreams Just Came True – Amazon Kindle App for iPhone

I’ve been waiting for this moment almost since I heard about the Amazon Kindle (affiliate link). I dreamed of a simple app they could write for the iPhone that would sync with my Amazon account, to let me download and read my Kindle books on my iPhone, sync my place between the two devices, so I could hop back and forth as much as I wanted, and basically turn my iPhone into a little “mini Kindle”. Even though I take my Kindle most places I go, there are times when I forget it, and want to read something. Since I’m never without my iPhone, I usually just read feeds or something, but now, I have my whole world of ebooks, at my fingertips across multiple devices, stored and synced on the cloud.

Tonight, my dream came true.

I noticed (on Twitter, or FriendFeed, I don’t remember) someone wondering how page turning should work on the iPhone Kindle app. “Is that out?” I asked myself. A quick Twitter search for iPhone and Kindle revealed that yes, in fact, it was available in the App Store. After one super excited tweet, I was off to download it.

I’ve taken screenshots of most of the interface, and tested logging in and downloading at least one of my books. Here are the screenshots, with descriptions. I’m sure I’ll post more thoughts after I’ve used it for a while, but so far, it works perfectly, just like I hoped and thought it would. Major kudos and thanks to everyone at Amazon and Apple who made this happen! You’ve made me one happy bibliovoracious geek! :-)

Kindle in the App Store:

iPhoneKindle1.jpg

Kindle App Splash Screen:

iPhoneKindle2.jpg

“Archived Items”, things in your Kindle account but not downloaded to your iPhone:

iPhoneKindle3.jpg

Downloaded books show on the “home” screen:

iPhoneKindle5.jpg

Reading a book – the main interface. Haven’t used this much yet, but I was super impressed that it knew exactly what page I left off reading this book on my Kindle, and too me right there:

iPhoneKindle4.jpg

How to Get Books. Basically, you have to browse and buy on a Mac or PC (or a Kindle, of course), though that link will take you to…

iPhoneKindle6.jpg

The desktop version of the Kindle Store web page in Mobile Safari. This works, but is obviously not optimized for the iPhone. Last time I tried, you couldn’t browse or buy Kindle books in the iPhone version of Amazon.com, or using the Amazon iPhone app. Maybe that will change.

iPhoneKindle7.jpg

The Options Screen. Pretty basic, only real option is to deauthorize your iPhone from your Kindle account (important to remember, since you have a 5 device limit).

iPhoneKindle8.jpg

In conclusion? This is awesome, long awaited news, and I can’t wait to play with it some more. Am I going to read less on my Kindle and more on my iPhone? Maybe, maybe not. I’ll likely end up reading more in general, now that I can access my Kindle books (and my saved place!) on my iPhone, and I can’t wait.

One interesting thing this opens up: now, people can download this free iPhone app, and spend money buying Kindle books from Amazon, without ever buying an actual Kindle.

What you do think about this news? Do you have a Kindle and an iPhone? Or no Kindle at all, but willing to try Kindle books on your iPhone? Post a comment and let me know! :-)

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12 thoughts on “My Dreams Just Came True – Amazon Kindle App for iPhone

  1. I have been waiting for this for a while now. I personally found Stanza to be a surprisingly good ebook reader for the iphone. The problem was content, and a few small UI issues.

    I am installing this right now and hope they have fixed all the problems i have had with other ebook readers on the iphone

  2. I have no Kindle but I have an iPhone… not sure I’d want to read a complete book on an iPhone though, so for now I’m waiting for the Kindle price to come down to a more reasonable number.

  3. Great overview of the app, Josh. Boy, can you hear iPhone ebook reader developers crying?

    Free is a great price from Amazon, proving they really just want to get more Kindle books out there. And once people give it a shot and realize the iPhone isn’t as good to read on as the Kindle, Amazon might also sell more units. Win-win, where Amazon wins twice. :)

  4. I wish I could buy books from the app…other than that it’s a pretty cool app. I think it’s moving to the first page of the home screen on my iPhone :-).

  5. Giving it a try now.

    Quick Thoughts

    1. Having access to my kindle books is pretty awesome

    2. Looks like you are only able to dog ear pages. Not seeing any way to highlight or add notes

    3. Was able to get a sample of a book i was interested in very quickly. This might be the area where this app shines the most

    4. Does not appear to allow you to change font color, back ground color, ect. This is a serious issues as the black on white is pretty harsh on the eyes. Stanza and others allow you to change this and it makes the reading experience much nicer.

    5. You use a swiping motion to change pages. Fun, but the tap motion i use in Stanza i like better.

    6. Looks like everything has to come from the Amazon store. I do not see any way to load other documents on the device.

    My quick review is that this is nice, but honestly Amazon should have done much better. Stanza and eReader Pro give you a lot more options and honestly just have a better reading experience. I spent an hour on the MAX the other day reading from Stanza and found it to be almost as good as the Kindle (I do have young eyes so that might help out a lot).

    I just hope Amazon puts some time into this and makes it into a ebook reader that is as good as the competition on the iphone already. At this time it almost looks like something to help convince you to buy a Kindle.

  6. Jona Titus says:

    Josh,
    I am SO glad you found this. I’ve been thinking that something like this needed to come out and now it’s here. I have to say after reading your post I went and downloaded the app and have been playing with it tonight. Such a super cool app. Thanks for sharing this info.

  7. I think two things will make this THE indispensable e-book reader on the iphone/ipod:

    1. Book price. $9.99 maximum on most. ereader.com can’t say that as many of the books I’ve purchased there cost me more than that.

    2. Book library amazon has. The kindle library continues to grow and I’ve no doubt in time it will be monstrous.

    I think it’s pretty much good news for everyone. I don’t see any real downside here.

  8. Brian says:

    Ah, boo! Indeed, you don’t get an email address for sending docs the way you do with a Kindle.

    If I had one wish for this app, I’d love to be able to read in landscape mode. The iPhone is more comfortable to hold in this orientation, and I suspect there would be a lot less gratuitous whitespace on the screen.

  9. Brian says:

    Oh, for any who are curious – tapping the screen gets rid of the top and bottom borders seen in screenshot 5. You can indeed have nothing but the book text on screen.

  10. I think you win the fastest write-up reward. :) I tried the app out, but I think I’ll be sticking with Stanza for now. Having to swipe to turn pages makes my hand hurt quickly, and not being able to invert the screen (white text on black) is a deal killer.

    It’s too bad we’re still struggling with locked-down digital formats for books. I shouldn’t have to know whether the book I buy is compatible with my favorite reader.

  11. Pingback: iPhone Kindle : Mormon Metaphysics

  12. I tried to read a book from my iPhone but I had to quit this wild dream. The screen is too small (figure that!) and my eyes get tired very fast. Plus I had to scroll very often and it is a bit annoying. I heard about the Kindle, but I don’t think I’ll get one soon. I am also considering the option of writing to Santa about it…

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