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Summary:

It may not be ready in time for the launch of the iPad, but Amazon wants you to know that its Kindle app will be worth the wait. That’s why it’s created a special preview page of the upcoming software, dubbed “Kindle Apps for Tablet Computers” […]

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It may not be ready in time for the launch of the iPad, but Amazon wants you to know that its Kindle app will be worth the wait. That’s why it’s created a special preview page of the upcoming software, dubbed “Kindle Apps for Tablet Computers” with “Including the iPad” in much smaller font beside that primary title.

So its clear that while Amazon wants to capitalize on the iPad’s hype and pre-release popularity, it also doesn’t want to go as far as helping Apple convey the impression that it’s the only tablet game in town. To me, the “Including the iPad” sounds like a begrudging admission of the “I was wrong and you were right” variety.

Of course, it might just be that Amazon would like to appeal to the widest group of potential customers possible, while at the same time acknowledging that Apple is likely to win the brand recognition fight in that particular category. Whatever the marketing logic, the actual software Amazon is previewing looks to be pretty fantastic, especially for those (like me) who are already hardware Kindle owners.

First, the Kindle tablet app will offer Whispersync services, which means you can pick up where you last left off reading, no matter which device you happened to be using. I can’t count how many times I’ve used this between my Kindle 2 and my iPhone, so I can’t imagine it being any less useful with my iPad when it finally graces these Canadian shores.

The app will also synch your notes and highlights and bookmarks across all compatible devices, including the recently released Kindle for Mac software, which can read notes and bookmarks, but not make new ones of its own as of yet.

Visually, the Kindle app looks like what you’d expect. Page turn animations are included, or you can turn them off if you’re not so crazy about mimicking a paper reading experience on your digital devices, which I most definitely am not. You can also change font size and color, and background color in order to make the reading experience more comfortable.

Kindle for tablets also supports full color images and graphics, which is great news not only for fans of comics and graphic novels, which haven’t really been a great option on the Kindle thus far, but also for textbooks, recipe books, and some more adventurous fiction that uses in text images and font color changes as narrative devices.

Finally, you’ll be able to shop in the Kindle store via a built-in web view, so you can indulge all those buying impulses on the fly instead of having to wait till you have access to a full computer. All-in-all, it sounds like it’ll give my Kindle 2 a run for its money, even with potentially eye-straining backlighting.

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  1. adam jackson Monday, March 22, 2010

    What’s keeping Apple from simply denying Amazon and Barns & Noble access to the App store.

    Meaning, Apple has been rumored (confirmed?) to be removing iphone apps that are eBooks, won’t they just kill Kindle on the appstore once iBooks is released?

    1. And piss off tens of millions of iPhone/iPod Touch users? That’s a great solution! Everyone will understand and approve! Oh, wait…

      Since the iPad can run iPhone apps, and it’s clearly not viable for Apple to boot the iPhone versions of Amazon and B&N’s readers, there’s nothing that Apple can reasonably do to stop iPad users from getting that content. Ergo, it makes better business sense for Apple to embrace those readers as a selling point for those who are on the fence about buying a dedicated e-reader (more options than either the Kindle or Nook!) or already have one (you can use all your paid content!).

  2. Ironically, this is probably all it takes for me to probably stop carrying around my Kindle. I may still use it at home, but the iPad will probably be my goto ‘on the road’ device. I’m glad to see Amazon adopting other platforms and being willing to work with the product that [will/may] replace them.

  3. Jason Morrison Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    I wish there was more information about iBooks. So far, all I can see is that it reads epub format books downloaded from the new iTunes like bookstore.

    What about other DRM free formats? What about PDFs? Are we going to need a different app for every single book format?

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