Amazon (s amzn) has released Kindle for Android, which provides access to the more than 620,000 titles in the Kindle bookstore. Like the Kindle software for other platforms, the Android version supports Amazon’s WhisperSync feature, which allows users to read on one device and later pick up where they left off on another. The application also adds local bookmarking, reading of notes, text sizes, background colors and brightness. Books cannot be purchased in the application, but tapping the Kindle Store option opens a web page to Amazon’s Kindle bookstore.
I’d call the Kindle for Android software welcome and usable, but not a fully featured solution. Although displays are typically small on Android phones, some folks will want the ability to highlight text or create in-book notations, and those features are missing. The ones that are present work well — I was reading a book at lunchtime on my iPad and when I synced up the Kindle for Android application on my Google Nexus One (s goog), the software correctly found my last read page from the iPad (s aapl).
And Amazon is well positioned to gain customers thanks to 160,000 new Android devices activated daily — I didn’t start purchasing Kindle content until the software was supported on multiple devices and with the addition of Kindle for Android, I see no reason for me to spend a dime in the iBooks store. By extending its “buy once, read anywhere” platform with support for Android, Amazon is increasing its chances of winning the e-book wars.
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