Amazon launches Kindle for iPhone

March 5, 2009 | 16:12

Tags: #app-store #ebook #ebook-reader #electronic-book #iphone #ipod-touch #kindle #kindle-2

Companies: #amazon #apple

If you've been interested in owning one of Amazon's Kindle ebook readers, but don't fancy the high cost of ownership – or simply live outside North America – there is hope: the company has released a package for the iPhone that reads Kindle-format books.

As revealed on Electronista early yesterday morning, the software – which has been uploaded to the App Store as a completely free package – is fully compatible with the DRM-enabled ebooks purchased via the Amazon site. Purchases can be made on a Kindle and transferred to the iPhone, on the iPhone and transferred to the Kindle, or on a PC (or Mac) and transferred to either.

While most people who will be interested in this software probably don't have a Kindle – otherwise why not use that to read the ebooks – there are some interesting features should you have been lucky enough to be the recipient of both a Kindle and an iPhone or iPod Touch. Most impressively is the resume functionality: because the Kindle supports a neat inter-device synchronisation system known as Whispersync, it's possible to stop reading a book on the Kindle and have the iPhone copy resume from the last page – and vice-versa.

According to a review of the software over on ExtremeTech, the software supports annotations and highlights that have been created on a Kindle – but, strangely, doesn't allow new notes to be created directly on the iPhone.

Most features you would expect from ebook software are present and correct, including adjustable font sizes – handy, as the iPhone screen is significantly smaller than either the Kindle or Kindle 2 – and full bookmark support. The software even has the ability to browse Amazon's ebook store directly from the iPhone, should you feel the urgent need to make a purchase while out and about – although this is, sadly, just a link to the mobile version of Amazon's website rather than an specialist application as seen on the Kindle.

If you're an iPhone or iPod touch owner, the 2.9MB application is available in the App Store now.

Will this little package keep you going until the Kindle sees a UK release, or do you prefer something a little more open? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

UPDATE: As has been pointed out in the comments, like the Kindle hardware, the Kindle iPhone app is not available outside of the US.
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