CNET First Look
Kindle for iPhoneIf you don't feel like spending over $300 on the Kindle 2, Amazon's free Kindle e-book application for the iPhone and iPod Touch may be a much more affordable, if imperfect, solution.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Not willing to fork out over $300 for the Kindle? If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you're in luck because Amazon has just released its own Kindle e-book creator for the iPhone. I'm Nicole Lee, Associate Editor for CNET.com and this is a First Look at the Kindle application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. After you download the Kindle application on to your iPhone or iPod Touch, start it up and you'd be prompted for your Amazon login information. After you enter that you'd be presented with the home screen. The home screen lists all of your purchased items from the Amazon Kindle store. If you already have a Kindle, like I do, you will see an archived items folder with all of your previous Kindle purchases already in it ready for you to download especially for those who have both the Kindle and an iPhone, the Kindle application uses a technology called Whisper Sync, which will communicate with Amazon's servers to let you keep track of where you are in a book, so you can pick up where you left off in either the Kindle or the iPhone. It won't syncs samples, only the books you've purchased. Also, the Kindle application for the iPhone only works for books and not periodicals, so you won't get your New York Times on you, you won't get any of the magazine subscriptions on you, that will only work for the actual Kindle device. Also, the Kindle 2 has text-to-speech, but the iPhone app doesn't. As far the reading interface on the Kindle application you can do pretty much the same things you can do on the Kindle. You can bookmark the pages, change the font size, access the table of contents and so forth. Turning the page of a book on the iPhone is as easy as swiping on the iPhone's Touch screen. And bookmarking the pages on the iPhone is a little bit zippier because you don't have to access a drop down menu like you would have to do on the Kindle. How do you purchase books for the Kindle via the iPhone? Well, you can't do it within the Kindle application, instead you have to go to a web browser like Safari on the iPhone or the Amazon application for the iPhone. Entering your login information all over again, so it's a very tedious process. It was definitely a lot easier to buy books on the Kindle device itself. As you remember free samples cannot be synched between the iPhone and the Kindle. If you want to download a free sample directly to the iPhone make sure to select your iPhone's name in the drop down menu under the send sample now button. The big question of course is how is the reading experience on the Kindle application? If you have tried other e-book iPhone apps like the e-Reader or the Stanza the experience is about the same. Reading on the iPhone is okay for short terms of time due to the small screen size and the small size of the device itself. But if you are used to reading e-books on small hand-helds like this, then it's okay. For me I would prefer using the Kindle due to the larger screen size and the e-Ink screen creates the illusion of reading a real book. There is one huge potential of the iPhone app has over the Kindle however. Because the Kindle only shows black and white, the iPhone app has more advantage in terms of showing color in terms of comic books, graphic novels and illustrations. So, if you try to choose between the Kindle hardware and the iPhone version which shall you pick? It depends. If you don't read that much or if you plan on using the e-book reader as merely a compliment to your reading, the iPhone Kindle application is probably more than enough for you. But if you want something that will not only compliment, but replace a lot of your reading material, if you want newspapers and magazines on this, the Kindle is a much better bet. The Kindle for iPhone app is free from the iTunes' app store. I'm Nicole Lee and this has been a First Look at the Kindle App for the iPhone. ^M00:03:37 [ Music ]