Kindle hits the iPhone

One of the iPhone updates I downloaded last night was the New York Times app. Trying to figure out how it was better than the previous version I was hit with the announcement that there is a Kindle app for the iPhone.

Here are some screenshots with commentary:

Kindle on the iPhone

The Kindle icon is nice. I put the app next to Stanza which is, by far, the best free book reader for the iPhone. Yeah, my battery is running out.

Startup screen

This screen is the same as the Kindle 2’s UPC symbol.


All my purchased books are synced and the covers are in color. Nice.

On the other hand, none of my sample chapters synced, none of my documents synced, and my magazine subscription The New Yorker didn’t sync. I was hoping to see the latest cover in color on the iPhone. 🙁

Where's the color?

Kindle app wirelessly synchronized my page position from my Kindle 2. Slick! You flick tap to change the page, tap hold to pull up the menu. They’ll probably have to change the navigation UI to be more in line with other iPhone readers.

For some reason the scroll is too slow for page flipping. You flick to fast you just get a white screen. You can change the font size but you cannot rotate the display.

Images on Kindle books are supposed to be color. Not for me! Maybe it depends on the book, but the print version of this book is clearly color, while the Kindle version is black and white. Also you can’t pinch zoom or tap zoom any of the images. So much for using the Kindle for my pr0n needs. Argh!

Go To…

There seems to be a bug where both “Beginning” and “Cover” jump to the cover. Beginning is supposed to jump to the first readable area.

Note that the app syncs my notes and marks from my Kindle 2.

The jump menu is the only thing clearly better on the iPhone. I can jump to the section with just a flick and tap. Those of you who take a lot of notes know how frustrating it is to navigate the Kindle 2’s eInk display.

BTW, there is no text-to-speech. This is disappointing. I know the iPod has spoken menus and there is a way sync high quality voices to it. I’d love for a high-quality voice like Alex read my books while I’m driving (and then sync my book position back to my Kindle 2.
[If I have time I’ll archive my notes later in this article]

3 thoughts on “Kindle hits the iPhone

  1. I tried to get TIME magazine last night. I was about to call customer support when I found this: : that “all Periodicals such as newspapers, magazines, and blogs, and personal documents cannot be viewed on Kindle for iPhone.”

    The Buy link clearly shows that it’s available for the iPhone… that’s why I got confused. Looks like the Amazon folks are also confused. 🙂

  2. Also, I use eReader for iPhone rather than Stanza. I have a much larger library at Fictionwise that’s why… (plus some of their “micropay” deals are hard to beat).

  3. @Joel Yes I mentioned the same with the New Yorker. My guess is that it is disabled for the release of the Kindle app and later version will re-enable it. I didn’t mention eReader (it used to be called peanut Reader right?) because I only read free books on the iPhone. Good point.

    I think future updates of the Kindle app will probably integrate the online store, etc. That’s my hope anyway. Still, I’m happy reading books on my Kindle 2.

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