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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kindle on the IPhone

I have mentioned here several times that I was not willing to drag around yet another device and so was not interested in buying a Kindle. I have tried a number of book reading devices including several on the IPhone such as Textonphone, which I liked.

So I was interested in seeing how the IPhone book reader for Kindle books worked. I was all set to wait until I needed a new book but decided to go ahead anyway. It turns out you can test the basic idea at no cost at all. The application is free. The Amazon Kindle reader store has many free versions of books that are in the public domain.

For example, searching for 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' quickly gets you a version at no cost. The whole process of getting the application and order a book took a few minutes. There are also many versions of the same book for a few dollars. That does not help with newer books, but then not all books are on the Kindle store either. They say they have 240K books.

The application uses the full screen, which maximizes the text size. That works very well for me. Black on white, lots of contrast. Took it out in the sun and it was readable there. Other readers I had tested used only part of a page, which was annoying .... too much page turning. You advance the search by swiping the page like with their image interface. The sync to the phone is very fast, though it looks like you have to be online to advance.

I don't see a search, and that would be useful for technical books. Nor can I copy text and send it to someone. You are probably already used to that limitation on an Iphone! Overall good, simple and easy to use. I will try it next for a book with more detail and that contains images and even equations to see how that works.

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