Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amazon Releases iPhone Kindle Software

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the eyestrain-is-fun dept.

Cellphones 232

palmsolo writes "The Amazon Kindle 2 just started shipping last week, but Amazon surprised everyone late on March 3rd by placing the Amazon Kindle software for the iPhone in the Apple App Store. With the Whispersync technology you can now keep your Kindle and iPhone ebooks in sync and read everywhere you go. Readers on the iPhone also now get access to over 200,000 ebook titles on the Amazon Kindle storefront. Check out the hands-on image gallery and video of the Amazon Kindle software on the iPhone and Kindle 2."

cancel ×

232 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Just out of curiosity... (0, Troll)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065197)

How much does it cost to place these ads on /.?

Re:Just out of curiosity... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065391)

How much does it cost to place these ads on /.?

One sacrificial lamb ... I mean webserver?

Re:Just out of curiosity... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065689)

I am Dr. Adewole Areuma and am the managing director of the Union Bank of Slashdot. I would like to speak with you most urgently about the opportunity to advertise on Slashdot. You will gain revenues of up to $20,000,000 US dollars.

Re:Just out of curiosity... (4, Insightful)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065787)

Do you not think that this would be of interest to slashdot? Do you honestly think that this site, with millions of users, would have nobody submit this as a story, and that none of the editors would post it?

So what you're saying is that you think it's more likley that this is astroturfing, than just you know, the people who use this site happening to think this is cool news? I for one think it's neat.

Re:Just out of curiosity... (4, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066313)

No, what I was saying was: "How much does it cost to place these ads on /.?"

Re:Just out of curiosity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27066441)

It costs time. How much time depends on a number of factors such as competence of the submitter, attentions of the editor, vagaries of routing over the internet, and many other things too numerous to list.

Re:Just out of curiosity... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066503)

LOL

Just what the world needs... (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065209)

Thousands of iPhone zombies squinting into tiny little screens, walking into cars, telephone poles, other zombies.This world is getting out of hand.

Actually, I'm just jealous. I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type.

Re:Just what the world needs... (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065239)

Actually, I'm just jealous. I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type.

That's what pinch gestures are for...

Re:Just what the world needs... (2, Informative)

n9uxu8 (729360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065723)

No pinch gestures in the kindle app, I'm afraid...

Re:Just what the world needs... (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066261)

Be kindle in your pinches. Or just squint a bit.

Re:Just what the world needs... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065249)

If I were a MacFag,
I would dress up real nice.

I would have nice, shiny toys
And eat only brown rice.

I would pay six-hundred bucks
For a microscopic screen.

I would pay three-thousand more
For a Blue-and-steel theme.

I want to be like Steve Jobs
Svelte and thin as a wisp,

I want expensive black turtlenecks
And to speak and rhyme with lisp,

I want to "think different"
With generic Intel chips,

I want to make Ricky Martin's toes curl
sucking in my cheeks and lips,

I want to write "Hello, World"
In objective-C,

Even though nobody uses it
Nobody else but me,

People make fun of me
They try to bring me down,

But I'll keep sucking Steve Jobs' hole
'till they put him down...no...till my lips are brown? AH, crap.

Re:Just what the world needs... (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065279)

I was concerned about the print size too, but I looked at the screenshots included with the description of the software in the App Store and I have to admit it looks pretty readable. I might give this a shot.

Re:Just what the world needs... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065489)

"I was concerned about the print size too, but I looked at the screenshots included with the description of the software in the App Store and I have to admit it looks pretty readable."

That's not surprising if you've used a e-reader before on a portable device. Most have adjustable font sizes and autoscrolling, so even if you're only fitting a dozen 24 pt font words on a 2" screen you can adjust the scrolling to keep up with your reading speed.

I'd imagine the iPhone, with it's 3.5" screen, would actually be pretty good to read books on.

Re:Just what the world needs... (1)

fpophoto (1382097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065617)

I'd imagine the iPhone, with it's 3.5" screen, would actually be pretty good to read books on.

It's not bad. I read "Eastern Standard Tribes" during my christmas vacation on my ipod touch, and it was remarkably pleasant. The book wasn't bad, either.

iPhone Resolution (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065517)

The screen won't get larger, but most rumors say the next iPhone (much like the G2 launching in April) will feature an OLED screen with much higher resolution. It will use less battery, and be slimmer.

Re:iPhone Resolution (5, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065805)

The screen won't get larger, but most rumors say the next iPhone (much like the G2 launching in April) will feature an OLED screen with much higher resolution. It will use less battery, and be slimmer.

I hope so. Resolution is a big deal. I can easily read text without zooming in on most pages (for instance, this one) on my 640x480 htc diamond display. I tried an iphone briefly after I got the diamond and while it was very slick in a lot of ways, I couldn't handle the lower resolution for web browsing. I have only so-so vision and I imagined pixel density would make high resolution on these little screens pointless, but I was wrong. An iphone with at an 800x600 display would more than double my interest.

Re:Just what the world needs... (4, Interesting)

tobrien101 (786863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066117)

I am legally blind, so usually reading on my iPod Touch is out of the question. I just tested the Kindle app out with my wife's Kindle account. I can actually read the largest font settings with my reading glasses. I don't think I could read on the iPhone for a long time, but I certainly could do it for short periods of time. I have to hold the device up to my face, which is uncomfortable, but I have to do that with anything I read. The Touch is lighter than any of Neal Stephenson's books, even the paperbacks.

Re:Just what the world needs... (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065333)

Thousands of iPhone zombies squinting into tiny little screens, walking into cars...

Never mind them, some will be driving cars.

Re:Just what the world needs... (3, Funny)

bs7rphb (924322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065367)

+1 scary

Re:Just what the world needs... (5, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065901)

+1 Darwin

Re:Just what the world needs... (5, Funny)

BrettJB (64947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066069)

-1 Collateral Damage

I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type. (2, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065631)

Which is why the iPhone absolutely sucks as an ebook reader.

Re:I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065647)

...says the person who has never tried it.

Re:I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type. (1)

infosinger (769408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066611)

I have been using Stanza on the iPhone and I also have a Kindle. I agree that the iPhone is not a great reader but it is great for those random short (and sometimes not so short) waits and the doctor office, etc. I look at this app as sort of a satellite app for the Kindle.

Re:I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type. (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065657)

I use the Ereader.com ebook reader for the iPhone, and I have to say that the standard font size and type is barely any different from a standard book when held at the same distance. I have absolutely no trouble at all reading books on my iPhone, and its always with me anyway.

Re:I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065829)

Let's just forget for a second that you can fit all of a dozen words on the screen at one time.

*sigh*...your sig says it all.

Re:I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type. (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065917)

Having just counted a random page, my iPhone eReader app shows 115 words, in three paragraphs, using the Helvetica Medium font. Perfectly readable and enough on the screen so that you aren't disturbed by the frequency of turning pages.

But then I'm certain you have never actually tried reading an ebook on an iPhone, just trolling.

Re:Just what the world needs... (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065649)

I've done a very significant amount of reading on devices as small or smaller than the iPhone. Originally it was all Pocket PCs, and more recently my Blackberry Pearl and iPod Touch. I end up doing most reading on my Blackberry (recently Moby Dick, The Stand and the Lord of the Rings trilogy) simply because I've always got it with me, and it's convenient to pull it out and fill in little downtime here and there.

I've contemplated actual dedicated ebook reader hardware, like the Kindle, but most of my reading is done when I don't have anything better to do, regardless of where I'm at. The spontaneity of always having the ebook with me without having to consciously bring it along or keep track of extra hardware is what allows me to do much reading in the first place.

Re:Just what the world needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065661)

Actually, I'm just jealous. I couldn't possibly read that tiny little type.

Is there a jeweler's loupe app for the iPhone to help you out on that?

Re:Just what the world needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065883)

Thousands of iPhone zombies squinting into tiny little screens, walking into cars, telephone poles, other zombies. This world is getting out of hand.

Classical darwin. YOU THERE! OUT OF THE GENE POOL, NOW!

Re:Just what the world needs... (2, Funny)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066139)

It's just a very stylish and aesthetically pleasing form of population control.

Like a really glamorous Eugenics...

Re:Just what the world needs... (1)

memco (721915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066363)

It has resizable text; no squinting required.

It's About Time (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065211)

Amazon Releases iPhone Kindle Software

Finally I won't have to huddle around a pile of tinder in the forest, rubbing two iPhones together just to get a spark to light my campfire.

We lived like cavemen before iPhone software.

Re:It's About Time (5, Funny)

dosun88888 (265953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065761)

if you'd ever fallen asleep with a Mac on your lap you'd realize that Apple solved the kindling problem already.

Posted from a Macbook Pro on my boiling genitals.

Re:It's About Time (2, Funny)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065791)

Mod parent "-1 Too much information"

Re:It's About Time (2, Funny)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066255)

Don't they have Li-ion batteries? There are much easier ways to start a fire with them. Rubbing, sheesh. How quaint.

Re:It's About Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27066433)

Or you could just use the zippo app.

The article doesn't seem to answer a basic questio (5, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065251)

Do you need a Kindle to use this iphone app? The article only talks about the benefits of using the app with the kindle, but for all of those that don't have one, can we use the app and buy ebooks on the amazon store?

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065355)

No Kindle is needed. You can buy books using a web browser on your PC and have the books sent wirelessly to your iPhone/iPod touch.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (3, Interesting)

theredshoes (1308621) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065559)

I know most of the people here might not agree, but the new iPods are extremely cool and nice. :( Since you don't need the Kindle to use it, buying an iPod would probably be more in line with most people's budgets. And this would be great way to read on the subway or on a break with coffee, if your vision is decent.

I really like the Kindle too, but if you could have a small portable iPod for your books and music that is really great. For commuters this is a very nice piece of technology and software.

The iPhone is too expensive and not worth the money. The average person would probably buy the iPod because it costs so much less than the iPhone. With the Apple stores and going online and looking around there are always have deals or a refurbished one, you just have to watch for them every few months.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (2, Informative)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066399)

The iPhone is too expensive and not worth the money. The average person would probably buy the iPod because it costs so much less than the iPhone. With the Apple stores and going online and looking around there are always have deals or a refurbished one, you just have to watch for them every few months.

Last I checked, the iPod Touch was $30 more than the iPhone hardware for an 8GB ($229), and the same price ($299) for the 16GB). (I last checked 1 minute ago.)

Now, if you're talking data plans, sure, the iPhone ends up more expensive after just one month. But the price difference obviously depends on your current phone plan. I had unlimited Internet on my old Blackjack, and getting the iPhone 3G was only $15/month more for me--and I was told I would have to pay $15/month more for any phone I got, as I was on an older, cheaper data plan than they currently offered (woo, prices went up!).

YMMV.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066247)

Last I checked you weren't allowed the privilege of purchasing an amazon ebook without having a Kindle registered to your account.

And believe me I was interested in find out if it was possible, the kindle inferior. You need a book light for an ebook reader? Seriously?

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (3, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066437)

You need a book light for an ebook reader?

Its better than staring at a lightbulb for hours at a time.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (5, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066447)

Last I checked you weren't allowed the privilege of purchasing an amazon ebook without having a Kindle registered to your account.

Did you bother to look since this announcement? Web pages do change, or so I've heard.

You need a book light for an ebook reader? Seriously?

You need a book light because it's epaper. Just like regular paper, it doesn't emit any light of its own. The upside with this is that the display only draws power when you turn the page. I think that the convenience of having a device that you can use continuously for days without recharging kind of outweighs the inconvenience of having to provide your own light source.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (2, Informative)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065551)

No, you don't. I just downloaded it and tried out a sample chapter. I had previously used eReader from Fictionwise, but they were unable to get "The Amber Spyglass," even though they had the first two books of Pullman's Dark Materials series.

Amazon had the content, so I went and bought Amber Spyglass.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065745)

I think they focused on the benefit of using this app with the Kindle because... well, the first question that popped into my head was, "If I buy a book on my iPhone and then get a Kindle in a few months, will I be able to transfer my books over to the Kindle, or are they going to try to make me buy them all again?"

Once I had gotten past that thought, my next question might have been, "Well how hard will it be to transfer books from one to the other? Will Amazon provide a mechanism for that?" If I had gotten past those two, I'd like to think I'd be clever enough to ask at some point, "Can they provide any method for me to read on my one device and have my place synced over to the other so I can pick up right where I left off?"

It looks like Amazon may have covered their bases pretty well.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065773)

Disappointingly, it seems that it's only available in the US too. Very disappointing for us Brits.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066151)

Agreed. I was going to get this app until the Kindle made its way to the UK, but I can't even do that.

It's all about the book rights (2, Informative)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066259)

Most likely because they only have the book rights for all those books in the US. It would have been foolish to have paid extra money for worldwide rights (or even US+UK) when they were going to be testing the Kindle in the US first to see if it would flop or succeed. It may or not also be related to purchasing UK versions of books (because yeah, some books are localized even though it's kind of dumb) and purchasing a different title list based on popularity in the UK.

I would expect once they purchase book rights to your region, they'll turn on the iPhone app even before they get the Kindle out the door. Unless some exec gets nervous that somehow that will make the Kindle less likely to sell.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27066449)

And, ehhh, everyone else.

Possible desktop version of Kindle? (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065915)

It's great Amazon is opening up the market to iPhone and iPod Touch users. The other shoe will drop when they release a desktop version of the Kindle. The ebook wars will be on their way to over if that happens.

Re:The article doesn't seem to answer a basic ques (2, Informative)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066095)

No, the app works just fine if you don't own a Kindle.

Sitting ducks again (5, Interesting)

mastropiero (258677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065261)

Cue the author's guild bitching about how they lose money because now their ebooks can be read by two devices instead of just one in 3...2...1...

Re:Sitting ducks again (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065485)

The authors need to STFU immediately.

This is what the text-to-"speech" sounds like Keep in mind that this is bezos himself presenting the thing....its the best conditions possible for it to work correctly. [youtube.com]

Sound familiar? Yeah...that is because this is the voice used in airports across the land to say things like "Thomas Anderson. You have a message waiting. Please go to the paging station".

I cannot think of ANYBODY (that can otherwise read) that would ever want to listen to a book or newspaper read to them in that voice. The text-to-speech needs to be looked at as a tool for blind people to be able to have books read to them, not as an add-on feature that replaces audio books.

Text-to-speech will squash audio books (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065591)

I cannot think of ANYBODY (that can otherwise read) that would ever want to listen to a book or newspaper read to them in that voice. The text-to-speech needs to be looked at as a tool for blind people to be able to have books read to them, not as an add-on feature that replaces audio books.

While I agree that text-to-speech should not be a copyright issue, and that it currently sounds horrible, I think the quality issue will change.

If text-to-speech is even remotely popular, it will keep improving in quality. Eventually you won't know if you're listening to a recording or a rendering. And yes, the market for audio books will (mostly) dry up. (Some people will still want to hear authors read their own work, or hear celebrities read it.)

But hey, them's the breaks. You can't sue obsolescence.

Re:Text-to-speech will squash audio books (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065687)

I think the quality issue will change.

I don't know about this, at least not in the near future, and probably not on a device as weak (computationally) as the kindle.

There is a lot *more* to speech that the words, the sounds of the letters. Speech is music, words are like tabs.

Every tried to play a guitar song by looking at a tab and having never heard the song before? Or tried to sing karaoke? Its hard. Its almost impossible to get it right.
Computers are trying to do the same thing with text-to-speech. Text doesn't tell you what sort of inflection to use, what sort of cadence to use, says nothing of dynamic range. (can you see that I'm trying to draw a correlation between speech and music).

More analogies:
Text-To-Speech is a lot like trying to get a concert masterpiece from a midi file...except that even the midi file is telling you WHEN to play the notes. The text doesn't even do that.
A lof of the cues that we use to read speech naturally comes from our ability to "render" whatever scene we're reading from in our head, and use the cues from the scene to act out the part of whatever we're reading (be it the narrator, or a character, or a journalist in a magazine article).

Is it possible to replace human speech with a computer? Yes, most definitely. Is it practical to do it in something like the kindle with current technology?
No.

Re:Text-to-speech will squash audio books (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066207)

It could drastically be improved with a format for adding information of pacing, inflection etc. to ebooks. Old ebooks could be retrofitted with it, new books could come with it as standard. The books without the data would be read as they are now, the books with would be much better with very little additional computational overhead.

Re:Text-to-speech will squash audio books (4, Interesting)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066357)

Very true. With the top text to speech software available, plus additional annotations amnually added to the ebook, a very pleasent experience could be had.

Consider the addition of a pronunciation key for text-specific words that the automatic pronunciation deduction gets wrong, along with per sentence (or group of words) metadata to indicate things like tempo, word spacing, pitch, etc. Combine this with a sufficiently configurable TTS engine, and the result could be remarkable similar to an audiobook. Character dialog could be differentiated to the point of giving each character a unique voice, along with the appropriate variations in dialog as per context. An annoyed character may end up talking lower and deeper with a more monotonic quality to the voice, for example.

Perhaps that sounds like a lot of work. But with some software a person could define the narrator and character voices, along with names, and have the software run through thhe text, and attempt to attch the metadata to text with a variety of algorithms, which can be slightly agressive, since mistakes will be corrected. It should be reasonably possible for software to fairly accurately determine which character is speaking each line of dialog from the text, and mark those, and even look for adverbs on the associated sentence ("1.21 Gigawatts", he correctly quickly.) and attach modifieres to the dialog.

Then the person would just listen to the book, stopping it wherever there is a problem (mispronounced word, attributed dialog, etc.) and making corrections. I'd imagine the time for the read-through and corrections for many works would be not much more than 5-10 times the final length of the work. Initial setup, especially crafting character voices may add some significant time to the beginning though.

So it sounds feasible with today's technology to have a near audiobook quality TTS-based reading, although it make take a similar amount of time as recording an audiobook to construct each.

Of course, if Kindle had such features, the tts-related complaints would probably be valid.

But that is all a far cry from the TTS accurately inferring all of that from the text on the fly, which of course would be far more desirable.

Re:Text-to-speech will squash audio books (1)

Devir (671031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066297)

What the writer's guild don't understand is that Audio books are just too damn expensive. The Twilight set is offered for as much as $200. Other set's are around $100. so after buying book and audio set, you're deep in the hole.

It is their pricing model that is pushing them out of the business, not the fact there is a text to speech feature on kindle, PDF blah blah. waah.

Re:Sitting ducks again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065607)

At least until they can hire Morgan Freeman to be the voice, at that point, audio books are toast ;).

And the Kindle software platform era begins (5, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065293)

Amazon probably makes plenty of money off eBook sales. With tons of iPhone and iPod Touch users using Stanza and other eBook readers, it only makes sense to support this market. Now instead of having Amazon eBook sales tied to Kindle hardware, they can tie to iPhones and iPod Touches too.

While I don't think this will do anything to get iPhone/iPod Touch users to buy a Kindle, it will certainly quintuple their Kindle eBook sales.

Watch the Kindle software platform become available on other devices (Android, Windows Mobile) in the near future.

Re:And the Kindle software platform era begins (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065679)

the "other devices" is the first thing i thought of when i saw this.

I use a phone with Windows Mobile on it (the 8525) - i like the iPhone but without support for teathering (need it for work) it's a no go for me.

I already use my phone to read ebooks and if this software was avaliable for mobile 5 i would be downloading it instead of writing this response.

While honestly the page sync is nice it is a gimic really.. having the sync of the collection is very nice, I do have to wonder about adding books i already have to the collection and how that would work.

I can only hope that they will push forward and release a WM5/6 version and not neglect it (sorry even MS has neglected their ebook reader for WM5/6)

although one has to wonder what will happen to the service and your collection when amazon dies or drops the service.

Re:And the Kindle software platform era begins (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065769)

If it's got a good interface, I welcome it. If it will also read standard text files (txt, rtf especially) then I eagerly await it. I have a G1 and there's no decent book reader app yet. I have an n800 and the only decent book reader is ancient and the new versions aren't free any more.

I've considered writing my own, but man... I really hate Java. I even started coding and got about 30 minutes into it before I remembered why I hate Java: Arrays and files. (Especially Zip files.) They are every bit as hard to deal with as C makes it. WHY!? Ugh.

Re:And the Kindle software platform era begins (1)

infosinger (769408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066721)

It is still a "rev 1" app. It is missing functionality relating to subscriptions. I cannot download my Analog and Ellery Queen subscriptions--too bad. The short stories would be excellent for the iPhone.

Re:And the Kindle software platform era begins (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066221)

While I don't think this will do anything to get iPhone/iPod Touch users to buy a Kindle

I'm not so sure it won't. It may be that iPod/iPhone users will try this out, generally like the experience, but decide it's worth buying a Kindle for the improved reading experience of a larger e-ink screen.

Otherwise, I think you're right. This seems like a smart move for Amazon.

...and Stanza is better, mostly. (1)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066229)

I like Stanza better, actually. It's more pleasant to read with. In Stanza I can tap to turn the page, pinch-unpinch to alter the text size, and rotate to get a different aspect ratio. In the Kindle app, I have to swipe to turn the page, tapping just annoyingly brings up some controls I usually don't want, and rotation does nothing. I still haven't figured out if I can adjust the text size in Kindle. On the other hand, rotation not working means I can lay down on my side, turn the phone to align with my head, and read, which is harder with Stanza.

Kindle places a border around the text on the page, which is pleasant to look at, but means there's less text on each page so I have to change pages more often. Stanza uses the entire screen.

Also, if I buy an ebook from an online retailer for use in Stanza, I can back it up with my computer. Kindle books are delivered directly to the device, so I have to trust that Amazon will still be delivering my ebook to my devices in the future, and that I'll want to be doing my ebook reading on a device they support.

I don't think I'm going to be buying a lot of ebooks for Kindle as long as it has its DRM issues, unless they lower the prices a lot. The books I found on the kindle store that I would want were not significantly cheaper as ebooks than as paperback. If they want me to put up with DRM, I want to pay half the price of dead tree media, or less.

Re:And the Kindle software platform era begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27066573)

"Amazon probably makes plenty of money off eBook sales."

Probably. But it seems to me, the Kindles and this move smacks of the ipod lock in and arrogance. DRM'd hardware traded for convenience, but after awhile, it's a drag.

Strangely, newspapers might be the biggest beneficiary from the DRM'd stuff--temporary, disposable, cheaper than print.

Anyways, I just returned my Kindle 2 upon hearing this news. Nicely designed device physically, but that's about it. Reduced functionality, removal of features, limited storage and expansion...I had decided to plunk down $359 that I had otherwise saved for a backup emergency generator, and I had issues with the Kindle 2 from the get go (mine was new, if it was a well-handled display model), including Amazn's poor attitude with the TTS and guild give in plus completely arrogant customer service. This broke the back entirely.

I'm sure the people who bought the ipod touch and iphone over the Nokia offerings will jump on this, but my flirt with a DRM'd company was so crappy I'm not wading back. I've had used car salespeople treat me better after the sale than Amazon did.

Even if I'm not sure if I like DRM'd books, I know I don't need the Kindle 2 anymore for sure. After circa August 2008, Amazon is becoming the company they were 5 years ago after vastly improving the buying experience. Hell, even strongly disliked Microsoft has (seems) to have improved more than them.

Predicted (0)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065331)

It's almost like I predicted this.

http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1121425&cid=26786435 [slashdot.org]

Re:Predicted (1)

bs7rphb (924322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065405)

+1 unbearably smug

Re:Predicted (5, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065419)

"It's almost like I predicted this"

wait... you predicted that Amazon would someday support iPhones? You're amazing!

What's your next prediction?

mark me as flamebait/troll, i have karma to burn, but come on, that's a pretty dumb thing to say on /., that you predicted that Company XYZ would support iPhones someday.

Re:Predicted (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065471)

I just had this conversation yesterday with our CTO. He was talking about how people weren't taking the Kindle seriously, and I was saying the Kindle will always be a niche product, but the Kindle store would soon appear on the iPhone and then become this huge beast.

Even at free... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065371)

DRM = no sale

Re:Even at free... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065869)

no DRM = (no sale) x millions

Re:Even at free... (3, Insightful)

clifyt (11768) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066407)

"no DRM = (no sale) x millions"

No, no DRM means no sale to tens of ummmm....tens.

The anti-DRM lobby isn't as big as folks like to make it sound. Most pirates aren't going to buy regardless of the DRM status...those that make up the millions. The casual copyright infringers may be annoyed but buy the content begrudgingly.

Personally, I don't like DRM, but so long as there are easy ways around it, I'm not so worried. Every book I found for the Kindle was also easily available online through other sources. I prefer to use my books / music / otherwise how I feel fit, and I respect copyright, so I don't feel bad about finding ways around the DRM...but 99% of the time...I use the content exactly as the publisher expects me to. It is rare that DRM gets in the way of me doing something legitimate....and I'd safely say except for the outliers who choose to use obscure systems or for some religious purpose can't be associated with a product because it isn't F/OSS (then why are you buying copyrighted books!@!!!@!), it is generally a rare event for this to be a problem.

DRM is not going to put a dent in sales what so ever...personally, I wish the day would come that the GIB IT TO ME FREEEHEEE crowd either grow up or die, so that DRM could go away...ironic that the very people that are most vocally yelling against it is pretty much the reason it exists in the first place.

Also ipod touch (4, Insightful)

proxima (165692) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065393)

The summary doesn't make it clear, but the article mentions that it also works with the iPod touch. Considering the touch is smaller, lighter, and much cheaper than both the iPhone and the Kindle, this application might give a significant boost to readers looking for a (relatively) inexpensive reader.

Having read long books on old Palm PDAs, the size of the screen is only a minor annoyance. Those PDAs, though, were not backlit LCDs. Some people might find an iPod screen too fatiguing for long reading.

Compromise to DRM? (5, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065433)

If Amazon starts allowing its software to be used on _any_ platform, whether it be iPhone, Kindle, Laptop, Netbook, or 3rd Party eBook Reader, would that be an acceptable compromise to the fact that their e-books use DRM?

Valve's Steam has shown that people (even Geeks who notoriously hate DRM) are willing to compromise and use DRM if something of great enough value is offered with it (and possibly because of it).

Re:Compromise to DRM? (1)

bFusion (1433853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065605)

Oh no, you used Steam and DRM in the same sentence, here comes the stampede! *runs for cover*

Re:Compromise to DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065701)

Personally, no. But I've been bit by DRM on ebooks, and now avoid it like the plague. And since there are several good options for ebooks without DRM, I can stick to them quite easily...

Re:Compromise to DRM? (1)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065711)

Yes, especially if you could backup them up on a computer.

Re:Compromise to DRM? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066003)

Why bother backing them up to the computer? If they are DRM'd, you need Amazon's server to authenticate them. Since you can just re-download from Amazon anyhow, backing them up is pointless if you've no way to crack the DRM.

Re:Compromise to DRM? (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065747)

would that be an acceptable compromise to the fact that their e-books use DRM?

You must be new here.

Not outside USA? (2, Interesting)

the_g_cat (821331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065683)

It seems I can't get the software, because it's not available on the german store... Has anyone had any luck getting the software with a non US account?

Re:Not outside USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27065817)

Sorry, after World War II, we banned the sale of books to Germany.

Re:Not outside USA? (1)

andereandre (1362563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066219)

oh no, don't mention the war!

Tried it out (5, Informative)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065699)

Surprisingly it is quite readable even on the iPhone's small screen. You just swipe your finger across the screen to flip back/forth through the pages. There is options to change the font size, so really the only complaint you can have is how much/little text fits on the screen before you have to flip a page.

There are some free books on the Kindle Store (mostly classics like Treasure Island and some religious texts like the Bible), so there is no cost to try out the Kindle iPhone app.

Really cool how you buy via your web browser. Next time you open the Kindle app, it just automatically syncs what you have just purchased to the iPhone. Since it is just text, it takes just seconds to sync. Should not be painful to use even in poor signal locations and on EDGE. Plus you can download any purchase you make for free again in the future.

I don't know if if I would buy all of my books this way (I lately have been using the local library), but in a pinch (say on a trip) when I want a book to read and don't want to or can't stop by a bookstore or library, this could work very well.

Re:Tried it out (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065831)

I buy books from living authors I like, because I want them to keep writing. Dead authors? I use the library. I don't give a crap about supporting their whiny children's estate.

amazon makes money whatever reader you use (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065715)

Due to DRM of bookware.
They hope you have a better reading experience and spend more money if you use their reader.

Fonts (4, Interesting)

n9uxu8 (729360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065789)

Always make sure you preview a sample before buying though. The font choices for some of these are just inexplicably bad. Check out Zoe's Tale vs An Autumn War. The AWA font is terrible...

Now how about an app for the hx4700? (0, Troll)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27065861)

I have an iPAQ hx4700 that has a touchscreen bigger than the iPhone's, a 624MHz CPU, and both SD and CF slots; how about an "app" for that, hmmm, Amazon?

I'm frankly getting sick of these Apple "there's an app for that" ads, ads that once again twist reality to make it sound like the planets revolve around a big glowing apple rather than the sun. Pretty much every non-3G app that exists for the iPhone would be just as functional and applicable on an hx4700, but Apple doesn't want people to know that.

Re:Now how about an app for the hx4700? (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066083)

The trouble is, "pretty much every non-3G app that exists for the iPhone would be just as functional and applicable on an hx4700" if and only if they existed. Apps that don't exist are neither functional nor relevant, no matter how nice the platform they don't run on is or isn't.

Undeniably, there have been phones with superior specs (and rather more open OSes) floating around for years now. In spite of that, no Kindle support.

Re:Now how about an app for the hx4700? (2, Interesting)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066131)

Mod parent up.

Marketing, rather than quality engineered products is what people are raving over. They'll take something shiny over something good any day.

I love my PDA, a Garmin iQue M5. Its 420MHz, has SDIO (I have an SDIO wifi card for it), bluetooth, a solid construction, and the screeen is large, bright, and easy to read. It also has a GPS and performs turn by turn directions. And it was on the market years before Apple even dreamed of the iPod Touch.

iStrain? (2, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066159)

Give me a phone with e-ink display first.

And as usual US-only (4, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066239)

Not available in the Canadian app-store (or in Europe).

I really am saddened by this aspect of 'progress', you can order physical CDs, DVDs, kindles, anything from all over the world and nobody has an issue with that, but the second anything becomes distributed electronically boom, we're transported to this strange super-protectionistic world where things do not move freely anymore.

I fear for tomorrow's world, where instead of being exposed to music, shows, books, tv, from other countries you will just be able to read, listen and watch to things 'approved' by some company somewhere.

And let's not talk about people learning a foreign language: say you're studying German and you'd love to read some German books and watch some shows from Amazon.de, sorry, no way. Or maybe you live in Brazil and you'd like to improve your English by reading books, listening to music and watching shows over the internet, nossiree, not gonna happen.

It seems that modern technology is more and more used as a 'control' technology, vs an 'enabling' technology, which is quite sad as it just promotes an extremely insular world, instead of the free exchange of information.

I really hope that, as it happened to the music DRM, at some point the 'powers that be' will realize that this attitude is completely wrong, but given the latest salvo by the book authors about the kindle's text-to-speech functionality (which could've helped a lot of blind or non-native-English speakers) I am really not sure if it will ever happen.

Re:And as usual US-only (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066743)

I don't quiet understand the pessimism and your focus on limitations. Think about it this way - today several million people MORE than yesterday can read kindle books. Moreover, now there is at least a theoretical possibility to read Kindle books outside of US. Although I live in Germany and have a German iPhone i did my math and figured out that music (and other stuff) was cheaper on the American iTunes store than in was on the European (up to 40% last summer), so i registered an account on the American iTunes. I also have an American Amazon account, so as far as i understand now i can use the Kindle store as well. This is actually very good news. Surely there is space for improvement, and i would surely like to have the actual Kindle available in Germany, but this is already a progress.

Is this only in the US App Store? (1)

petegas (1327443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066487)

I'm curious if this is restricted to the US App Store, given the restrictions around the Kindle itself.

Now introducing: the iPhondle (4, Funny)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066543)

Why not? Most geeks will use it for their own pleasure.

Kindle on a Blackberry (3, Interesting)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27066617)

for those of us that have not fallen to the Apple Side (yet), any chance we'll get a blackberry app from Amazon soon? And for that matter, what about the Windows Mobile application? I would like to be able to read books on my BB, especially when on long flights.

anonymous coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27066633)

I just wish I could download kindle software to my tablet, and not have to buy proprietary reader. stupid DRM :P

Mobipocket for the iPhone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27066709)

Isn't the Kindle ebook format the same as the Mobipocket format (Amazon owns Mobipocket)? And aren't the same ebooks that are available through Amazon also available through Mobipocket.com? Mobipocket has had an ebook reader for almost every device out there for a long time. So isn't this just Amazon bringing the Mobipocket reader to one more device? I guess the advantage is that you can share books between the Kindle and the iPhone, but still, not very big news, IMO. It's not even the first ebook reader for the iPhone.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?