iPhone Kindle reader gets audio and video playback

Are the features on the new iPhone app a sign of things to come on the actual hardware-based Kindle?

Amazon has sent word that it has released an update for its Kindle app for iPad and iPhone that brings functionality to the app that its own Kindle reader does not currently offer. According to the company, using the app, users can enjoy embedded video and audio clips inside newly released, enhanced Kindle eBooks.

There are a bunch of titles already available to take advantage of these new features and Amazon has a new area on its site setup for it at Amazon.com/kindleaudiovideo.

I have to wonder if this is a teaser to functionality soon to come to the actual Kindle. After all, the Kindle can already play back MP3s, so what's stopping Amazon from integrating the audio playback, at the very least?

This also reminds me of the Kindle Development Kit (KDK) that's apparently still moving forward. Perhaps we'll see some of the fruits of that initiative soon, too?

It's very interesting to see that Amazon is offering a better experience on non-Kindle devices now. I guess the company is feeling the pressure from all sides and figures it should enhance its offering in every place it can. It's also easier to enhance software then it is to release a new firmware update for the Kindle, I'm sure.

I do like the idea of audio and video playback inside of a book and can see Amazon refining the eBook experience. That said, there are already interactive eBooks available on the App Store, so it will be interesting to see if Amazon can now start taking a share of that pie.

UPDATE: Kindle for Android has just been released. As of this writing it does NOT feature the new audio and video playback features, though.

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