Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

Summary: The Android Kindle App is one step closer to making the full-blown Kindle irrelevant. You don't even need to buy a Kindle to purchase and manage books from Amazon on your Android device.

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TOPICS: Android, Google
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For quite a while, I've been leaving my Kindle behind and taking my iPod Touch when I wanted to read. The Kindle iPod/iPhone App is quite mature, works seamlessly, and the iPod fits in my pocket a lot better than a Kindle. Of course, I'm an Android sort of guy and it offends my sensibilities to carry around my HTC Incredible and an iPod Touch. Guess what? Now I don't have to. And neither do you.

Amazon announced their Kindle App for Android this morning and, although ZDNet's Matthew Miller sees it as one more reason to love his Nexus One, I see this as taking us one step closer to converged device Nirvana and the end of the e-book reader as we know it. The iPhone Kindle app was the first nail in Kindle's coffin. The iPad was the second. An app now for the #2 mobile phone platform in the US? Nail #3.

I don't know how many nails the average coffin requires, but I do know that I have no desire to carry around an e-book reader that doesn't do much of anything else well and a phone (that does almost everything well, including, with this announcement, read Kindle e-books), and often a laptop (that I can also use to access my Kindle books if I'd like). I know that not everyone favors reading on an LCD, no matter how brilliant or large, and even I will admit that e-ink is very easy on the eyes. However, given the easy adjustment of font size and the fact that I (like many of my peers and most of the students I support) and basically attached to my phone most of the day anyway, I can live with the compromise. Now I can leave the iPod at home, too.

As Esther Shein reports over at InformationWeek,

The Kindle for Android requires Android OS 1.6 or greater, an SD card. It is also available on several other Android phones including the HTC MyTouch and Motorola CLIQ. Kindle newspapers, magazines and blogs are currently not available on Kindle for Android.

The latter is also true of the iPhone Kindle App and is certainly a compromise I can live with, given that my RSS reader and a couple of great browsers get me the rest of the content I might need on my phone. Better yet, users of the App don't need to have a Kindle, although the App will sync the last page read on your Kindle if you have one for convenience. Just download the App and start buying books, Kindle or no Kindle.

It's all about convergence. One device to rule them all. Speaking of which, I wonder how much the Lord of the Rings is on Amazon? Time to go download it and find out...It wouldn't be summer without a good re-read of the trilogy.

Topics: Android, Google

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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28 comments
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  • Kindle

    Count me as one who can't stand reading books or long articles on a LCD screens. The Kindle screen is so easy on the eyes. Until the iPad can turn off the LCD screen and turn on eInk, the Kindle will never die.
    rybarker
    • You're right! :D

      @rybarker Reading for long periods on an LCD screen is just not what the eyes were meant to do. Plus the fact that Chris misses the the whole point of Amazon selling the Kindle in the first place.

      Like Sony & Microsoft selling the PS3 & Xbox 360, they don't make much money on selling the device. They make their money on eBooks. With Amazon's eBook license, you own the book. If you want to resell your books you can. Give them as unencumbered gifts... you can! ....if you somehow lose the ebook or your Kindle or PC breaks, you still have it in your Amazon Library for instant re-download always. Until or if you sell it of course, in Amazon's Marketplace..... only if you want. Amazon's happy, because they make the re-sales fees!

      Apple? forget about it. That's how they negotiated cheaper licenses with publishers. YOU don't own anything.... YOU ARE RENTING, while Apple is laughing all the way to the bank at another HOODWINKED SUCKER!

      On Apple you are renting the book. It's just a license to use it only. Like still many iTunes songs, movies, etc. Apple is only selling a limited use rental on iTunes. If you want to sell your iBook or movie, or even transfer it onto your PC or competing ebook reader, you can't w/o LIMITS!

      Kindle makes a book readable anywhere with eInk screen! ..... even your closet or bright sun. PDF? haha.... READING isn't the best think to be doing on a PC or Mac's LCD Screen anyway..... let alone a little one. On eInk...... it's like reading on paper and imagine the smell of the trees you are saving. If that's what you're missing go outside and read your Kindle eBook under a tree that's still alive! :D
      i2fun
      • Get a clue...

        @i2fun@... on an iPad, you're only "renting" the app, not the eBook. Get it?

        The app is only an access point to get at your amazon.com eBook. Should you lose your app or iPad or Apple whatever, you still own the eBook that you bought from Amazon.

        Wow, the disingenuous information here, reeks...
        ubiquitous one
      • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

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        3shao
    • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

      @rybarker agreed! These apocalyptic stories for the Kindle are really starting to piss me off. LCD screens have been around for decades, suddenly the Kindle comes out, sells pretty darn well for a one trick pony, and everyone starts seeing 'kindle killer' in every new device. More over, this has to do with eInk in general. How stupid can people be to think that eInk is a stagnant technology, and the current Kindle is the last revision. It may be... there are plenty of alternatives. But no, it will take another eInk device to kill the Kindle.

      Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid comparisons. Nobody said the Kindle was for YOU. eInk eReaders are selling fantastically. You would impress me much more if you gave strong arguments for your projections.
      shadfurman
      • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

        I happen to think more choice is better.<br><br>For those who want to stick with the Kindle, then by all means, stick with it. For those who want to read eBooks on their iPad, then that too is <b>another</b> choice.<br><br>I don't think that there's an either/or when it comes to this issue. You're whining about nothing.
        ubiquitous one
  • See, I can't stand the licensing issues with ebooks and the like

    I love digital media, I'm a tree hugger, you see. My issue is the licensing. I don't use ebooks, so I don't know if it works the same, but I put a lot of media in pdf form, and getting magazines in licensed pdf form is horrible. They only work in one place! I suppose that all of your info is on amazon's servers, so you can re-download the ebook however you like, but there is nothing like that new book smell :)
    KBot
    • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

      @KyleDDM ...

      You don't sound like much of a tree-hugger to me. But, if you had a Kindle you could put all of the material you want in DRM-free PDF files and access them most anywhere.

      New books may smell nice but not as nice as that OLD tree!
      M Wagner
      • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

        @mwagner@... the point wasn't really the smell of the trees or books but the stench of DRM. Nearly all the legally sold books available from the Amazon store and elsewhere are restricted by DRM. You never really own the books you buy, as some hapless souls discovered last summer (google for amazon recall 1984). I have a huge library of old-style books and am looking forward to building a digital library - but that won't happen until publishers smarten up!
        overnout
    • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

      @KyleDDM Reading for long periods on an LCD screen is just not what the eyes were meant to do. Plus the fact that Chris misses the the whole point of Amazon selling the Kindle in the first place.<br><br>Like Sony & Microsoft selling the PS3 & Xbox 360, they don't make much money on selling the device. They make their money on eBooks. With Amazon's eBook license, you own the book. If you want to resell your books you can. Give them as unencumbered gifts... you can! ....if you somehow lose the ebook or your Kindle or PC breaks, you still have it in your Amazon Library for instant re-download always. Until or if you sell it of course, in Amazon's Marketplace..... only if you want. Amazon's happy, because they make the re-sales fees!<br><br>Apple? forget about it. That's how they negotiated cheaper licenses with publishers. YOU don't own anything.... YOU ARE RENTING, while Apple is laughing all the way to the bank at another HOODWINKED SUCKER! <br><br>On Apple you are renting the book. It's just a license to use it only. Like still many iTunes songs, movies, etc. Apple is only selling a limited use rental on iTunes. If you want to sell your iBook or movie, or even transfer it onto your PC or competing ebook reader, you can't w/o LIMITS!<br><br>Kindle makes a book readable anywhere with eInk screen! ..... even your closet or bright sun. PDF? haha.... READING isn't the best think to be doing on a PC or Mac's LCD Screen anyway..... let alone a little one. On eInk...... it's like reading on paper and imagine the smell of the trees you are saving. If that's what you're missing go outside and read your Kindle eBook under a tree that's still alive! <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/grin.gif" alt="grin">
      i2fun
      • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

        @i2fun@... Reposting this does not make it any more true ya know... And BTW as Windoze_washer pointed out in your last copy of this same exact post with the iPod/ iPhone/ iPad Amazon app you really do own the book. Chill with the FUD.
        athynz
      • @athynz Blame ZDNet's Latest Greatest NEW Unimproved Page Layout!

        @athynz@... First off, the reason it got reposted was in an attempt to edit the first post that was refused. Normally I can also then delete everything in a repost and just leave NT in content. But..., it refused that as well!

        Next..... are you telling us that you think you own a movie you buy on iTunes? Like in you can re-sell it like I do my DVD movies? Are you telling me that every single iTunes download is now DRM free? That would be a flat out lie. You still can only play some music and all video on a limited number of devices and you can't back up Digital Content, like you can a DVD or CD in an unlimited way.

        It works the same way with buying games on Sony's PS3 or MS's Xbox360. You have limited times the file can be downloaded and you can't back them up at all!

        Amazon sells you a book, and because it's in your account, you can resale it in Amazon Marketplace (so why buy books from iBookstore). But those are the only eBooks you can resell there. Apple has no way of re-selling it's own iBooks, that you supposedly purchase (own) and can only share under limited conditions using iTunes only! ....like I said, most files you don't own.

        Because you are forced to obtain them only using iTunes (ibooks with adobe epub DRM & only on iPad) and FairPlay through iTunes. It will not let you share libraries or individual files accept to approved devices a limited number of times. You can rip CD's, but not plain DVD's in iTunes. So even movies you actually own on DVD can't be shared, backed up or copied in any way. Except with 3rd party software that can remove iTunes DRM or never put it in the conversion from analog to digital in the first place!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITunes

        What? iBookstore is only available to iPad owners! How stupid is that? ....it's a limited market only available to iPads. While I can buy books from any store in the World for every other reader. With that..... who in the hell needs iBookstore anyway. Apple is the King of lame moves this year by limiting their own sales of books to one device. Why in the World if would I buy an iBook via iTunes on iPad, if I can buy a book on Amazon and read it anywhere on any device and then sell if I want? When my iBook is locked to an iPad!

        http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8

        Oh..... that's right, Apple product users do tend to be on the stupid side of the controlled and manipulated intelligence quotient with iLameBrains!
        i2fun
  • My Kindle DX and my HTC Incredible are my 2 favorite devices

    but the Incredible is never going to replace my Kindle.

    I don't surf the web on my Kindle and I don't want to read books on the Incredible. The Kindle has a large screen, eInk, a 10 day battery and eInk.

    I need to save the battery on my phone for phone calls and web surfing. (Did I mention eInk? Try reading a book on the Incredible while outdoors.)
    fritzson
  • Kindle will make more money as a software app

    Amazon never really stood a chance designing its own hardware. It will do much better distributing the Kindle app to other platforms, and raking in the license fees.
    Vbitrate
    • Amazon caters to a different (non-GEEK) audience ...

      @Market Analyst ... with the Kindle than it does the free Kindle software. When the Kindle came out, I finally had an reason to get rid of my Palm. I put the Kindle software on my BlackBerry and on my Laptop but I actually READ in my Kindle.
      M Wagner
  • Hardware solution is still the best

    The Kindle is light enough to replace a book or magazine, while retaining the screen real estate to make that realistic.<br><br>So far the tablets are heavy - and the phones, with small screens.<br><br>Of those who buy 1 book or more per week, and usually that means they are the type to read for 2 hours or more at a time...their opinions tend to vary from the casual readera.k.a. non-book buyers. br><br>The Kindle always targetted book buyers, and that is important, non-book buyers don't really count. Sorry but you don't, not in the marketplace for books, anyway.
    rdupuy11
    • Only Solution for growing market segment

      Like dear Mom's reading group of about 20 oldsters - voracious readers.

      A market that gets overlooked, yet is starting to make markets move. And they've got the numbers and the $$$ to make their voices heard. Yeah - they've all got phones, but that's their single purpose.

      Maybe the V5.0 of something like the iPad will change that dynamic, but nothing seems a real evident leader yet.
      nottheusual1
  • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

    I read the title, then the first few lines and realized the title is misleading. If kindle is expanding by selling apps, then it is expanding, not dying.
    prof.ebral
  • RE: Another nail in Kindle's coffin: Android Kindle App

    No matter what happens to the Kindle the big picture is that this is good for Amazon. More Kindle Store Accounts on any device = more Amazon accounts and thus more Amazon shoppers in general.
    bdineen
  • Read books on your phone?

    good for you
    not for me
    cwallen198031