HP TouchPad: Kindle app review

Despite being heavily advertised by HP, TouchPad owners discovered the Kindle app was not available at launch. It finally became available last night, and here is my review.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

HP has advertised the Kindle app for the TouchPad since early this year as a major draw for customers wanting to use the tablet to read ebooks. The Kindle app has been touted to turn the TouchPad into a Kindle substitute, as it does on other mobile platforms. When the TouchPad was originally launched new owners were quick to discover that even though device reviewers had access to the Kindle app, it had disappeared from the App Catalog for regular customers. Apparently the Kindle app was pulled due to last minute problems, but last night it was finally released for the masses.

I am a big reader of ebooks using the Kindle system on tablets, and I eagerly installed it on the TouchPad within minutes of availability. The program works as expected, and turns the TouchPad into a reader that rivals that on any platform.

Upon registering the TouchPad app with Amazon, my purchased bookshelf instantly appeared in the bookshelf view, with my entire library showing in cover view. All of the books had a white ribbon across the covers clearing showing them as Archived, indicating they were living in the Amazon cloud. Tapping a book cover immediately downloaded it with a progress bar showing the operation, after which the book moved to the top of the bookshelf.

Kindle on the TouchPad operates with WhisperSync which keeps both the library up-to-date along with the furthest position in the current book. Bookmarks are supported, and user controls for setting font size appear by tapping the displayed page. Tapping the page again makes the controls disappear, leaving only the page displayed for the best reading experience. The app supports both portrait and landscape orientations, with a two-page display in landscape. Turning pages is as easy as tapping on the right or left of the page.

The Kindle app for TouchPad is free and available in the App Catalog. It only works with TouchPads and Kindle accounts in the U. S. currently, with support for other countries coming according to HP. That is better than RIM PlayBook owners can claim, as the Kindle app is still not available for that tablet.


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