How does the Kindle iPhone app work?

When Amazon announced they were coming out with an iPhone application for their much heralded Kindle I have to admit that I yawned. Who in the hell wants to read a book on a device as small as an iPhone. Well, in the words of the immortal Steve Martin excuuuuuuuusssse me! This iPhone app is very clever.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way right away. Visually, it is very easy to read. I was amazed. You can elect to change the font size just like on a real Kindle but I was amazed how readable a large amount of content was on the iPhone screen.Screen shot 2009-11-16 at 1.33.36 PM

The navigation is easy using your finger to leaf through the pages and you can read in either the landscape or portrait mode. One of the very nice features is that this iPhone app automatically syncs with your Kindle so that you can read some book on both devices at the same time and it goes to the page you’ve last read on either device. I found that pretty neat when I was reading “The Lost Symbol” recently and was at a car wash without my Kindle. I simply whipped out my iPhone and kept reading while I waited for them to finish my car. When I started back up on my Kindle it took me right to where I had left off while reading at the car wash. Slick.

One negative. I get a lot of periodicals on my Kindle and this reader doesn’t support them. It is tricky enough get around the Wall Street Journal on my Kindle so I’m not surprised this was left off.

All in all I am very pleased with this iPhone app. If you can’t justify spending the money on a full sized Kindle this is a good budget priced way to try out the electronic reading you are hearing about. It’s not as good as a real book but it sure is convenient.

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