Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kindle for iPad ready + Early iPad reviews - Update

Amazon proved Peter Kafka wrong and delivered the Kindle for iPad app on the day the iPad goes live. Joe Wikert and Len Edgerly have both tweeted that their local stores have plenty in stock -- Joe's shop well-stocked with 400 of them. Mr. Gadget, Len Edgerly was in line before 5am to get his :-)
He later reported that there were a handful of people waiting in line.

I didn't do a blog entry on the iPad News-Gang of 4 who received the iPad a week ahead of time for early review, which allowed Apple to get their most trusted columnists' thoughts out early and spread by thousands of newspaper reports quoting usually their most positive thoughts in the headlines (especially true for the chosen quotes from the New York Times piece by David Pogue, whose report was a true pro/con look - see below.  Pogue has an entertainingly quirky sense of humor while getting to the heart of the gadgets he reviews.).

Gotta hand it to Apple's PR team on how they chose to start the word of mouth though.
  The most amazingly balanced report did come from Pogue, who reviewed it from the opposing perspectives of a person with 'techie' expectations as well as from one with a more 'common man' perspective.  So you get two angles on this from him and he's always straightforward -- he loves it, mostly, while definitely not impressed by it for book-reading or for typing, finding the screen keyboard a 'horrible experience.'

 I'll do a separate iPad-reaction report this weekend.

  Most of them did make clear that getting the wireless book-download-anywhere function which the "boring" and monochromatic Kindle made popular is not possible with the iPad unless you opt for the later model coming on April 24 -- the $629 minimum model (+ $29 for the adapter kit that provides a USB connector + fees for web-data acccess).

I was surprised that although all found it a bit heavy after awhile for book reading, while very dazzled by it for web-surfing (despite blank rectangles on many websites due to lack of Flash support), the book-reader part does not have annotation capabilities yet - you can't write notes to the book you're reading.

That will be a bit odd for students getting these, but one obviously-monied school is giving both new MacBooks and iPads to all students.  And the gist of the reports by The Four is that it's a great device (both beautiful and fast) for consuming data but not so much for creating it.  Most of the four wondered if people will have a good fix on what this new device will do for them while two were imagining it could kill laptops (which, in the present state of the iPad, is ridiculous with so much that is missing on this iPad Edition 1).

But it looks to be a beautiful leisure-type device for quick surfing and short emails. More later. Back to the Kindle App for the iPad.

NOTE that Amazon states "This initial Kindle for iPad release has been tested on the official iPad simulator provided by Apple."
  So, the app hasn't been tested on an actual working iPad yet.

From the press release last night, which mentions in each of the first few paragraphs! the 450,000 books available in the store, probably to point out the iBookstore currently has 60,000 - a figure that's said to includethe 30,000 Project Gutenberg books that are directly downloadable (no cost) to the Kindle but are not counted by Amazon as Kindle users gets those direct from Project Gutenberg.
'...The applets users select from over 450,000 books from the Kindle Store on iPad and features Amazon Whispersync technology that saves and synchronizes customers' last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across their Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, iPad, and more.

The Kindle Store is the only place to find tens of thousands of books added to the Kindle Store by authors and publishers using Kindle's self-service platform. Customers can search for a specific book or browse by genre or author, and can take advantage of all the features that customers enjoy in the Kindle Store, including customer reviews, personalized recommendations and editorial reviews.

Features of the Kindle App for iPad include:

* Automatically Syncs with Kindle and Kindle Compatible Devices: Amazon's Whispersync technology automatically syncs customers' last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across Kindle, Kindle DX, Kindle for iPhone, Kindle for Mac, Kindle for iPad, and more. Customers can read on their Kindle, read some on their iPad or Mac, and always pick up where they left off.

* Beautiful User Interface: The Kindle App user interface is tailored to the large size, look, and feel of iPad. The new user interface with bold colors, animation, and seamless user experience make Kindle on iPad a unique reading experience.

[ That's an interesting paragraph, no? ]

* Customizable Appearance: Customers can choose to dim iPad's screen within the app to make reading easier regardless of the ambient light or time of day. Readers can also choose from three different background colors and alter the font color and size to customize the reading experience and help ease the strain on their eyes.

* Page Turn Animation: Kindle App for iPad offers an interactive experience with page turn animation designed to replicate the look of a page turning in a book. Customers who prefer a simpler, unadorned reading experience can choose the "Basic Reading Mode" option and turn off animation.

The Kindle App for iPad is available for free from the App Store on iPad or at '

At the Kindle for iPad page, Amazon has added:
    ' Coming soon: Search and instant dictionary lookup '

I certainly hope those long-awaited features are on the Kindle for PC and Mac apps at the same time or before !

See the ongoing Guide to finding Free or Low-Cost Kindle books and Sources
Also, a page of links that confine searches to mid-range priced e-books. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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