updated 07:55 am EDT, Mon March 22, 2010
Kindle iPad app gets edge over Amazon's device
Amazon today gave an early look at its Kindle App for Tablet Computers as an indicator of what to expect on the iPad. The new version is optimized for the larger screens and includes a more visual book browser as well as a more natural page view that, like on the iPad, curls the page in reaction to a reader's finger. Amazon's tablet edition actually provides more features than on the Kindle itself as it supports color photos that the Kindle hardware's e-reader can't display.
The app still supports the full Kindle Whispersync feature and will download all purchased content. Annotations, highlights and notes can be created and synced over, and bookmarks will remember the exact place even as the page count changes going from smaller devices like the iPhone or 6-inch Kindle. On at least the iPad, however, Apple's royalty rules for in-app purchases have led Amazon to use a web browser for purchasing rather than a customized app.
When the app will be available isn't known, but it's not expected to ship side-by-side with the iPad.
Creating the app is consistent with Amazon's approach of making the Kindle store available on as many devices as possible, including Macs, Windows PCs and the BlackBerry, but nonetheless represents an unusual step to cater to a device that most expect will be the Kindle's most direct competition. Amazon is currently believed to be waging a book rights war with Apple in a bid to prevent Apple from having a comparable library, but deals with at least five major publishers are poised to give the iPad and the iBookstore a largely similar catalog.