updated 06:05 pm EDT, Fri October 22, 2010
Amazon Kindle devices get lending, iPad magazines
Amazon today sent word that it would add a Nook-style lending system to Kindle readers and apps. The licensing would give the same option to lend each book once for up to 14 days to someone else's account. Copy protection would prevent the original reader from seeing the text until the new reader is finished or the time runs out.
As with Barnes & Noble's implementation, not every book will allow the feature. Publishers will have the final say over whether or not lending is an option.
All devices should be getting support for magazines and newspapers, Amazon said. Normally only available on the Kindle hardware, subscriptions should now make their way other platforms with downloads once the apps have a connection. The initial expansion will focus on Apple devices first and should reach the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch in "coming weeks." Android, other mobile platforms and desktop apps will get it later.
Lending has been one of the Nook's defining traits and helps level the playing field for Amazon, which has otherwise sat well ahead in market share for US e-reading. Periodical support is still rare across the board but may be a hedge against a future iPad newsstand that would also take publications but could have added privileges, such as automatic background downloads.