Amazon Adds Video, Audio to Kindle Apple Apps
Amazon.com added embedded auto and video clips to its Kindle e-reader applications for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Amazon continues to aggressively back the Kindle e-reader device, which displays text on a grayscale e-ink screen, but a robust Apple app would conceivably allow the online retailer to carve off a certain percentage of readers who opt instead to purchase an iPad. Multimedia-enhanced e-reader applications will allow readers to listen to narration during a tour, for example, or watch a demonstration video for a cookbook or home-repair volume.Amazon.com has added embedded audio and video clips to its Kindle e-reader applications for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch-a feature seemingly designed to leapfrog not only Apple's own e-reader, but also those of competitors such as Barnes & Noble's Nook. The new Amazon feature bakes more multimedia into e-books; readers can now listen to a travel author's narration during a city tour, for example, or view a demonstration video inside a how-to text. "Readers will already find some Kindle Editions with audio/video clips in the Kindle Store today," Dorothy Nicholls, director of Amazon Kindle, wrote in a June 27 statement. "This is just the beginning-we look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps." Amazon's Kindle Website; some media-enhanced books, the company cautions, will need to be downloaded using WiFi, apparently due to large file size.
The Kindle's newest feature seems expressly targeted at Apple's own iBooks application, which itself was touted as an advance over traditional e-readers due to its color screen and ability to display more dynamic layouts. While Amazon continues to aggressively back the Kindle device, which displays text on a grayscale e-ink screen, a robust Apple app would conceivably allow the online retailer to carve off a certain percentage of readers who opt instead to purchase an iPad.
Amazon's newest feature, though, emphasizes that the e-reader battle is becoming one of software just as much as hardware.