The release of Kindle for Android adds to the number of devices capable of running Amazon.com's e-reader software. The application requires Android OS 1.6 or higher, allowing it to run on the newest Android phones such as the Motorola Droid X, and includes the ability to adjust text size. Amazon.com recently enabled its Kindle app for Apple mobile devices to play embedded video and audio, possibly trying to appeal to readers who opt to purchase an iPad rather than a Kindle e-reader.
Amazon.com announced the release of Kindle for Android June 28, porting
its e-reader software to yet another family of devices. As competition in the
e-reader space continues to heat up, Amazon.com finds itself pushing Kindle
software and hardware updates in an effort to stay ahead of its
Kindle application requires Android OS 1.6 or higher,
allowing it to run on
the newest Android phones such as the Motorola
Features include the ability to adjust text size, add bookmarks,
view annotations created on other devices, read in landscape or portrait mode,
and turn pages via tapping or flicking. Users can purchase ebooks directly
through their Android devices, but periodicals such as newspapers and magazines
are apparently not available.
Amazon.com originally promised a
Kindle for Android release in May,
but declined at the time to give a definitive
time frame beyond "soon."
This is Amazon.com's second Kindle-related announcement this week; on June
27, the online retailer announced that its Kindle app for Apple mobile devices,
including the iPad and iPhone, would now support embedded audio and video
clips. With the feature in place, readers can now access multimedia through ebooks,
such as by listening to a travel author's narration during a city tour or
viewing a demonstration video inside a how-to text.
That application would conceivably allow Amazon.com to carve off a certain
percentage of readers who opt to purchase an iPad rather than a Kindle
e-reader. In many ways, the Kindle for Android application represents a similar
strategy: By offering its own branded e-reader software for Android phones,
Amazon.com seems to be making a preemptive move to counter Google's own
Google apparently plans to start selling ebooks online through Google
Editions, and let users access their libraries through a variety of devices. In
addition, Google will reportedly allow publishers to set prices for their
works, which would help Google create a competitive differentiator at a time
when publishers and e-reader manufacturers find themselves in intense
negotiations over the prices of e-texts.
Amazon.com has also focused on making its Kindle e-reader as
consumer-friendly as possible, dropping the cost of the original device from
$259 to $189 in response to Barnes & Noble dropping the price of its rival
Nook. A Kindle software update, Version 2.5, allows users to share ebook
passages via Facebook and Twitter, and to organize books or documents into