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Review: Kindle for Android

Amazon just released the app today. It's only available in the Android Market, so here is a copy for those who need it.

Kindle for Android (requires v1.6)

Please excuse the lack of pictures. I only have a large screen Android tablet working right now, and it wouldn't really convey the experience you would have.

I really wasn't expecting much when Amazon first announced this app. The Kindle for iPhone app is best described as a very adequate app, and I expected the Android app to follow in its footsteps. But, the Android app actually has fewer features. You have a limted number of options: 5 font sizes, 3 backgrounds, and bookmark. It doesn't have a dictionary, highlights, or notes.

I checked online, and Amazon is promising an updated app with search, dictionary, an in app Store, and the ability to zoom images.

So what do I think? The reading experience is very adequate, but I would not replace Aldiko with this app. TBH, that's about what I expected. Amazon have set a standard of being the second best app on any given platform. Really, the only reason to download this app is if you have a large bookshelf in the Kindle store (and you don't want to bother removing the DRM).

P.S. That's not a criticism. I swear by the eReader Android app for much the same reason.

Update: I've heard from MobileRead that you can't read your own ebooks with the app (it crashes).  TBH, I didn't think to try my own Mobipocket ebooks with this app. I had assumed that it would be as locked down as the iPhone app (it is).

About Nate Hoffelder (11132 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on Review: Kindle for Android

  1. >>Really, the only reason to download this app is if you have a large bookshelf in the Kindle store (and you don’t want to bother removing the DRM).<<

    I would add that the Whispersync feature is pretty handy to keep track of your place in a book you're reading across multiple Kindle devices/apps.

  2. Hi. For me at least, this app is useful because it’s a nice way to have access to the huge catalog of Amazon Kindle books without owning the device (I can read on the small screen just fine by the way).

    If the Android Kindle books came without DRM, I would probably buy many, many computer science books myself there. Aldiko and the O’Reilly books are cool, but their catalog is very limited IMO.


  3. Aldiko is a much better reader. The kindle app is missing key features such as orientation lock, margins (which I can live with), and page turning can be painful. You can’t turn pages with the volume keys, which I love in Aldiko. Also, turning by screen can be touchy, often giving you your progress instead of turning the page. No easy brightness config, another thing I miss from Aldiko.

    I’ll be removing the DRM and using Aldiko instead as soon as I figure out how. If I can’t, I won’t be buying another book for kindle.

  4. Nate the great // 19 July, 2010 at 6:08 pm //

    I’m seeing that same touchyness problem right now with the Kindle app on my Novel.

  5. A-no-name-mess // 24 August, 2010 at 10:14 pm //

    Thanks for posting this file! I’ve given up on Android Market. It has never worked for me, even after trying all the suggestions to get it to work.

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