Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre? - Part Two | webOS Nation
 
 

Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre? - Part Two 12

by Jennifer Chappell Fri, 06 Mar 2009 10:36 am EST

We recently talked about the new Kindle 2 from Amazon and the fact that the Kindle 2 uses Whispersync technology. Whispersync automatically syncs Kindle 2 and the original Kindle, and will also sync with a range of mobile devices in the future.  We had no idea at the time what mobile devices would sync with the Kindle and its Whispersync.

Well, looks like the future has now started because today our pal Rene over at our sister site The iPhone Blog let us know that Amazon's Kindle App for iPhone and iPod touch is now live in the App Store:

"The Amazon Kindle for iPhone app is FREE (iTunes Link), but it looks like books need to be purchased from Amazon directly via PC or Mac and transferred over, or from the iPhone via Mobile Safari. Most e-books should run $9.99. Like with the Kindle device itself, you can sample first chapters for free, adjust text size and bookmark. You can’t annotate but you can view Kindle annotations."

In the app description, it says that Kindle for iPhone also includes Whispersync, allowing you to seamlessly switch back and forth between your Kindle device and Kindle for iPhone while keeping your bookmarks and reading location synchronized between devices. So you can easily pick up reading exactly where you left off on your Kindle or iPhone.

I bought a Kindle 2 last week and wrote up my initial thoughts on the device. I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm really hoping that the Palm will release a Kindle app for Palm smartphones and especially for the upcoming Palm Pre!

 

For now though, I've downloaded the Kindle app on my iPhone. Yep, the app is Free and it downloaded very easily and quickly on my iPhone. As soon as I downloaded the app, it synced my two eBooks that I'd bought for my Kindle 2 onto the iPhone.

I was just starting Chapter 11 in my eBook "Terminal Freeze" on the Kindle, but when the iPhone version of the book opened, it was on a different page. I noticed that I had the wireless on my Kindle 2 turned off, so I turned it on. As soon as I did that and rebooted my iPhone, a message popped up asking if I wanted to sync to the furthest page read, and of course I clicked "Yes". And sure enough, the page went to the beginning of Chapter 11. So it looks like the Whispersync works pretty good.

Another nice thing about Amazon Kindle for iPhone is that you don't have to own a Kindle in order to download the book samples, which are the first two chapters of an eBook. I went to the Kindle Store via Safari on my iPhone and chose the book "Twilight" and when I clicked on the Sample, I got the choice of downloading it to my iPhone 3G or my Kindle. I chose my iPhone and the sample synced to my iPhone. Now I can read the first couple of chapters to see if I like the book. If I do, I'll buy it and can then read the book on both devices thanks to Whispersync.

Amazon Kindle for iPhone looks great so far. I really look forward to seeing the app released for our Palm smartphones.  I'm glad to see the first device today, the Apple iPhone, being added as a Whispersync compatible smartphone.  That gives me hope that we'll see the Kindle app soon on other devices.  I would download the app on my Centro or Treo Pro in a heartbeat. And I'd sure love to see it available on the Pre when it's released.  The Pre is going to have that Amazon music store on board, so why not have the Amazon Kindle app also?  Heck, right now I just want to see the Pre released, and I know that all of you do as well!!

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12 Comments

hmm, what can I say about it... I totally agree!! :P

Can you purchase a book without owning a Kindle?

Yes you can buy kindle books without owning a kindle - once you purchase them, they will automagically synch to your iPhone! I am very impressed with the iPhone app - great job!

Can you open non-DRM Mobipocket files in the Kindle app? I'm pretty sure the Kindle and Kindle 2 can do this, but how about the iPhone app?

There's a LOT of free content available in Mobi format.

I think this is pretty neat and all, but I'm very against a locked-down system for eBooks, I remove the DRM from any books I purchase. Hypothetically since we don't really know either way, say that the Pre doesn't end up getting a Kindle app. If you switch from the iPhone to the Pre, then any books you've bought within Kindle's system are absolutely useless to you.

The same goes for most other formats, but most other formats have also been cracked by now. I know that I personally buy all of my books in MS .lit format, and then remove the DRM and have a perfect HTML version, that I can do whatever I want with, and convert so that it works with any reader, I don't have to wait for any company to update for a device or anything. Maybe it's not quite as convenient, but much more future-proof.

That being said, I do have a question for curiosity's sake. Can you buy the books from the iPhone directly? I assume you can by loading up the Amazon site and then buying them there, but what about from within the actual application, is there a store there?

I believe you have to go the Kindle Store via Safari on the iPhone in order to buy the books. You can click on "Get Books" inside the app itself, which takes you to a page titled "How to Get Books". The Safari/Kindle Store link is on that page. That's how I got to the store to download the sample of "Twilight".

how do you expect them to implement their DRM scheme in javascript without users being able to demolish it?

DRM only works when you keep it secret, it cannot work out in the open, and hence in the current model of the pre, it cannot work.

My guess would be that since Amazon is a "gold" partner (not sure if Palm uses this term) that deeper access would be granted in this case (possibly enabled via NSAPI). Dataviz is in a similar situation with Docs2Go - I'd be shocked if viewing of Word docs was via Javascript only.

Amazon wants to sell ebooks and cares a good deal less about selling the readers (it's the exact opposite of Apple with iTunes). So far, their strategy seems sound - enable whisper sync on smartphones and consumers will have a chance to sample ebooks which will, in turn, drive ebook and Kindle sales.

I read elsewhere that Apple doesn't support direct downloads/purchases via apps in the appstore without explicit permission hence why Amazon's app doesn't allow ebook shopping directly - Palm probably wouldn't have the same limitation for the Pre. Apple wants user consistency and, more importantly, they want to drive iTunes sales; Palm won't care on either score in this case...

I just got the blackberry bold and I still have 10 days to go on my trial period. My choices for a new phone were #1 blackberry bold (which i bought, duh!) and #2 the iPhone. I love my phone, but I have a kindle and I would love to have this app!!! So, what do you guys think, switch it for my 2nd fav phone iPhone while I still can for free, or stick with my first fav phone and pray for the app to come to blackberry? What do you guys think are the odds of the blackberry having this app????

Why is this question being asked on the Palm Pre site?

That question has absolutely nothing to do with the palm pre. How about you just switch over to sprint and wait for the pre to come out like the rest of us

I'm making a decision to upgrade my smartphone and thinking of moving from Verizon to At&T getting an Iphone, also was thinking of purchasing Kindle, but if I can get the same kindle use just w/my Iphone I can save the Kindle money for get ebooks...one feature I love about Kindle is you can use listen to your ebook and use the reader, is that also available w/Iphone? Alos will it cost the same for purchasing ebooks w/Iphone vs Kindle? thanks!