Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre? | webOS Nation

Amazon Whispersync app for the Pre?

by Jennifer Chappell Tue, 10 Feb 2009 5:38 pm EST

Whether or not you read ebooks, you've probably heard of the Kindle device from Amazon. Well, a Kindle 2 has just been unveiled, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked about it at a press conference yesterday.

The interesting detail that caught our eyes and that of Silicon Alley Insider is a new syncing service called Whispersync. Amazon mentioned the Whispersync technology in their press release, saying that it automatically syncs Kindle 2 and the original Kindle, making transitioning to the new Kindle 2 or using both devices easy for customers. "Kindle 2 will also synce with a range of mobile devices in the future."

According to Silicon Alley Insider:

Whispersync "Syncs up your place in an e-book across multiple devices, including the original Kindle, the new Kindle 2, and other devices in the future, such as mobile phones."

"The way we see this working: Start reading a book on your Kindle, read the next chapter on an iPhone, maybe skim a bit at work on your PC, and then read more on the Kindle on the train ride home."

Now that sounds really cool! I read a lot of ebooks on my Palm smartphones, PDAs, and iPhone. Sometimes I have the same ebook on my Treo 680, Centro, Palm TX, and iPhone. That way, no matter which device I happen to be carrying, I can continue reading in that particular ebook. Of course I have to find the last page I was on whenever I switch devices. But it sounds like with Whispersync, you'll automatically be taken to that last page on all your devices. Sweet!


Amazon hasn't said yet which phones Whispersync will work on. It would be great if Whispersync worked on the upcoming Palm Pre. I don't have a Kindle but I wouldn't mind having one. Even though I'm quite happy reading ebooks on my Palm smartphones and the iPhone, the Kindle's larger screen would be nice. And I'm always happy to find an excuse to get another gadget. I'll surely be getting a Pre, so it would be great if Whispersync does turn out to work on the Pre.

Speaking of the Palm Pre and ebooks, Mike Cane let's us know over at PrePoint that ePub eBooks might be possible on the Palm Pre. Mike said that Kat Meyer retweeted a link about an early prototype of epubjs, a pure Javascript ePub reader. According to Mike, the Kindle 2 cannot do ePbu file format ebooks, which is what all the major and many idependent publishers have chosen for eBooks. Mike notes that the epubjs is in JavaScript, which the Pre uses, so ePub is possible on the Palm Pre.

The Kindle 2 also does not have a backlit screen.  I depend on my Centro's backlit screen for eBook reading when reading in bed at night.  The backlit screen keeps me from having to turn on a lamp which would disturb my husband.  My husband cannot stand to hear paper rubbing against anything, so another great thing about eBooks in general is that you can turn the page silently.  Barry used to complain all the time when I would read a real book in bed because everytime I'd turn a page, the page would scrape against my shirt or the covers. 

From reading through the Kindle forums over at Amazon, I discovered that some original Kindle owners are saying that the Kindle 2 won't have a user replaceable battery.  So that's another plus for our Palm smartphones in terms of pro's for using them as eBook readers.

If you're interested in eBooks, John Siracusa over at Ars Technica has written an excellent article which looks at the past, present, and future of eBook readers.  John used to work for Palm Digital Media, originally called Peanut Press. The eBook store is now called and was bought by Anyway, John certainly knows the ups and downs of the eBook business and his extensive article was a great read!