Amazon takes wraps off Kindle app for iPad

Amazon is releasing details about its Kindle iPad app that will compete with Apple and Barnes & Noble's iPad e-book stores.

Amazon introduced its e-book shop and reader app for the iPad Monday, entering the battle for e-books dominance against Apple's own iBooks store and Barnes & Noble's e-reader iPad app.

Amazon announced that more than 450,000 Kindle books would be available through its Kindle app for the iPad, when Apple's tablet arrives on April 3. The app will use Amazon's Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize the last page you read on other compatible devices, such as iPhones or Kindle e-readers.

The Kindle app for the iPad has been tailored to the size, look, and feel of the tablet, according to Amazon, and it lets you customize the background color and font size for the book's text. You can also adjust screen brightness from within the app.

Like the PC and Mac counterparts, the Kindle app for iPad will remember the last page you read and sync it with Amazon's servers, so if you continue reading on an iPhone, BlackBerry or Kindle e-reader, you can pick up where you left off. Bookmarks, notes, highlights and annotations are also synced.

Amazon has also integrated the Kindle bookstore into the iPad app, which includes most of the New York Times Best Sellers, alongside Amazon's own book collection of nearly half-million titles. Amazon says availability for some of these titles might vary for non-U.S. customers.

Similarly to Apple's own iBook store and app for the iPad, Amazon Kindle's app also uses page turn animations to replicate the look of turning a page in a book, and offers free book samples (the first chapter) before you decide to buy. If you purchase a book from the Kindle iPad app, you will be able to read it also on Kindle-compatible devices.

Alongside stiff competition from Apple's own iBooks store and software on its own tablet, the Kindle app will also have to battle Barnes & Noble's eReader app for the iPad, also expected to be available around April 3.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble have their own hardware e-book readers as well, the Kindle and the Nook, on which they sell e-books. Also, both have iPhone apps for reading books purchased from their respective stores.

An interesting tidbit from Amazon's announcement of its iPad app is that the company said that the app would be available "for tablet computers, including the iPad."

It's unclear which other tablets will get dedicated Kindle apps, considering the upcoming HP slate was showed running the Kindle PC app. A possibility would be Dell's Streak tablet, running on Google Android, which is expected to incorporate many of Amazon's services.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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