Mark Terry

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kindle on the iPhone?

June 21, 2009
Yes, as you all know, I published Dancing In The Dark on Amazon as an e-book for the Kindle.

What you may or may not know is that I don't own a Kindle. One of the reasons why is that it's expensive. The other is that it doesn't have color. I'm intrigued by the concept, particularly since I get 5 newsletters a month related to healthcare and another 3 or 4 related to other things. Plus 4 or 5 magazines and a newspaper. I like the idea of having them with me wherever I happen to be so I could just boot up and read whatever I need to read without carrying a briefcase filled with reading material. But I'm not at all willing to be shortchanged on color photography for the privilege and Smithsonian and Archaeology and Time have plenty of color. And some of the newsletters have graphs and charts with color.

I'm also a Mac and iPhone and iPod user and I'm hoping Mac will come out with an overgrown iPhone that you could download books to as well as use to browse the Internet and watch downloaded TV and movies on as well as stream shows off, all on a screen the size of a paperback, rather than on one the size of a deck of cards. I'm hoping, anyway.

Which brings me to the iPhone. I've got one of the 2nd generation ones (the 3G just came out). I have some games, a lot of music, my e-mail, an audiobook and a number of TV shows on it. It's not bad. It's an okay phone (the problem may be AT&T's 3G network, but the phone's only OK, not great). But the app store is amazing and although I've got a few games I never play (except the USA Today crossword, which allows me to download each day's puzzle), I've got some apps I use all the time, like the National Weather Service, i.TV, which not only gives me a TV guide, but allows me to check movie times at my local theater. I've also got one that gives me all the fingerings for a bunch of guitar chords.

The most I've paid for an app is $4.99 and the least was for free. And I recently downloaded an app for free. Yes, FREE.

What was it? Kindle for the iPhone. Because the price was right and because I was curious.

Because I thought, hell, who would want to read an entire novel on a screen the size of a deck of cards?

I'm still not sure I would want to, but I was fairly impressed by my ability to. You can get samples of Kindle books for free--like the first 3 chapters of DANCING IN THE DARK--and that's what I did. And I read the first chapter and a half on the iPhone, just to see what it was like.

It was a lot easier than reading other things on the iPhone.

Is it a game-changer?

I doubt it. Would it be if it was on everybody's smartphone or a larger netbook-like version of a Kindle or if my dreamed-about Super iPhone came along?

I still don't know. But it would be pretty cool. Very Star Trek-ish, too, for everybody carrying around a screen the size of a paperback book that you can read books on--and download directly to--as well as music, TV, movies, news, magazines, newspapers, surf the web, games...

Veddy intervesting.



Blogger Kathryn Levy Feldman (Kit) said...

I too have an i-phone (1st generation) and downloaded the Kindle app to try it out. Then I bought a Kindle. I think you need to as well. I truly don't think you can appreciate the extent of the opportunities available until you explore the Kindle. Dare I say it has changed my life?
I think it will change yours too.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I was quite shocked by the easiness of reading on the iPhone Kindle app. But like I said, I want color and I'm curious to see if Apple can come out with a multi-function device.

That said, another problem I have with the Kindle that I haven't mentioned yet: I have yet to see one "in the wild." Granted, I don't get out much, being a freelance writer, but I don't want to spend that much money on a device I've never even seen, let alone handled and tried out.

1:50 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Really? Next time I'm in Michigan, I'll swing by and show it to you. :-) I've spotted four or five in the wild now. Once you have one, you won't believe how wonderful it is. No one at your gym has one?

But they already have color e-ink for about $1,000. I think, though, the problem is that in order to look shiny and glossy like a photo, you need computer-like backlighting. And you can't read that in sunlight, which is one of the wonderful things about e-ink and the Kindle.

One great feature about the Kindle 2 that might be useful to you, considering what you do, is that you can highlight bits and make notes, and it outputs your highlighted quotes and your notes to a downloadable document.

PS: (I can really go on about my love, I mean my Kindle.) I tried reading on my Palm Pilot for awhile. I'm with Kathryn. No comparison. It will change your life, LOL. No kidding!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Zoe Winters said...

I still don't fully "understand" the iphone lol. And for some reason I didn't know until just the other day (or didn't fully process it when someone said it earlier) that there was an iphone app for the Kindle. Wacky.

And I don't own a Kindle either.

7:48 PM  

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