Ask and you shall receive? Kindle goes software-only on iPhone

Wow, that's service!  Earlier this week, I pondered why Amazon didn't also release a software version of its Kindle.  Today, they have.

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(and iPod touch)

Exactly what I wanted, the new Kindle application is free, has most of the same capabilities as the hardware Kindle, yet you only pay for the books, magazines, and newspapers you download. The experience is miniaturized and colorized for iPhone and iPod touch screens.  The only thing missing currently is the dictionary and search functionality.

According to Amazon, you can:
* Buy a Kindle book from your Mac, PC, or iPhone using a Web browser and wirelessly transfer the books to your iPhone
* Read first chapters of any book for free before you buy
* Download the Kindle books you already own for free — they are automatically backed up on Amazon.com
* Adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view the annotations you created on your Kindle device

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Kindle for iPhone also includes Whispersync, which allows 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. Now you can easily pick up reading right where you left off on your Kindle or iPhone.

Books you purchase can also be read on Kindle and Kindle 2, Amazon’s portable readers that wirelessly download books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs to a crisp, high-resolution 6-inch electronic-paper display that looks and reads like real paper.

Many people will think Amazon is cannibalizing its Kindle sales by releasing the Kindle.app on the iPhone.  Well, it will.  Why do you think it released the hardware version a few weeks before announcing the software version?  But, my feeling is that Amazon is much more concerned with *gasp* selling books rather than being a hardware manufacturer.

Plus, the E-Ink experience is a much different one than that of the iPhone.  Amazon doesn't risk losing their core group of fans by letting iPhone users buy its books.

Get the Kindle.app from the iTunes store by following this link.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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