When it comes to electronics books Amazon is arguably the leader of the market today thanks to their single purpose Kindle reader which now retails for less than half of what their first generation Kindle did. They’ve also seen success because they’ve been working tirelessly to make Kindle books available on nearly every internet connected platform, whether that be your browser, Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 smartphone, and many others.
Recently Amazon updated their Kindle application for iOS to version 2.5 [iTunes link] and with it comes three new features that are sure to make avid readers out there quite happy. First there’s the ability to download free books from Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and other sources that use the .mobi file format. Then there’s the ability to side load content. Just connect your iOS device to your computer, load up iTunes, scroll down to the list of apps with file transfer support, and drag and drop anything you like. Last there’s the ability to download books in the background, a feature that’s now enabled thanks to the latest updates to iOS. Kindle books are small anyhow, so we don’t see where you could use this, but hey, you may be in a part of town with only EDGE support and don’t want to stare at a progress bar for 60 seconds. Oh and one more thing … the Kindle icon has changed. It no longer shows “Amazon”, but instead it’s been replaced by the word “Kindle”. It’s a subtle attempt at Amazon to increase the brand recognition of their relatively new eBook platform since most everyone is already familiar with the Amazon.
Having once been a supporter of eBooks, the old Stefan would say go ahead and grab this. Today however I encourage people to go to their local public library. It’s cheaper, you meet people, and the browsing experience is unparalleled.