Review: Kindle for iOS remains a compelling iBooks alternative
Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:04 AM
It is quite inconvenient and quite a bother while iBook does not suffer from this.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:28 AM
Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:20 AM
It's nice to compare the merits of the applications themselves, but the infrastructure component to the ecosystems ultimately outweighs that comparison.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:11 AM
Also a comparison of the infrastructure for each system including bargain priced books similar to how many iTunesU audio offerings are free.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:15 AM
Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:31 AM
When browsing technical books the reader will typically jump around throughout the text. Also there will be subscripts & URLs embedded in the text that can increase the jumping about.
Here are some of the issues I have with iOS Kindle on an iPhone 5:
1) Left justification should be an option. Full justification word spacing is awful on a small screen, and opting for a large font makes the spacing even worse.
2) LCD's screens are sharp edge to edge. Margins for ebooks on an iPhone should be small to maximize the text area. The iPhone Kindle should have a very small margin option. On my black iPhone 5 screen with a black reading background and white font you can't even tell where the screen stops and the edge starts.
3) As commented in the review, the Kindle app should incorporate a missing feature: "see how many pages remain in the current chapter". Related to this function, the Table of Contents should have location numbers so a reader can relate their current reading location to chapters when scanning the Table of Contents.
4) Touching GOTO at the bottom of the Kindle screen should take the reader to their current reading position in the Table of Contents, not to the top of the section. Also there should be an option to include "My Notes & Marks" within the flow of the Table of Contents.
I've partially solved the latter problem by highlighting every Chapter Title. Then I have a self-made Table of Contents, so that Chapters have location numbers along with My Notes, all appearing in a single list. Unfortunately, touching GOTO still doesn't take me to my current reading location relative to My Notes.
Wikipanion & Wikiamo, a couple of free Wikipedia readers, provide good iPhone reading features – left justification, narrow margins, and a Table of Contents button that shows one's current reading location.
5) URLs use the Kindle built-in web browser rather than Safari. There is no option to pass the URL to Safari. I can't even copy the URL and paste into Safari or any other web browser on the iPhone.
This is totally unacceptable for reading a non-fiction book. In the same book Mac Kindle uses Safari.
6) Touching a Superscript to jump to a reference is almost impossible, rarely works. Wikipanion doesn't have this problem, and pinch zoom would also help.
7) Selecting text to Share provides only Twitter and Facebook options. There are no Email or Copy options. In the same book Mac Kindle provides a Copy option.
iOS Kindle on the iPhone is mediocre at best. If I were an Engineering student today, I would want to buy ebooks, not paper books.
Since it's a window on a much larger document, the smaller the screen, the more important good location features and formatting become.
One of the best features is syncing between devices, which allows creating notes in the field using the iPhone and having them accessible on Mac Kindle where greater functionality exists.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:58 AM
The Kindle app is my app of choice because:
1) I had a Kindle before my iPad, and had quite a few books already in Kindle format. I didn't want to purchase them again.
2) Availability on the iBookstore, at least in the early days, lagged behind what was available through Amazon.
3) With roughly 400 books purchased through Amazon for my Kindle, I have yet to find an error in a book (your mileage may differ). With a couple of dozen books purchased through the iBookstore, quite a few had errors such as missing chapters (your mileage may differ). They have all been updated, but it kept me away from the iBookstore.
4) While I read about 70% of the time on my iPad, the remainder is on my Kindle, which is more convenient on planes, outside, or when I want to read and not be distracted by all the iPad offers.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:53 PM
Senior Director for External Projects
and Assistant to the Director, Digital Innovation Group @ Georgia College
Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:46 PM
As for me, I prefer to convert books purchased on Amazon, and read them with iBooks. It's much more pleasing to the eye.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:45 PM
You can download the free Kindle app for your Mac and read all your Kindle books there too.