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Review: Kindle for iOS remains a compelling iBooks alternative

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:30 AM

Post your comments for Review: Kindle for iOS remains a compelling iBooks alternative here
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#2 User is offline   fbronner 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:04 AM

One thing you do not mention is the fact that every time there is an upgrade, the local list of books is completely wiped out, so you have to download the book you are reading offline.

It is quite inconvenient and quite a bother while iBook does not suffer from this.
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#3 User is offline   stuffe 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:28 AM

Another inconvenience is that fact that no matter how much care and attention you may take to organise your books into lists and folders etc on a genuine Kindle device, those filing and sorting options do not carry across to the App versions for iOS (And others?), instead you simply get a giant lump of books with minimal sorting options and no ability to view, much less edit, your folder settings.
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#4 User is offline   d00d 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:20 AM

Until iBooks works on more than just iOS devices, I just don't see it as a real option. Kindle lets me read on essentially every device I own and because they have their own dedicated ereader, I can read my books on a device with e-ink which is far less harsh on my eyes.

It's nice to compare the merits of the applications themselves, but the infrastructure component to the ecosystems ultimately outweighs that comparison.
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#5 User is offline   jimwick9 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:09 AM

iBooks _does_ show pagination. look at the bottom of each screen: nn of kk.

iBooks will read .epub files whereever they are; Kindle doesn't go looking for .mobi at all.

iBooks is far from fully developed. So is Kindle.
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#6 User is offline   Dotkhan 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:11 AM

Beyond iOS devices, I'd like to know about the options for viewing e-books on a OSX devices. I have no intention on buying a iPad just to read a few books when I have a perfectly good MacBook Pro. If Windows programs can run on a Mac, it should be even easier to utilize IOS programs since the 2 OSs are much more similar.

Also a comparison of the infrastructure for each system including bargain priced books similar to how many iTunesU audio offerings are free.
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#7 User is offline   snagitseven 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:15 AM

I was using both iBooks and Kindle app and finally settled on the Kindle app. While I prefer it over the Apple offering, I wish you could copy and paste words or phrase like in iBooks. If I want to search in the Kindle app, I have to type in the search word(s) manually.
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#8 User is offline   fudfud 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

I haven't tried Kindle on an iPad, but I have serious issues with it on an iPhone. It may be ok for novels (sequential reading), but for non-fiction it could be much better. 

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.
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#9 User is offline   gplawhorn 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:58 AM

It's all a matter of personal choice, isn't it?

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.
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#10 User is offline   gplawhorn 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:00 PM

I forgot a 5th item - I can read Kindle books on my Macbook Pro. I don't do this for pleasure reading, but in my work I often refer to and quote from ebooks, and the Kindle Reader for the Mac makes that possible.
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#11 User is offline   flowney 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:53 PM

Your criteria are idiosyncratic and vague. I suppose that this is useful to the readers whose tastes mirror yours but that may not be all of us. Quite frankly, I felt left out.
Dr. Frank Lowney Georgia College & State University
Senior Director for External Projects
and Assistant to the Director, Digital Innovation Group @ Georgia College
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#12 User is offline   Paolomssb 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:46 PM

I find books in Kindle for iPad very unpleasant to look at. No hyphenation means odd rivers in text. No alignment of facing columns is very rough. And there is something odd in the supplied font.
As for me, I prefer to convert books purchased on Amazon, and read them with iBooks. It's much more pleasing to the eye.
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#13 User is offline   BadDude 

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  Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:45 PM

Dotkhan said:

Beyond iOS devices, I'd like to know about the options for viewing e-books on a OSX devices. I have no intention on buying a iPad just to read a few books when I have a perfectly good MacBook Pro. If Windows programs can run on a Mac, it should be even easier to utilize IOS programs since the 2 OSs are much more similar. Also a comparison of the infrastructure for each system including bargain priced books similar to how many iTunesU audio offerings are free.

You can download the free Kindle app for your Mac and read all your Kindle books there too.
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#14 User is offline   jcostley 

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  Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:28 AM

The e-book readers have come a long way, each with strengths and weaknesses. What I'm dreaming to see is adding commenting and mark up tools that sync to the page yet remain separate from the book.
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