Amazon’s Kindle service is now available on the iOS platform (iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad), PC, Mac, Android devices and, of course, Kindle devices themselves. It seems pretty clear that if the Kindle service is to dominate, it will be because of its cross-platform availability rather than because of Kindle devices themselves. I have already read reports about how nicely the Kindle app works on the iPad and having the app on my Android phone makes Kindle ebooks a pretty attractive option to me. I often wind up reading feeds in bed before passing out (my reading time ranges from about 3 minutes to half an hour … give or take). Having the Kindle app on my phone means I can actually read a couple books when I am out and about.
Google is also rumoured to be about to launch its answer to the Kindle service. That should be pretty interesting because one of the rumours is that the Google ebook service will be largely Web/browser based rather than through an app, per se. If this is the case it will probably be an HTML 5-based Web application which probably won’t be all that different to a conventional app on the device. It will create real competition for Amazon which seems to be rubbing publishers the wrong way lately.
There is quite a lot to say about ebooks and ebook formats alone. Amazon would probably entrench itself if it enabled users to load ebooks using the epub format or even sold its books in that format. It seems to be the format of choice for the Apple iBooks Store and, if the rumours are accurate, the Google Books initiative.
For now, I am really pleased the Kindle for Android app is now available and have a couple books lined up in my wishlist for purchase. Maybe I’ll actually get through these ebooks – I haven’t done so well with their paper-based cousins.