One of the major selling points of the Kindle product line has always been the ability to read your books on pretty much anything with a screen you might happen to be sitting next to. When you go with Amazon’s eBooks, what you’re doing is effectively eliminating platform distinctions, at least in theory. Of course, the recent release of Google’s entirely platform-agnostic eBook store shook things up more than a bit! Still, what gaps there are in the Kindle coverage are being filled in enthusiastically.
It would not have been entirely surprising if, after the recent unveiling of the upcoming Kindle for the Web service, we had seen a drop in attention given to platform specific software options. After all, if the idea is to be accessible anywhere, a browser-based option has you pretty much covered, right? Apparently that’s not going to be quite the direction things are taken.
The recently announced Kindle app for Windows Phone 7 isn’t likely to surprise anybody with its feature set at this point (it is just the latest incarnation of a chain of six or seven other apps depending on how you count it), but it does manage to accommodate the potential needs of a quickly growing segment of the smart-phone marketplace. As expected, you will have adjustable font sizing, background coloration, integrated eBook store access, social networking possibilities, and the ever useful WhisperSync keeping track of where you left off.
While the jury is still out as to the future of the new OS in light of its more established competition (let’s face it, you can’t really consider Windows Mobile to have been a particularly valid entry into the consumer marketplace), the potential for its inclusion in the increasingly popular tablet PC marketplace alongside Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android makes this an incredibly lucrative market for Amazon to tap, at least in theory.
With this addition to the Kindle‘s software line, they’re drawing pretty near to having an entry into every portion of the active cellular marketplace. The only really significant point to jump in would seem, from what I know, to be with Nokia’s Symbian OS. While I’m admittedly not the one to talk to about the potential technical complications of putting out something for that operating system, the demand seems to be there if the ongoing petition is anything to go by.
There’s not much more to be said about this one. As always, I can’t say that I would find myself happy with using a phone or tablet pc as my primary reading device at any point (empirical evidence supporting the eye strain complaint as it does for me), but as a supplement to my Kindle itself, these apps have frequently come in handy. Sometimes you don’t feel like carrying around that extra device that just won’t quite fit in your pocket, but who doesn’t have their phone with them at any given time? It’s a convenience, and one I’m particularly glad I don’t have to do without.