The iPad and the Kindle have always had a curious love/hate relationship that can be enough to drive many users nuts. While they were expected to compete for users from the moment they were both on the market, the iPad depended on the Kindle for iOS app to deliver a great reading experience to potential adopters while the Kindle just didn’t even try to offer the same kind of tablet versatility. The iPad does lots of things quite well, the Kindle does one thing really well, and users of both devices like to read. Of course it’s at that point of overlap that problems arose.
Amazon was making money, Apple wanted that money for themselves, and now there’s nobody really making much money. You can’t buy books through the Kindle app, the iBooks app is still not really something most people have any particular desire to adopt, and getting the Kindle Cloud Reader set up requires users to look outside of the Apple App Store. eBook acquisition is still perfectly doable, but it is a bit more of a hassle and that means some people just won’t bother.
Enter Inkstone Software with what they hope will be the solution to many peoples’ eBook problems. The company has claimed that this is their way to help out the community that they have benefited so much from. Their new free iPhone and iPad app, called simply “eBook Search”, will allow users to peruse over 2 million free titles from all around the internet. Not only that, the app will allow users to select their reading app of choice and will then acquire their books in a compatible format, ending the hassle of maintaining multiple collections in multiple apps or converting hard to find titles to your preferred format.
The attraction of such an application goes beyond convenience in acquisition of out of copyright “classics”. The developer claims to have allowed for discovery of free eBooks being offered by indie authors, and even popular fan fiction. They hope that this will allow readers who do not have a sufficient budget to allow for prolific reading in an environment where eBooks cost as much or more than physical books to indulge with less hesitation.
If this is at all up your alley, it is definitely worth checking out. Not only will you be getting great literature that can be read on your iPad, Kindle, or whatever else you happen to have, but the more people take advantage of these types of offers the better things start looking for the future of eBooks. If authors are successful in gaining exposure through free eBook offers, more authors will be inclined to try similar campaigns. If readers are loathe to purchase high priced eBooks in the Kindle Store because they can find equally good titles without spending the money, maybe publishers will start getting the message. If nothing else, the worst that can happen from giving it a chance is the loss of a few moments of your time.