Here come the iPhone/iPod Touch e-book readers

Apple iPhone 3G

You may of heard that over the weekend Apple unveiled it’s new iPhone 3G device, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the device, mostly because of the software, the actual hardware is not that impressive and mostly includes improvements that the original iPhone should have shipped with in the first place. The iPhone 3G comes in at a impressive $199 to buy, however you will be paying more in the long term compared to the classic iPhone with higher network subscription charges.

Now how does the new iPhone effect us Kindlers? well… Apple has done something remarkable with the software – they have opened it up! which is impressive considering we are talking about Apple here. All this has allowed third party developers to create e-book apps for the iPhone 3G and has turned the iPhone into a e-book reader.

There are already a couple of iPhone e-book reading apps out already, the iPhone Bookshelf is one which supports multiple formats.

Another promising e-book app is Stanza. Stanza is an app which lets you read e-book which are stored on your iPhone and e-books online, make sure you check out the demo at the bottom of the page. Stanza can also read files in the ePub format, which many other apps are able to work with, perhaps the Kindle will eventually support ePub aswell one day.

The only annoying thing about reading an e-book on the iPhone is that each e-book comes as its own individual app, with its own icon on the iPhone home screen, Apple could have done a better job of categorising e-books or even better creating their own e-book reading App.

There is still some speculation on whether  Apple will create a dedicated e-book reading device, but for now we know e-books are on a Apple device through third party apps, if you couple this with rumours that Apple is in touch with major publishers this would support the theory that Apple is working on its own e-book reader, or at least a e-book store.

Will the touch screen make it easier to read an e-book? I don’t know since I don’t own a iPhone or iPod Touch, but I suspect that it might be a bit easier to read with the iPhone, swiping the screen to turn the page seems a more natural gesture than pressing a button, however you will be using both hands, whereas with the Kindle you need only use one. With the Kindle accidentally turning the page can be quite frustrating, I cant see it happening on the iPhone. Learn how to open SWF file.

You can watch our buddy Walt Mossberg review of the Apple iPhone 3G in the video below, he mentions the e-book reading capability of the device.

Can Apple with its new iPhone 2.0 software challenge Amazon?

Data: Open File Data.

4 thoughts on “Here come the iPhone/iPod Touch e-book readers”

  1. My history includes reading purchased ereader books on a Sony PDA and later, a Treo. Eventually, I grabbed a Kindle. Trust me, there’s no going back.

    The Treo was replaced with an iPhone, and the latter was upgraded to the version 2 firmware. While I did spend considerable time checking out assorted iPhone apps, the one thing which did NOT tempt me = the e-book reader. The iPhone battery is dicey enough without adding full-length book reading. More importantly, the Kindle is a joy to read, for hours. Not so with the munchkin screen that is the iPhone (comparatively speaking).

    Having said that– do I dream about Apple’s prowess re-doing the hardware form of the Kindle? You betcha. But bottom-line: I’ll continue with the iPhone for non-book related matters, as well as the Newsgator iPhone version for multiple blogs, while the Kindle retains my heart for books, Newsweek and a couple of Sunday newspapers. All those ereader books are now converted and on the Kindle, where they are destined to remain — unless and until Kindle 2.0 appears!

  2. I’m guessing, then, that you’ve not seen the ebook apps that have been posted. eReader has an official client and there are others.

  3. An interesting thing is that I don’t know any IT person that owns an iPhone. Personally I don’t enjoy talking on the phone, XM’s DJs are better qualified to mix music than I am, and why on Earth would I want to read a book on such a small screen? I’ve never understood the appeal of anything from Apple.

  4. I agree with PamG – I’ve read eBooks on many PDA – screen size comparable to the iPhone. eInk, even just B&W, and the larger physical size – so you get a good balance of quantity of text at a very readable font-size – blows all that away. To say nothing of battery life! (Though I could go several weeks between batteries on my trusty old Palm III back in the day…)

    However, Kindle/Amazon could really use a better way to store, sort, and categorize digital book libraries. There is no reason I shouldn’t have my entire eBook collection with me on the size of data cards I can get – but the Kindle interface totally sucks for organization of more than a couple screens of titles. The iTunes/iPod genres, ratings, etc coupled with smart lists would work great for me on a Kindle.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.