No I didn’t buy an Amazon Kindle.
A few weeks ago, as an experiment, I downloaded the free iPhone app with a couple of sample book chapters. Contrary to my expectations, the reading experience was quite pleasant.
Text size, color and background color are selectable. Couple this with the adjustable brightness of the iPhone screen and I actually find reading on the iPhone easier on my eyes than reading printed text.
The highlighting and notes features actually work quite well. As a bonus, any notes, highlighted passages and bookmarks are summarized and indexed on the first page of each book. Touching any of these notations takes you directly to the highlighted page. This is a big advantage over a paper book.
The iPhone version of the Kindle reader has become something I use daily, so I decided to give the PC version a try. Again, it’s free, so there is little risk.
Installation was quick and uneventful and it only took a couple of minutes to download my small library. A quick experiment proved the Amazon Whispersync to be quick and accurate. All of my books, highlights and notes were copied just fine. Each book opened to the most recent passage that I had read on my iPhone.
As a simple reader, the PC version works fine. I was disappointed to find that, although existing highlights and notes synced and were readable, the PC version does not allow the addition of new notations. Amazon’s Futures page says this feature is coming soon.
Another disappointment for both products is the lack of search. This seems like such a basic function I wonder how the product was released without it. Again, Amazon says this will be coming soon.
Overall, I’m very happy with the iPhone reader and not so satisfied with the PC version. I’m much more satisfied with the e-book experience than I had expected. Going forward, I see this being the preferred method of purchasing several types of books. At this point,
especially with the e-book reader market being so fragmented, I don’t have a reason to buy a dedicated physical device.