By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 12:19 am
On Sunday night, Amazon began embedding audio and/or video in a handful of Kindle e-books for the iPhone and iPad. On Monday, it released a Kindle e-reader for Android phones–and it can’t play those sounds and movies. As with other first incarnations of Kindle apps, it gets the job done but feels a bit bare bones: For instance, if you tap on your phone’s Search button while you’re reading a book, you get a message saying that search is coming soon.
This is still good news for Android handset owners–especially ones who (like me) have already invested in Kindle e-books. It also cements Kindle’s position as the most widely-deployed of the e-reading apps associated with a major book merchant: You can read Kindle books on Amazon’s devices, PCs, Macs, iPhones (and iPod Touches), iPads, BlackBerries, and now Android phones. ePub, championed by Barnes & Noble, Sony, and others is more theoretically open, but it’s kind of moot so long as everyone wraps their e-books up in copy protection and Amazon’s books work with the widest variety of hardware.