Whoopee! Apple is offering software to allow Kindle format books to be read on the iPhone. Well, maybe there are celebrations in the US but everywhere else in the world we’re still waiting for the Kindle, the software and the pleasure of buying digitised books from Amazon.
In another part of the e-book format universe, ereader.com has been offering software to allow books to be read an iPhone or Touch iPod. It even supports Windows Mobile and Symbian. Support for Palm Trio is kind of expected as it was software developed by Palm that spawned this particular market.
The whole idea of books on mobile devices is contentious. People seem to love the smell, the look, the feel of books – its almost a fetish. In the business world, books are not loved so dearly. They are often weighty manuals and ideal for digitising. Phones are ubiquitous but have small screens. Notebooks and even Netbooks are not really convenient, with the exception of costly Tablet PCs. Enter the Kindle and Sony Reader.
These devices could be the engineers tool of the future. Kindle is still rather proprietary (and not available outside the US) so not really applicable but the Sony is much more versatile. Support for the open ePub format means that proprietary material can be converted for use on the Sony device – and it can play MP3s to give you music while you work.
Maybe it’s time we inspected this particular gadget.