Droid joins the Kindle Empire This Summer
Since buying my Droid phone a few months ago, it’s really chapped my hide that I haven’t been able to access my Kindle books on the thing. Don’t get me wrong, my Kindle 2 remains a hearty and beloved companion for most of the places I go, but there have been more than a few occasions where I found myself alone with my phone that I wished I had access to my latest literary conquest – at the doctor’s office, waiting for a table at a restaurant, yes, even the bathroom at work. Why do those stinking iPhone and Blackberry users get all the fun!?
As indicated by Amazon’s new splash page, they’ve finally jumped on the burgeoning Droid bandwagon. Unfortunately, it’s not quite like the iPad announcement, where they revealed their plans to release the app and then pushed it out to the public in basically the same breath. The best they could offer Droid owners was a nebulous release date sometime this summer and a field where you can submit your email address to be notified when the thing goes live.
Unfortunately, they seem to be ignoring the features that were also missing from the Apple versions of the app – namely the built-in dictionary and the ability to write new annotations. I suppose I can understand excluding the dictionary, given the challenges that go with implementing a feature like that on limited hardware, but these phones are practically built for writing text and it still baffles me that they’re unable to include that standard.
One feature they DID pick up on that I’m happy about though is the ability actually purchase books from your Droid itself. It was one of the most vexing omissions from the other mobile versions of the Kindle app – sometimes you just want to quickly grab a book based on somebody’s recommendation and up until now the store itself hasn’t been accessible. It’s one of those tiny details that you never pick out of a press release but that has an ability to affect your experience in a substantial way.
With this last platform conquered, the Kindle’s reach now extends to the Kindle, Kindle 2, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, PC, Mac, and Blackberry. There are rumblings about Amazon releasing their next generation of eReader this year lately based on some job listings, but for the time being it looks like the media retail monolith is content to just cast their shadow over every multimedia device in the market. Will they last in the face of a Google onslaught? Only time will tell.