Amazon Kindle is one of the latest crazes out and about in the last few years. The kindle device itself, for those of you who don't know, is a small electronic device which lets you store thousands of downloadable books on it, so our generation in now without hordes of thick hardbacks and paperbacks lying around our homes. In the last few years, we all know that computer tablets, such as the I Pad, and many smaller, cheaper versions such as the Samsung Galaxy Tablet and Android Tablets, are becoming increasingly popular, and so Amazon brought out the Kindle App, which can be downloaded and used on many of these devices. This review is on the I Pad version of the application.
DOWNLOADING THE APP
The Kindle application is free to download from the App Store. Finding the app for your I Pad is really simple. All you need to do is go to your App Store and simply search 'kindle'. The Kindle app comes up straight away, and just clicking the download button, it's on your I Pad within a minute.
USING THE APP FOR THE FIRST TIME
On opening up the Kindle app for the first time, you are asked to either log in or sign up, if you do not already have an account. Now, the account you need for Kindle is an amazon.co.uk account, so if you have veer signed up to amazon for shopping in the past, or regularly still use it, all you need to do is log in to kindle with your registered email address and password. If you are new to amazon, or simply want to create a new account with a new email address, the all you need to do is click the register button on the Kindle app, or visit the amazon website and simply sign up with your name, address, email address and password. You will need to register card details or another payment option to be able to download priced books.
Once you are logged in and the Kindle app opens, then you will just have a blank grey page, as you will not have any books. If you have another device with books on, then you can easily transfer the same books over to your I Pad. This is handy if you have paid for the books and haven't finished reading them. This is how the kindle is handy as if you lose your device or it breaks and needs replacing, you haven't lost all your books and items in your kindle, as on a new device, all you need to do is log in, and you can recover your books from your account an re-download them for free into your new device.
The app comes with a 2 page 'welcome' message from Kindle. This simply explains a little bit about what you can do with the Kindle app. It explains how to add books from a previous device, how to delete books you are finished with, and how to use the dictionary, highlight, notes and share options, which I will explain about later.
To download books, all you need to do is tap the search button at the top of the screen and type in the name of a book or author. Now, I have an Elonex tablet, which is by Android, and the Kindle application on this lets you browse through books by price, name, genre etc. The I Pad app doesn't let you do this; you simply just have to search for the name of what you want. If you want to browse books, then you will need to visit amazon.co.uk and browse the books this way. You can do this either on your I Pad or on a computer, as when you register or log in with Kindle for the first time you are asked to link up your device with your account, which is where you simply just name your device, so your account knows where to download the books to if you aren't downloading direct from your device, so you can download from a computer, someone else's I Pad or tablet, providing you are logged into amazon on your own account. This is handy as some people may have more than 1 Kindle device. Like I said, I have a tablet, and my Boyfriend owns the I Pad so we linked both devices up to my amazon account, and when he wants a book, when downloading from the website, he can choose to download just to the I Pad, so then I don't get a load of unwanted books on my own device and vice versa.
RANGE OF BOOKS/PRICES
The range of books for the Kindle app is very vast. You can basically download every book which amazon has on its website to sell. If you like thrillers, you simply need to browse thrillers, choose a book which sounds good, and then simply buy it and download to your I Pad. The same goes for any type of genre, new releases, bestsellers etc.
The price range for books is anything from free to, the most I've seen a book is about £6.99. This is the average price for a paperback, so you can't complain. A lot of people think the Kindle sells books for cheaper, but it doesn't. That isn't the aim of Kindle; the aim is to store books on one device, which is handy for things like holidays. If you want a very cheap new release or bestseller, then your best bet is eBay or amazon's marketplace for a 'real' book, rather than a downloadable one.
READING A BOOK
To read a book, you simply just choose which book from your library you want to read. The books automatically open with a white background and black writing. You can, however, change these to a black or brown background, and make the text bigger or smaller, depending upon your preference. If you come across a word and you don't know what it means, you can simply just hold your finger on it to highlight the word and the meaning will appear at the bottom. By highlighting a word, you can also choose to write a note, which is handy if you're book is for work or school, and highlight, again, I have used this as I am pregnant so on a baby name book I highlighted all the names I liked, to make it easier to find them the next time instead of flocking through the whole book trying to remember which ones I liked.
You can find your notes and highlights by clicking a little book icon at the bottom of your page when you have the book open. Here you can see your notes and highlights, and also skip to the contents page, the cover, beginning of the book, or you can choose a page to go to, without flicking through the book. You can also share the highlighted text on twitter or Facebook. Simply click share and you can add a note to the highlighted words and post on to Facebook. Obviously this is used if you want to show somebody something or if it's something funny you wish to share with your friends.
When reading a book, to turn the page you can either swipe the screen with your finger or simply do a small tap to turn the page. When coming off your device halfway through a book, there's no need to save anything, you simply just exit the app and the next time you open it, your book will be at the last page you read, so there's no loss of positions on any of your books.
You can also download newspapers, magazines and documents, although these aren't as vast as books, I think amazon are expanding on these at the moment, and maybe this time next year we will be able to download weekly magazines and daily newspapers, but at the minute they are mainly magazines I haven't heard of. The documents, is where, if you download an attachment from an email or open a webpage which uses adobe reader, it will usually open it up in kindle for you to read.
If you own the I Pad and like books, then having the kindle app is ideal. The only thing I don't get is that Amazon has the app for free, so why would anybody now go out and buy a kindle jut to download books on when they can get an I Pad which does basically anything, and you can download kindle for free? I know they will make money from the books you buy, but I think having the app as free, even though this is good, I believe this will fizzle out sales for the actual Kindle device within a few years.
Obviously the Kindle is handiest for going on holidays and trips, as instead of hoarding 5, 10 or even 15 books on holiday and wasting case space, you can now just have them on your slim I Pad. I know this is the main reason why people have bought the actual Kindle device. But like I have said, why take the kindle on holiday when you can take the I Pad, where you can not only just read on the kindle, but you can watch films, browse the internet and chat to family whilst away.
The only downside I have with it is how you cannot browse books, but only search for them without visiting the amazon website. If I can browse the store on my Kindle app for Android, then surely they would be able to let you do it from the I Pad?
All in all, I would recommend the Kindle Application for I Pad as it is free and easy to use, it just loses a star for not being able to browse the books, as this means messing about going to amazon.co.uk rather than staying within the app.