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Book readers—Go Native, or go with Amazon?

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I’m agnostic, actually. I use both. They’re both roughly equivalent, once you’ve got a book (with a caveat or two) and they both work reasonably well. But both have quirks, and some people have a problem reading a book on a backlit screen, instead of the E Ink of a dedicated Amazon Kindle. I don’t.

That said, it’s easier to buy books from Apple’s iBook store. Fire up the app, hit the button up top for the store, find what you want, and it downloads. You’re good to go, perfect for that long flight to GC West in San Francisco.

But, uh-oh, I tapped Keith Richard’s Life, it appears for a fleeting second, and then it’s gone. What happened? I have no Internet connection on the runway, and I shouldn’t have this iPad switched on right now anyway. Looks like I’ll be stuck reading the in-flight magazine. For six hours.

This has happened to me twice. Luckily, when I got connected to the Net, I was able to reload my books. It didn’t happen again—with that book. But it did with another one. I have an e-mail out to Apple; I’ll update when I get a response.

There are fewer quirks with the Kindle app—big selection, easy synching across all sorts of devices—PCs, Macs, BlackBerries, iPhones/Pods, iPads. So if you’re on page 254, you’ll be at the same spot if you open up the book elsewhere. It works like that on iBooks, too, but the app runs on fewer platforms.

Buying is more of a kludge, though. When you want to buy, the app switches you to the built-in Safari browser, and you have to go through the usual Amazon buying process. Not that big a deal, really, and the bigger selection makes up for this.

Minuses? Not much—less eye candy, instead of flicking pages, like you would do in real life, you shove them. More as I see them…

Written by almipad

February 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Apps, Book readers