Yesterday, Amazon’s iOS Kindle app was updated to add multicolor highlights, “Book End Actions” (rate, review, share, see recommendations) and to fix the brightness control, which now stays set across app switching or sleep.
At first I thought “Meh, iBooks has had most of that since forever.” And then I thought “Wait, are there any differences left between these two apps?”
The answer is — of course — yes. But it’s more complicated than that…
iBooks is plenty impressive, but despite Apple’s own leap into the realm of e-books, Amazon is going strong with the Kindle platform. They’ve managed to price the Kindle affordably enough at this point that few who only want an e-reader are likely to spend another few hundred on an iPad, and they’ve successfully managed to leverage their real strength against iBooks time and time again: if you buy a book through Amazon, you will not only be able to read it on every gadget out there, whether you have a Kindle, an Android smartphone, or a Mac… but thanks to their Whispersync technology, you’ll even be able to keep your bookmarks and annotations synced across every platform forever.
It’s nice to see Amazon fighting so ably against the competition of iBooks to their empire, and even nicer to see a new update to their Kindle for Mac software come down the pipeline which adds improved Whispersync functionality, which will allow you to keep your notes and highlighted passages synced across all your devices. There’s also a refreshed interface which looks much more Mac-like than previously.
If you buy Kindle over iBooks — and there’s absolutely no shame in that — go grab the latest update now.