In an intriguing move, Amazon has updated its Kindle software application for the iPhone and iPad with features not available on the company’s e-reader hardware. Users of Apple’s iOS-based devices can now read Kindle e-books with audio and video.
Examples of Kindle editions already available with audio and video feature a cake-making video and audio clips of bird songs. Other expanded editions available on Amazon include “Les Miserables”, “Rick Steves’ London” and “Knitting for Dummies.”
“This is just the beginning — we look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps,” Dorothy Nicholls, director, Amazon Kindle, announced Monday.
Publisher Wiley also welcomed the change. The updates “represent the advantages that digital can offer,” Peter Balis, Wiley’s Director of Digital Content Sales, said.
Last week, Amazon entered a price war with rival Barnes & Noble, maker of the Nook e-reader. The Seattle-based Internet bookseller dropped the Kindle’s $259 price to $189 after the Nook began offering its reader for $149.
Amazon reportedly is searching for a way to compete with Apple’s iPad. A month after the iPad was introduced, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said a color version of the Kindle was “a long way out.” Amazon may also be preparing to reshape the Kindle hardware, judging by recent acquisitions of touch-screen hardware firms and announcing 50 new hardware design job openings.