Kindle 2 vs. Kindle for iPhone Application


I bought a Kindle 2 last week, after a year of waiting for the second iteration of Amazon's e-book reader. I was hesitant at first, as I still love reading hardcover and paperback books, but the free cellular Web access and the addition of magazine subscriptions from publications like the New Yorker had me convinced. I've had it for a week now, and I love it. It feels great in my hands, and the e-ink screen creates the illusion of a reading a real book. I can hold it in my hand and read from it for hours.

So when I first heard that Amazon released the Kindle application for the iPhone, I immediately second-guessed my purchase of the Kindle 2. Did I make a foolish purchase? Why wasn't I patient enough to wait for the iPhone application? A free iPhone app is definitely a lot cheaper than the $359 for the Kindle 2. So I downloaded the Kindle for iPhone application to find out if I should send my Kindle 2 packing with a return slip.

Also, the Kindle iPhone application does not resolve my earlier complaint about reading ebooks on the iPhone. Reading on the iPhone's screen for a long duration is just not very enjoyable. This is especially apparent if you encounter long paragraphs with no breaks in the text -- the entire screen of the iPhone becomes just one block of words and can be difficult to read. If you want it for reading in short bursts however, this is acceptable. But for longer reading while relaxing on the couch, the Kindle wins.

I downloaded those same comic samples to the Kindle application on the iPhone. I still couldn't zoom in, and it's still hard to read the word balloons. But I was awed and amazed that they arrived in full-blown color. Yes, I couldn't read any of them, but it gave me a small glimmer of hope that maybe some day there'll be a way. Until then, I guess I'll have to live with the individually-sold iVerse comic applications.

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