Ever wondered what the first book bought through online retailers Amazon was? Way back in 1995 when all the company sold was books and nothing else? When the Kindle was a glimmer in Jeff Bezos' eye? Well, the customer believed…
Today, Amazon plans to release an application for the iPhone that’ll allow users to buy and download eBooks, outside of its homegrown Kindle ecosystem. The application will be able to be downloaded free of charge, and will also keep track of your page across both a Kindle and an iPhone, so no more wondering where you left off.
There’s competition in the market, from the likes of Indigo Books and Shortcovers, and Google recently launched a free mobile product too. When asked about whether the app might cannibalise Kindle sales, Amazon VP Ian Freed says he’s “not at all concerned”, saying that it’s actually likely to help, presumably because the Kindle offers a better eBook expeirnece.
Unfortunately for the moment, the application isn’t available outside the US, presumably for licensing reasons. We’ll keep a close eye and let you know when you can get it on these shores.
(via Wall St Journal)
Over the past couple of years, Google’s been industriously scanning, cataloguing and digitising millions of books whose content has passed into the public domain. These books have been available for a while on Google Book Search, but now they’re available on mobile too.
If you point your iPhone or Android browser towards http://books.google.com/m, then you’ll find mobile-optimised versions of the books which display text, rather than the digital images provided on the non-mobile edition.
I should admit, too, that the headline’s slightly misleading – 1.5 million books are available in the USA, with just half a million of those available outside the US. That’s a shame, but almost certainly due to copyright issues – books in the public domain in the USA may well not be in the rest of the world.
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