BlackBerry owners will soon be able to download a free Amazon.com Kindle BlackBerry app for smartphone-based access to their Kindle digital-book library. Apple's iPhone is currently the only major smartphone platform with an official Kindle mobile application.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Amazon.com plans to release a new, free Kindle for BlackBerry mobile application in near future, according to the company’s Kindle Web page. The online retailer didn’t specify when exactly the app will be released, but its Kindle page currently shows a BlackBerry icon atop the words “coming soon.”
The news of a Kindle for BlackBerry app is no surprise; rumors regarding a BlackBerry app for Kindle hit the Web months ago, but I hadn’t heard or seen anything concrete until I just noticed the listing on Amazon’s Kindle page.
The new listing suggests that the official Kindle for BlackBerry app could be just around the corner. And the same Amazon.com page with the Kindle for BlackBerry information also says new Kindle software for Macintosh computers is also en route. (PC users can already download an official Kindle program.)
Kindle for BlackBerry won’t be the first electronic reader client for BlackBerry. The two most popular comparable applications for BlackBerry are eReader and Mobipocket. But Amazon’s Kindle is far more widely used, and neither eReader nor Mobipocket let users read Kindle books, so users must purchase content from those applications’ respective online stores.
I’ve used both eReader for BlackBerry and Mobipocket, but I quickly deleted both because the navigation combined with my small BlackBerry display was frustrating, to say the least. For this reason, I’m guessing the BlackBerry Storm and Storm2 will be the ideal RIM devices for use Kindle for BlackBerry due to those devices’ larger screen-sizes and touch-screen navigation.
Apple’s iPhone is currently the only smartphone with an official Kindle client, and RIM’s BlackBerry will presumably be the second platform to get a Kindle app.
I’m a big fan of the Kindle for iPhone application, mainly because it lets me squeeze my entire library of Kindle books into my pocket via iPhone, which is invaluable when travelling. The iPhone screen size is just large enough for reading, in my opinion. And I can also purchase new Kindle content easily via iPhone or BlackBerry while on the go using my Amazon.com account.
Reading long novels on the iPhone’s tiny screen can be tedious, though–trust me, I recently read Stephen King’s massive novel, “The Stand” on Kindle for iPhone. So it will be interesting to see how well Amazon can translate the Kindle experience to even smaller BlackBerry displays.
Kindle for iPhone users, however, cannot access Kindle content other than novels–magazine subscriptions, blogs, etc. The Kindle for BlackBerry app will also likely be saddled with the same constraint.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.