Ah... Now that university exams are over I can resume my blogging. For those that want to know... Yes, I did quite well on the three exams I wrote - all "A"s and two IT certifications achieved (CompTIA A+ & CIW Web Foundations Associate) out of 18 that I have to complete for my Bachelor of Information Technology (Software) degree program at Western Governors University.
For this blog entry I am going to write about an app that I use every single day and then some. :) I am talking about the Kindle for iPad app (Amazon.com). I wish this technology was around back in 2002 when studying for my two-year degree as a Computer Analyst/Programmer (Red River College), because I would not have had so many textbooks to carry around.
Soon after the first Amazon Kindle device arrived on the market I purchased it right away, because I did not have any more space for physical books in my computer/study room. Since then I've acquired approximately 300 books on various subjects I like reading about: computer programming/technology, history, music, politics, and religion. When Amazon brought out the Kindle (graphite) I passed my original Kindle on to my father-in-law, and we are sharing all the books on my Kindle account. Note: You can have up to six Kindle devices/apps on your account. With my wife, myself, and my father-in-law we have six Kindle devices - three Kindles and three Kindle for iPad apps.
Last week I purchased my first textbook for a Java programming course that I wll be starting soon. It was about 1/2 the price of the physical version. Saved money = food for a university student. :)
Since it is a digital replica of the physical textbook, which I prefer, I've grabbed a couple of screenshots to show you how nice it looks. The textbook can be resized if you are having any problems with seeing the standard iPad screen size.
At the top of the Kindle for iPad app you can view All Items, Books, Newstand (magazines/newspapers), and Docs (PDFs, etc.). You can organize your books via a cover view or a list view (cover view/list view icon at the bottom left of the screen).
You can also sort your books with Recent, Title, and Author (up/down arrows at the bottom left of the screen). If you tap the gear icon on the right hand side you can enter your Amazon account information (e-mail address/password), turn the "Page Turn Animation" on/off, and link to any "Social Networks" (Facebook/Twitter) that you belong to.
When you are reading a Kindle book you will see Home, Table of Contents (which you can view as icons or a list), Search, Notebook, Brightness, Bookmark. Note: View Options is not available in books that are digital replicas like the Java textbook I have purchased. In the recent OS Mountain Lion: The Missing Manual book, you can see the view options as follows.
In View Options you can adjust the text size, the text justification, the color of the background (white, black, sepia), and brightness. When I am reading at night I like to use the black background - so easy on the eyes!
I recommend the Kindle for iPad app for anyone that has an iPad. You will find that the books are much cheaper than in Apple's own iBooks Store. During these difficult economic times I think saving money would be a priority for anyone out there. Also, you can sync where you left off in a book with the Kindle for iPad, Kindle for iPhone, Kindle for Mac, and Kindle for Windows apps. If you read a number of books at once it helps to know where you left off.
Aside: One area where Apple has failed, when compared to Amazon, is bringing the iBooks app to the Mac. I have no explanation as to why Apple refuses to bring this app over to the Mac platform.
Overall Score: 4.5/5. I take a 1/2 star off for not being able to create categories for the books like I can on a physical Kindle.
This app was reviewed on an iPad (third version) running iOS 5.1.1.