I'm indebted to Engadget for this morning's early news that Amazon is readying a new Kindle app for the iPad. According to the Engadget's Thomas Ricker, a 14-strong development team has been working on the app since January. From all accounts, it is going to be an all-singing-all-dancing program to compete full-on with Apple's iBooks app. Unlike the Kindle iPhone app (and the new Kindle for Mac app), the iPad version will feature "custom fonts in multiple colours, slow page turns, and new ways to view your eBook library".
As with existing Kindle apps, the iPad version allows access to the Kindle bookstore and "whisper sync" synchronisation with other devices.
I am already mightily impressed by the Kindle eco-system, as you know. I have never set eyes or fingers on a real-life Kindle reader, but the system on the iPhone, Mac and now the iPad, has strikingly compelling features. I love the ability to swap seamlessly between different devices. I am currently reading books, for the first time, on a 24-in cinema display and I find I can relax in my chair and read from a distance of three or four feet. It's surprisingly relaxing and easy on the eyes.
When I go out I just grab my iPhone (after next month, read iPad) and, when I next open the Kindle app, it asks me if I want to skip forward to the place I left on the Mac earlier in the day. Magic!
I am agog to see full details of Apple's iBooks app and to be able to make a direct comparison between the two eco-systems. I really hope Apple are able to offer their version of synchronisation between devices because Amazon have a winner here. It would be a backward step to have to go searching and trying to remember where I'm up to.
I wholeheartedly agree with Ricker's final comment: "So seriously, we ask you, in an age where content is king, are you really going to buy an eReader dedicated to a single store?" Quite.