Monday, November 15, 2010

How I Solved My Kindle Envy

I would like to have a Kindle.  And that's putting it mildly.  Everyone I know who has one LOVES it.

But it's not in the cards right now.  We're closely watching our spending, and, unfortunately, nifty technological gadgets aren't in the budget.

So imagine my joy and glee when I saw, on Amazon's website, that they have a free Kindle app for Droid phones.  Yes.  Free.

I immediately got the app and immediately after that, I downloaded The Scarlet Letter, Madame Bovary, and The Princess and the Goblin (at Tiny Girl's request), all for free.

Since I don't have a Kindle, I can't do a point-by-point comparison, but here's my verdict thus far: the Kindle app for Droid phones is really nifty. 

  • It has a lot of features, such as viewing options, which include different background/text selections (I prefer sepia background and black text), text size, and screen brightness.
  • You can bookmark pages of special interest, which looks like a top page corner has been folded down, by touching the top right corner of the screen or by clicking your Menu button and selecting Bookmark.
  • You can highlight text that you find interesting or important.
  • You can add notes of your own.  For example, in The Scarlet Letter, I both highlighted and created a note for one of Roger Chillingworth's comments to Hester because I think it is a foreshadowing of later events.
  • You can search within the book for words or phrases.
  • If you come upon a word whose definition escapes you (for me, it was contumaciously), you can touch the word and up pops a menu. Touch "Define with," and you're in the dark no longer.
  • With this same technique, you can can also access Wikipedia.

I'm sure there are more features that I'll figure out later, but the above is what I've used so far.  Amazon offers a great Help page for the Kindle Droid app that's full of how-to's.

Just in case you don't have a Droid phone, Amazon also offers free Kindle apps in other formats: iPhone (duh!), Mac, Windows PC, BlackBerry, iPad, and Windows Phone 7.  And their Whispersync technology allows you to read a book via more than one device by saving and synchronizing the last page you read and all your bookmarks, notes, and highlights.  I only have one "device" since I don't plan to sit in front of my computer and read, but it's still a great feature.  And it will be super convenient if I ever do get a real Kindle.

But for now I'm really pleased.  And who knows?  It may be fine for the long haul.  After all, it's hard to beat FREE.


  1. Cool! I have Kindle on my phone too. R C Sproul's book, Believing God is free from Kindle just today, if you're interested...

    I think I am leaning towards ordering the real McCoy though, simply because my phone screen is too small.

  2. Is there an app for my free Cingular phone? Yes, I know that Cingular doesn't even exist any more and my phone doesn't really have a screen, but isn't there something out there for me?

    Ok, so instead of Kindle envy, I now have iPhone/Droid/Blackberry envy.

    And then there's the camera envy I get when I see all these lovely bloggers' lovely photos.

    Of course, if I had either, I would not use it. Now we know why I have the Cingular phone.


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