Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Amazon updates its Kindle iPad app, but does not alter the way users buy books; WaPo adds offline reading

A couple important iPad apps were updated today, though none were drastically altered to conform to the changes in the way Apple wants to handle subscriptions and in-app purchases.
Amazon updated its Kindle app for the iPad last night. The update adds "real" page numbers to thousands of books, with more to come, adds a percentage-read meter, and allows users to lookup words on Google and Wikipedia without leaving the app.

Most importantly, though, the app does not change the way users buy their media: pressing the "Shop in Kindle Store" still takes the user to the Amazon website using the iPad's built-in Safari browser. Will this be changed? Who knows for sure.

Another app that was updated last night was The Washington Post for iPad. The update made some stability and bug fixes and extended the complimentary subscription "for a limited time".

For readers, the most important improvement to the app will be the ability to download sections of the tablet edition for offline reading, such as on flights. The offline reading function is just about de rigueur for most newspaper tablet editions if readers are to use their tablets on the go.