Kindle iPad app updated, now does audio and video on select titles

When Amazon launched its Kindle eBook reader back in 2007, chances are that they didn't see their primary competition coming from a cell phone. However, it's now 2010, and Apple's iBook app is quickly inching its way into Amazon's virtual publication territory. Amazon may have a few years head start, and publishing deals that go far beyond what Apple can currently offer, but Apple has the distinct advantage of packaging their eBooks app into a device that millions are purchasing for reasons altogether different than simply reading books. As the multimedia market behemoth that is the iPad continues to deliver what the consumer wants, Amazon is not afraid of using the threat to their business as a tool to grow its Kindle user base.

In a promising update to the Kindle app on the Apple App Store, according to Technologizer, Kindle is now rolling out books that feature contextual multimedia supplements such as video and audio alongside relevant text. Technologizer was unable to find a lot of content that feature this new functionality, but it is a new service, and more the amount of content will more than likely increase over time. For now, you can find video cooking instructions alongside an electronic cookbook, and audio of famous speeches transcribed in various books. Due to the increase in bandwidth consumption caused by downloading rich multimedia content, these book are currently only available for download on a wifi connection.

Image Credit: Technologizer

Interestingly enough, this capability is not yet available on Amazon's own eReader, the Kindle. This points once again to Amazon's brave attempt to use the same device that threatens them as a tool for market success. Amazon hasn't announced plans to port these features to it's own Kindle, Windows, or OS X, but we can't imagine they're too far behind.

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I am unaware of any numbers to support this but it appears as if Amazon realizes that selling hardware isn't going to be profitable for them. So they're trying to dominate the content sales. Even as an expensive eBook reader, the iPad offers so many more features that even a serious book reader would enjoy when not reading. Sure the Kindle offers a better reading experience on the eyes, but the iPad offers a clear advantage in the multimedia capabilities of the device. I'd still like to know how many Kindles have been sold to date. It would be interesting to see how close the iPad is to surpassing that number, if it hasn't already.

iBooks, Amazon Kindle App, Barnes and Noble App, Stanza, and Zinio were all the major selling points for the iPad (for me). Good selection and feature enriched (such as video and audio). Not as easy on the eyes for long-term-reading as the Kindle, but a better experience in shorter bursts .