eBook Sharing Apps
Sony recently announced that it would be releasing an app for iPhone and Android that would allow Sony Reader eBooks to be read on those devices. This type of software has already existed for the Kindle and Kobo ebooks for a while, so it’s a smart idea for Sony to release something similar. I have been meaning to write a post about those options, and this announcement from Sony reminded me about it.
This is a great way for these companies to be able to sell content (ebooks) to customers who don’t actually own an ebook reader. I know that there must be plenty of people who would be interested in trying out an ebook for the Sony Reader, Kindle, or Kobo, without having to actually buy one of those devices. With these apps, you can buy an ebook from any of these companies and read it on hardware that you already own. Below are details on exactly what kind of software you can use.
Sony’s announcement said that the apps for iPhone and Android would be available in December, but I don’t see them on Sony’s website quite yet. Right now you can get apps for both Windows and Macs. They’re calling it “Reader Library Software” and you can use it to buy ebooks or borrow ebooks from your library.
If you don’t want to buy a Kindle but you do want to take advantage of the convenience of Kindle eBooks, you can get the free Kindle App for Windows, Mac, Blackerry, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. The Kindle itself provides a better reading experience with its E-Ink screen because your eyes won’t suffer the strain of reading from an LCD screen. But, like I said above, it’s a useful way to try out an ebook if you’re not yet sure if you want to buy a Kindle. Plus, you can use these apps to share your Kindle ebooks between your devices.
Kobo also covers a lot of different devices with their free reading app: iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and Palm Pre smartphones, iPad and presumably other tablets in the future, and both Windows and Mac desktops.
This kind of cross-platform versatility makes ebook reading seem a lot more appealing. I think that it removes some of the fear that a lot of people have that they’ll be locked into reading a book on specific device, and might lose it if they upgrade that device in the future, or decide to starting reading on something else instead. It also gives you the option of sharing an ebook between different members of your family — for example, you could put an ebook on your e-reader, and also on your spouse’s iPhone. It’s also a good way for these companies to get customers to become familiar with their products. Once trust is developed they might be more likely to buy the e-reader.