Reading on the iPhone – Reading Apps Review

Disclaimer: This is an initial review after reading two books on the iPhone (Monstrumologist and Lair of the White Worm). Both were read on the Kindle for iPhone App. For the other apps my experience is limited to playing around with them and reading portions of books.

The reviews will be accompanied by two scores – a general reading score and a reading score relative to other iPhone Apps. At some later point will add video reviews since am trying to figure out how best to create App Review videos. 

Advantages and Disadvantages common to all iPhone Reading Apps

Shared iPhone App Disadvantages

  1. The screen of the iPhone is quite small. 
  2. Battery life does not compare with eInk based eReaders.  
  3. LCD screens cause a bit of eye strain whereas eInk screens do not.  
  4. There are a lot of distractions on the iPhone i.e. games, text messages, and more.  

Shared iPhone App Advantages 

  1. Color Screen.  
  2. Touch and basic multi-touch.  
  3. Excellent design of the iPhone which does impact the apps themselves.
  4. Most of all, the iPhone is with you all the time and small enough to fit in your pocket.

Review of Stanza for iPhone

Amazon actually bought Lexcycle, the company that makes Stanza, and it was a smart, smart move because Stanza is spectacular.

Stanza’s Strengths

Stanza’s 3 major strengths seem to be –  

  1. A Plethora of Options. Stanza lets you -

    Change the eBook Appearance
    Choose out of 9 Day Themes and 11 Night Themes.
    Pick a font type out of 24 fonts.
    Set font size using a sliding scale.
    Select Background color, Text color and Link color. There are hundreds of options.
    Set your own background image and set its opacity.

    Change the Layout of the eBook
    Choose Alignment, Hyphenation, Margin Sizes, Line Spacing, Paragraph Spacing, and Paragraph Indent.

    Customize a Bunch of Controls
    Lock Rotation of the iPhone.
    Disable Sleep Mode.
    Change the Page Turn Effect and Duration.
    Change what action leads to a page turn.
    Assign Actions to various touch gestures.

  2. Good Organization of Books and the Ability to add Folders – Stanza calls them Collections. It has different views of your books i.e. by title, by author, by subject, by latest reads, and of course you can create your own collections. You can even choose from a ton of icons and give each of your Collections a pretty little icon. 
  3. There’s a useful online catalog that lets you access multiple sources for ebooks -

    Random House Free Library.
    Project Gutenberg.
    And More.

The downloading works smoothly for the most part.

There are also a lot of different, well thought out features that combine to make Stanza an excellent reading App –  

  1. Tapping on the screen brings up the menu and  shows you the chapter you’re in, the page of the chapter you’re in, and percentage of the book you’ve read.
  2. There’s a sliding location bar that lets you jump quickly to anywhere in the eBook.
  3. There are two arrows on either side of the location bar that let you go back if you jump ahead – You can do this multiple times.
  4. The Table of Contents shows the chapter you’re in. 
  5. There’s a quick menu with the option to quickly do things like access the Dictionary, change the Font Size, and go to Your Library.
  6. You can turn pages by either tapping the side of the screen or swiping your finger. The actions can be changed on the Settings Page. 
  7. A feature called Cover Flow which lets you flip through covers of books. Couldn’t figure out how to start it.

Stanza Weaknesses

  1. All the options are a bit overwhelming. It really is meant for tech savvy people who like to customize and tinker with their apps.  
  2. There is no Auto-Scroll function. 
  3. Having all these different sources for ebooks instead of one central store is confusing. Some of the eBook Stores are really slow. 
  4. The Search Function is not very good i.e. you have to navigate a few menus to ‘Find Next’.

 Stanza Review

The positives far outweight the negatives. Stanza sets a very high bar for Reading Apps and it got the highest review score.

Stanza Review Score: 7.5 stars out of 10.
Stanza Review Score relative to iPhone Reading Apps: 9 stars out of 10 for tech savvy people, 8 stars for people who are confused by too many options.

Review of Kindle for iPhone

Kindle for iPhone Strengths

Kindle for iPhone has 3 major strengths -

  1. Simplicity. In direct contrast to Stanza, Kindle for iPhone provides few settings and options and almost forces you to focus on reading books.  
  2. Kindle Store Books – The wide range, the low prices, and the ability to read books you’ve already purchased for your Kindle (if you have one).
  3. WhisperSync – The ability to synchronize your place in a book across all your reading devices (only Kindle, iPhone and iTouch at the moment).  

This overlay screen is almost the entirety of the Kindle for iPhone’s settings -

Simplicity is the Kindle for iPhone's hallmark

Simplicity is the Kindle for iPhone's hallmark

Kindle also has other good features -

  1. The Archive function (to download a book you’ve purchased in the past) is great – it’s easy to circle through your books and super simple to download the ones you want.  
  2. The Home Screen is again simple and easy to use and lets you order books by Recent, by Title or by Author.  
  3. There are 5 font sizes.
  4. There are 3 Text colors – white, black and sepia. White is actually a ‘Night Mode’.
  5. The Sepia Text Color setting is more of a theme and perhaps the most readable theme/page setting of all the iPhone eReaders. 
  6. You can tap or swipe to turn pages.
  7. Portrait and Landscape mode reading.
  8. Getting new books is through’s mobile site in Safari which is well designed.
  9. You can zoom into images (pinch the image).

Kindle for iPhone Weaknesses

Kindle for iPhone’s weaknesses stem from its focus on simplicity (and a few other sources) -

  1. There are relatively few customization options.
  2. There’s no AutoScrolling.  
  3. You cannot add notes and highlights.
  4. There’s no Search function.
  5. The Kindle Store is not integrated into the Kindle for iPhone App and you have to go to Safari to get ebooks.  
  6. There is no Help Document and instead the app sends you to a help page on
  7. There is no provision for things like Folders.

Kindle for iPhone Overall Review:

Kindle for iPhone brings the Kindle’s super simplistic design philosophy to the iPhone. The lack of search, auto-scrolling and highlighting prevent it from hitting the perfect balance between simplicity and essential functionality.

Kindle for iPhone Review Score: 7 stars out of 10.
Kindle for iPhone Review Score relative to iPhone Reading Apps: 7.5 stars out of 10, Higher if you like simplicity and just want to read.

Barnes & Noble eReader Review

B&N eReader’s Strengths 

The B&N eReader is built on eReader from with minimal differences. It was the right thing to do because we already had a pretty good Reading App and B&N actually manage to improve it a bit.

In terms of design philosophy its closer to Stanza than Kindle – it does manage to not overwhelm you with settings (something Stanza is guilty of).

The top 4 strengths of the B&N eReader are -

  1. AutoScroll feature with a touch control to change the speed, start and stop it.  
  2. Great Annotations – includes bookmarks, highlighting and notes. The listing is rather pretty too.
  3. Categories and ability to add your own categories and arrange categories as you wish (Stanza always puts default stanza collections first).
  4. A ton of options for customization -

    8 Fonts.
    6 Font Sizes.
    8 Themes usable as Day Themes or Night Themes. You can also make Custom Themes yourself.
    Change Line Spacing, Margins, Justification.
    Lock Orientation.
    Choose the Page Turn Gesture.

It also is pretty and very well designed -

B&N eReader - Simple, Pretty, Well Designed

B&N eReader - Simple, Pretty, Well Designed

There are a lot of other good features -

  1. You can create your own themes. An impressive feature.
  2. There’s an in-built user guide for help with the app. 
  3. Great Search function – You can circle through the search results using a little tiny ‘Find Next’ control on the screen.
  4. Ability to highlight a word or phrase and then look it up in the dictionary, on Wikipedia or on Google.
  5. The B&N eReader uses touch very well.
  6. There’s a location slider that lets you slide to any page (yes, it has pages) and then use back and forward arrow buttons to circle through your location jumps.
  7. The Table of Contents lists the page at which every chapter starts.

As a pure application, the B&N eReader almost hits the perfect balance. There is unfortunately one flaw.

B&N eReader’s Weaknesses

The one weakness that spoils the beauty of the eReader app –  

  1. Books are ridiculously expensive. Lost Symbol was showing up for $30.    

A few other downsides -

  1. Page Numbers change with font size. Which sort of kills the whole concept of pages.
  2. There really aren’t that many negatives – this is just a very well done app (or to be more precise eReader was a very well done app and B&N carried that on).

B&N eReader Review

Barnes & Noble took an almost great app i.e. eReader and turned it into a great app by doing two big things -

  1. Replacing all the confusing ebook stores and download options with one central store. 
  2. Adding the option to search Google and search Wikipedia after selecting a text.

They then spoilt this beautiful app with their super expensive ebook prices. It really is a tragedy because its such a well designed product – the eBook store fails it terribly.

B&N eReader Review Score: 7.25 stars out of 10.
B&N eReader Review Score relative to iPhone Reading Apps: 8.5 stars out of 10.

This would be the best eReader if the ebooks were reasonably priced.

ShortCovers iPhone App Review

ShortCovers Strengths

ShortCovers has one really strong  feature i.e.

  1. ShortCovers is the only app that has its own Store and also has the Store built into its App. This is enhanced by having excellent Discoverability -

    Browse lets you look through the different sections of the Store from the App itself. You can dig into any section or sub-section and see the Popular Books, the Bestsellers, and New Releases.

    Discover lets you jump into a bunch of bestseller lists, free books sections, featured titles, bargains and more. You can filter results to see only paid books or only free books. There’s even a Book Covers Mode for the Search Results. 

There are also a few other good features – 

  1. There are a decent number of settings – Night Reading, Rotation Lock, 8 Colors/Themes to choose from, 5 Font Sizes, 6 Fonts, Linespacing and Justification settings. 
  2. There are good sharing features and you can email a book recommendation to friends or tweet what book you’re reading.
  3. There’s a location slider to jump anywhere in the book and back and front buttons to circle between jump locations.
  4. There are book page numbers. However, they change based on Font size and that reduces their benefit.
  5. The design is good and easy to use.

At this point the wheels begin to fall off.

ShortCovers Weaknesses

  1. You have to be logged in to ShortCovers to bookmark pages.  
  2. You have to choose between scrolling down in the book OR doing page turns – This is an unnecessarily restrictive design decision.
  3. Worst of all, books are downloaded in sections i.e. you literally finish a page or a chapter and press Next Page to find that you have to wait a few seconds for the new section to download. Changing the settings didn’t help.

Either the setting is really hard to find or its a terrible idea i.e. lets download the second book chapter only when the user navigates into it.  Waiting 3-4 seconds for the chapter/page to load really kills the flow of reading.

ShortCovers Overall Review

The best discoverability out of all the Reading Apps and the in-built store make for a promising start. However, Shortcovers drop the ball with their strange decision to download books chapter by chapter.

ShortCovers Review Score: 6.5 stars out of 10.
Shortcovers Review Score relative to iPhone Reading Apps: 7.25 stars out of 10.

iPhone Reading Apps – The Rest

The 4 Apps reviewed above are the ones getting all the attention. However, there are a number of other reading apps that are worth looking at -

WattPad Review

The WattPad apps seems to have only user written books and stories – which makes sense as it’s a site set up to read and share ebooks.

The main features are -

  1. 3 Font Types and a sliding scale for Font Sizes.  
  2. 24 Font Colors and the same 24 colors available for the background. 
  3. AutoScroll with a nice slider to change scroll speed.  
  4. You can either scroll down or tap to turn pages. A nice combination.
  5. A ton of sharing options – Email, Twitter, Facebook.  

You can’t really get publisher published books (or so it seems). If you could the app would get a 7.75 or 8 out of 10 for iPhone reading and a 7 out of 10 for reading in general.  

Beam It Down’s iFlow

This seems to be a company creating book apps i.e. an app that is a single book.

It does a very good job and its Book Apps have some interesting features -

  1. Choose one out of 30 Fonts and one out of 25 Font Sizes.  
  2. 26 choices for Paper Color and 23 choices for Font Color.
  3. There’s an auto-scroll function. You can adjust the scrolling speed using touch buttons OR by tilting the iPhone.
  4. The tilting the iPhone to control the speed of the scrolling is a really, really cool feature.   
  5. There’s an in-built manual.
  6. There’s a Night Mode.

If you’re going to create a book app do consider these guys.

Readdle’s Shakespeare App

This is a simple app that does what it’s supposed to i.e. let you read all of Shakespeare’s works. The features -

  1. Turn your iphone upside down for full screen reading (another really cool idea like the tilt scrolling). 
  2. It has a very good search function that lets you circle through search results (#2 after B&N eReader’s Search). 
  3. 21 choices for Font and Background Color. 
  4. 7 Font Sizes.
  5. Scroll down using a swipe action or by tapping the bottom third of the screen.

The turn upside down short-cut and the search function are both very good design.

State of iPhone Reading

The 7 apps we have reviewed occupy the top spots in the App Store Books Section and they are doing a lot of things very, very well -

  1. ShortCovers has excellent discoverability.
  2. Kindle for iPhone has excellent focus on reading and WhisperSync is really impressive.  
  3. Stanza pushes the envelope on letting readerstinker with every aspect of ebook design and typography.
  4. B&N has a wonderfully done AutoScroll feature, very flexible Categories, and great annotations support.
  5. iFlow’s Tilt-Scrolling and Readdle’s Upside Down Full Page Mode shortcut are expanding what we can use accelerometers for.

There are almost certainly other apps amongst the 10,000+ book apps that are using great design ideas and doing innovative things.

The State of Reading on the iPhone is very impressive. It’s not an eInk screen and the screen size is rather small – despite that Apps are getting 7.5 stars out of 10 on my scale.

The Kindle gets 8.5 stars so 7.5 stars is very impressive for a Free App.

If eInk eReaders don’t evolve their technology and their application design fast enough reading Apps on the iPhone and the iReader/iTablet will catch up with them – perhaps as early as mid 2010. Dropping prices isn’t going to be enough to win.

The best option for pure Reading Devices is to use the iPhone as a breeding ground for ideas -

Scour the reading apps.

See what’s working. See what isn’t working but is a great idea.

Incorporate the best of the best into their own design.

A good place to start is what we’ve already seen.

Innovations and Features eInk eReaders should steal from iPhone Apps

Kindle, Sony Reader, and other eInk based eReaders can, and ought to, steal some of the innovative features iPhone reading apps have come up with. These include -

  1. ShortCovers’ approach to Discoverability (to be fair it does have lots of similarities to what Amazon already has).
  2. AutoScroll. 
  3. Using Touch and the Accelerometer in new and innovative ways. We already have a few really good ideas -

    Turn Device upside down to go to full screen mode.
    Tilt to change the scrolling speed – You could use the Kindle DX accelerometer for this.
    Use Touch and Sliding the Touch (the finger that is doing the touching) to change Scrolling Speed.
    Double taps to hide and show menus.

  4. B&N’s Categories Feature.
  5. Sliding Font Size Scale. The Sony Reader Touch Edition has a sliding font resizer – however, the resize gets lost if you turn pages.  
  6. Sliding Location Bar that lets you quickly jump around.  
  7. Page Numbers.
  8. Day and Night Modes (although this would probably eat up battery life faster). 
  9. Giving readers the option to change fonts and font boldness.
  10. Perhaps Themes – the Kindle for iPhone Sepia theme is amazingly good for reading. It might be quite difficult getting themes working with eInk though.

A Threat to Kindle for iPhone?

One of the announcements from the Apple conference today (June 8th, 2009) is that ScrollMotion’s Iceberg iPhone App will add an in-app bookstore and support in-app purchases.  

The updates in iPhone OS 3.0 for the Iceberg App are quite impressive -

  1. In-App Purchasing.
  2. In-App Email, including emailing notes and book snippets (which could be huge).
  3. Ability to go to a particular page. Iceberg supports pages.
  4. Copy/Paste.
  5. Book Shelf. Its basically a visual list of your titles and, as you might guess, its book covers on a bookshelf.

For this post, let’s focus on the BookStore.

Iceberg In-App Purchases and BookStore

Iceberg In-App Purchases and BookStore

Iceberg iPhone BookStore – InApp Purchases

Firstly, the Kindle for iPhone is unlikely to add in-app purchasing as that would mean 30% of revenue to Apple. Given that Amazon is already losing money on books it sells, handing over 30% of revenue to Apple would be suicidal.

That means the Iceberg’s support for In-App purchases will be a competitive advantage for a long time.

Kindle for iPhone Vs Iceberg – Content.

This is key. Currently, Iceberg only offers 500 or so bestsellers. The big news, and the reason its getting so much attention, is their claim that they’ll soon bring -

  1. More than a million books. Content partners include Random House, Pearson, HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon and Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Perseus, Candlewick Press, and Wiley. 
  2. 50 Major magazines, including ones from The Slate Group, Time Inc, Conde Nast, Hearst Publications, Harvard Business Review. 
  3. 170 daily newspapers (and presumably additional content) via a distribution deal with Libre Digital.
  4. Film, television and education related content.

That’s a lot of content and makes it unlikely that by million books they mean 990,000 public domain titles. To spice things up further they specifically say they will include textbooks by Houton Mifflin, Harcourt and McGraw Hill (the last of which has so far shyed away from supporting the Kindle DX). 

What’s the Threat Level?

Overall, its not much of a threat to Kindles. However, the Kindle for iPhone App is definitely under threat.

  1. The Kindle for iPhone App has had a huge advantage in amount of available content. 
  2. It also has the advantage of Amazon branding.
  3. If Iceberg isn’t just pulling a publicity stunt and have a sizable number of new books and current textbooks available, they suddenly have enough content to take on the Kindle app.
  4. Add in features like in-app email, support for pages, and the fact that in-app purchases are more convenient than jumping to Safari to buy Kindle Books, and you have a viable competitor.

Which brings us to branding and marketing – 

  1. Given that Apple get 30% of the purchases, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine that Iceberg gets featured on the App Store home page and added to the Editor’s App Picks.
  2. The fact that they were shown off at the Conference is just a taste of things to come. Apple is definitely going to put its weight behind the Iceberg app.

The first battle in the Apple Vs Amazon Wars is actually this Kindle Vs Iceberg confrontation. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.

Kindle for iPhone grabs #1 Spot

After approximately 51 hrs of being in play, Kindle for iPhone has taken the #1 spot in the Books Apps category of the iPhone App Store.

There’s probably some factor for recent popularity which is why Kindle 4 iPhone got the #1 spot so quickly.  It’ll be interesting to see if this holds up over the next few days. Its also interesting that in this short time, Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone already has 500+ reviews (Stanza has a total of approximately 1100 reviews).

Also, this is for the US. In international iPhone Apps Stores, the Kindle for iPhone app isn’t even available. So worldwide Stanza and eReader still have the lead.

A new #1

A new #1

The rapid ascent isn’t that surprising given that almost every big Apple blog, every top tech blog, and loads of other sites wrote about the Kindle for iPhone App over the last 2 days. There were 845 news articles about the Kindle for iPhone, and it was also one of the top stories in Google Blog Search with 72 blogs writing about it -

Everyone's writing about Kindle for iPhone

Everyone's writing about Kindle for iPhone

I’m also sure that the fact that they could get the Kindle Store without buying a $359 Kindle 2 made people feel it was a must have.

There are going to be two direct consequences -

  1. A lot of Kindle for iPhone users are going to buy or get a book to try out (the Kindle Store’s range makes it likely it’ll be from Amazon), and realize how much the reading experience sucks on a small screen.
  2. Some of these people are going to end up buying the Kindle 2.

Kindle for iPhone is going to boost Kindle 2 sales

There are four big underlying reasons why a non-insignificant number of Kindle for iPhone users will end up buying Kindle 2, Kindle 3 or the Kindle Textbook Edition  -

  1. Awareness of the Kindle + the Realization that something better than reading on iPhone exists.  
  2. Commitment and Consistency (as Cialdini would say) – A user of the Kindle for iPhone app will begin to consider himself part of the Kindle family. 
  3. Lock-In – All books you buy for your Kindle iPhone app only work with Kindle 1, Kindle 2 and Kindle 3.
  4. Value-Add – Any Kindle 2 owner now can read across their Kindle 2, their iPhone and soon across other devices.

Here are some more in-depth explanations – 

Realization that something better than reading on the iPhone exists.

The biggest reason that Kindle for iPhone App is going to boost Kindle 2, Kindle 3 sales is that a lot of people using the app will be exposed to what the Kindle 2 is and be able to see how much better it is for reading.

Here’s a snippet from the Apple Blog -

Reading is nice but a little cramped on the iPhone. Honestly, I found myself wishing I had a bigger screen, maybe something just like a Kindle 2 device — which is probably exactly what Amazon wanted me to feel.

And one of the comments (from Jim) only highlights this point  -

 Funny how last week I was totally OK with just reading on the iPhone (Stanza) – now I’d much rather read on the Kindle.

This is just a day in. If I were Amazon I’d take a bundle of all the Kindle specific offers they’ve had for free recently published books, and bundle them in with the Kindle for iPhone app – a collection of 20-100 good free books that no other iPhone eReader can offer.

Kindle for iPhone

Kindle for iPhone

Commitment to Kindle and Consistency with being an Amazon Kindle customer

Cialdini talked about this principle of Commitment and Consistency as one of the 6 core principles of Influence. Its the reason why grocery stores want you to get membership cards and stores want you to get store specific credit cards.

All things being equal, a Kindle for iPhone user is going to pick a Kindle 2 when choosing an eBook Reader. Even if All things are not quite equal, he’s still going to pick the Kindle 2 when choosing what eReader to upgrade to.

Lock-In to the Kindle and the Kindle Store

This is where, from a company standpoint, having a proprietary format is a blessing. Any purchases Kindle for iPhone customers make will be in .azw format and the only eReader that gets .azw is Kindle (1, 2, and 3). There’s automatic lock-in.

There are also other forms of lock-in like

  1. Signing up for an Amazon account, and getting used to making purchases from Kindle store.
  2. Getting used to a lot of the features and functionality of the Kindle for iPhone app (which are very similar to Kindle 2).

The lock-in makes leaving Kindle for iPhone App for a non-Kindle eReader a costly move. You lose your books and you lose your comfort zone.

Value-Add for Kindle 2 owners AKA The Power of WhisperSync

This becomes the Kindle 2’s strong-suit – being able to read Kindle Edition books across devices, and the devices syncing together. Its already impressive, and soon they will add in support for Blackberries, other smart-phones, netbooks, and hopefully (though it might not happen) normal PCs.  

At that point, the WhisperSync feature is going to become a huge competitive advantage over other eReaders and a significant barrier to entry for new eReaders.

Closing Thoughts

Kindle 2 owners just got a nice bonus with the Kindle for iPhone App. The iPhone just got a top competitor for the title of ‘Best iPhone Reading App’. And Amazon put an end to all the ‘iPhone is going to kill the Kindle’ stories. A pretty good day overall.  

I do feel that the Kindle for iPhone app is going to result in a lot of new Kindle 2 owners. As Kindles evolve and become better and better, more and more Kindle for iPhone users will switch to becoming actual Kindle device owners.

Will Kindle for iPhone kill every other iPhone Reading App?

I don’t really have a full answer for this question. However, my gut tells me it will.

Here are my reasons why Kindle for iPhone App is going to kill Applications like Stanza, eReader, Classics, and so forth -

  1. Amazon is a trusted company and a LOT of people trust it and are familiar with it.  
  2. Kindle 2 has a lot of buzz and a lot of iPhone owners are going to feel they get the Kindle’s functionality for free.
  3. Kindle Store has a huge range of books (240K+) that other iPhone reading apps can’t hope to match. 
  4. WhisperSync makes Kindle for iPhone super attractive – especially since people are going to anticipate that Kindle Store will keep expanding to other devices. 
  5. There are 7,000+ free books available from within the Kindle Store.  
  6. There are a lot of features that I’m not sure are available in all iPhone reading apps – resizeable fonts, adding bookmarks, etc.
  7. Get first chapter samples for free for every book in the Kindle Store.

Also, here’s a Kindle for iPhone video courtesy ZolloTech

Amazon has left one big loophole i.e. no support for buying books from within the Kindle for iPhone app. However it compares favorably with every existing iPhone reading app -

  1. Google Book Search for iPhone – This is not really an app, and does not have new books and in copyright books.  
  2. Classics App – 18 classics for $3. This is a little blip compared to the Kindle Store and 7000+ free books.
  3. Stanza – This is quite a good competitor with over a million installs, 100K books available, and arrangements with publishers going on. However, it really can’t compare with Kindle’s range of new books.
  4. Shortcovers – This shows up as released on Feb 21st, 2009. Anyways this is a new entrant and not entrenched and now Kindle for iPhone will get all the mindshare and buzz. Note: Shortcovers already has a Blackberry App and a beta of an Android App.  
  5. eReader – This is another well entrenched reading app. eReader happens to be a very well constructed app, as the video below shows. Will have to research some more for numbers, etc. 

The three credible threats are Stanza, eReader and Shortcovers. Google Book Search is primarily a website that’s extended to make it accessible via iPhones and not really an app. And in my opinion Kindle for iPhone clearly beats them all.

I do think eReader and Stanza are somewhat of a threat – however, they just don’t have the brand recognition or range of books that Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone app does. Here’s an eReader video – .

Update: Via Wired -

 Phil Ryu, co-creator of Classics, provider of 20 public domain books, tells Wired: “I think the Kindle app is basically going to wipe out Stanza, and I’m sure pretty much every Kindle user with an iPhone or iPod Touch will be picking it up. It’s extremely convenient, as Kindle owner myself, having all your purchased books centralized on Amazon.”


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