Amazon spreads Kindleware to BlackBerries
But it can't leave the country
Amazon has released Kindleware for BlackBerry handhelds - though it's only available to US users. At least for the moment.
The etailer of etailers is already offering iPhone and Windows apps that replicate the software built-in to its Kindle ereader handheld, but now you can tap your Kindle account from certain BlackBerry models, too.
While the physical Kindle is now available internationally - and other Kindle apps provide access to at least certain titles outside the US - the new Kindle for BlackBerry is only available to stateside users, though. Asked if an international version is in the works, a company spokeswoman said: "We don’t speculate on future plans."
Even if you don't own a physical Kindle, you can download Amazonian etitles from the new BlackBerry app and other Kindle apps. But if you do own an Amazon handheld, it will automatically synchronize with Kindle apps running on other devices via its built-in wireless connection. This means you can share titles you've purchased across dispararte devices, and as you move from device to device, your central Kindle account will keep track of, say, what page you've read to.
Amazon also says that Kindleware for the Mac and the imminent iPad will be available "soon." Mac-ness is the one area where the Kindle platform still trails Barnes & Noble's ebookware, which is available for the PC, iPhone, Mac, and certain BlackBerries and Motorola phones. In the fall, B&N released its own physical ereader, the Nook.
Amazon's PC and iPhone Kindle app are available for use outside the US. But Amazon says that "book availability may vary" if you're not stateside. "Content availability varies by country due to a number of factors. Each customer has a content catalogue associated with their region or country, and we display the appropriate catalogue for each customer," the company has told us.
Amazon sells ebooks in the DRMed .AZW format and the unprotected mobipocket format, the basis for AZW. Certain Kindles also read PDFs.
You can download the new Kindle for BlackBerry app here. ®
Does content disappear on international trips?
"Does this article say in Para 6 what I think it says? That if you go overseas the book you are reading on your Kindle could become unavailable because of regional rights restrictions?"
Probably not, at least going by what I see with a Kindle bookshelf shared across a Kindle, iPod Touch, and PC installations. You'll just be unable to *buy* content from the other countries. The books seem to be limited based on where your payment is taken from -- e.g. your credit card billing address.
I'm a Blackberry user, and I love it. It does everything I need it to do, and loads more. However, the very idea of reading a book on it gives me a headache just thinking about it.
The screen size on a Blackberry is nowhere near big enough for reading for extended periods. E-mail, webpages, skimming docs, fine - but not a 30-min plus read through a book (which, if you want to use an e-book reader on a device, you're obviously going to be using it for extended periods).
But maybe other users will disagree. I know people who think an iPhone is the perfect device for watching movies on - which is waaaay too small for my taste.
I'm not even going to start with the idea of having Amazon dictating the content of my BB!!
<-The one with a dead-tree copy of one of the bazillions of books not available in e-format, thanks...
...you could just download a scanned version of the book in question (for free) and look at it in any text editor or browser at a total cost of ... nothing!