Kindle and Paradise Regained

As you all might have heard that Amazon (finally) released a Kindle Application for the Blackberry. When I heard this I thought that this would be a good thing, as I have (and quite enjoy) both my Blackberry and Kindle. Here's the rundown:

  • The Kindle App for the blackberry is probably the most well designed blackberry application I've seen thus far. Having said that, the bar isn't terribly high.

    In a lot of ways, the way (before the Kindle app) to make a "successful" blackberry application is one that figures out how to make its data "fit" into an email or messaging context and then blend that data into the messaging/event feed in a useful sort of way.

    This doesn't do that, and I think learns a great deal from advancements made in iPhone app development. The resolution on the Blackberry Bold is amazing (same number of pixels as the iPhone, much greater density.) and the buttons/interface is really intuitive and well designed. The app itself gets as many thumbs up as I can manage.

  • I've been having phone angst recently. I don't use it very much, I need to have better filtering of my email and reorganize how I do my voice mail, and while this is easy enough to say here it's a much more substantial project than I've got time for now.

  • The Kindle App isn't a replacement for the kindle, but it's a great compliment, and it makes it much more possible to lighten the load in my back-bag, and it makes it easier for me to entertain myself with my phone. This might not seem like a bit deal, but I think it is.

    There are also situations where the Kindle isn't usable (in bed when the lights are off and various other low light situations) and that's alright, but the Kindle app is. So that's a good thing indeed.

  • I had hoped that the kindle would make it easier to read in the in between moments throughout the day when I might read but didn't. That isn't exactly true, as it turns out. Reading on the Kindle still requires a fair piece of directed attention, and it's not the kind of thing you can idly whip out while you're waiting in the grocery check out line.

    I'm not sure at this point, of course, but I do think that having access to the Kindle on the phone will improve this usability feature.

  • I'm sort of annoyed by the lack of subscriptions. While you can have multiple devices attached to your Kindle account, when you subscribe to a periodical, that content is only accessible to you on one of your devices. I don't really like this, and it represents a huge loss of value for the Kindle store.

While I got the Blackberry shortly after the first iPhone 3g came out, the "app explosion" hadn't really happened yet. I must confess some "app jealousy." The Blackberry is awesome, and really it does the messaging quite better than anything else around (I'm convinced.) And I love the hardware keyboard. But when I think "I'd like to do something with my phone," the chance of getting a Blackberry app to do that is... unlikely. I don't know if I want a lot of apps on my phone, in the end, but I know the hardware is capable, and it's nice to take advantage of that from time to time. In any case...

Onward and Upward!

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