iBook vs. Kindle app

by jeffhilimire on May 31, 2010

One thing I can say for certain, I’m reading more now that I have an iPad.  Although there have certainly been some things I’ve been disappointed with on the iPad, it definitely has made it easier and more likely that I’ll read a book.

Now that I’ve experienced reading on the iPad for a month or so, I thought I’d point out some of the things I’ve learned.

I prefer the iBook.

To be clear I’m talking about the iBook vs. the Kindle app on the iPad.  The optimal reading visually is on a Kindle.  It’s ink-technology is great, easy on the eyes and extremely similar to reading a paperback book. I will say that having read a book on the iPad, I don’t find much of a problem with reading on the back-lit screen.  Perhaps I’ll go blind in 15 years, but so far so good.

On the iPad, the iBook is a better experience.  You can do some cool things, like highlight a word and find it on Wikipedia.  Or do a Google search for a topic in the book.  Plus the interface itself is a little better than the Kindle.

But sometimes, I still use the Kindle app

Before I had the iPad, I did have a Kindle.  And I loved my Kindle…but I needed more.  So I happily passed the Kindle to my wife (I feel a blog coming on about “second-hand” early adopters like my wife, that gets the new, cool things as a by-product of a spouse that has to have the newer, cooler things).

But what is great about the Kindle is that I can buy a book and send it to the devices I have connected to my Kindle account.  So my process right now is, when I want to read a book that my wife might also want to read, I buy it on the Kindle app.  That way, she can read it on her Kindle as well.  I’m kind of surprised Amazon lets me do that, but until they turn it off I’m going to keep using it.

So for instance, I bought Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on iBook, because I’m pretty sure my wife isn’t going to read that.  In fact, I’m certain she’s embarrassed that I keep admitting that I’m reading it.  But I want to read the new Lucas Davenport book, Storm Prey, so I’m going to buy that on the Kindle app so we both can read it.

Conclusion

At this point, both the Kindle app and iBook have a place on my iPad.  When I buy books that both my wife and I would want to read, I’ll buy them on the Kindle app.  Books just for me, on iBook.

  • http://twitter.com/LaurensLeighton Lauren S. Leighton

    Maybe I should get the iPad because I should really read more than I do. My mom has the kindle and I steal it when I go to the pool or when she buys an interesting book through the device. The page-like screen on the kindle is really nice, especially when you are in the sun. But from what you are saying, it sounds like the iPad is the best of both worlds because you have both the kindle app option and the iBook. It also seems really convenient because you can share books with your wife with the app, which is an obvious money saver.

    Because the iPad has iBook and, from what you say, cooler features, do you think the kindle is going to step it up? Do you think the next generation kindle will be more similar to an iPad?

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Good question and I should clarify one thing, the iPad is almost unusable in the sun. The glare is brutal. However, I've been in the dark reading on my iPad which you can't do with the Kindle, and I'm more likely to read in bed than I am in the sun, so it works for me.

    I do think the Kindle will start stepping it up, incorporating touch screen, color, and video. And I hear its going to get thinner, which would be very cool.

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