Kindle for PC: first look! Kindle for PC: first look!

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Kindle for PC: first look!

Kindle for PC launched today, letting you swap books not just between your e-reader and your iPhone, but your computer too. Is it the iTunes of books we were hoping for? Or just a fussy proprietary app we could do without? Take a look in our preview!

We’ve been testing out Kindle for PC since it launched earlier today, and so far we like what we see, even if we’ve not been wowed by it. What Kindle for PC aims to do, it does solidly, with no frills attached to distract you and only a few downers.

Installing Kindle for PC is a doodle, and if you’ve not used a Kindle app or device before, you can simply sign in with your Amazon email address and password and get going. The app fires up quickly and has a basic, perfunctory UI that echoes the design of Amazon’s website well.

Chances are, you won’t have any books to start reading with Kindle for PC, so you’ll have to head to the Kindle Store straight away. It’s easy enough, with a link in the right hand corner. For better or worse, it doesn’t do this in app, but instead launches your default web browser to go to the Kindle Store. Downloading a book is as easy as searching for it, and you buy with one click as you would anything on Amazon. Once you’ve paid, you can choose which Kindle device to send it to (the PC, unless you just picked up a Kindle International Edition), which then launches the app again, and the book arrives within seconds.

Kindle for PC arrives

We can live with the pricing in dollars on the Kindle Store despite being in the UK, but it’s a shame this is the only way to get books – perhaps we’re just too used to iTunes, but we’d have preferred to browse books inside the Kindle for PC app, with a bit more pizazz, and maybe samples of the illustrations in the books offering them (Kindle for PC does full colour).

Once the book is there, you’ll simply see a tile on the Kindle for PC homescreen, and from here you can just dive straight in. Wisely, Amazon hasn’t forced in terrible, tacky page turn animations, so clicking on the left or right hand side of the screen simply flashes up a new page. Fonts are adjustable, and you can add bookmarks and pull up notes you’ve made from other Kindle devices.

There is still the problem of the screen you’re using Kindle for PC on. Unless you’ve managed to scoop an early prototype eInk laptop, you’re not going to want to read full blown novels on a traditional TFT or CRT monitor. But the point is the option is there with Kindle for PC should you wish to (you could sneak the last few pages of a must read book once you got to work, say, or use it for showing a set text up on your screen while writing an essay). It’s just another place to access your Kindle library, and since it’s free, we can’t complain.

Actually, by for our favourite part of Kindle for PC, and one we can see most practical use for, is the sample option. Got your eye on a book? Download the first snippet of it for free and check it out.

Kindle for PC could be better, and frankly, could be done completely inside a web browser too, but as it stands, it works perfectly and is still worth downloading, even if you just want to try before you buy. The Amazon Kindle for PC software is available to try now, with a Mac version “coming soon”, but yake a look at it close up in our gallery right here first.

Out Now | £free | Amazon

  • Andy

    I downloaded it yesterday and gave it a try. It does have a lot of work to go, but I like the idea and I hope to see a lot of improvements in the future. But it’ll be nice to throw some free books into it as well as some things from around the web.

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