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Kindle for Blackberry App Gets Thumbs Up from Kindlelove Blog

Thanks to James over at the Kindlelove blog for permission to reprint his timely and very nicely done review of the new Kindle for BlackBerry App:

Kindle for BlackBerry review

2010 February 20

by flatland

I have installed and used the new Kindle for BlackBerry application and I believe it is a completely viable e-reader app—whether sneaking in a chapter or two during lunch, quick reading in bed, while riding the subway, etc.—due to Amazon’s brilliant Whispersync feature. 

Here are some comments:

  • The application loads quickly (2.5 seconds)
  • Books open and download quickly
  • There is a “Fullscreen” option that can be selected by pressing ‘F’—this removes the title of the book at the top of the screen and the current location at the bottom of the book. This is helpful for the smaller screens of BlackBerries with keyboards (note to Amazon: this would also be a nice feature on standard Kindle devices).
  • 6 font sizes are available:
      The smallest font provides 7 ‘location’ (“Fullscreen” adds 2 additional lines of text) per page view;  the second-smallest font provides 5 ‘locations’; the middle font sizes provide 3-4 ‘locations’ As a comparison, the same book on the 6″ Kindle provides 11 ‘locations’ per page view (“and so businesses); The second-smallest font provides 7 ‘locations’
  • Other shortcuts:
      ’space’ key:     next page‘P’ (or shift+’space’):     previous page‘-’ (‘+’):     decrease (increase) font‘B‘:    add bookmark’When in Archived folder, press a letter key to jump to a book title or author name

And the final biggie….

    .mobi files downloaded (or transferred) your BlackBerry WILL open in the Kindle for BlackBerry applicationDirections:

    • In the ‘Save file’ dialog box, select the folder icon to explore to a new location.
    • Select ‘Device Memory’->’home’->’user’->’kindle’->’eBooks’
    • Open up Kindle for BlackBerry.  Your ebook will be included in the ‘Home’ screen.

    eBooks, calibre-created newspapers/magazines/blogs, Instapaper files—all work and include the navigable table of contents.  Hyperlinks open in the BlackBerry browser.

One final note:  I was unable to download the application from the BlackBerry’s browser, receiving the following error message after attempting to load the amazon.com/kindlebb url:

Invalid address: https://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/kcp/install.html?ie=UTF8

I figured out the fix for this issue:  go to the “Options” menu on your BlackBerry, scroll down to and select “Security Options”, scroll down to and select “TLS”, and change the “Protocol” selection to “TLS/SSL”. Save these settings, reopen your BlackBerry browser and re-enter the amazon.com/kindlebb url.  If you still are having problems, you can enter directly the download link: http://klamath.s3.amazonaws.com/rc8b/kindle.jad

Now Available: Free Kindle for Blackberry App!


The long-awaited Kindle for Blackberry App has just become available in the Kindle Store!

It’s a snap to download the App free to your Blackberry. Just type amazon.com/kindlebb directly into your Blackberry browser, or go directly to Amazon’s Kindle for Blackberry pageand and type in your Blackberry’s email address to send an email to your Blackberry with a link to download. The Kindle for Blackberry App is currently available to U.S. customers only, but I am told that Amazon is working on expanding the App beyond US borders at an undetermined time in the future.

You’ll then be able to purchase and/or read Kindle books directly on your Blackberry! Can the Kindle for Mac App be far behind?

As shown in this graphic, the Kindle for Blackberry App supports seven Blackberry models: the Bold 9000 and 9700, the Curve 8520 and 8900, the Tour 9630, and the Storm 9530 and 9550. Kindle newspapers, magazines, and blogs are not yet available for use with the Kindle for Blackberry App, but I am told that Amazon is working on adding such content for the App at an undetermined time in the future.

Features currently available with the Kindle for Blackberry App include the ability to automatically synchronize your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync and to create bookmarks and view the annotations you created on your Kindle, computer, or other Kindle-compatible mobile device.

Please email KindleNation@gmail.com to share your Kindle for Blackberry App experiences with other citizens of Kindle Nation!

Under “Future Improvements” Amazon says:

As with all our services, we will continue to improve the Kindle for Blackberry application. Below are some of the features to be added in the near future:      

  • Scrolling: In addition to page-by-page navigation, you will be able to scroll text line-by-line. 
  • Create Notes and Highlights: Along with viewing the notes and highlights you created on other Kindle devices, you will be able to create and edit notes and highlights.     
  • Search: You will be able to search within your book.

ET, Phone the Kindle Store

Yesterday Amazon let slip news that — for authors, publishers, and people who like to read on their cellphones — may potentially be every bit as big as anything the company will announce about the Kindle 2, 3, or 4 on February 9.

As suggested in my book last summer and in this January 30 post here and at my Amazon-hosted blog, the Kindle Store will soon begin selling its content to owners of devices such as the Blackberry, the iPhone, and the iPod Touch:

Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones.

So, do we still call a device a potential “Kindle Killer” if millions of its owners can use it to buy books, newspapers, and magazines from the Kindle Store, with Amazon getting a 25 to 35 per cent cut? No, Amazon’s Kindle initiative has much less to do with any specific hardware device than with Amazon’s need — and apparent ability — to stay ahead of changing modalities in book and other content sales.

As I have written before: “the primary importance of the Kindle for Amazon lies in four things: it jumpstarts significant electronic book sales; it positions the books in the Kindle store as the primary source of e-reader content; it sets the bar higher than it had previously been set for form factor, feature set, and delivery mode for electronic books; and it gives Amazon a seat at the head of the table in shaping this area of book commerce going forward.” That seat just got placed on risers.

For all the snarky Applephiles and Amazonians who have mistakenly seen this as an either/or battle from the get-go, a word to the wise: we can all just get along. Meanwhile, every ereading device and ebook portal including the Kindle and the Kindle Store will, no doubt, continue to scramble to play nice with the potentially astounding free public domain catalog available through Google Books. Neither Amazon nor Apple has any need to monetize that activity, but it is essential that Google Books access be part of the feature set.