Amazon makes smart move with Kindle for the iPhone

Amazon is definitely playing it smart in releasing Kindle for the iPhone. From what information I’ve been able to get it seems that the first implementation of the software is still a bit “plain”, but this is a huge step forward.

Lets look at how this is good for readers first. To start out, if you own an iPhone (not sure if the iPod touch will work as well) you’ll be able to read Kindle books without having to buy a Kindle. Considering the price of a Kindle, this is surely the cheapest way to get started with Amazon ebooks. The Kindle for iPhone application is free.

Readers from outside the US might be able to order ebooks from Amazon, while previously they surely couldn’t as the Kindle is only sold in the US. (I would guess that this would be a big plus for Amazon too.) Also, though I’m sure many people take their Kindles on the road, speacilly on long trips, just about everyone carries their phones everywhere. This means that readers will be able to read more, in situations in which it would not have been possible too so before. (Oh, I guess this could be considered a plus for Amazon too. Hummm, there seems to be a pattern emerging here.) Having the Kindle for iPhone sych your reading position with your Kindle is a big one too, as you can more confortably read on the Kindle’s larger (and easier on the eyes) screen when you get home.

Now for Amazon, everything about this is a great move. They get more readers, readers reading more and consequently probably buying more books. At the same time they stake out the ebook reading territorry in the iPhone.

After the casualness with which the iPhone and iPod Touch started to make inroads in the portable game console market, against such stablished players as the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, Amazon must have felt that they better make sure that people reading on the iPhone and iPods were reading books sold by Amazon.

UPDATE: It seems that the iPod Touch can run the Kindle for iPhone application.

Kindle 2 – A New Hope

I’ve read many reviews of Amazon’s new version of its Kindle eBook reader. It seems to be a general consensus that the new version is a huge improvement over the previous one.

Being based in Rio de Janeiro I cannot get a Kindle 2, as they are not sold overseas, and the import tax would really kill its attractiveness. The pictures I’ve seen to substantiate what the reviews indicate: the new Kindle looks much better than the previous one.

Image source: Amazon.com

Amazon seems to be onde right track with the Kindle, as Sony seems to be going in a general good direction with its own eBook reader. When visiting a Sony store in San Francisco I had the oppotunity to try the Sony reader and it gave a much better impression than what I had seen of the Kindle. With the new version, Amazon seems to be making up the difference in design effort.

In general principle, in looking for an ebook reader, I would prefer one that is tied up to Amazon then one that is tied to the Sony online book store. This seems to be the big selling point for Amazon’s Kindle.

The Saga of the Seven Suns

Kevin J. Anderson has done a remarkable job in creating this Saga which is composed of as many books as there are suns in its name. It is a single, continuous story that picks up in one book just where the previous one had ended, taking the reader on a long ride.

The characters of the novels are well crafted and at no time do you have the feeling that you are reading something which is not relevant to the story line, regardless of whether the passage is about a little girl in an out-of-the-way colony planet or the King of multi-planetary confederation. Everything is weaved into a pattern and contributes to the overall story.

By Schism Rent Asunder, by David Weber

This book is a sequel to Off Armageddon Reef and a very good one at that.  When I finished reading Off Armageddon Reef I was eager to find out how the story would continue.  Not only had I liked the characters but the whole situation in which we humanity finds itself in its new home in the planet Safehold is intriguing.

By Schism Rent Asunder takes us through the continued, and unstoppable, events that were triggered by the events in the previous book.  As with with Off Armageddon Reef, By Schism Rent Asunder is the kind of book which you will not want to put down.  In this book David Weber seems to have done a great job of controlling his usual tendency to sometimes indulge in long descriptions and the book flows very well.
Upon reaching the end of the story I was left, once again, with a craving for more information about what will happen with the main characters and how will events turn out for the last remnants of the human race.  Having to start a civilization entirely from scratch could not be easy, but having to do so with the weight of religion which was specifically created to prevent technological innovation certainly seems to be a challenge. 

Off Armageddon Reef, by David Weber

I’ve recently read Off Armageddon Reef, David Weber’s most recent title and the first in a new series which introduces an entirely new universe. I have read almost all books in Weber’s Honor Harrington series and have generally liked all of them and when I stumbled upon a reference to this book I got drawn in by its description.

Off Armageddon Reef is a book set in a distant future when humanity has been almost totally annihilated by a xenophobic race: the Gbaba. One planet remains and in order to escape destruction at the hands of the Gbaba, humans had to abandon all technology which might send energy emission out to space. In time, without technology, all this is forgotten and nothing but an artificially created religion is keeping the last humans from inadvertently repeating the steps that led to the destruction of Earth and all its colonies.

That is when secret plans are put into action and the actual story begins.

In this book Weber manages to bring together high-tech science fiction and a pre-industrial civilization which bares close resemblance to the 1700s and early 1800s of Earth history. In is interesting how he manages to nicely combine the last remnants of the original human civilization’s advanced technology with a universe that has all the elements of a passion that we share, the Horation Hornblower novels by C.S. Forrester.

Though, as usual, Weber tends from time to time to over-describe some scenes of the story, this does not detract from the actual story line and if you just bear with it the story is quite enjoyable and entertaining. I’ve read some unfavorable comments about the names of the characters in the book which do look quite strange and seem to be variations of current names which would have changed and evolved over the long period of isolation the books civilization is gone through. It is an interesting touch but it does tend to be a bit confusing at times. Again, I feel this did not affect my enjoyment of the story.

I’m looking forward to reading the sequel to this book: By Schism Rent Assunder, which is due to be released in July of 2008.

Welcome to The Longo Review

Please don’t let the impressive title for this blog give you a wrong idea. This blog is not going to stuffy or overly formal. In fact, all I’ll be writing here are my personal opinions about Books, eBooks and eBook reading devices.

I’ll comment, also, on online stores and book-related services and on my personal experience in using them. It is not my intention to speak ill about any book, author or store so I’ll be focusing on titles and authors I’ve liked, when commenting on the books. When commenting book related products such as reader devices and software and online stores and services I’ll try to present as impartial a commentary as possible, while still giving you all the information you need to evaluate if such devices or services are of interest.