Amazon Adds Video And Audio Support To Kindle App For iPhone And iPad
Amazon had recently announced a new version of the Kindle app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that brings audio and video content to e-books.
The enhanced functionality is quite clearly in the early stages of being rolled out. Amazon has stated that multimedia based content is offered only on two Kindle books at present – Rick Steves' London by Rick Stevesand Together We Cannot Fail by Terry Golway.
This is nevertheless an interesting development considering that Amazon has brought the technology to the iPad ahead of its introduction to the Kindle e-reader. As folks at Mashable point out, this makes the iPad Kindle app "officially more advanced" than the Kindle e-reader. However, as Amazon has often noted in the past, the company is in the business of selling books and hence does not differentiate between Kindle and third party platforms like the iPad.
The roll-out of multimedia support to e-books on the Kindle app is significant not just for Amazon, but also to the publishers. Early this year, Penguin Books' CEO John Makinson had revealed his plans to use the enhanced interactivity of the iPad to bring audio, video and live-chatting functionalities to e-books. Makinson had noted that such features would not only improve reader engagement, but will also help the company monetize its digital content better.
A recent readability study had found that users took marginally longer time to read e-books on the iPad than printed books but offered the highest reader satisfaction. With Amazon already enjoying strategic partnerships with several publishers, we could expect the new functionality to be available on many more e-books moving forward.
However, few industry observers are skeptical over the potential of such an offering. They have argued that such functionalities could ruin the traditional book reading experience.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think multimedia based e-books will change the book reading experience for the better?
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