Amazon’s Kindle has been around since 2007. What started as strictly an e-book reader, they now offer a full line of Android powered tablets. If you are considering a new tablet, the iPad and iPad mini make for great reading devices. Regardless of what model Kindle you own or have owned, you’ll be happy to know that your library of Kindle books can easily be accessed on your iOS device. In fact, you don’t even need a Kindle in order to start purchasing Kindle books for reading on your iOS device. Here’s how to read Kindle books on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
While Amazon would love to have you purchase one of their new tablets, their focus is on books and the selling of those books. To that end, they are very welcoming of various software platforms including iOS. Download the free Kindle books app. It is what is called a Universal app, meaning that it will work on both your iPhone and iPad. Download this app and it will be available on both of your devices.
When you first launch the Kindle app, you’ll be asked for your Amazon account email and password. In an odd choice of words, you can then select ‘Register this Kindle’. Amazon doesn’t charge anything additional to register a new Kindle device. Within a matter of seconds, you’ll be greeted by book and magazine covers from your Kindle library.
The view presented is the Cloud view, meaning that you have access to these books provided you have a connection to the Internet via WiFi or using your wireless carrier. To download a book to your iPad for access for when you might be in Airplane mode, simply tap on the white arrow that appears at the bottom right of each book cover. You can also press and hold a book’s cover art to reveal a pop-up menu to download. Books download to your iPad in mere matter of seconds. To see what books are on your device, tap on the Device tab at the bottom of the Kindle app.
By default, the Kindle app presents your books in cover mode and they are sorted by date of purchase. Tap on the icon with three horizontal lines at the bottom left to move to ‘list’ mode. List mode is particularly helpful with determining where you are within a particular book. Let’s say you want to select a book to read that you’ve almost finished. List mode will present you with a line of blue dots that acts a graphical representation of where you are in the book.
Removing a book from your iOS device
If you’ve completed a book and would like to conserve storage space on your iOS device, it’s easy to delete books. In cover mode or list mode, press and hold the book. A pop-up menu will allow you to delete the book.
Tip: This process deletes the book from your iOS device, but doesn’t delete it from your library or other Kindle devices. You can just as easily download the book again from Amazon.
Reading books on Kindle for iPad
If you are coming from the Kindle Fire, the interface on the iPad is very similar. Here’s breakdown of the interface:
Highlighting a word: If you tap on a word, the app will highlight it and present a number of options. First off, you are presented with an option to download a dictionary. This is a one time process that will then provide you with infinite opportunities to find definitions for words. If you select more than one word or a sentence, the dictionary will no longer be available.
There is an option to add a ‘Note’. Tap on it and type a short message regarding a specific passage. You can select ‘highlight’ from the pop-up menu, which will look as if you took a yellow highlighter to the word or sentences you selected. Simply reverse this process to remove the highlighting. This is certainly helpful for those who are reading textbooks are simply want to note favorite parts of a book. Finally, the latest version of the app provides sharing via either Twitter or Facebook. This is a great way to share a favorite line from a book with your friends and family.
Across the top row are your menu items which you can reveal or hide by tapping once in the middle of the screen. Press the ‘Home’ button to go back to your library. The bookmark icon provides important navigation functions within your book. This is the easiest way to find your Table of Contents, beginning of the book or a specific location. If you created Notes or Highlights that we covered in the previous paragraph, you can easily access them from this menu. One very neat function is the Popular Highlights option that adds a social element to reading. Tap here to see what pages or paragraphs are the most popular. Amazon will show the number of people who highlighted a location within the book.
Kindle also offers a unique feature they call X-Ray. This feature will allows you to get background information on people, places and terms used within a page, chapter or the entire book. For example, my wife is reading Andy Cohen’s Most Talkative and he often makes references to celebrities. Using the X-Ray feature, it came up with 132 people listed and within the app it will pull a brief bio of those people from Wikipedia. It’s a small, but nice touch that enhances your reading experience.
At the bottom of your book you’ll find your location and this works similar to the audio scrubber in the Music app. It works as a fast forward or rewind, but for books. Tap and slide in either direction to quickly move your location.
Change Type Size, Fonts On Kindle
At the top right, you’ll see a lowercase and uppercase A. Tapping on this reveals a number of viewing options that include:
- Font size
- Page background/font color
- Paragraph spacing
Syncing Kindles Books Between Devices
Amazon uses Whispersync technology that automatically syncs books between all of your devices. If you read a few pages on your iPhone and then open up the app on your iPad, the Kindle app will automatically bring you to point where you left off.
Buying and Downloading Books
There is no option to purchase or buy books from within the Kindle app and that’s due to Apple’s policy on purchasing from stores other than from iTunes. To purchase books, simply visit and purchase Kindle books from Amazon. The books will immediately show up in your library where you can download with a tap of your finger.
With this app, you can also share PDF documents. Amazon will provide you with a kindle.com email address. To access PDF’s on your iPad, just send it to the email address associated with your Kindle account.
Whether you have a library of Kindle books from an older Kindle device or simply like the selection of Amazon’s books as compared to iBooks, the Kindle app for iPad and iPhone is a great way to read books on your iOS device.