Amazon Kindle For Android: One-day Review

I have been using Kindle on my Samsung Moment for about a day, now.

In general, it’s a good app. It opens quickly – much more so than several other eBook readers I tried on my phone. Page scrolling is smooth and responsive. It has a wide range of font sizes, and three color options to choose from. I like the white-on-black setup. It’s easy on the eyes and uses less battery.

I had no trouble at all connecting to Amazon and downloading my books. The “Kindle Store” button takes you to the browser. It’s not a bad interface, but I was a bit surprised.

The only issue I have had so far is putting non-Amazon content on the system. I have a ton of Kindle-compatible content that didn’t come from Amazon. Stores like Baen Webscriptions and authors like Cory Doctorow, who allows downloads and sharing of his books for free, have seen to that. I tried copying .azw and .mobi files into the “kindle” folder on my SD card, but so far there’s been no luck. With the .mobi file it looked like it might have joined the list of books, but it was hard to tell because of the endless Force Closes that resulted. I wrote an email to Amazon support, so hopefully they will have something interesting to say soon.

I have had a Kindle since the first generation, and I really like the convenience. Being able to read my Kindle books on my Android phone is great, too. However, if something doesn’t change to allow me to use my non-Amazon content on the system, I’ll have to look into another solution.

Anyone know if Nook for Android is on the way?

Updated 07/01: I received an answer from Amazon support.  Currently there is no way to load files via USB, nor to have files converted and delivered by WhisperSync with Kindle For Android.  That’s pretty disappointing.

Updated 07/26: Acting on a tip from a reader, I tried manually adding .mobi files again.  It worked perfectly.  To add your .mobi files to Kindle for Android, just copy them to /kindle on your sdcard.

8 Responses to “Amazon Kindle For Android: One-day Review”

  1. Jonathan Harford Says:

    I’ve copied a Calibre-converted MOBI file to the “Kindle” directory of my microSD card, and my Kindle app (Motorola Droid) was indeed able to read it!

    Either Amazon’s updated their app, or the Kindle app is very picky about which MOBIs it can read (and I just got lucky).

  2. Teleschau Says:

    yo my friend, thanks for the well written article!

  3. SK Says:

    Just curious, if you are already reformatting a book with Calibre, why would you not use ePub as the output format? Pretty much all the readers, including Kindle, will read these.

    • Songwind Apogee Says:

      Kindle doesn’t read ePub. It’s one of its major weaknesses. These days I actually use the Nook reader for Android more often, for that very reason. Not to mention that I like Nook’s “lock orientation” feature.

      • SK Says:

        I’ve been handing off documents converted from PDF and .lit files to .epub in Calibre to a handful of kindle users for a while and they advise they can open them without difficulty.

        Is the lack of DRM on the ePub file possible the reason why it didn’t choke on the document or could it be that these are getting converted by the device?


      • Songwind Apogee Says:

        There is a hack called “Savory” which lets the Kindle 2 read ePub and PDF. Or they may just be sending it to the Amazon document converter, which will email you a Kindle formatted eBook from a variety of acceptable inputs.

        As far as I know, there is still no way to get Kindle for Android, Kindle 1, or Kindle for PC to read ePub directly.

  4. SK Says:

    The lack of technical initiative that the folks in question display get me thinking that they wouldn’t be running any add-ons or hacks.

    The two with whom I’m in regular contact have Kindle 2s; I’ll see what they are up to.

    I do know that when I saw one of these come out of the box it was able to read a PDF test file without modification or sending it to Amazon for conversion (unless it was doing that in the background automatically and in the space of just a few seconds, which seems unlikely.)

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