Amazon Kindle Reader for the iPhone

I wish I was posting this as a follow up to an announcement, but actually it’s a suggestion to Amazon on how they can make more money, sell more Kindle books, and make more people happy.

Amazon KindleFor those of you who don’t already know, the Amazon Kindle is an ebook reader that uses E-Ink technology to display content on a screen. What’s cook about e-ink is that once it has rendered the screen’s contents, it takes no power to keep the content on the screen. The result is that battery life of the kindle is measured in “page turns” instead of hours. The Kindle is also cool because it has WhisperNet, provided by Sprint, which lets you have books you purchase from Amazon’s kindle store be sent straight to the Kindle, without the need to plug the kindle into your computer. The Kindle also gets a special email address where you can email documents to this address and have them appear on your Kindle for a nominal fee for reading. All in all, it’s a fantastic product, it only has one little problem, the price. The Kindle is $349 (previously $399), available only from Amazon, which is still a bit steep for an up-front cost before you start buying books from the Kindle store to put on it.

Amazon, I know you want to sell Kindles, but your bread and butter will always be the books themselves. My suggestion is that you write an iPhone app that can read the Kindle book format and will validate like a Kindle to your own DRM. You could sell this app in Apple’s app store to make even more money, I’m thinking something along the lines of $20 to $40. This way people with an iPod Touch or iPhone (which is quite a lot of people, including yours truely) can start buying Kindle books without a Kindle, and get the enjoyment of having instant access to literature the way only the elite Kindle owners do. The iPhone already has access to the internet, so it could support all of the functionality of Whispernet without any difficulty from you the developer. The iPod Touch has WiFi, so even it can download books directly when it’s on a hotspot.

Amazon can even take this one step further. Amazon already partners with Apple’s iTunes Music Store as a place to purchase content from it’s own Audible.com, once someone has purchased your iPhone app, partner with iTunes again and have people able to shop for books right through the iTunes music store, making it even easier for iPhone owners to purchase your Kindle books.

What I think Amazon may find surprising if they did this, is that it probably would bolster sails of the Kindle devices itself, not only the Kindle books.

See I’m a bit leery of buying a Kindle, and buying Kindle books, knowing that those books are locked to the Kindle. If I could start buying those books now, and reading them on another device, I’d probably later buy a Kindle knowing it’s a better platform for reading them on.

It’s also not exactly outside of Amazon’s business model to offer their digital products to other platforms either. In March, 2007, I blogged about Amazon and TiVo teaming up to make Amazon Unbox Videos (now known as Amazon Video on Demand) available on TiVo boxes. I immediately started buying Unbox videos when I never had before. Incidentally, I’d love it if Amazon Video-on-demand Videos were playable on the iPhone as well, and I’d probably buy a lot more videos from Amazon if they did, but I think that might be a bit of wishful thinking.

So come on Amazon, release an iPhone app that can read Kindle documents and you’ll have even more of my money then you do now, and I’d bet a whole lot of other people’s money as well.

All Primed Up – Amazon is Brilliant

I’ve been a member of Amazon Prime for over about 2 years now, and I was just thinking today what brilliant marketing it is. By paying a nominal yearly fee, I get free two day shipping, or really cheap next day shipping on everything I buy from them, but does it save me any money? See before I was an Amazon Prime member, I used to make sure that my Amazon orders reached the $25 minimum to get free “Super Saver Shipping” so I didn’t pay for shipping in the first place.

However now that I’m an Amazon Prime member, I find myself buying things on Amazon I would normally have gone to a store and spending not only my time, which is getting less and less, but in many cases more money. Now when I need to buy something, I find myself saying “Let me check to see if Amazon has it”, and if it does for the same or less price, I buy it there. What’s amazing is, a lot of the time, Amazon has it cheaper.

I’ve got to hand it to Amazon, by coming up with a system that gives people faster shipping, they’ve got me looking to them first, instead of last for the things I need.

If you haven’t tried out Amazon Prime, Check out their free trial and see how much happier it makes you about getting the things you want

Google I/O – Part II – The Opening Keynote

Google is following it’s trend from last year’s Google Developer Day by posting up videos of all of the sessions on YouTube, but so far I can only find the Opening Keynote. They promised that they would upload them all within a week, so expect more parts of my reviews of Google I/O as they become available. Continue reading “Google I/O – Part II – The Opening Keynote”

7-11 Gave me the Finger… and other stories…

7-11 Gave me the FingerApril is here, and that can only mean one thing… practical jokes. Tuesday was April Fools day, and as usual, the jokes and pranks were out in full force. Some of them elaborate, some of them simple, and most of them funny. One of the more elaborate ones this year was a promotion done by the Nestle corporation.

Nestle had displays made up containing rebranded Butterfinger candy bars. The announcement on the display read that effective immediately Butterfinger candy bars are to be known as “The Finger” and to search the phrase in Yahoo to find out more. What was impressive is that the display actually contained a number of “The Finger” candy bars and they were giving them away for free. A great publicity stunt for April Fools day. Searching for the finger on April Fools day on Yahoo gave a link to a video on Yahoo! Video that outed the joke. It may be stupid, but at least I got a free candy bar out of it, as well as a chuckle (just for the record, I wasn’t fooled for a moment, it was obvious to me that it was a joke, though apparently some people thought they were serious).

Continue reading “7-11 Gave me the Finger… and other stories…”

Google Developer Day 2007

The Main Stage

This thursday I went over to my second Tech Conference since moving to the San Francisco Bay area, the first being MacWorld back in January, this time, I went to the San Jose convention Center for the 2nd annual Google Developer Day. I must say I hope that Google’s CEO tells the Apple Board of Directors a thing or two about how to hold a Tech Conference.

Google Developer Day 2007 was fantastic fun, and Google made a lot of fantastic announcements just for developers, several of which I’m going to start implementing in my work at Justia.
Continue reading “Google Developer Day 2007”

Justia Superstar

I previously mentioned that I was sitting on something very cool with my new job, Justia. I did not want to mention it in my blog before they had a chance to release a press release on this announcement. Google has named Justia an Enterprise Search Superstar for it’s use of the Google mini to index Supreme Court decisions and other legal content.

“Google customers continue to demonstrate in new and innovative ways how search can improve a business,” said Matthew Glotzbach, head of products for Google Enterprise. “Google is happy to honor Justia as a Google Search Superstar, and a terrific example of excellence in search.”

To find out more about Justia’s win of the Google Enterprise Search Superstar award, check out Google’s Search Superstar page for Justia where you can find a video of how Justia uses the Google mini, a podcast with my boss, Tim Stanley, and information about the award itself. Also be sure to check out the official press release on Business Wire.

Microsoft, ACTD, and cell phones

I spent Tuesday at a Regal Cinemas in Fort Worth where I was attending 2 Microsoft Seminars. The first one was TouchPoint and the second was TS2. TouchPoint’s purpose was for small business owners and workers to find out what MS Office 2003 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 can do for them. TS2 was for IT Professionals and was far more interesting. They showed how these advanced functions actually worked, as well as explain to me how my business can make money selling and servicing Microsoft Products.

In the TouchPoint event I won a door prize of a pen that the bottom half of the pen is one of those “space pens” that supposedly writes upside down and underwater and all that, and the top of the pen unscrews to reveal a USB Pen-drive. Coupled with all the nifty Microsoft parting gifts I was given on the way out of each event it was a pretty nice day.

I have officially resigned from ACTD last night, I’m going to miss the game but I really feel I need to get my professional life back together before I can think about things like playing games on-line. The past couple months ACTD has only added stress to my already stress-filled life, and ACTD is a game, it’s supposed to be a stress buster not a stress multiplier. Hopefully I can come back to the game soon, after I get some other aspects of my life back on track

My Imzadi still hasn’t received her Phone, but I figured it would come either Wednesday or Thursday so it should be arriving tomor… er today, wow it’s 1:30 in the morning, I better get some sleep I have a lot of work to do today. Goodnight.