Kindle Gets Audio/Video… On the iPad and iPhone

Amazon just introduced a audio and video to the Kindle, but the only way to experience the new Kindle multimedia books is on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. A baker’s dozen of titles already come in multimedia editions, including Rick Steves’ travel guides, Best of the Beatles For Acoustic Guitar, and Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds In Song.

via TechCrunch – Amazon Introduces A Video/Audio Kindle . . . But Only On The iPad And iPhone.

Interesting development., but a couple of things are worth noting here. First the entire collection of multimedia editions numbers just 13 indicating this may be a test as much as anything else. Second, while it seems odd that they would sell ebooks that have features that aren’t usable on the Kindle, think of it as simply expanding their market by offering more ebooks to a wider market by including other features.

Think of it this way, a Kindle now costs $189. For your money you get what is considered the industry standard in readers. A great device for reading fiction and non-fiction works that are primarily text. It is a device that is aimed at casual reading and it works very well for that.

Of course text is hardly the only content type that can be used effectively in ebooks. By their very nature ebooks can be multimedia works incorporating color graphics, images, audio, and video. Amazon knows this and they also now that selling those works requires a platform that is different than the Kindle. No problem, the Kindle software turns your iPad or iPhone into a Kindle and it will handle multimedia quite well. So, Amazon offers audio and video enhanced ebooks for the Kindle on the iPad/iPhone. If you want ebooks with those features get your self the more expensive iPad[1], starting at $499, and buy those books Amazon.

I think this move is really designed to enhance the Kindle app and make it more appealing than Apple’s own iBooks. No need to have 2 separate accounts for your ebooks, just use the Kindle for all your ebook needs. Of course I would expect that we will see the multimedia features of the Kindle app turn up on the Windows and Mac versions of the software. And at some point Amazon will introduce a color Kindle of some kind.

[1] Yes, you can get the features on the Kindle iPhone, I suspect that you will find it more satisfying on the iPad.

Tutorial on Building iPhone OS and Android Web Apps With AJAX

Developing for mobile devices has been a high cost, low return proposition for many years, despite the hype around it. The latest generation of smartphones powered by the iPhone OS and Google’s Android provide a much simplified solution: just build Web applications. This gives you a one build for all devices approach, which can lower the cost. Even better, these high-end devices all offer ultra-modern browsers supporting advanced HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. In this article, learn how to build Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax)-heavy applications that take full advantage of the capabilities of modern smartphones. You will learn not only how to get the most out of these devices, but also how to deal with the subtle differences between them.

via IBM developerWorks: Create Ajax applications for the mobile Web.

Good tutorial. It starts out with a trivial Java app to create content, but any other server side tech, like PHP, could be used. The mobile portion relies on HTML 5 and AJAX in iPhone OS 3.x+ and Android 2.x+ browsers. You’ll need the most recent Adroid and iPhone SDKs to put this together.

This article provides a good starting point to start looking at how to build basic mobile apps.