Amazon updated its Kindle reader app yesterday, adding the ability to access magazines, newspapers and documents. The app’s description notes that this makes over 400 magazines and newspapers that are already available for the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s 7-inch color multi-touch tablet, to iPad users.
While iPhone and iPod touch users won’t be able to view magazines and newspapers, they still benefit from the new document viewing features. PDF files within other apps can now be viewed within the Kindle app, or transferred from your computer to your iOS device via iTunes. You can also store documents in the Amazon Cloud by sending them to your designated Kindle email address (go to your Amazon account online and see the Personal Document Settings under Manage Your Kindle to find this address for each of your registered devices) and read them in the Kindle app.
This update brings a new navigation element to make finding the different types of content available easier. A selection bar at the top lets you choose to see your ebooks, newsstand items (magazines and newspapers) and your documents.
Kindle magazines aren’t interactive like you’ll find in many of the stand-alone magazine apps in the App Store like Wired Magazine, for example. However, they’re still very readable and Amazon offers decent prices for these digital subscriptions compared to print versions.
Though Amazon is now producing tablet devices that compete more directly with the iPad, it’s nice to see that the company’s apps for other device platforms aren’t falling behind. Of course, Amazon still stands to make money from selling media accessible on other platforms, so this isn’t altruistic behavior on its part, but it’s still heartening to see iOS users continue to get more access to additional content.