Thanks to the advancements in the technology of mobility and portability, iPhone applications such as the Amazon Kindle and B&N eReader have enhanced book reading experience. While in the old days one would have to designate space in his bags particularly for books when going on vacation, nowadays all it takes to enjoy an extensive collection volumes is an iPhone. Granted, apps and readers have not yet replaced the traditional bookcase for good, but it is a fair assumption that this is the direction we are heading. At least that is what the new features of Amazon Kindle and the B&N eReader, dubbed Nook, would lead us to believe. But let us see whether these applications are actually able to outperform traditional books and, of course, each other.
Barnes and Nobles, the developers of the Nook, have been in business for quite some time now and they are currently the largest online bookshop, supplying over one million titles so far. The B&N eReader is part of their effort to simplify and enhance the reader experience. While one might think that the only products they sell are e-books and audio books, the truth is that their music, video and movie library is quite extensive. As you can see, B&N is essentially a highly specialized multimedia store.
On the other hand, Amazon has been among the top world retailers for a wide variety of products. Truth be told, there are not many things that cannot be purchased via Amazon. Although their Kindle device has enjoyed a great amount of popularity since its launch, the company has decided to provide fans with an iPhone application as well. So just how well do these two apps score against each other?
Head2Head: A comparison of app features between Amazon Kindle and B&N eReader
The most appreciated feature both these applications has – a direct link to the seller’s bookstore imbedded – recently been removed due to Apple’s in-app purchase policy. Losing this feature was quite a powerful blow for both the Amazon Kindle and the B&N eReader, as the ability to purchase and enjoy e-books easily was suddenly gone. This decision has generated a lot of bad publicity for Apple, even among loyal customers. However, it was not the end for either app, not by a long shot.
Both the Nook and the Amazon Kindle offer their customers free samples, in order to help them decide on whether they should purchase the book or not. However, the advantage Amazon Kindle has over its competitor is that their free samples usually include the entire first chapter. Reading the first chapter is usually an eye opener for readers regarding the overall quality of the book.
In terms of interface quality, the B&N eReader is clearly the winner, thanks to all its customization features such as adjustable light, font and background color. B&N is aware of the fact that not everybody reads e-books under the same circumstances and has enhanced the reader’s experience by allowing them to set the application accordingly. However, the Amazon Kindle allows the reader to keep track of his book progress and they are currently working on a feature that will display it in a percentile manner as well.
In addition, the Amazon Kindle incorporates in-book search feature that enables readers to find a section, character or page much easier. As far as the dictionary is concerned, the B&N Nook and the Amazon Kindle are evenly matched, but the Amazon Kindle gives users the possibility of connecting to Google and Wikipedia for further research of the word. On the other hand, the “Lend Me” feature of the B&N eReader allows you to share the books you have purchased with your friends and post quotations on your favorite social network website.
Losing the direct library feature had dire consequences on both application, customers have rated both these e-readers at a 2.5 out of a possible 5 stars.
Both Amazon Kindle and the Nook are freeware, but as far as book prices are concerned, the Barnes & Noble library is significantly more expensive.
In a nutshell
It all boils down to whether you want to pay a bit more for a wider selection of e-books or not. If the budget you allocate for e-book purchases is not an issue, then the B&N eReader is your best choice. Alternatively, if your e-book budget is limited, then you should stick with the Amazon Kindle. However, in terms of application quality, B&N eReader emerges triumphant.
Head2Head winner: B&N eReader over Amazon Kindle
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