Kindle for iPhone

Kindle for iPhone is a gateway drug for e-book junkies. Amazon is giving iPhone users just enough of a taste of the Kindle experience with the free app to make them crave the real thing. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is saying to readers, in so many words, "You like that? For just $359, you can get even higher. Go ahead. You know you want to."

Okay, I'll admit it: I'm tempted. Good thing my willpower is as strong as my wallet is light. I don't own a Kindle and, , I'm unlikely to buy one anytime soon. I've never actually used a Kindle, although I have some inkling of what it can do. So I know that the Kindle iPhone app is a stripped down version of the real thing. I'll leave it to my betters to compare how the Kindle app works to the actual device.

Instead, my mission is to evaluate Kindle on its merits as a stand-alone iPhone app. And I cannot help but compare the Kindle app to , which I use and love. (Bookshelf and eReader users, please hold your fire.)

Kindle is a fine e-book reader, with a huge selection of books to buy, a nice interface and blazing fast download times. On balance, however, I'd give Stanza the edge in terms of functionality and flexibility. Stanza simply does more than the Kindle app does.

Adjustments Needed: You can adjust font sizes, but not change fonts or adjust margins.

Unlike Stanza, Kindle doesn't support landscape mode. I can adjust the type size in the Kindle app, but I cannot change the typeface or adjust the margins as I can in Stanza. Nor can I search text. And I cannot highlight text or make other notations in the Kindle app, which is one of the more appealing features of the Kindle device. (Granted, I can't make notes in Stanza, either±I hope Lexcycle remedies that in an update.) Those are serious drawbacks with the Kindle app.