I've been using the Kindle application for the iPhone for a few weeks. Overall, it's a great way buy books quickly. The iPhone screen is very legible and 'flicking' between pages works very well. I read on it for four hours straight and I didn't have any eyestrain issues.
It's a very "release 1.0" product, though. Currently, buying books using the phone is a pain. When we were flying home from California last week I wanted to buy Outliers, an excellent book by Malcolm Gladwell. We had just sat down on the plane so I had around 15 minutes to get the book before I had to turn off my phone. The first thing I did was fire up the Amazon iPhone App.
It's there, but you can't buy it. Next, I went to Amazon's site using Safari. The default when you go to amazon is to use the special iPhone version of the site. Here's what I found when I searched for "outliers kindle".
Here it says it isn't available. At this point I was about to give up, but on a whim I went to the regular version of the site and navigated to the Kindle store.
Ta Da! I found it with around 5 minutes to spare. What is really cool is after you buy the Kindle book, the application can download the whole book (over 3G) in less than a minute.
I bet the iPhone 3.0 software + a Kindle software update will fix all of the book buying issues, but for now it's a pain.
When I was reading the Outliers book, which I heartily recommend, I found a couple of bugs and/or annoyances I hope they can fix.
So, when there is a table of text the app uses scroll arrows to go across the table. Here's an example:
There are two problems. First, the arrows don't work all of the time. I'd say around 20% of the time they didn't work. The larger problem was some text was lost on the top of the next page. Here's the page after this table:
Another problem is with footnotes. Outliers has a couple dozen of them. I think you are supposed to tap the link and you jump to the footnote but none of the links worked. I did find all of the footnotes at the end of the text.
One thing they may not be able to fix are the resolution of graphics. Here's an example:
These are pretty hard to read on the iPhone, it would be nice to be able to click on them and have them zoom to either fill the whole screen or even larger so you could pan around the illustration.
The Kindle App for the iPhone is going to be great. Right now it is very good. I'm going to keep buying books for it. Once the bugs are fixed, I think this will give the 'real' Kindle a run for its money. And if Apple made an iPhone like device with a bigger screen...