Saturday, November 29, 2008

Penguin Books Does iPhone App

I'm not able to wrap my head around this one.

First, the posts that led me to it:

Readerville: Penguin Embraces the iPhone; Amazon Does Not?

INDEX // mb: Penguin US Launches iPhone App

Here's some snaps from its iTunes App Store listing:

Readerville notes:
[. . .] the notion of being able to download books directly from publishers is almost mind-bending.

Well, that's what Sony has in mind for the wireless version of its Sony Reader.

As for me, I find this app to be very strange. I really don't know what to make of it. It's like they've set up a "Penguin Books Channel" on the iPhone. Will other publishers do this too? That'd pretty much be a nightmare, having to launch separate apps for each publisher. Isn't that what Safari Bookmarks and well-designed websites are supposed to provide?

As it is, there are now multiple eBook readers and multiple comic book readers available for the iPhone. Each app does things its own way and can -- in most cases -- only read files formatted for it. What Teleread's David Rothman justifiably calls the "Tower of eBabel" has gained a few new floors with the iPhone.

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