Amazon has made a breakthrough in its Android book reader application: Kindle For Android. Over 100 newspapers and magazines can now be browsed, previewed and purchased through the Amazon market.
After downloading and installing the free Kindle application, a simple registration is completed and a trip to the home page reveals options for browsing newspapers and magazines. The magazines option yields a choice of browsing through all magazines or through any of 8 magazine genres, from sports and science to lifestyle and culture.
Once a category is chosen, the Kindle editions of the major magazines can be purchased on a monthly subscription for between $1.99 and $2.99 US. Most of the magazines are offering a 14 day free trial and automatic updates.
One problem with the Kindle for Android app is that some magazines are featured, with a subscription price and deal, but they are not yet available for the Android. In other words, the market is still primarily for Amazon’s own Kindle devices. There are links for finding out which devices are supported, though.
This can be a little confusing at first, but the bottom line is that not all magazines in the Kindle for Android market have been formatted for Androids, so some careful reading is called for before attempting to purchase a subscription.
An investigation of a few subscriptions revealed that the magazines are delivered on a publishing schedule with a monthly subscription, or the individual issues can be purchased. With a subscription, archived articles can be downloaded for free.
The reviews of the magazines for Android were not good, overall. Most buyers complained about missing content in comparison with the print version. The second most common complaint was about poor formatting for the Android device. In some cases, the “free archives” are sparsely populated. Mixed reviews along the same lines applied to the newspaper versions from the Kindle for Android market.
The real problem is this: when a mobile subscription goes for for the same yearly amount as a print subscription, readers deserve to have the same amount of content, that is for sure. There should not be missing sections and there should be a readable format for the Android device.
While there is much work to be done before the magazines and newspapers can keep discriminating Android users happy, incorporating newspapers and magazines into electronic reader markets will be a fantastic reading and tree-saving enhancement.