When Amazon released its proprietary Kindle ereader, it transformed the publishing industry. Then the company delivered a version of its ereader for the iPhone. Now Android users get a slice of the e-book action with the new Kindle app for Android. This app allows you to access and read your purchased (or free) Kindle e-books on your Android smartphone, and it automatically bookmarks the page where you left off reading.

To use this app you must first log in to your Amazon account. If you don't already have one, you need to leave the app and create an account in a Web browser, which is unfortunate; it's an indicator of poor design when the user must leave an app to take advantage of core functionality.

But wait, you're not ready to return to the app yet. First you need to configure your 1-Click settings, and then you can browse the Amazon catalog and select your book(s)--with your Web browser, not with the Android app. Boo, hiss!

You can create bookmarks as you go, and jump to a specific location in the text. Unfortunately, the locations don't correspond to print-version page numbers; they are local and specific to your Android device. And though the menu has an entry for Go To My Notes & Marks, the app gives you no way to make notes, and no method to sync your Android bookmarks between devices. You can't search the text, either.

That last omission is a pity, because a search function would have been convenient for following along as your English class covers Great Expectations or one of the other expired-copyright classics of literature available for free on Amazon. In its current iteration, Kindle for Android provides a way to access and read your Kindle e-books, but it lacks key features and is awkward to set up.

OUR VERDICT

Kindle for Android is free, but the Kindle Books are for sale. The Kindle for Android App allows you to read more than 620,000 Kindle books on your Android phone including thousands of free books. No Kindle required. Automatically synchronises your last page read between devices with Amazon Whispersync. Adjust the text size, colour mode, or brightness. If you are a non-US customer, book availability may vary.