Kindle for Mac is, as you might expect, a software version of a Kindle – Amazon’s amazingly successful ebook reader – more or less (with the emphasis on less because there are some significant features missing).
Here’s what we like: Kindle for Mac enables you to carry your collection of Amazon-purchased ebooks around on a Mac instead of a Kindle. When you start it up for the first time, you register the software with Amazon as a ‘device’. Whenever you buy ebooks, you choose where to send them. Your purchases appear in Kindle for Mac automatically.
You can use the app to organise and bookmark your purchases, and transfer titles back to your Kindle. If you don’t actually own a Kindle, no worries. The program displays Amazon ebooks too, with easy bookmarking, font resizing and page turning with mouse or keyboard.
What you don’t get, of course, are the hardware advantages of a Kindle. E Ink electronic paper technology makes reading text on a Kindle much easier on the eye than it is on a backlit MacBook. That’s something software can’t emulate. The buying experience isn’t quite as integrated as it could be, either. Click Shop in Kindle Store and Amazon.com opens in your default browser – not in the software.
Released just two weeks before the first iPads were set to ship, Kindle for Mac may well have been rushed to market. It needs to be iTunes for books, but falls far short of that mark. Still, if you own a Kindle, or simply wish to buy cheap books, it’s worth a try.