Google’s ‘more open’ application environment allows Amazon to build the bookstore into the app.
On the iPhone, you can read your Kindle books using Amazon’s WhisperSync technology. Implementing it however, involved a bit of a workaround for Amazon.
If you want to buy an Amazon book on an iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch), you need to exit the Kindle application, open a web browser, and buy the book with your Amazon account. Then you go back to the App and it is transferred wirelessly to the iPhone.
Apple (AAPL) forces this because they don’t allow in-app purchases from anyone besides Apple without taking a 30% cut. Google (GOOG) on the other hand, allows you to set up a store inside the app and sell products without taking a cut. For this reason, Amazon (AMZN) was able to build the storefront right into the application, making for a better user experience for Android users.
Some notes from Amazon on the Android App:
- Buy a book from the Kindle Store optimized for your Android phone and get it auto-delivered wirelessly
- Search and browse more than 500,000 books, including more than 96 of 110 New York Times bestsellers. If you are a non-U.S. customer, book availability may vary
- Find New York Times® Best Sellers and new releases from $9.99
- Get free book samples. Read the beginning of books for free before you decide to buy
- Books you purchase can also be read on a Kindle, computer, or other Kindle-compatible mobile devices
- Kindle newspapers, magazines and blogs are currently not available on Kindle for Android
From a technology standpoint:
- Requires Android OS 1.6 or greater
- Requires an SD card
- Supports Droid Incredible, Google Nexus One, HTC MyTouch, Motorola CLIQ, Motorola Droid, and many more Android phones
Google’s partnership with Amazon is strong on Android. The OS also sells Amazon music and streaming movies with built-in applications. It wouldn’t be surprising to see that partnership reach beyond the phone with the Android-Google TV announcement later this week.