A few weeks ago we reported that the official Amazon Kindle app would be coming to Android, most likely this summer, with direct access to all your Kindle books and buying books from within the app using a special Android optimized store with wireless auto-delivery, which would set the app apart from its equivalents on some other devices.
App Demo At Google I/O
At Google I/O, I got to demo the app that Amazon was showing off, and managed to snap a few photos describing pretty much all of its functionality. Unfortunately, Amazon's rep was quite adamant about keeping the release date private, even when I offered them the EVO 4G I got in return (yeah, right!), and only quoted the already known "this summer".
Integrated Store Rumors Debunked
But first things first - on behalf of Amazon, I'd like to dispel the myth that the store will be built into the app itself and offer a true auto-delivery.
The truth is, there is no built-in store and there is no auto-delivery. What really happens is when you press the Store button (unfortunately, I didn't grab a screen of this), you are sent to a mobile optimized version of the Kindle store, except it's done in your browser.
When you buy a book and exit out of the browser back into the app, it automatically refreshes your book list from the server, thus achieving the auto-delivery effect. It's just a simple trick that Amazon implemented to create an illusion of auto-delivery without having to design a whole store natively (at least for now).
The Amazon rep was actually surprised how many sources misinterpreted the original PR announcement and asked me to clarify it, which is why you are reading this section.
The application itself is quite simple and straightforward.
You have your list of books, which, as I already mentioned, auto-syncs every time you open the app or press the Sync button. The books show up in color, if available, and sync only to your Amazon Kindle list - no EPUB or other books you may own or have downloaded are supported - the app is strictly for viewing Amazon books.
When viewing a book, you can flip through the pages with a flick of your finger or using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
You can adjust the font size (5 sizes) and the page background color (White, Sepia, and Black).
You can jump to locations, such as the cover, table of contents, your own notes/marks, and specific pages.
Finally, you can view bookmarks and add bookmarks really easily by tapping the top right corner of a page (I really liked this) or pressing the Bookmark menu button.
Andrew from Androinica, who was also at the conference, took a video of the run through the app, though admittedly with too many Force Closes one could endure (due to WiFi being slammed and the app not handling it right). You can check it out below:
And finally we have the photos I snapped. Sorry for the glare - there was quite a bit of reflection going on.