Kindle app now turns any Android tablet into a Kindle Fire (almost)

Amazon has released a major update to its Kindle app for Android, and it basically turns any Android phone or tablet into a Kindle Fire… assuming you don’t want to stream videos from Amazon Instant Video, because the app won’t do that.

Amazon Kindle for Android

What it will do is let you access Kindle Format 8 files including illustrated children’s books, comic books, and graphic novels.

The latest Kindle app also supports Amazon’s “personal documents” service. When you register the app on your Android device, Amazon will assign you an email address. You can then send documents to that email address and they’ll automatically be sent to your device. If you’ve already emailed documents to another Kindle eReader they’ll show up in the “archive” tab for the new Kindle app so you can download them to your device.

Documents sounds boring… but here’s the thing. You can email your DRM-free books as long as they’re in a supported format such as PDF, MOBI, DOC, or HTML. So if you’ve purchased books or downloaded free books from another store, you can read them on a Kindle device using the latest app.

Up until recently those features were only available for official Kindle hardware and the Kindle app for iOS.

Like books purchased from Amazon, personal documents sent to your device can also be synchronized across multiple devices. So you can start reading a document on your Android phone and pick up where you left off on your Kindle Touch.

If you’re wondering why Amazon is offering so many of the features that had been exclusive to the Kindle and Kindle Fire eReaders in apps that run on the iPad, iPhone, and Android phones and tablets, there’s a simple explanation. Amazon doesn’t really make any money on Kindle hardware. In fact, the company might actually lose money. What Amazon wants is to provide devices and services that lock you into the Amazon ecosystem.

Amazon executives don’t really care if you’re buying eBooks to read on a Kindle Touch or a Samsung Galaxy Tab. So it would be foolish not to offer these features on all possible devices.

One thing I still can’t figure out though, is why the Kindle app for iPad is better organized than the latest Android app. It provides separate tabs for books, newsstand, and docs, while the Android app just throws everything together under “archive.” Hopefully a future update will make sorting through your content on an Android device easier.

  • Faheydm

    Does the Kindle app work on a Nook tablet?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      It does if you can install it. If you have as rooted tablet with the Google Play Store or Amazon Appstore you should be able to.

  • dark_quota

    I updated the Kindle App on my Nook Tablet, and many comics in the store still report “Non-compatible” and “Kindle Fire Only.”

    • dark_quota

      Looks like they’re making the transition now (some of the titles like Watchmen now say “Available only on these Devices: Kindle Fire, Kindle for Android).

  • HalCasteel

    Kindle upgrade is broken on Ice Cream Sandwich, it is crashing constantly, totally useless.

    It also is crashing on my Kindle Fire.

  • monkeyboy88

    I wish they would allow the media to stream to any tablet with kindle app and I would definitely buy more from them.  But as it stands, I will go through only Google play so that I know my next tablet will also still be usable with my purchases.  The increase in the possible sales would be huge since it will be open to all platforms and with a known and trusted company.  Come on Amazon!

  • Uclasuck

    You can already side load the actual fire apks onto a gingerbread device and run the instant vids along with the kindle lending library. The kindle app for the fire is different than the kindle app for android and if you add those with the launcher you will have a fire on your device with access to all things that were only for the fire.

  • Lillyastech

    I updated this for my Kindle Fire. And now all my pdfs load really slowly. And I have lost my nifty slider bar for pages. Is there any way to get back to a previous update or to make my kindle behave like before?
     

  • ereader_bookworm

    Bleh. Won’t switch back to kindle until they offer bookshelves/categories.

  • Lin

    How do i get my Kindle app to always open on its home page? App is on android tablet (downloaded from google play) and no problem at first. Now it always opens to the last book I was reading and I can’t get to the main page that shows all other books. As soon as i open the app, it starts with the last book I was reading at bookmark and also shows “Kindle” in upper left to return to my main Kindle page. but that disappears too fast to click and I am left with the book i was reading. Can’t get back to the full library list.

  • Abhishek Kaushik

    thats nice thing for my software testing, no need to waste money on kindle reader

  • Ted666

    Yes, but when will they enable the Kindle for Android to read the books out loud?

  • Peter bacsi

    But the search function is very slow. Apparently the android app has no indexing capability.