Amazon has released its free Kindle app for Android phones, filling a gap in the online retailer's list of supported devices for the digital-book reading software.
Amazon said last month that it would launch an Android Kindle app, and the company fulfilled its promise on Monday. The application supports devices with Android version 1.6 or greater.
The new app joins versions of the software for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch; Research in Motion's BlackBerry, the PC and the Mac. All versions include Amazon's Whispersync technology, which synchronizes last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights across multiple devices. Such a feature is handy for people who read Amazon e-books on a Mac, an iPhone and Amazon's own Kindle e-reader, for example.
In addition, Amazon stores a copy of a customer's e-book on it servers, so people can download a copy on any supported device. Amazon offers a library of more than 620,000 digital books, which is less than rival Barnes & Noble, which claims to have more than 1 million digital tomes.
Kindle for Android lacks two important features Amazon says it will add in the near future. One is text search and the other is the ability to purchase e-books from within the app.
In addition, the software lacks the capabilities of the latest Kindle app for Apple devices running iOS. Released Sunday, the new features include the ability to play audio and video embedded in e-books Amazon released at the same time as the software.
The e-books include travel tomes for a handful of European cities, Beatles music for acoustic guitar, a cookbook for backing cakes, and the fiction novel "Lie Down in Darkness," by William Styron.
The audio/video segments of the books will only play on one of Apple's devices. Amazon's Kindle e-reader does not support video, and the bookseller has not released a version of the audio/video Kindle app for the Mac or PC.