iPhone and iPad

How To Use The Amazon Kindle Reader For The iPhone & iPod Touch

Bakari Chavanu 23-12-2009

Bakari ChavanuIf you’re an avid reader of books and an iPhone and iPod touch user, you owe it to yourself to download Amazon’s free Kindle reader for your iPhone.


The biggest advantage in my view in using the Kindle reader is that you can download sample chapters of a books from the site for free. Being able to preview the first few chapters of a downloaded e-book will helps with making decisions about possible purchases. It’s like sampling songs on iTunes or other music sites.

Kindle App vs. Kindle

Downloading sample copies of course requires that you set up a free account on Amazon. After downloading the Kindle Reader for iPhone from the iTunes Store you will find that the free e-reader does pretty much everything the the $259.00 Kindle version does. In fact, there are a few advantages of using the free Kindle app over the hardware Kindle.

First off, the Kindle app is more portable, because it is on your iPhone or Touch (I’m pretty sure there will soon be a Kindle for the Android.) The Kindle app is illuminated by the well lit screen of the iPhone, which makes it perfect for reading in low light settings. Lastly, I would say that the Kindle app is a little easier and faster to navigate. Its only shortcoming is that the screen size of the iPhone may be too small for reading at long stretches of time.

Downloading Free Samples

To get access to e-books on Amazon.com, you can visit the site’s Kindle Store, which of course is categorized by book genre and other other media, such as newspapers, magazines, and blogs. With your account set up , you click the “Send sample now” button to have your selected e-book sent to your registered mobile device. Books typically download in less than a minute.



Downloaded E-books

Downloaded e-books to the Kindle app can be listed and viewed in three ways: by author, by title or by recently read or opened. If you’re an avid reader, the list can get pretty long, but you can always put e-books on your Amazon wishlist, for later review. You can click the Edit button to delete any books from your list. However, when you “delete” purchased e-books from from the reader, they get archived on a second page of the reader.  All your books are maintained and can be re-downloaded from your Amazon account. So basically all your purchased books remain “in the cloud,” on Amazon’s server, which means you can re-download them anytime.


Reading E-books On The Kindle App

Clicking on an e-book in the list opens it up. You tap on the right side of the iPhone screen to move to the next page, and tap the left side to move to the previous page. “Page turning” on the iPhone Kindle is much smoother than the hardware Kindle.


You can set the font type and size of the text by clicking the bottom of the screen. The font settings are a part of a menu of three other items. The plus icon is used for bookmarking a page. When it’s clicked, the page will be dog-eared on the upper-right of the page. The book icon in the menu presents links to the book’s cover, table of content, the first page, and a tab for locating a particular page of a book.

You will also find in this area a list of the bookmarks, highlights and notes that you made while reading. The fourth item of the menu is a button that uses Whispersync technology for syncing data (last page read and annotations) to the hardware Kindle 2, if you use one. This feature will also be available for desktop versions of the Kindle e-reader.


If you read books for information rather than just for pleasure, the Kindle app provides a fairly easy to use highlighting and note-taking tools. In fact, because of the touch screen technology of the iPhone and touch, I find these annotations of the application more efficient to use than with the hardware Kindle.


Pressing down and holding your finger on a word in a page will give you two options, either to highlight a passage or make a note. You drag the blue pointers over the content that you want to highlight. If you drag the pointers too far, simply click outside of the blue area and start over. When you click the resulting highlight button, it will highlight your passage in yellow. Adding a note is done the same way as highlighting, except that when you click the note button, you will be presented with a text window for typing in your notes. Both your notes and your highlights can reviewed by clicking and bringing up the small menu described above.


Finally, with the last update of the Kindle app, you can now lock pages of your book into portrait or landscape position, which helps makes for reading e-books from different angles.

While there are some drawbacks to purchasing e-books, such as not being able to share your books with others, building an e-book library is more environmentally efficient than traditional paper books. The Kindle app can hold several hundred books, which makes archiving and accessing them a hundred times easier than managing bookshelves of hardback and paperbacks.


Are you a Kindle reader for iPhone user? What’s been your experience? Do you think e-books will eventually replace paper books?

Related topics: Amazon Kindle, Ebooks, Reading.

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  1. Leslie Dyer
    March 5, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Do you know how to access your wish list from the kindle app?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 7, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      Leslie, I don't you can access the wish list from with the Kindle. I just tried looking for it, and didn't see a button.

  2. rosalyn thomas
    January 22, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Hi this is rosalyn . How are you feel doing . Im fine . Im full deaf me . You know made of do ipad to letter . You explain me to frist you tell me . Sign languge to you have I pad .

  3. TracyE
    January 31, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Is there any alternative method for loading books on the iPhone Kindle reader?

    Some Kindle books are not available from Amazon. Specifically, NASA just released a free Kindle version of a book on the X-15 rocket plane. http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/ebooks/index.htm

    The instructions say "To use, download the file to your computer and then drag and drop onto your reading device." I presume this can be done with a physical Kindle, and am guessing it is not yet possible on the iPhone app.

    Happily, it is also available as a PDF.

  4. Ralph A. Abrnethy III
    January 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for the information how to highlight text in the Kindle IPhone app. I had not noticed the blue pointers until I read your article, but using them is a piece of cake. Thanks again!

  5. Tim@iocreative.com
    January 3, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Just what I needed to know -- I;m already using Stanza on the iPhone, and Kindle sounds great -- thanks!

  6. karenv
    December 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    We, here in Canada, have what's called Kobo now. It used to be "ShortCovers" from Chapters/Indigo. It also allows for the download of a couple of chapters to see what the book is like. It has a rotation lock, night reading, choice of font and size, sharing, etc. I haven't figured out yet whether I can highlight text. I hope so.

    I don't work for Chapters. I just thought I'd pass this along. Kobo looks promising.

  7. Karen
    December 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I'm currently reading a book on the Kindle app. Overall I like it, but I really wish I could make the screen a bit darker like you can on Stanza.

  8. borehamwood
    December 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Been using this for a while on ipod touch. It is quite good, very easy to set up and use. Find myself reading more in this way than a 'analog' book.

  9. sandandtsunamis
    December 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Absolutely love the Kindle App, and have it, as well as the B&N, Stanza, and the "Classics" apps as well...probably have over 150 books on my iPod, and have actually been yelled at by my wife for reading too much. It's great having it wherever I happen to be. Find myself reading in lines, at restaurants, the Barber shop, even sneaking quick chapters behind my dual monitors at work. Would love to have Amazon make one of those deals where you can buy all your previous purchases as Kindle books for one low, low price...Hey, Amazon, whaddya think?

  10. Casey
    December 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Very informative post.

    I am anxious to try the reader on my new 'touch' I hope to receive for Xmas.

    I do have a Kindle...but can easily see how the smaller 'touch' will be handy.
    Thanks again!

  11. Bakari Chavanu
    December 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I agree, I've thought about purchasing the regular Kindle, but after briefly seeing and using, I felt the Kindle for iPhone would suffice until the make some more improvements on the hard drive Kindle.

  12. Tech Introvert
    December 23, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Love this app. It's very well done, the free samples rock, and having a book in my pocket at all times is amazing. I haven't bought a paper book in months.