Digital vs. Old-fashioned Print: Is One Method Superior?
In 2008, the University of Stavanger in Norway conducted a literacy study to find out if there are differences in reading comprehension depending on if a person gets their content from digital media or traditional, printed formats. The results? Because of the physical involvement of reading information online (scrolling down, mousing over topics, and pointing and clicking URLs), we may not retain the information as well [source: Ballantyne].
Amazon now sells more e-books for its Kindle device than it does hardcover or paperback business combined, so that the Internet retailer would expand its best-selling Kindle platform to smartphones was a no-brainer [source: Amazon]. The free app works on most mobile platforms including Android, iOS devices (that run the iOS operating system, which powers the iPhone), Microsoft Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, as well as PC and Mac workstations.
And the Kindle app offers some nice touches for tech-savvy readers, including the ability to highlight text and make notations. There is also the nifty Whispersync feature that keeps your place in the e-book as you move from device to device, so if you start a book using your Kindle e-reader and want to move to your smartphone, you can pick up right where you left off.
The user experience is also intuitive, allowing readers to open the table of contents, jump between chapters and even access Wikipedia or Dictionary.com with just a touch (in case you want to dive deeper into a particular topic or look up a word). And you don't need to own a Kindle device to use the app, which provides instant access to up to 950,000 books and more than 100 newspapers and magazines complete with color images and graphics for a complete media experience [source: Amazon].
Of course Kindle is the reigning heavyweight champion of book-related apps. It has the popular devices as well as the Amazon network to bolster its position and awareness in the market, but there are other apps out there that'll satisfy your inner bookworm -- keep reading to discover nine more literary applications for smartphone users.