Sony Reader App Announced
Sony, the company that all but started the eReading industry, has finally gotten around to joining the mobile reading app marketplace! This December, according to their admittedly sparse preview page, we’ll get to play with Sony Reader for iPhone and Sony Reader for Android in addition to their hardware options. It will have the expected features we’ve gotten used to in existing reading app offerings: text resizing, bookmarks, highlighting, and annotation. It does have a nice looking interface though, from what we can see, and may present other unique features as well!
The Sony Store integration is what’s going to make this app unique compared to the Kindle or Nook alternatives. Their store does have a decent selection of comparably priced books available, of course, as well as the now almost expected Google Books connection that allows them to present over a million eBooks free of charge. This last feature was rather loudly advertised for a while, as one might expect, but doesn’t really seem like it will add much to the value of the application. As anybody who has used a Nook for any length of time will know, however, the integration of the Google Books library into a store can cause more trouble than it solves. It is nice to have those things available, but quality and tagging can occasionally be somewhat problematic and leave you unsure what you’re even looking at. Besides, isn’t it fairly likely that anybody who wants Google Books on their phone is going to be able to just head to the web page? Anyway…
I really like what Sony has done for the eReading marketplace in the past. I really don’t think it would exist in quite the form it does today without them. It has been a long time since they were leading the pack, though, and they’re late to the game on this point. Hopefully, that just means that this will be something that’s been given enough development time to really impress, somehow rather than just being a means for owners of the Sony Reader devices to read their purchased books on other platforms. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, but it would do them some good to pull a bit of attention away from the Nook and Kindle front-runners. More competition is always a good thing.