iPhone, my new book shelf?

1) The new Apple iPhone has a 160 ppi screen, when you flip it 90 degrees, the screen flips too, it can show pdfs… And you have it with you all the time…

2) The iTunes store has sold two billion tracks or so, has a system that works, and has their frontend (iTunes) installed on the majority of computers sold the last couple of years…

Add these together, and you have the perfect portable book reader. Here’s what Booksquare thinks:

We’ve noted in posts past that that an unheralded feature of the iTunes store is the ability to serve up PDF files. Go back and read that sentence again because one key element of the iPhone is its tight integration with iTunes (in retrospect, woefully misnamed). See, if you can browse the web and use iTunes, you can, theoretically, download PDF files. Not a heralded feature, but we have faith in Steve Jobs and his design team.

In other words, you can read lengthy texts. Articles. Short stories. Novellas. Books. Compendiums. On your cell phone/miniature computer/portable media player/killer device.

Setting aside the comfort issues, the iPhone could either kill the nascent e-reader business or take it to new levels. We’ve been saying just about forever that the problem with dedicated e-reader is the fact that the consumer isn’t seeking a device that does only one thing. With its “smart” orientation features, the iPhone could usher in the mass market e-book era.

E-reader to new levels

I have bought quite a few books for my (now retired) Palm Pilot. eReader.com has over 17 000 titles, but reading books on the sharp, but way too small screen on my Sony-Ericsson K800i doesn’t cut it. The Palm had a bigger screen. A lousy screen, but a bigger.

The books are DRM’ed, which of course is a nuisance. But I can live with it. If i WANT to, I get the texts out of the books, but I seldom do.

Tie text and audio together = killer app

Booksquare’s idea is brilliant. If I could buy books for the iPhone in the iTunes store, I would. What if Apple made an app for the iPhone that let you have the same book in both text and audio together? They already sell thousands of audiobooks in iTunes, and if I – for a slightly higher price – could get both audio and text at the same time, that would be a killer. The text could follow the audio when I listen to it, and if I read the text, and later were in my car, the audio version would know where I left reading the text. Let me have a way to set bookmarks with my voice when I listen to the audio version, and let people copy smaller passages and send them by e-mail or by bluetooth. That will help spread the word, and good books will sell more.

The next thing Apple should do with Google: Get all those Google-scanned books into the iTunes store. Let me use Spotlight to search all my books, and give me the most amazing e-reader ever made.