Sony has announced plans to launch eBook apps for iOS and Android in December. The Sony Reader was one of the first big names in the eBook space, but over the past few years the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and similar eBook devices have grabbed most of the headlines.
By launching a Reader app for mobile, Sony might be able to drive up the use of the Sony Reader Store — and also the company’s hardware eBook devices. Once you’ve started purchasing books from the Reader Store for one device, there’s more incentive to continue using that store.
What I really like about using Android and iOS devices for reading digital books though, is that you can run multiple apps — so there’s nothing preventing you from installing apps from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Sony so that you can download books from whichever store has the best price. It’s a bit of a hassle trying to remember which app you need to fire up to find the book you’re looking for though.
The Sony Reader apps will allow users to purchase books on a mobile device or to read books purchased using the PC software. You’ll be able to make bookmarks, take notes, adjust fonts, and highlight text.
There’s no word on whether the Sony Reader app will allow you to take out digital books from your local library, something you can currently do with the Sony Reader physical device. But now that Bluefire for iOS offers support for library books, iPhone users might not need another app with this feature. There’s currently no Android app that I’m aware of with support for library books — although Aldiko plans to add support soon.