Amazon has released a new version of its Kindle app for Android, bringing improved support for tablets running Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Appropriately, the new app is Kindle 3.0 for Android.
There are two key areas where the app has been redesigned. The first is the new grid view for your library which lets you see thumbnail icons of all your books instead of a the default list view which Amazon’s Kindle apps for smartphones uses. The new grid view option is also available on smartphones now, but it looks much better on a big-screen tablet such as the Motorola XOOM.
The other major change is the in-app Kindle Store, which has a much more app-store like feel.
When you visit the store, you’ll see a list of personalized recommendations at the top, a list of categories to the left, and links for the top 100 paid and free books in the center. There are also featured titles to the right.
You can purchase and download books in the app without using an external web browser.
The one thing Amazon didn’t tweak for tablets is the actual reading view. There’s still no two-pane viewing mode, which means that if you hold a tablet like the XOOM in landscape mode, much of the 1280 x 800 pixel screen is wasted. Unfortunately, I find it much easier to hold the XOOM in landscape than portrait mode most of the time, which makes reading an eBook using the new Kindle app a less than stellar experience.
Kindle 3.0 also adds support for the German language, a new layout for newspapers and magazines, and the ability to pause and resume content downloads.