Okay, this is significant: Kindle App Officially Available in iTunes.
Any previous investment in time, money, personal notes and highlights in Kindle books is not lost! This is important and I believe it may have the effect of solidifying Amazon's early lead in the ebook business. There are two things to consider. Pro: Amazon is a bookstore while iTunes has a bookstore bolted onto it. Con: Amazon has absolutely NO quality control in its eBooks so you can easily buy books with stupid formatting mistakes, missing maps, diagrams, and photos. As I've said before, reading fiction on the Kindle is good but reading nonfiction can be problematic. Fortunately it is easy to get an immediate refund for defective eBooks. Apple, on the other hand, has the reputation for insisting on high quality products and maybe, hopefully that will extend to the iTunes book store. The production values for the online music store are quite high and this is an encouraging precedent. The production values for the iPhone/iPod apps have been uneven but the user reviews have been useful for steering away from badly-produced apps. Most apps are free so the bad ones can be easily discarded and even the paid apps are not all that expensive, usually running one or two dollars. There are exceptions and the iPad apps appear to be more expensive, although still less expensive than the OS X versions. So, without the user reviews, one would be taking a bit more of a chance with iPad paid apps.
We shall see.
If you'll permit me to go off on a tangent on the subject, I am waiting for the 3G version of the iPad to be released soon but have been playing with a Wi-Fi version today. The device looks truly useful with a sole caveat: it runs the iPhone OS instead of true Mac OS X. This means that it is not a general purpose computer, although there are a lot of very interesting applications already available for it: word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, database, Evernote, etc. But it is not a "true computer" in at least the following sense: it is not possible to program the computer or at least it is not immediately apparent how to do so. This means that AppleScript, Automator, Python, Perl, shell scripting, etc. are out at least for the time being. Which is disappointing, because I am just getting interested in AppleScript on my iMac. There are a lot of cool services and scripts and Automator actions available for download and it would be nice to be able to putter in the same way with an iPad.
Wouldn't it be interesting if iPad sales act to shrink the notebook market? After all, working on a notebook is cumbersome compared to working on a desktop computer with a nice big monitor. You put up with the inconvenience for the mobility in a notebook. If the smaller iPad is much easier to move around and it isn't any more cumbersome to use than a notebook, then who needs a notebook for most uses?
The iPad supports Bluetooth and one of the questions I have to run down is whether I can transfer photos, etc. wirelessly between my iPhone and an iPad using Bluetooth. The first generation, at least, of the iPad does not sport a camera, although one could download personal photos from Google Picasa web albums. There are also apparently apps that will allow you to sync your word processing documents and spreadsheets with Google Docs.
There's a lot to be interested in here and it'll take me a few weeks -- about the same amount of time that it will take for the 3G iPad to arrive -- to sort things out enough to know if the less-than-an-actual-computer iPad is a good substitute for a laptop PC.