We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Here’s an excellent (and educational) way to keep yourself entertained while traveling!
In-flight Wi-Fi can be expensive (if you don’t have access to free Wi-Fi). And plane rides can be long and boring. But the Kindle app lets you bring years worth of reading material without extra baggage. And because you can download your books, you won’t need Wi-Fi to enjoy them!
I’ll give you my Kindle app review.
Kindle App Review
Link: Kindle App
Link: Kindle App (Android)
Link: Kindle App (Apple)
The Amazon Kindle app is a fantastic way to cut down on baggage while traveling.
While the Amazon Kindle devices were designed to carry thousands of books in a single portable device, the Kindle app lets you keep that handy Kindle device inside your phone!
I’ll show you what you can do with this app.
1. Home Screen
When you open the app, you’ll see the home screen, where you can swipe through the books you’ve downloaded. The bottom of the screen shows recommendations based on your download history. And the top of the screen shows 2 buttons, a menu to the left, and the Kindle Store to the right.
Tap the 3 lines on the top left of the home screen to access the menu.
From here you can:
- Search your library and the Kindle Store
- Sync your Kindle devices
- Categorize books into “collections“
- Read the latest magazines with Kindle Newsstand (subscription required)
- Read personal documents
Searching your device for books is a snap. Just tap “Search“ in the menu, and type in the author, book title, or genre you’re looking for. It will search the Kindle Store and your library of downloaded books!
You can access the settings from the home screen menu. From here you can:
- Register your device
- Manage notifications
- Manage store settings
- View your Kindle email address to send personal documents to the app for easy reading
Team Member Scott emails notes, books, and PDF files to his Kindle app, and says it’s really simple!
You can click the shopping cart icon in the top right corner of the home screen to search the Kindle Store for a book.
If you want to browse, click the menu at the top left of the Kindle Store for a list of popular categories, Daily Deals, and lots more!
Reading books in the Kindle app is a pleasure.
I like how the Kindle app keeps pages separate instead of putting them into a scrollable text. And many books have an animated page flip when you turn the page.
You can also tap the bottom of the screen to bring up a feature that helps you quickly flip through the book if you want to get to a distant page. The app will save the page you activated the feature on, so you can easily jump back to where you were.
Team member Scott uses the Kindle app on his Macbook Pro, iPhone, and Kindle device. He likes how it saves his current page no matter on which device he was last reading a particular book.
6. Reading Menu
Tap the screen when reading a book, and you’ll see 3 horizontal lines on the left side of the screen. This is a menu that will help you with information in the book.
You can get a quick synopsis of the book, as well as read reviews by tapping “About This Book“. You can also jump to the “Table of Contents“, or search the book’s text for certain words. This is a huge benefit of having an electronic book instead of a paper book!
7. Reading Options
On the right side of the page you’ll see more helpful icons to make your reading experience even better.
- “Share“ icon – Recommend the book to your friends over text, email, Facebook, Twitter, and lots more
- “Font“ icon – adjust page brightness, text size, font style, line spacing, even page color (white, black, sepia, green)
- “Vertical dots” icon – sub-menu where you can do things like add and remove bookmarks, and create flash cards to help you remember certain information
Some books even have an “X-Ray” icon that allows you to view all the mentions of recurring characters and terms throughout a book.
You can also make highlights and notes by long pressing on the page, and dragging the cursors around the text.
What’s the Verdict?
I like this app! It’s a great alternative to an actual Kindle device. It’s free, and can do nearly everything a dedicated Kindle device can do.
One exception would be the unique screens many Kindles have that make reading easier on your eyes. Your eyes will feel strained much faster than if you had a proper Kindle. And reading in direct sunlight will be more difficult.
Other than that, I think the Kindle app is an excellent addition to your mobile device. All that’s missing is that delicious book smell. 😉
There are other e-readers, like Aldiko and Universal Book Reader (which I’ve never used), that are alternatives to the Kindle app. But after looking through the features, they don’t seem to offer anything special. Although I love the look of the Universal Book Reader’s user interface.
I still prefer reading physical books when I can. But the free Kindle app is the next best thing, especially when traveling. You can carry tons of books in your phone wherever you go. And internet is NOT required to access them!
I especially like that you can search text within books if you’re looking for a particular word or passage. That’s something physical books can’t give you!
If you love to read, and often find yourself using your mobile devices when you travel, the Kindle app is a great addition.
What do you think of the Kindle app? Or do you prefer a different e-reader?