Amazon’s Kindle ereader might have won hearts and minds with its Eink display that looks and reads a lot like paper, but the display hasn’t made many friends for its speed: refreshes are slow, and while that’s fine for most printed material, it’s a bit awkward for (say) video. But have no fear: Amazon is pushing ahead, announcing today that it’s Kindle applications for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch can now handle audio and video embedded in selected ebook titles. Among the first books to include the additional media are Rick Steves’ London by Rick Steves and Together We Cannot Fail by Terry Golway.
“We are excited to add this functionality to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch,” said Amazon Kindle direct Dorothy Nicholls, in a statement. “This is just the beginning—we look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps.”
Amazon also says its Kindle for iPhone app is now optimized for the iPhone 4’s high-resolution “retina display.”
Amazon envisions the audio and video supplements as ways to enhance the basic content of a book: Rick Steves’ London includes embedded walking tours of the city; Rose’s Heavenly Cakes includes video clips on “preparing the perfect cake,” while Bird Songs includes audio clips of bird calls.