It may seem odd that an app designed to be a sales point for e-books would offer a way to easily read free books, but the newest update to the Kindle app does just that. Perhaps in response to Google’s attempts to digitize all the books in the world, Kindle readers can now enjoy downloads from Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive and other online sources. The update also allows the user to upload files from Safari, Mail, or File Sharing in iTunes. Another significant improvement to the Kindle app is the downloading of books in the background using iOS 4+.
The breakdown for sites and their free offerings include:
- Project Gutenberg – 30,000+ titles.
- Internet Archive – 2.5 million+ titles.
- Open Library – 1,000,000 + titles.
- ManyBooks.net – 29,000+ titles
The Kindle reader and bookstore has some other advantages over the iBookstore. It seamlessly integrates newspaper and magazine subscriptions (something that Google and Apple are diligently trying to incorporate with little success), and also maintains a best-seller free e-book list here.