With news that Apple is porting its Safari Reader feature created by copying Readability code into its Safari 5 browser for Mac and Windows PC users for distraction free reading to its iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches via the new iOS 5 software update and the launch of their new News Stand app in their App Store it is clear they intend to promote the iPad tablet as an e-book reader. The update also brings Safari 5.1’s Reading List feature to mobile Safari and support for tabbed browsing. However, one of the biggest new features in iOS 5 is the News Stand app in Apple’s App Store. Similar to Apple’s iBooks application the News Stand app will also have a digital storefront to purchase in app subscriptions of magazines and newspapers in digital format. While iBooks is intended for e-books Apple’s News Stand provides users with an online magazine rack to keep and manage all your digital newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
It is clear that Apple is gunning for Amazon’s Kindle e-readers with these new features to make reading on iPads more enjoyable. Will Amazon which has made Kindle apps so consumers can read Kindle books on a number of different devices be able to maintain its position in the e-book reader market despite the challenge to their dominance by Apple’s News Stand and iBooks apps? We’ll just have to wait and see how this battle plays out but I’ll say this consumer choice is always a good thing so competition between Apple and Amazon could be good for consumers and the market for electronic media.