Should I Buy a Dedicated Kindle Device or Use the Free Kindle App?

kindle app

E-Readers especially the Kindle device are making a big comeback. However, since the free Kindle app is now available on multiple devices including iOS and Android, you might be worried if it’s worth the purchase. 

Do you really need to invest between $90 to $300 on a Kindle? This article will cover the benefits of both the device and the app as well as show you which option might be the best for your current needs. 

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Should You Download the Kindle App? 

The Kindle app is a free Amazon software that lets you access your Kindle library from a non-kindle device. With this app, you can access Kindle on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. Unlike the Kindle, there are no purchases or recurring subscriptions. It’s completely free.

When you use the Kindle app, you pretty much see text on that device. It’s similar to when you are reading posts, online magazines or ebooks on that same device. Like the Kindle, there are colour schemes and brightness adjustments so it’s not hurting your eyes. 

Unfortunately, since you’ll be using the app on a regular screen, it will significantly increase your screen time. You will face distractions from apps, notifications and more which is not a great option if you want to focus solely on reading. You’d also find it harder to read under direct sunlight with the Kindle app.

There’s also the disadvantage of having to use another device to access the Kindle store. So if you need to buy or borrow a book, you will need to log in to Amazon on a separate device.

Are Kindle Devices Worth the Purchase?

A lot of people prefer to opt for the physical Kindle reader, especially for their vast reading needs. Since you can download multiple books, you won’t worry about exhausting the storage space. 

There are also different Kindle types for various use cases. If you have a child for example, and you want to limit their screen time to reading books alone, the Kindle Kids is perfect. This is because this device comes with parental controls for restricting ads and other content.

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Unlike the Kindle app, you can directly access your Amazon Kindle store. So you can browse and purchase books from one place. But that’s not the only advantage. Kindles are waterproof and lightweight so you can use them during a bath, at the pool or beach.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is the price. Since the basic model is about $90, we recommend reviewing all Kindle models to know which one fits your needs first. When you get the price, you can then compare if that exact functionality can be gotten on the Kindle app. 

Kindle Device vs Kindle App

Now to decide what variation of Kindle you’ll be getting, here’s a comparison of the app and device below;

1. Store access

As we’ve already established, you can only access the Kindle store on the web or the Kindle device itself. Since some devices limit store access, you might have to log on to your Amazon account elsewhere when it’s time to purchase a new book with the Kindle app.

2. Price

Are you on a budget? If you love to read books but you’re not willing to commit at least $100 for an E-Reader, we recommend sticking to the free Kindle app. Over time, if the functionality feels too limited, you can then purchase your Kindle device.

3. Reading needs

If you love to read a lot of books online or if you have a kid you’d like to start reading more books, we recommend getting a Kindle device. However, if you don’t read frequently, you might underuse it so you might want to consider the Kindle app.

A lot of people also like to separate the distractions when reading -it’s one of the advantages of a physical book. With the app, you can still be distracted by the other apps on your device. However, with a Kindle device, there are no pop-ups, ads, or other forms of distractions which makes it worth the investment.

4. Regular highlights and notes

At the time of this article, the only Kindle that allows you to make notes and highlights is the Kindle Scribe which is quite expensive. However, since the Kindle app is free, this might be a better option if you like to make a lot of highlights

5. Screen

While your device might have warm tones, long consistent use might be harsh for your eyes. So if you’re very particular about your reading screens, you might want to reconsider using the app. With a Kindle device, you get built-in LEDs and an e-ink screen that provides soft lighting. So at night, you don’t have to worry a lot about reading.

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6. Battery life

Finally, with a Kindle Reader, you get more battery. With the app, you’re restricted to your device which means that it can run down faster. However, since the reader is dedicated to solely reading books, the battery can last for up to four weeks once it’s fully charged. 

At the end of the day, whether you go for the Kindle app or device is dependent on your reading patterns and how much you read. If you are a voracious reader who doesn’t mind spending extra to get an enjoyable reading experience, we highly recommend the Kindle E-Reader. However, if you’re on a budget and love to read sparingly, consider opting for the Kindle app. 


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