Amazon launches Kindle for Mac OSX

Amazon has quietly launched its Kindle book reader application for Mac OSX.

The free 22MB download works on OSX 10.5 and above and allows current Kindle subscribers to sync e-books over your Mac, iPhone or Kindle device. It will even pick up where you left off when you switch from one device to another.

The app is a very no-frills affair with none of the visual bells and whistles usually associated with Mac software. In fact it's probably the ugliest Mac application we've seen for some time.

You can adjust the font size, but not the typeface as far as we can tell, and page turning is operated via the mouse scroll ball, using the cursor arrow keys, or by good old fashioned mouse clicks.

Quite why Power PC users have been left out of the loop is a bit of a mystery as it's not exactly the most demanding piece of software we've ever seen.

If you can't wait for the launch of the iPad, and the probable porting of iBooks to full-blown OSX, this is worth a look. But don't expect to have you're literary socks blown off.

Oddly, the Amazon e-book store lists prices in US dollars, but the ability to download a free sample of most of the books on offer is a nice idea.

We can foresee a new cultural phenomenon where everybody has read the first 20 pages of thousands of novels, a bit like most English literature students.