Sony has announced that come December it will be rolling out its Reader App for the iPhone and Android-powered phones. This however is in the wake of the likes of Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many others already having similar apps available on both platforms for some time.
The only reason we can see that people would download this app is if they wanted specific access to the Reader Store, because aside from that the Reader App offers users nothing special in the way of features. Bookmarking, note taking, adjustable font size and highlighting will all be present and correct in the Reader App – but this is nothing special. The app will allow access to books you have already purchased but if you’ve purchased them, you probably have the Sony Reader anyway so why the need to download them again on your phone or tablet?
Amazon’s Kindle app, launched back in March 2009, added embedded video and audio support during the summer, making the multimedia experience of ebooks a lot richer and since there is nothing similar to this in the Reader App, we are wondering why Sony chose now to bring out such a run-of-the-mill app. While Sony have not said whether the app would be free or not, it would be a crazy move to charge for it since all its main rivals’ apps are free-of-charge.
Besides Amazon’s Kindle, there is Apple's iBooks, the Barnes and Noble Reader, ebooks by Kobo (which is in collaboration with Borders) and dozens of others for people to chose from. It seems as if Sony is releasing the App for the sake of completeness rather than for any specific extra functions people would want from an ebook reader.