Apple Books vs Kindle: Which books app is right for you?

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If you enjoy sitting down with a good book, the digital world has many options beyond physical books these days. And if you don’t own a dedicated reading device, you can easily use your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

While it makes sense to use the Apple Books app on an Apple device, it’s certainly not the only option. Kindle from Amazon is another great choice for enhancing your digital library.

So which is one best; the Apple Books or Kindle app? We’ll walk you through the features, differences, and considerations of each one to help you decide which is right for you.


App availability

The Apple Books and Kindle apps are both free to download and available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

With the Audiobooks app for Apple Books on your Apple Watch, you can listen while you walk, run, or work.

With Kindle, you can also read books on Android, Windows, and other e-readers besides the Amazon Kindle. Plus, if you use Audible, you can listen to Kindle books with Alexa on your Amazon smart speaker.

Download for free on iOS: Apple Books, Kindle

Common app features

Since Apple Books and Kindle both have great features, we’ll run through those they have in common first.

Sync your books

You can start a book on one device and continue reading where you leave off on another with both apps. This makes for a wonderful way to read no matter where you are.

Use bookmarks, notes, and highlights

Terrific features for reference books, textbooks, and manuals are the bookmark, note-capturing, and highlighting options that the apps offer.

Apple Books vs Kindle highlights
Apple Books vs. Kindle highlights

Bookmark pages to revisit, makes notes as you go along, and highlight passages to make them stand out.

Look up words

Not sure what a word means? You can look words up directly with each app’s built-in dictionary. Just tap, hold, and get the definition.

Customize your reading experience

You can select the font style and size, orientation, background color, and automatic scrolling for Apple Books and Kindle. These options give you personalized ways to enjoy your books and fit your environment or time of day.

Apple Books vs. Kindle customizations
Apple Books vs. Kindle customizations

Search your books

Apple Books and Kindle also give you the option to search your books. So if you’re looking for a particular word, phrase, or page number, just use the search feature.

Receive notifications

If you’d like to get push notifications on your device for book recommendations, reading goals, tips, or book club updates, you got it!

Apple Books vs. Kindle notifications
Apple Books vs. Kindle notifications

Add books to a wish list

The Apple Books app lets you browse books and then add them to a list of those you want to read. Kindle is similar only that you can add books to your Amazon wish lists.

Set reading goals

If you want to spend more time reading, each app lets you set reading goals. This is an excellent way to make sure you’re setting aside the time you deserve to read every day. And you can track your reading progress with the reading goals features too.

Apple Books vs. Kindle reading goals
Apple Books vs. Kindle reading goals

Standout features

As you can see, the Apple Books and Kindle apps offer the same types of basic features. But they each bring something a little different to the table too.

The Apple Books app

Apple Books copy as PDF and Family Sharing
Apple Books copy as PDF and Family Sharing

PDF markup: With Apple Books you can also work with PDF files. This is a handy way to save and mark up files you receive via email.

Family Sharing: If you use Apple’s Family Sharing, you can share books and audiobooks you purchase with up to six of the family members in your group.

The Kindle app

Kindle Goodreads and translate tool
Kindle Goodreads and translate tool

Goodreads community: If you use Goodreads, you can connect to it directly from the Kindle app to see what your friends are reading, recommend books yourself, and take part in the overall community.

Translations, Wikipedia, and X-Ray: Along with the built-in dictionary for word lookups, Kindle lets you translate to another language or get details on a person, place, or word from Wikipedia or the X-Ray tool.


Whenever you’re picking between two options, one of the best ways to decide which is right for you is to look at the pros and cons of each. Here are a couple of the major deciding factors for many when it comes to the Apple Books versus Kindle debate.

Apple Books considerations

Apple Books Store
Apple Books Store

Apple Books is built right into your Apple devices, syncs with iCloud, and uses your Apple ID. So no matter which device you use it on, you’re always in sync.

Unfortunately, Apple Books currently only works on Apple devices. So if you own an iPhone, for example, and then switch to an Android device, you won’t be able to use Apple Books on that Android phone.

Kindle app considerations

Kindle First Reads
Kindle First Reads

Since Kindle is an Amazon product, you can take advantage of discounts on books as an Amazon Prime member. Plus you can receive free books each month by choosing from the featured collection in the First Reads section.

Unfortunately, the Kindle app does not support book purchases. If you discover a book that you’d like to buy, you’ll need to head to the Amazon website to make your purchase. You can then select the location where you want to download the book, if you have more than one Kindle app.

Which will you pick?

After reading about the availability, common and standout features, and the different things to consider, which will you choose? Will it be the Apple Books or Kindle app?

If you still can’t decide, why not use both? You might find a book in Apple Books that you can’t get in the Kindle app or vice versa. They both offer tremendous features with millions of books to choose from and are each great apps for readers of all ages.

But if you do decide to use only one, be sure to let us know in the comments below which one you pick and your reasons!

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