Apple Books vs. Kindle — Which One Is Best?

Apple Books vs Kindle featured image

Apple Books vs. Kindle — Which One Is Best?

5 Need to Know Facts

  • The user experience on Kindle may be a bit poor, with the app running slow at times.
  • You can choose from over 6 million titles from the Amazon Kindle bookstore.
  • Unlike Kindle, you can buy your favorite titles directly within the Apple Books app.
  • Only Kindle has the reading ruler to highlight a full section of text for faster reading.
  • Unlike Apple Books, Kindle gives you an estimated time left to finish your book.

Amazon and Apple are massive corporations, yet they operate in quite different ways. Nevertheless, the book trade is the one area where they overlap and compete with one another. In fact, Kindle and the accompanying book ecosystem are one of Amazon’s main points of emphasis.

On the other hand, Apple’s ability to provide a comprehensive service package that includes media like movies, video games, music, and books is vital to the company. So even though Apple does not sell a proper e-reader, comparing Apple Books against Amazon’s Kindle app is nonetheless interesting.

Apple Books Vs Kindle: Side-by-Side Comparison

Apple BooksAmazon Kindle 
Physical Device NoYes
Primary Usee-book reader e-book reader
In-App PurchasesYesNo
Released2010 2007
Build-in TranslationsNoYes
Bookreads IntegrationNoYes
Time Left to Read FeatureNoYes
Cross-Platform SupportNoYes
Number of BooksNot DisclosedOver 6 Million

Kindle Vs Apple Books: What’s the Difference?

Kindle and Apple Books are e-readers and function pretty much the same – they both help you read books and listen to audiobooks of your choice. However, a major distinction between the two is that the Kindle app offers a far more extensive collection of ebooks. There are more than six million titles available on Kindle, but Apple hasn’t announced anything yet, but it seems to be lagging far behind.

So, are there other differences? Let’s dive right in to figure it out now!

Meet the Kindle

Best Waterproof Design
Kindle Paperwhite
  • 6.8-inch 300 PPI glare-free display
  • Up to 10 weeks of battery life
  • Available in three different colors
  • Now includes 20% faster page turns
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/28/2023 04:18 pm GMT

Amazon Kindle has evolved from a series of e-readers into a hardware and software platform for reading books, newspapers, magazines, and other forms of digital media.

Regarding hardware, Amazon offers three main options: the basic Kindle, the mid-range Kindle Paperwhite, and the top-of-the-line Kindle Oasis. E-ink, used in every Kindle, simulates the look and feel of printed text.

 Amazon Kindle reading app is not limited to its own e-reader hardware and works across many different operating systems, including Mac/PC, iOS/iPad, Android, and more.

Meet the Apple Books

Apple’s unified book store and reading app for iOS devices and Macs is called Apple Books (previously iBooks). In 2018, with iOS 12, the iBooks app underwent several modifications, the most notable of which was its rebranding as Apple Books.

You can use it to browse the Bookstore, buy books and audiobooks, and then read and listen to them on your device. Several collections will be automatically created for you in Apple Books, and you can create as many additional collections as you like.

PDF files may be kept in the app alongside books and audiobooks, and everything can be synchronized across your Apple devices thanks to iCloud. The typeface’s size and style and the book’s “paper” color can all be adjusted to suit the reader’s or listener’s preferences.  

So, both look quite the same, right? Let’s check out some other aspects.

Users love the user experience on Apple Books.


User Interface

If you are concerned about how your dashboard looks and how your books are organized in an app, you’ll fall in love with Apple Books. The user experience on Apple products is consistently polished and dependable. The top prices, best-selling items, and upcoming releases can all be found with a simple search. You can easily find the “Most Popular Books” on Top Charts, and there are other areas for new and trendy reads as well.

Can Kindle compete with that? Probably not. When you use the Kindle app for a while, you can’t help but reflect on how sluggish and out-of-date the general Kindle interface has become. As much as people like the concept of the Kindle, they’re disappointed by how little progress has been made with the software. Overall, it’s a fairly clumsy experience.  


Its fully integrated bookstore is among the major reasons to ditch the Kindle app in favor of Apple Books. Everything on Apple Books is streamlined right from joining to buying to reading books. However, something discouraging Apple users from switching to the Kindle app is that they can’t buy Kindle books through the app.

Instead, users must go through Amazon’s online storefront to make a purchase. The issue is that Apple’s App Store guidelines demand authors to give the iPhone maker up to 30% of all sales, and Amazon has long since opted not to accept these terms. However, you can get free preview chapters from the app itself. Unfortunately, to get books from Amazon, you’ll need to utilize a computer or a device that isn’t an Apple, which is a shame.

On the contrary, Apple has made it their mission to make shopping in their online store as straightforward as possible. Search their complete catalog from the convenience of your mobile device, and buy books with only a few taps using your Apple ID. In addition, the app store makes it simple to access works in the public domain.

Quite interestingly, you’ll be able to access audiobooks right from your Apple Books app. You have to turn to the Audible app to read Kindle books on an iPhone or iPad. And that again raises questions about Kindle’s integrated systems.


Something that always goes against Apple Books is how it keeps you from using those books elsewhere. All you need is an Amazon account, and your Kindle content will sync across all of your devices, but that’s not possible on Apple Books.

Through the Kindle Books Lending Program, you can lend certain books to family and friends for 14 days so that everyone can enjoy them. Using Apple Books, it’s possible to email a book to a friend or forward a chapter to a family member. And if you’ve enabled Family Sharing, everyone in your household can read the riveting novel you couldn’t put down without spending a dime.

So, yes, accessibility is an issue with Apple Books, and you need an Apple device to read books, but you certainly share content with others across the same platform. The Kindle app is the clear winner here, as the Kindle books you buy can easily be exported to other platforms.

Kindle Unlimited Vs. Audible

Kindle app on a cell phone screen.

©Faizal Ramli/Shutterstock.com

Other Features

Both apps offer exciting features for a better reading and listening experience. In Apple Books, you can change the reading speed to be slower or quicker by touching the speedometer icon and selecting the narration pace. A 30-second time skip is available too. Alternatively, you can set the Sleep Timer to help you nod off while listening to the book.

The same features are available in Kindle but it has something else called the “Ruler Function”, which helps you read faster by highlighting text on the screen. It’s not a huge issue, but if you like it, you will miss it on Apple Books. However, the Apple Books pagination makes it much more convenient for many readers.

Kindle insists on relying on geographic coordinates rather than page numbers. As for the number of “locations,” it can easily be in the hundreds, if not the tens of thousands. Assuming a standard book has 453 pages, what possible advantage might be to knowing that you’re on location 17,354 instead of page 235?

It’s possible to have two screens with the same page number since some Kindle books enable page numbers, but they’re typically keyed to pages in the print version. So why should anyone worry about having perfect page-by-page concordance between print and digital versions?  

However, both apps allow you to schedule daily and annual reading goals. You can keep tabs on how much time you spend reading each day. Reading enthusiasts will appreciate the ability to track how much time they spend perusing their collection. Just a note: Kindle offers “estimated time left” to finish your book, which is something not available on Apple Books.

Amazon provides in-built translation and Wikipedia integration whether you’re using Kindle hardware or just the software. In addition, the company’s one-of-a-kind X-ray tool is available here, which comes in handy for gaining deeper insight into the plot, setting, characters, and concepts of various electronic publications.

On the other hand, Apple offers dictionary help but only shares links to other resources. In essence, you’ll be moving out of your Apple Books to learn a bit about the word you fail to understand while reading. It’s actually a bit annoying.

Similarly, Kindle allows you to find book titles from other resources, including Goodreads, a popular social cataloging website. Still, you just can’t link it to Apple Books, giving Kindle an edge over Apple Books.

Content and Prices

As you can see, the “cons” of using either the Amazon Kindle or the Apple Books are minimal. That’s because, at their cores, the two ecosystems offer essentially identical content. So you bet one or the other will have some stuff the other doesn’t. On the other hand, this is less likely to happen with widely distributed works from any of the major publishing houses.

That being said, Kindle offers various monthly plans, whereas Apple Books sells books at a higher price than Amazon because there are no monthly subscription fees involved. Due to the fixed pricing, they also do not offer a free audiobook library that changes regularly. The plus side is that you only have to pay for the books you want, rather than a monthly fee.

Kindle Vs Apple Books: Which One is Better?

Kindle has a huge collection, but Apple Books amazes you with its streamlined design and unbeatable user experience.  You need to use different apps for audiobooks and extended collections on Kindle, but Apple Books has everything under one roof.

The truth is that once you remove Apple’s store integration, you’re left with a stylish but not particularly cutting-edge reading interface. While it remains one of the most aesthetically pleasing book reading apps for iOS devices (including the Mac version), it falls short in functionality compared to its competitors.

Due to the exclusivity of the Kindle Unlimited service, it may be in your best interest to download both applications on your Apple device and switch between them as needed. You can use the Amazon Kindle app in conjunction with Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime, for instance, or you can use Apple Books to purchase and read e-books with the family sharing feature enabled.

Apple Books vs Kindle infographic

Next Up…

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you get free books on Apple Books?

Apple Books includes a “Top Free Chart” that features books that may be downloaded from the service at no cost to the user as well as specialized areas that highlight free books and special offers. Apple also provides access to some classic literature, such as those written by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Lewis Caroll, although the availability of these titles varies by market.

How can you gift an Apple Books ebook?

Apple’s Books store hasn’t supported gifting for quite some time. You can now get it for your iPhone or iPad as well as your Mac PC.

  • Using Mac App: Find the book you want to give as a gift, click the drop-down menu in the button that displays the book’s price, choose the “Gift This Book” option, and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Using iPad/iPhone App: Use the iPhone or iPad app for Apple Books to send a book as a present; once you’ve located the book, hit the “Gift” icon (it looks like a wrapped gift box) that appears under the cover.

Is it possible to use your Kindle app without an internet connection?

If you want to read books on your Kindle app, you’ll need to be connected to wi-fi or the internet. You can’t read the books on your phone or tablet unless you’ve downloaded them beforehand, in case you ever find yourself in an area without phone service.

Why does my Kindle app on Mac crash every time I open a book?

You should restart your Mac. Restarting the device is probably your best bet if you’re having software-related issues.

You should also update your Mac’s operating system to the most recent version. Similarly, you should be using the most current version of Kindle for Mac to avoid glitches. You may easily update to the most recent version with a single click from the Amazon page.

If nothing else works, simply remove Kindle for Mac and reinstall it.

Can the Kindle app read to you?

Using the Kindle app on the iPad, you can browse through millions of free and paid books and have them read aloud to you using text-to-speech (TTS) technology. Unfortunately, Kindle no longer includes text-to-speech (TTS), but there is a TTS feature in iPadOS that can be used instead.

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