Pocketbook is beginning to add support for the Amazon Kindle AZW ebook format. The first e-reader that has officially gained functionality is the Inkpad 3, when it received a firmware update on July 20th. I believe the Inkpad X and the Era will receive support for this in the coming weeks. The official Send to Pocketbook app that is on all of their e-readers just gained support for sending AZW and AZW3 books directly to your e-reader too.
AZW is an eBook file format developed by Amazon for their device Kindle, an eBook reader. This format is used for eBooks that require DRM protection and the file format is similar to the Mobipocket PRC file which does not require any DRM protection. The AZW extension is now used for both eBook files, those that are protected with DRM and those that are not protected. The AZW format is similar the MOBI format but has a higher compression rate and uses Amazon’s very own DRM protection. DRM works by restricting the usage of the AZW file to the Amazon Kindle or any other Amazon Kindle reading software. The DRM on the Kindle is locked to the device ID linked to the account at Amazon through which the device is purchased. A disadvantage of the AZW file format is, that it does not allow for series related metadata to be added to the file.
Many people who have owned a Kindle in the past, or currently use one, likely have their own library of AZW books that they either converted from another format or have downloaded from the internet. I would get these all in one place if you want to buy a Pocketbook or already own one. The official support for AZW by Pocketbook will ensure that you will enjoy better image quality and typography.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.