iBooks, Apple's Book store app for the iPad, and Amazon's Kindle app for the iPad have both gone live in the Apple App Store in the US ahead of the official launch of the iPad on 3 April.

The iBooks app, which users will have to download if they want to access the 60,000 ebooks Apple has to offer on its iBookstore, will come with a free copy of the Winnie The Pooh, the ability to sample books before you buy, and a wooden bookshelf to store all your purchases on. 

Users will also be able to add EPUB electronics books to iTunes and then sync them across to the iPad using the latest version, 9.1, of iTunes. Currently the iBookstore is only available to customers in the US.

Those hoping that the app would also work with the iPhone will be disappointed however: Apple says that its only iPad only for the time being. 

However not to be outdone, Amazon has also released its ebook reading app that comes with 450,000 books and the option to read your books on other platforms like the PC, the Mac and most other smartphones (check out out Kindle 2 review here). 

Amazon are promising the iPad-focused version of the app will tailored to suit the iPad's screen, offer page turning animation so you feel like you are reading a real book (even if it is on a backlit screen) and the ability to adjust the screen brightness so you don't hurt your eyes. How thoughtful.