Forget about apps on the Kindle and focus on content

Forget about apps on the Kindle and focus on content

Summary: Larry pointed out this morning in his post that Amazon is opening up the Kindle for application development and I wanted to chime in with my thoughts since I am a huge ebook reader fan. The geek in me likes to see new devices through in everything, but the kitchen sink. However, as I have stated before I want my ebook experience to be void of distractions so I can just read my book. My primary reason for carrying an ebook reader over a regular book is the convenience of carrying many titles in a small form factor and buying books for less than hardback prices. While my B&N nook has multiple connectivity support I only like and need this to help get content onto the device. After that, I want an isolated book experience where I can sit on the couch and read for an hour or two without being bothered.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility
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Larry pointed out this morning in his post that Amazon is opening up the Kindle for application development and I wanted to chime in with my thoughts since I am a huge ebook reader fan. The geek in me likes to see new devices through in everything, but the kitchen sink. However, as I have stated before I want my ebook experience to be void of distractions so I can just read my book. My primary reason for carrying an ebook reader over a regular book is the convenience of carrying many titles in a small form factor and buying books for less than hardback prices. While my B&N nook has multiple connectivity support I only like and need this to help get content onto the device. After that, I want an isolated book experience where I can sit on the couch and read for an hour or two without being bothered.

Amazon's ideas for this application platform include travel books, cookbooks, and word games and puzzles. I would rather see Amazon focus on opening up the Kindle to standard formats (EPUB and Adobe Digital Editions) like the rest of the ebook reader world so you can load up local library content or ebooks purchased through various other outlets. One reason I love my nook is that it has support for multiple content sources, most of who send me discount coupon codes every couple of weeks so that I rarely pay full price for a book. I believe content is king in the ebook world and not applications, web browsing, RSS, and all these other services that are much better supported on a notebook or smartphone.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

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14 comments
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  • Format FIRST!

    Absolutely, format should be first. Some of us don't like Kindles, and would prefer using other readers. For every user that chooses an alternate reader, Amazon loses a potential customer.

    I shop exclusively at places that offer open formats.
    dave.leigh9
  • I want a $200 Kindle

    I don't care how they do it, but lower the purchase price or there is no sale.

    E-Books will remain niche so long as the economics of the product remain so thoroughly outperformed by paper back.
    T1Oracle
  • I want a color kindle, and won't consider buying until

    because i like my magazines and comicbooks to represent in their full glory, and digital ink works so much better on the eyes than the majority of monitors and screens on portables like a PSP, iPhone, ZuneHD, etc etc. Talking the combination of battery saving tech and something beyond shades of gray. Then get more magazines and such onboard, and then truly stop the presses for me.
    Boot_Agnostic
  • it IS content

    It's called 'Active Content' since the "apps" will focus on interactive content. I don't understand how this is distracting at all. Really, you think this is distracting Amazon from adding EPub support? That's a rhetorical question. woot.
    Adam J
  • RE: Forget about apps on the Kindle and focus on content

    Kindle's push to open apps up to developers, talk about
    opening up formats, giving huge incentive discounts to
    publishers, etc. just signals the beginning of the end I believe.
    They won't be able to compete with the high-tech industry ...
    they should start focusing on providing their printed inventory
    in open source ePub, PDF formats etc., so that people will
    actually even buy ebooks from them in this expanded ereader
    market, where they will fall behind.
    metaweb20
  • screen size

    I want an 8" Kindle -- 6" ones are too small and 10" too
    large. It's about the book reading experience, not the
    bells & whistles. That's why the features (color LCD to
    see book covers, etc) on the Nook are meaningless -- if
    it's too slow to read books and load books, and has a 6"
    screen, then it's not worth the money.
    daedalus2
  • Some More Functions would be Nice

    I agree that the Kindle (and other book readers) are for reading. I'm not sure what kind of application would lure me, especially given the limits of the interface -- just how would you do a crossword puzzle?

    But I would like better web access within the books so books could support links to related information.
    amywohl
  • wow, are you ever wrong

    Why not have the apps on the kindle? Forget about the format thing, that is a decision they have made and will change if they decide to, but apps is a good idea, especially if the kindle can have more uses, which makes it attractive to more people therefore creating a larger install base, because then the larger install base will want more formats. So more apps is exactly what you want for the kindle. If you cannot handle the distractions, then you don't have to download apps, but posting such an article is just plain stupid. The more things a device can do, the bigger its growth, look at pcs the more stuff they do, the more people have them. That is like saying I bought a pc to do my home accounting, i don't want it to do anything else because I will get distracted. But that is your problem. Now pcs let you watch movies and all kinds of distracting things, but they also sell billions of units, that would not happen if they were limited to just accounting software. For a supposedly technical guy, you sure seem short sited.
    sanjonny
  • RE: Forget about apps on the Kindle and focus on content

    I agree that content is king for eReaders.

    RE The kindle:
    Support for more file types be very welcome.

    The Interface could use a major upgrade.
    1) A folder oriented storage system.
    2) A better way to view books you own vs books actually on the kindle.
    3) Font size control when shopping at the kindle store.

    Offsetting my Poor vision was one of the selling points for the kindle.
    TomGroff
  • First App Request: Format Converter

    It's possible that the speed of the Kindle is due to the ebook format used. So my first app request would be a Format Converter.
    kyron.gustafson9
  • Forget about Kindle period!

    I'm willing to bet that the Apple tablet will give you an
    excellent eBook reading experience with ebooks available
    via iTunes. And for a couple of hundred bucks more, it
    will be able to do other things that the Kindle could
    only dream of.

    Plus, you won't have to haul around an eBook reader, a
    laptop AND a DMP--you'll have it all in one slick
    package. If I were an eBook maker/marketer, I would be
    worried big time.
    twirth5
    • Re: Apple Tablet

      The Apple Tablet is not the only game in town.
      It's not even on the market yet and people are
      assuming what it will and won't do. There are a
      LOT of ebook readers out there already that are
      advancing the technology for READING, which is
      what it's supposed to do. Hell, I read on my G1
      but it doesn't offer me the experience of my
      ebook reader. I charge my Kindle up every 2
      weeks or so. I doubt that your Apple Tablet
      will be able to touch that. The nook is getting
      huge complaints because people have to charge it
      every few days and they were expecting a 10 day
      charge cycle; there is an advantage to a
      dedicated device. For what you're expecting it
      to do, you can forgo your Apple Tablet and take
      your laptop or netbook and read on that NOW, if
      reading is truly what you want to do. Why wait?
      And why pay almost 2.5 times more to do it?
      People are complaining now about the price of
      ebook readers. Without having seen one, what
      makes the Apple Tablet so special that it's
      worth the premium?
      jamerican413
  • I'm watching and waiting and patient.

    I'm in now rush to get an ebook reader. There are things I want and none have them yet and a lot of obstacles to be overcome.

    The big block for me is that Amazon's goal is to get lots of sales to make lots of money and to do that they want control. The issue is control. I haven't anything against making money but how people control others to get profit can be a concern.

    Things I'm looking for are Color screen. As an educator research shows color helps attention and retention of information. I'd also like to be able to take notes. When I read I am often stimulated and think and would like to be able to put down those thoughts at the same time without having to carry something else as well. I read widely and because of the availability of information will often choose free over pay. If one is willing to take a bit of time looking and researching then one can have a valid reading experience. There are plenty of interesting books out there that I don't have to have the fad book right when it comes out. All because a book is popular doesn't mean it is necessary to one's life and one can get the gist of the information through other resources. What I want to be able to read isn't novels but textbook related material dealing with information at a reasonable cost. These I'd pay for as to be able to carry around information around those things I'm researching and easily reference in order to share with others in classrooms or lectures makes more sense. So currently a net-book is a better option except that good text books in e-format are lacking still. There are signs that they will improve.
    fcorless
  • RE: Forget about apps on the Kindle and focus on content

    I can't see why there is not a basic book reader that just reads most of the formats, and you can organise everything by a computer. I have a kindle, but don't use the wireless, the buttons are too small, and the Internet hardwork. They could do what they do on a Ipod, but with better software, and allow you to alter most of it with a computer.
    Alan21