After a solid weekend of pushing all the buttons on my new Kindle 3, I have to say I’m very impressed. The physical size is much smaller and lighter than I thought it would be, and the screen quality is amazing, clear and crisp with smooth gray-scale gradients good enough to display pictures and web pages. The interface is intuitive and the response is precise and quick. It took a little while to get used to the e-Ink flicker when flipping pages but I don’t even notice it now. The always-connected free 3G “Whispernet” (AT&T) and WIFI is seamless and unobtrusive (did I mention FREE 3G?), and so far, the battery life is not an issue at all even with both wireless modes turned on. The integration of the Kindle with my amazon account is awesome with the one-click shopping carried over right onto the Kindle store and a matching experience on the Amazon.com website from my computer.
Regarding Typoze and real-time typo posting there is a very slick built-in capability to “highlight” text in a book, add comments or post passages directly to Facebook or Twitter accounts (setup of that was also a breeze). If you move the marker over a word, the Kindle pulls up a definition on the bottom of the screen and gives a quick one-click jump for more information on that word. If there was only one more option… “submit typo” which could grab the highlighted text, allow us to type suggested corrections and comments, and automatically send to Typoze.com through our account, that would be perfect! (We’re still working on a Kindle App but so far, Amazon has been very reluctant to release their technology to developers.)
It is interesting that the Kindle native electronic book format (MOBI?) doesn’t maintain page numbers consistent to the printed editions of books. That’s actually one of the selling features of the Kindle because it allows the Kindle to draw the text according to user preferences to create a more enjoyable reading experience (font size, spacing, orientation, etc.) Maybe, just MAYBE, the Kindle developers were forward thinking enough to actually tag the words with their corresponding page numbers in the printed editions to make word/passage marking possible. Though, we might not find out until we actually get the Kindle Developers Kit.
Overall, this is one impressive piece of engineering. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon is selling these things at below-cost just to maintain their market share. The real money is probably in the content anyway and the Kindle does make it really, really easy to spend money… maybe even easier (or at least faster) than iTunes. If we could get a Typoze App integrated onto the Kindle, it would be easy and fun to submit typos while reading digital books!
Last month, Apple unveiled the iPad that acts almost like a giant iPhone in many ways with the inclusion of a book store. It’s with no doubt that Apple thinks that it can challenge all the existing competitors in the eBook market and from what we saw with the original iPod, it’s with good reason. It’s interesting to hear, however, that there has already been some jabs being thrown by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs even before an actual release date has been set.
“As for the device’s uptime when reading e-books, Jobs said he believes the 10 hours provided will be more than enough for most users. He discredited Mossberg’s suggestion that a backlit LCD display, versus the e-ink on the Amazon Kindle, produces a ‘battery cost.’
‘You know, there isn’t,’ Jobs said. ‘Because you just end up plugging it in. You end up docking it or whatever you’re going to do with it. It’s not a big deal. Ten hours is a long time. Because you’re not going to read for 10 hours.’”
We can only see how this feud is going to play out in the future but can we really expect avid readers to fork over an additional $250.00 for an iPad to serve as a reading device when there are alternatives available that are way more affordable? But then again, it is Apple.
One of our readers came across this article so we thought we’d share it with everyone.
Ever since electronic books emerged as a major growth market, New York’s largest publishing houses have worried that big-name authors might sign deals directly with e-book retailers or other new ventures, bypassing traditional publishers entirely.
Now, one well-known author is doing just that.
Stephen R. Covey, one of the most successful business authors of the last two decades, has moved e-book rights to two of his best-selling books from his print publisher, Simon & Schuster, a division of the CBS Corporation, to a digital publisher that will sell the e-books to Amazon.com for one year.
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