Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amazon Kindle Review and Feature Requests

I have been spending way too much time on the Kindle. I just read this Kindle Review and had a few comments on it. Basically I agree with the review. The Kindle is a relatively early product with a few odd issues. The price is relatively high and it mostly makes sense for the impatient, frequent travelers, and/or avid book readers. Hrm, sounds like Americans to me (with the possible exception of the avid book readers part). There are now over 200,000 books available for the Kindle.

The fact that it does not have back lighting makes the display require far less power, as mentioned in the review. It also does another thing though. The lack of backlighting decreases eye strain. I used to print lots of stuff in order to be able to read it without my eyes getting tired. Now, I can send it to my Kindle with a simple email message and read it there without having to burn more paper. One nice way to make up for the lack of backlighting is to purchase a clip on light for it. Here is a simple clip on light that works pretty well. It is a bit bright though, so if you want to read next to a very light sensitive person, this may not be the one for you.

There are a few things that I would love to see the Kindle and/or Amazon support:
  • Please let me share documents with my family. I would love to be able to share a book with a friend or family member, temporarily giving up my right to view it. My preference would be to still allow for searches, still show it in the list, and give me the ability to request it back from the other person. I am fine with waiting until it is removed from my device for them to be able to get it and removed from their device before I can get it back. DRM is secure and I can share books.
  • Allow for Kindle focused reviews. People say all kinds of wonderful things in the reviews for a book that is available in the Kindle store, but sometimes, when you get the book, the formatting or images are terrible. I have noticed (and blogged) that there is a huge difference in the quality and usability of the books based on the formatting effort put in by the publisher. I would love to be able to say this book was a hit, wish I could read the diagrams.
  • It would also be nice to have a glow option for the kindle (like the Timex Indiglow(TM).)

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