Tag Archives: Kindle

Kindle Fire & Nook Tablet are not fragmenting Android

So many people are talking about how with the open sourcing of ice cream sandwich we are going to see a new level of fragmentation of the Android ecosystem. The best part is these people use the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablets as examples of this. These tablets are actually not a part of the problem. They are actually examples of Google’s solution to the issue.

One of the main reasons that they are not fragmenting is they don’t claim to be Android. If you look at the ad pages for both the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barns and Noble Nook Tablet you will not see android referenced other then on Amazons as the Amazon Android App store which no consumer that buys it is going to confuse it with Google’s app store. The fact that it is Android is something only the really geeky need to know. I am doubtful outside the tech circles anyone is going to be talking about it as android. The only really major reason that it is Android matters is that it’s using Android’s development libraries which means most apps that work on any Android tablet will work on the Kindle or Nook they just have to go through there separate stores. As for that causing issues as well I have used Amazon’s App Store in the past and would consider it on par with Google’s.

So really this is all what Google wanted. They wanted to make it so that any company could make their own personalized devices using Android quickly now we are finally seeing the results of this policy. Personally I think it’s better since it means Amazon or Barns and Noble can be on par with Apple in at least the tablet OS space and use that to deliver their much more plentiful content. In the end we are seeing more competition and less consumer confusion what more could you want?


And the E-Book wars begin!

First shots are now being fired in the real start of the e-book wars. Many would argue that the e-book wars started a with the Kindle trying to rival the Sony Book Reader. Back then epub seemed young and weak and Amazon was the 800 pound gorilla. And this has seemed to be true for the last year or so. The Kindle was synonymous with e-book reader and pretty much every other reader went epub hoping that the “openness” would win readers over from the Kindle. Now Apple with the announcement of the iPad has showed up on the scene and if Amazon was a 800 pound gorilla, well Apple is some kind of shiny new 20 ton battle tank.

Sure we have seen Amazon king for awhile now but what is going on now? Amazon the biggest book retail just lost a deal with Macmillan! This shows that Amazon has got to be to powerful. They are so powerful the book publishers are willing to walk away to someone they know they can challenge them but will give them a better posision. Apple says it will price match Amazon well if your books are not even on Amazon what is there to price match? Jobs talks about publishers pulling out of Amazon. Apple is providing a perfect marketplace for the book publishers. They are using epub (the open standard publishers agree on) and not using mobi like Amazon. Apple never said anything at their event about DRM for the e-books but we can assume that they will start with Apple’s own version of DRM. The question though is will Apple be able to force ebooks to become DRM free as it did with MP3s?

The fact that Apple is doing epub is something many may not realize the importance of. Epub in the past has always been a format that even though its an standard and open has always been controlled by Adobe. Adobes renderer has been the bane of many people who really know the epub spec and write a document to the spec only to find Adobe’s renderer does not work as it was intended. Apple now has a chance to come in and show the true power of epub.

What we are watching right now is just a minor skirmish who knows what wonderful things we will get out of this ebook war. We may finally see affordable college textbooks that don’t break students backs economically or physically. We may see DRM be gone from another media format. Really though all to truly know at this point is it will be very interesting to watch.

Will the Kindle DX change the way we look at books?

Amazon pulls out a really interesting release with the Kindle DX. While there were rumors of a larger Kindle I don’t ever remember reading about native PDF support. This is the big killer for it. On a 9.7-inch screen with native PDF support that means you no longer need a printer to view your PDF on a shit of … well e-ink paper. Sure this all sounds amazing. What we don’t see here though is the one most important feature that Amazon is still lacking! WHERE IS ePUB SUPPORT!!! I fear for the future of ebooks if Amazon is the leader and from the looks of it is actively trying to KILL off what was created to be the standard ebook format! The only result of what is currently going on is Amazon will take over with its proprietary format or PDFs will become the main eBook style which would suck as well as they do not scale well. I guess though the real question is how will Schools and newspaper companies use this. The Kindle DX could easily be used to provide very cheap newspaper subscriptions and by this I mean cheaper for both the consumer and the newspaper companies which would have a better chance to stay alive if they didn’t have to deliver which would probably lower their prices into the ranges people are more willing to pay. On this larger screen it would become much more usable for reading like a newspaper. In schools the question is can students soon start just getting an ebook version of some textbooks? This should help save money on textbooks but more importantly reduce backpack weight which has been a rising problem for students. I really think the Kindle DX could be the first on the way to really changing the way we read on a large scale but do we need another iTunes repeat? Cause that is where we are currently going.


btw: The iTunes analogy works on more then one level. First, DRM vs non-DRM which took way to long to win for music. Second, iTunes uses AAC instead of the defacto standard MP3 where ePub is the actual standard and Amazon goes on with its perversion of the mobi format.

Kindle 2 has Shipped and is in stock?

So unlike the original Kindle Amazon has officially released now and has stock leftover. What does this mean? Is the Kindle 2 not selling as well as they expected or is it fine? I am betting its not doing nearly as well as they expect. How can anyone in this economy spend $359 on a reading device WITHOUT a case? I’m sorry Amazon but rasing the price of a product in a bad economy by $30 by removing the protective cover is not the way to go. Why would anyone buy a product if it cost $359 if it meant that it could easily break if anything was to go wrong? I guess I just don’t get it since most other companies are not rasing prices right now.

Kindle 2 Announced

So finally Amazon has announced the Kindle 2 which I wrote about eariler as the way for ebooks to main mainstream. This is looking more and more possible since not only is the screen better with 16 scales of grey and 20% faster screen change time. Also the new Kindle 2 looks better with a more sleek design with it being thinner and lighter. The only really bad thing I see with it is no SD card slot anymore so hopefully you don’t need more then the 1.4 gigs of usable space. Mind you 1.4 gigs is a lot of space for books but if you start throwing Audible books on there too it might get full alot faster.

Overall I think my earlier prediction that Kindle 2 will make ebooks mainstream is going to be true. I just hope that I can find the money to get one sometime soon and I hope that they will not be continuously out of them with the Kindle 2 (sorry Amazon but when your trying to sell a million a year you have to keep it in stock to reach that goal!). Links to reviews follow.



ars technica

PC Magazine


Kindle on Amazons site!

Maybe the Kindle will bring ebooks mainstream!

So now according to AllThingsDigital Citi is claiming that Amazon has sold 500,000 kindles in 2008. That is quite a huge number for a product that when it came out ebooks were thought to never be able to really take off. Back when the Kindle was released e-ink paper was brought up in the mainstream media every few months as a “maybe this will save newspapers” solution but then the Kindle came out. The Kindle if you don’t know allow a person to have the days newspaper every morning when you wake up. And you don’t even need to leave your house to get it in paper (well e-ink) form! This of course costs more then using your computer but your getting the full newspaper delivered to you thanks to Amazons Whispernet (read sprint) before you wake up most likely. Now that is convince. Plus it wont hurt your eyes like a computer screen or smear ink all over your hands like a newspaper normally. I for one cannot wait for the Kindle to get more affordable. The only real problem with the Kindle is the fact that all the books come with DRM but that is mostly caused by very scared publishers worried they are going to loose money to pirates. So who wants to bet the Kindle 2 will come out with a price drop and more attempts by Amazon to mainstream its use. Of course Amazon hopefully will have by then gotten their supply issues solved by then! If not we could just see a delay in ebooks only because of supply issues now that is really sad!