November 19, 2007

ob. Kindle musings

As someone whose main gripe with the iPhone at launch was my inability to install a book reader, I read the announcement of Amazon.Com's Kindle bookreader. Unlike the esteemed Mr. Love, I have not ordered one. Here's my quick reaction:

  • Indeed, AUUUGH THE BUTTONS. Why so many freaking buttons? If you have full control of the store environment, you should be able to control for any requirements for typing. Honestly, if the only reason you're typing is for search purposes, an on-screen keyboard would be fine.
  • Stylus and HWR. For taking notes? e-ink your scribbles, or invest in one of the many HWR systems for said scribbles. Here is somewhere a stylus is meant to be. Scribbling in margins? Stylus. When taking quick notes, a crappy QWERTY keyboard is the fastest way to discourage me.
  • zOMG what no PDF?!??! Waiting to hear this isn't true.
  • EV-DO? Great. Sprint EV-DO? Ugh. How about those of us that live in Verizon-dominated zones?
  • Is there a way to transfer my purchases to my own machine/server for offline storage, even if I can't use them elsewhere? So that I can have a home library without requiring EV-DO xfer of all my titles if, say, I decide to completely change over my contents?
  • Book DRM FTL. See Baen Books for The Right Thing To Do.
  • Kudos on Mobi support.
  • Wait, you want me to pay you for an RSS feed of a blog? Uh. I guess it's for bandwidth, but on a monthly basis? What if the blog just doesn't update that much? I mean, carrying Boing Boing or Engadget would surely eat up bandwidth given their flow and the inclusion of all manner of multimedia, but shee, what if I wanted to read the laconic Mr. Love's blog? Would I get charged the same for that?
  • Always-on network and no generic web browser? When Opera will put one in a watch (or so it seems) this seems...wrong. Oh, okay, bandwidth, fine...so where's the luxe version with wifi? Are we waiting for WiMax?

UPDATE: Okay, the inimitible Mr. Teichman has informed me that there is a reg'lar web browser in the prefs, and that the device can be mounted as a USB Mass Storage device for backups. Two objections down.

Eventually, I guess, I'll get to hold one, and then I'll think about it more. But no order from me. I'm actually quite happy reading on my iPhone, even though getting HTML text onto it is not for the faint of heart. It also means I don't have another device to carry, and I personally don't mind the tradeoffs.

Posted by jbz at November 19, 2007 4:06 PM | TrackBack

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