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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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5 Ways Amazon Can Save the Kindle

After all of this time and effort developing the Kindle line into such an overwhelmingly popular force in reading that the biggest publishers felt the need to break the law rather than be intimidated, I think it is fair to say that Amazon is not prepared to give up on the electronic books.  Even knowing this, it is clear that they are lagging behind a bit in development while concentrating on other areas.  Sooner or later they are going to have to pay a bit more attention to the Kindle eReaders and hopefully this will result in a few big changes.

The platform is still amazing.  Nobody can beat the Kindle Store right now.  A Kindle vs Nook comparison that excludes hardware is hardly worth making, it’s so one-sided.  Apps and content alone won’t be enough to carry the line forever, though, and there are a few additions that are safe to guess at so long as Amazon doesn’t try to simply eliminate the competition by selling eBooks below wholesale now that the Agency Model is on its way out.

Lit Kindle Display

We’ve already had some rumors about this, but nothing solid has manifested so far.  The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight already accomplishes this in a way that impresses and avoids the shortcomings of backlit LCD options.  Offering a new generation of Kindle eReaders that lacked the feature would be a mistake.

Organization Options

Yes, the Kindle Collections system is better than nothing.  It came as a welcome change to years of nothing at all to organize with.  It even makes sense to handle things with tags, given the cloud-centric nature of Amazon’s services.  Being able to better organize books is going to have to happen eventually, though, and it would be a big selling point for new customers if it came soon.

Physical Page Turn Buttons

You won’t find many people who are completely satisfied with the lack of physical page turn buttons on the Kindle Touch.  It is a fine eReader, but this was a glaring omission that is genuinely hard to ever completely get used to.  It can’t possibly increase costs enough to justify leaving it out and hopefully Amazon will realize that now.

Color E Ink Display

This one is a long shot, but being the first to offer an affordable, reliable, attractive color eReader would definitely be a coup for the Kindle line.  With the lighting options that have been described by Kindle rumors and put in place on the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, it would be more possible than ever to make the otherwise dull color E Ink currently available look quite nice.  The only question is whether Amazon is able to do that and still sell cheap eReaders.

Support For Online Communications

Let’s face it, the big thing everybody keeps pulling out for eReaders is the social media integration.  Kindle, Kobo, Nook, whatever, they all want to let you post from inside the eReader.  Take it a step further and let the next Kindle act as a portal for select communications (Facebook, Twitter, email, and maybe a few others) and you expand the attraction of the device at minimal cost.  This reduces the emphasis on the single use nature of the Kindle, but it makes it that much more attractive to a segment of the user base that prefers to stay constantly connected at the same time.  It’s a smart trade-off.

The Unexpected Perks of Kindle Ownership

When you decide to pick up a Kindle for the first time, there are a lot of factors that can play into it.  The first ones that come to mind are also probably the most important.  You’ve got instant access to any book you want to buy no matter what time you want to buy it at.  You can carry around hundreds or thousands of books at a time in your pocket.  Chances are good that you’ll save money overall on your book purchases, if you’re a regular reader.  That sort of thing.  There are a few things that have come up that one might not expect, however.

Something that many people perhaps don’t expect is an actual reduction of clutter.  Many Kindle owners find themselves replacing paperbacks with Kindle Editions over the course of their ownership.  The eBook is more durable and harder to lose.  This can result in a great deal of space saving over the course of dozens of book replacements, many of which can be at least partially subsidized through resale of the used copies unless you’re a fan of library donations.  eReading can come to mean that the only books you actually have to keep track of are the ones you like enough to want to display proudly in hardcover.

Another plus I’ve encountered, though I probably wouldn’t want to put it to the test in any major way, is the durability of the eReader.  I’ve heard plenty of arguments that consolidating to a Kindle means that if you break one thing then you’re out of luck until you replace it, but they have proven difficult to damage in a number of situations.  Moisture generally isn’t a problem, kids can’t tear their pages, and short falls do no damage.  On that last point, maybe it is just me, but every time I drop or knock down a book it seems to fall in just the right way to bend half the pages.  Anybody else find that annoying?  Moving on…

The most outstanding example that I am aware of is probably restricted to the Kindle 3G.  In the aftermath of the string of tornado that made their way through the US in the past few months, many people found themselves without power, let alone internet connectivity.  Thanks to the long life of the Kindle’s battery, there were a number of people that I’ve heard of who were able to find information that they needed and reassure friends and family of their safety in situations where doing so would otherwise have been very difficult.  Cell phones simply don’t often last that long, no matter how conservative you are with their battery life.

Now obviously these aren’t selling points.  The extra functionalities, if you can even call them that, are highly situational.  I’m always interested in perks that can make what was already a great acquisition even more valuable.  There’s more use to be found things like a Kindle than you can generally find on a spec sheet, if you look for it.

Kindle 4 Thoughts & Hopes

Color eReaders are getting more and more press as time goes on.  Now that we have the Hanvon release just months away, there’s not really much room left to say that non-LCD color displays aren’t ready for release into the market yet.  As such, it’s pretty reasonable to expect that 2011 will see the release of a new Kindle.  Call it the Kindle Color, Kindle 4, or whatever you want…we already had a number of excellent ideas from readers about that in another post…it’s all but to be taken for granted at this point.  What will we be getting along with it though?

Here are the major things I’m hoping to see when the time comes:

6″ Display w/ Higher Resolution

Yes, I know some people are clamoring for an increase in screen size and this isn’t really any different from what we have now.  To me, the screen is the right size already, we just need better resolution.  Also, it helps keep the Kindle distinct from your average 7″ Tablet, which I can’t help but feel is important.  eReaders have got to continue to stay their own category if we’re going to avoid major compromise in quality in favor of more tablet/phone type features.

More User Customization

User-defined nested folders, personalized screen savers, more sorting options, an improves search function, basically anything that will make the process of using the Kindle move faster and more pleasantly so I can get back to reading on it.

EPUB Support

I know, fat chance, but we can dream, right?  It would save some people, myself included, loads of trouble on eBook conversion and it would make library usage finally possible.

Optional Color and/or Media Integration

One of the things that worries me about the new release is the potential for intrusive advertising.  I’ve already said that I think WOWIO does a pretty great job of avoiding that, but they’re not the only ones out there.  Definitely wanting to avoid talking ads, horribly blatant product placement mid-text, and other such distracting things.  A setting to switch things to the classic Kindle monochrome would be great, just in case.

Restored Memory Card Slot

Much as this doesn’t come up for me personally, I used to work for a company that was trying to use Kindles to help visually impaired kids get their reading done using Text to Speech and Audiobooks.  It worked pretty well, but you could only have so many Audiobooks at a time.  What if I wanted to load a whole school year’s worth of audio books on for my kid or something?  I feel like that should be an option.  Which leads into the next point…

Improved Audio Controls

Let’s face it, what we have now is a little sparse.  I’d like to see some improvements, perhaps even when it comes to song selection while reading?

That’s all I’ve got for the moment.  Some of these are long shots, others might be already in the works for all I know.  There’s some good discussion going on over in the Kindle web forum about exactly this topic.  Check it out and chime in with your opinions, if you have any.  The way I figure it, the more input Amazon gets on what its customers want, the better the product will be in the end.