Seven Ideas to Improve the Kindle

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Kindle 2This morning I posted part of an email by Victoria, one of the winners of the Quicken/Turbo Tax Giveaway, and a big-time Kindle enthusiast. It was her list of fourteen reasons why I should get a Kindle. This is the second part of her email trying to convince me that I should buy my wife a Kindle and these are seven things they’d have to change about the Kindle to get her to buy another one.

Top seven things I wish they would change so that I would be enticed to buy a new one:

  1. Even with the advent of the Kindle 2, it’s still not in color. No illustrations, no art, no visual, barely discernible black and white photos. Even the iTunes folks knew we needed the album art and the “CD inserts”.
  2. Although when reading newspapers, they are conveniently located under one heading, i.e. all the NY times issues you have bought appear in a column when you press the NY times heading so you can choose the latest issue to read. For some reason they still have not been able to come up with a way to organize either books or “series”. You can organize by title and author, but I often find an author or title “out of place” on another page for no apparent reason. There is still no way to quickly check whether it is #09 or #14 of the Kate Shugak series that you are missing when you are in a bookstore, library or used bookstore looking for that title that is still unavailable for the Kindle. There is no way to set up folders so all your “cookbooks” are in one place, all your “poetry” is in another, your “quantum theory'” in another, etc., etc.
  3. On the Amazon website, if you find a new author you are interested in and you want a listing of the books in their series, you can do a little research and find the order they were published in to give you a starting place and a continuity of the characters. That is unavailable on the Kindle. The best you can do is “search author”.
  4. I haven’t read about anyone else who cares, but the Kindle 2 is 0.5 inches longer than the first one. Rumour has it, they are brainstorming plans
    to replace the textbooks used by educators with a version of the Kindle. Easily updated material, save the trees. Textbooks tend to be sized larger than the
    original size of the Kindle which is roughly the size of a paperback. Please don’t make it bigger. I travel and have to keep it in a purse.
  5. Not that I’ve ever had problems with the battery but I found it really convenient to change the charged ones out when I was in a hurricane situation without power for three days. I also have an accessory that can charge the Kindle on 4 AAA batteries. Does this work on the new one?
  6. It’s still white. Is white plastic cheaper than black? I am not easy on any of my electronics, but if you use anything daily, white just isn’t a long
    lasting color to keep clean. A new leather cover helped, but hardly.
  7. Although you can access your gmail account on the Kindle as well as other additional things, if you’re going to include it, make it easier to use.

It sounds like they’re getting closer and closer to getting the perfect e-book reader but are still a little far away, both in the product itself and the infrastructure around it. If you have a Kindle, what are your pain points with the product?

{ 5 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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5 Responses to “Seven Ideas to Improve the Kindle”

  1. The general consensus in the tech community is that if you already have a Kindle, there isn’t enough in the Kindle 2 to make an upgrade worth it. Opinions differ, but I agree with the notion.

    I’m not holding out for a perfect ebook reader, but I would be fine if the Kindle dropped the keyboard to make it smaller. The white doesn’t bother me so much, but I would prefer the device be a little thicker. The thinness makes me feel like I would break it.

    As for color, I don’t really care much. I stopped reading books that had color after 5th grade. OK, college.

  2. Beth says:

    IMHO, what the Kindle needs is a marketing department than can see beyond the US border.

  3. Eric says:

    Backlight? Backlight? Backlight?

  4. Kindle 2 Fan says:

    Yes, there is always room for improvement the Kindle 2 is defineatly not perfect. I find the graphics on par with any black and white illustration in a standard printed book. Color would be nice but I don’t think the e-Ink screen technology is there yet.

    The nice thing about the newspaper subscriptions is the elimination of the thousands of useless advertisements I don’t have to see and after I am done reading there is no ink on my hands! 🙂

  5. cw Tse says:

    A little thicker is better, and how about a soft rubber on the back side for easy holding.
    Color black is better too, so they can add protection rubber on four corners which prevent a lot of crash problems. Display color? NO NEED, since what “I” wanted a Kindle is reading, and reading…

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