Further observations on the Kindle


Here are some further observations on the Kindle:

  • Each version of the Kindle (tablet or app) returns a reader to the last page viewed in a title.
  • While the arrow buttons on the tablet make for easy page turning, it can be tedious to use them to turn back more than a few pages to return to a section; you can use the menu to “go to” a location number (numbers for various locations are shown at the bottom of every page). Or, you can sync to the furthest page read, but to do so, you must first have turned your annotations backup on, which can be found in the settings menu. The Kindle must have had Wi-Fi access enabled at the time you last had the book or article open to allow Amazon.com to store that data.
  • In the PC app, you can view the menu of available titles by most recent, title, author and length.
  • The tablet and PC app come with a dictionary, which can come in handy when reading old books with archaic words.
  • The popular highlights feature lets you see what other Kindle readers think are the most interesting passages in a book you have. Highlighted passages will be highlighted in your book.

 

When a Kindle is not a Kindle – Reading books on another device


My last several blogs have focused on the Kindle e-book reader – but that tablet is not the platform for partaking of the Kindle experience. Amazon.com currently offers several versions of a Kindle app for mobile phones and other devices: the iPhone; Windows personal computers; Mac computers; some models of the Blackberry; the iPad; Android phones; and the Windows Phone 7 operating system. (Click here to view the various Kindle apps and system requirements.)

I have only recently downloaded the Windows PC app; it is the only device I own that supports one of the apps. My Blackberry Curve is not one of the Curve models that are compatible with the Kindle app. I have begun reading “Aesop’s Fables.”

My impressions so far of the Windows PC app: “Page turning” is as easy as using a mouse’s scroll button or hitting forward and back arrows. Additional convenient features include a “Home” button to return to the main menu, the ability to make notes about the material, the ability to change font size and brightness and the ability to read the text in one or two columns. You can navigate easily to your notes or to highlighted sections you have marked in the text. The computer screen makes for a larger reading area than the Kindle tablet. However, this app cannot duplicate the Kindle tablet’s e-ink technology that makes electronic reading similar to reading a printed book (computer screens are back-lit, which can lead to eye strain).

Regardless of which Kindle format you use, Kindle customers have one huge advantage: Amazon.com makes your e-book available for repeated download on multiple devices. So if you lose your Kindle tablet, once you buy a new tablet you can simply re-download your e-books at no additional charge. I have downloaded a couple of the titles from my Kindle tablet to my computer Kindle app. This customer service feature provides a peace of mind for anyone who worries about purchasing a lot of electronic books only to lose the reader.  This feature helps you deal with data storage limitations too, since you can delete titles you have read to clear up room on the device; you can always download the title again in the future if you wish to read it again.

Check soon for the next Kindle blog: Further observations on the Kindle tablet

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