How would you change Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite (2012)?
As the most recent, I can see how the device has changed and interface improved as time has gone on, with better software features and better hardware - my paperwhite is significantly faster at doing everything, from page turns, to searching, to experimental browsing... And after nearly 14 months has been charged 5 times, compared to my daughters (next most recent), which ends up being charged every fortnight.
As for what i'd change?
1) Bring back buttons. As much as I like the all touch stuff, I'd love page turn buttons on the side, a direction/select pad, and a home and menu button on the bottom
2) Audio. My wifes keyboard version can play audiobooks, mp3, and has the text to voice stuff that she uses a lot when studying.
3) Multi-select. I categorize my books into different folders based on the genre or series. I also tend to get my books on mass around payday. As such it then becomes a drag having to select a book, go into its menu, select change collection, find the collection, confirm, back out, wait a moment, rinse and repeat... The ability to select multiple books to move at once would be great.
4) Age filters on the store. Less so for my kindle than my kids, but I've had to parental block the whole of their stores in order to stop them getting access to the amount of poor quality adult literature on Amazon.
5) Epub support. On the occasions when I've been unable to find a book on Amazon, I've inevitably found it in epub format, and then had to convert this with Calibre, occasionally losing formatting or the cover in the process. Just let us load epubs...
6) Random Issues. Stuff like covers occasionally going missing, or them only having time to complete book rather than time to complete chapter info.
To me it's all about getting comfortable and not wanting to move much after that while I read. With the buttons you could just get into a reading position and lightly press with your thumb just sitting in the right position to turn pages without ever moving your hand off the unit to press the screen or disturbing your view of the page with a finger. Also less smudging on the screen. The interface just felt natural and unintrusive. I miss that.
On the software side - sure multiple formal support would be nice but obviously Amazon likes us to buy from them... Caliber is the stop gap there.
As for collections - that is the single worst part of the whole software interface - almost an afterthought - and that's across at least 3 generations of Kindle I have had my hands on. The handling to sort stuff is clunky and a pain in the rear. I read across multiple devices at times (phone, tablet, computer and kindle) and the fact collections do not transfer across devices is annoying. I would have forgone all advancements on the Kindle hardware just to have a proper sorting system in place that is efficient and easy to use. If they told me that I could get an older pre Whitepaper Kindle with better collection handling and page turn buttons that might be enough to push me over the edge and forego the Whitepaper screen.
Bumping that up to the rumored 300 dpi screen (1440x1080?) would be awesome. Especially this would allow reading A4/letter pages downscaled (like PDFs), which at the current resolution is... meh... not so great.
Then of course epub support, but I know it's not going to happen. Color would be incredible, but technology is just not there yet. Maybe in a few more years. And if they would do full-fidelity color at 300 dpi, I'd buy a bunch of them and put them in picture frames.
1 - Being able to temporarily disable the touch screen, so we can handle it more easily and avoid acidental touch commands;
2 - Bring back the 2 buttons for next and previous pages. Seems silly but I find it hard to hold and touch the screen with the same hand.
Everything else would turn it into a tablet, and it's not the intention. I love the battery life once I travel a lot.
- Add EPUB support.
- Add “new” .mobi support.
- Eliminate the need for “old” .mobi files to be converted in the cloud before being delivered to the device.
- Add 3rd party AZW3 support.
- Improve support for large PDF files. Currently they crash the Paperwhite.
- Add multitouch zoom support.
Make the thing work fluidly. I think a faster, considerably faster, processor will do the trick.
Only one complaint:
I don't like the way 'WiFi on/off' is called 'Airplane mode'.
I want a simple option in the first drop-down menu saying 'Turn on WiFi' (if it's off) or 'Turn off WiFi' (if it's on). I don't appreciate having to press the menu button, THEN press settings, THEN tap on 'Airplane mode' to toggle this.
Also, I'm English and it's spelt Aeroplane....
1. Focus: User-face, Finding the books and reading should be the main thing. Everything else extra. Less is here more.
2. Weight: Kindle is heavier than many other e-readers. Maybe keeping the control that if getting more powerful it stays light or get more lighter.
3. Backlight/Frontlight: If user manual says that you can turn back-light totally off make it possible as well. So far we can't without hacking the device. The back light will stay always on even if its on a minimum.
4. Ergonomics: Yes the design is nice, but so seen around. If imagine we are in the future and we are looking back to this day for sure the device is a bit old stylish. For sure there will be improvements made and change to make the design even better & easier for the user to use. With one hand or with 2 hands on the same time... it doesn't matter
5. Notes options, think out of the box: For sure with apps option Amazon could create more use for the e-reader. Who knows maybe even a own PDF -formation for e-readers via apps etc.
Its great device but for sure in 15 years we cant understand why it was made only like this. Please make the good even better.
I also agree with several others about the usefulness of page turn buttons and would like those put back on.
Also, if the TTS capability was brought back, I hope they could use a better TTS engine to make it sound more human like.
The only other thing that would be nice is to make the screen a bit larger-- maybe by one inch..
What I dislike:
- The front-light has a little bleeding at the bottom with some batches. Personally I don't mind as much, but my wife finds it very distracting.
- The screen surface is not very scratch resistant and scratches light up if they're in the wrong places, or cast shadows on the reading surface in bright sunlight.
- The power button extends from the bottom of the device and when holding the device with one hand, it sometimes turns off accidentally.
- no music, audible, text-to-speech support.
- the fact that firmware upgrades stopped so quickly after release
- Lack of an SDK for custom apps
What I like:
- the front-light system provides enough light to read at night and enough contrast in daylight. Love it.
- Much higher contrast compared to Kindle Touch
- The rubberized back has a better hold than the Touch
- The screen is far less in-set than the Touch
- Auto-on cover to turn on the device when you open the cover.
What I'd change:
- Fix the dislikes :). I care about Audible support, but that would require much more storage space and probably a smaller battery
- Move the powerbutton to the top of the device
- Keep adding features. Where's GoodReads support for the first generation Kindle Paperwhite
- In the software: support for series/reading order. One all books from a series are on the device it's hard to find the correct reading order.
- Slightly enlarged screen (7" with slimmer borders?) so that tech pdf books are readable, When reading pdf's allow me to crop odd and even pages once to remove margins, headers and page numbers
- Bluetooth headset support for audio books (I read my books from the car)
- I'd love a back/forward button integrated on the back of the device. When holding the device in one hand, you can't advance the device without using your other hand or your nose. A touch button or gesture would be even better.
- Create an SDK for custom apps. I'd love a world map or technical docs (Microsoft MSDN documentation), or Google Translate support for paragraphs...
- Add pop-up support to the .mobi/awz# format (to show tables, graphs, maps, images without having to jump back and forth between pages in the "appendix" section)
What I don't care about:
- epub support, I use Calibre to convert these anyway.
- remove the web browser (except for wifi auth)
- physical keyboard
- Make the light less blue - I know this has been changed a little on the newer edition, but I can't help but feel sometimes that blue tint to the light is keeping me from getting to sleep. I normally fall right asleep when reading, but sometimes the light doesn't help.
- Be able to turn the light completely off - If you turn the light all the way "off" in the dark, you notice that the light isn't actually off. I would want to turn it completely off for reading during the day to save some extra battery.
- More organizational options - There are folders, and criteria to order your books by, but I can't help but feel that my main page screen is still too messy. Also, I wish there could be more then 3 books on my main page in cover mode.
- Lighter - I don't mean much, but I leave mine in the cover case, and it makes it a tiny bit too heavy for holding comfortably in bed. It's usually ok without the case, but that thing is so darn hard to remove.
- Audio - Don't need it, don't use it. I used to have an Audible subscription, I have plenty of audiobooks to listen to on my phone. If it means the Kindle Paperwhite is cheaper without audio, I'd rather have that.
- Buttons - I liked having buttons on my Kindle Keyboard, but I'd honestly rather have a bigger screen then buttons. Leaving off buttons means more space for the screen.
Don't know if we can share links, if not google "Kindle format ebooks are a big lock-in factor for Amazon"
They even have software you can download for you computer to push books to your kindle. Here is more info:
They natively handle a bunch of different formats. The only caveat is epub books. You have to convert them to mobi before sideloading them. Which is really easy to do and takes around 30 seconds. I recommend calibre for this as you can batch convert hundreds of books at a time, and the software is free.
It's in no way a closed ecosystem. They even go out of their way to make it easy to use books that weren't purchased on amazon.
In the future I recommend you ask questions instead of spouting assumptions as if they were fact.