Don’t you love the euphemisms and excuses about Amazon’s aging ebook infrastructure?
One of the favorite adjectives is “mature.” Smug people often trot it out to justify the shortage of new wrinkles in Kindle devices and the rest.
The M word can pop up amid ebooks-are-dead studies and claims that people are only buying print these days. No more room for exciting innovation in digital realm, right?
Nonsense! I’ve spent the last week binge-reading Kindle books on three different versions of the software (iOS, Android and Windows). And more than ever, I know the M word won’t fit—not when the current Kindle ecosystem needs:
1) Harmonization of features. No cloud collections or personal document access on the Windows version? Why in the world not, Bezos? Pick the software with the best feature set, and replicate it as exactly as possible across the whole ecosystem. There is no reason not to.
2) Greater look-and-feel customization. When I exit a book via the ‘library’ button on Android, it takes me back to the carousel menu. No! I would like to always return to the ‘on my device’ screen with the bookshelf of books. I can’t find any setting that lets me choose this.
3) Better organization features. I’d love to be able to drag and drop books into collections while I’m at a computer. Of course, I can’t do that because the Windows software won’t let me access my collections, but, hey, a lowly customer can dream…
4) The ability to use tags and rules to sort books. How about a system where every new book I purchase automatically gets added to the ‘Unread Books’ collection? Or how about dispensing with collections altogether and being able to browse my books using tags?
5) An integrated reminder system. This would be so cool. What if I could ask Amazon to send me a reminder whenever the next book in a series is out? Or how about being able to set reminders within a book? For instance, I have a pregnancy book with a new chapter every month. What if I could ask the book to send me a reminder when it’s time to read the next one?
6) Reading goals. I love the little countdown timers for time left per chapter and time left per book. But what if I could set a per-reading-session goal and get a time left indicator for that? Hi, Kindle. Today I want to read three chapters…
7) An in-ecosystem incentive system. And what if I could earn points for achieving some of these goals? And use those points to get coupon codes or participate in Amazon promotions of some kind? Surely Amazon benefits by having me read more books. Why wouldn’t they want to encourage this?
Off the top of my head, those are a few things I’d like (and by all means share your own wishlist in the TeleRead comments area!).
So, Amazon, what do you think? Is the market really as ‘mature’ as people say it is, or is there yet room for improvement?
Image credit: Here.