Amazon is discontinuing the Kindle for Windows 8 app, which will no longer be available to download starting October 27. Instead the company will focus on the current Kindle for PC app.
Those using the Kindle for Windows 8 app can continue to use the app, but won’t be able to download it again. They can also use the Kindle Cloud Reader if the Kindle for PC app does not work on their devices.
Check out the help page for more information.
Quote: “Those using the Kindle for Windows 8 app can continue to use the app, but won’t be able to download it again.”
That’s ridiculous. It’s one thing to no longer upgrade apps for older OSs. It’s quite another to do what smaller app developers routinely do, which is to continue to offer them as downloads. After all, the OS isn’t being upgraded, so there’s little need to upgrade that app.
Amazon has a problem. Bezos is not only inhumanly rich, all too many of the compay’s decision makers are apparently so well paid, they can’t understand the lives of others. They fail to grasp that in many households the kids inherit the Windows 8 computer for their homework and reading. They need this app and they need it online.
Of course, in this Apple is worse. Amazon at least supports most platforms. Apple doesn’t even make iBooks apps for any platform but their own. At the very least, Apple should give publishers and authors the option of making their ebooks DRM-free, so people who don’t own Macs or iStuff can download and read them on the epub reader of their choice. There should be no “walled garden” for ebooks. Apple’s walled garden is almost as bad as Amazon’s pursuit of exclusives.
And while they’re at it, both Amazon and Apple need to fix their store UI to prevent customer confusion. You can see the problem for a book I published just last week: Embarrass Less: A Practical Guide for Doctors, Nurses, Students and Hospitals. Here at the two Kindle versions on Amazon:
Do you see any difference between the two? It’s actually there. One version has [print replica] in the title and the other doesn’t. But how many potential buyers will see that, much less know what it means?
Embarrass Less primarly intended to be a textbook for students. That is why I published two ebook versions on both Amazon and the iBookstore. One will display on any sized device, meaning that it a reflowable epub for the iBookstore and mobi for Amazon. That’s smartphones. The other is helpful for students because it looks exactly like the print version at one-fifth the cost. When their teacher refers to page 57, it will be on that version’s page 57. For iBooks that’s fixed-layout epub and for Amazon its a variation of PDF it calls Replica. The downside it that on both platforms the latter requires a large tablet screen or laptop to display text at a readable size. That matters a lot.
If you’re curious, examine the ebook versions on Amazon and the iBookstore and perhaps even download samples. Confusing isn’t it? Two digital versions with no clear and proper way to distinguish between them. Trying to help my readers, I’ve ended up confusing them. That I hate.
On the iBookstore, the distinction Apple makes is in the version of iBooks you need to display it. On Amazon, they’re both listed merely as a “Kindle Edition” in search results. If I, who knows what the difference is, have trouble telling the two apart, what happens with customers? Both Apple and Amazon know the fixed-layout/replica version is only usable on tablets, and yet they failed to make that obvious to potential customers. That’s bad.
What’s my analysis of the reason for this? It’s not stupidity. If I know this matters as a mere author/publisher, then the decision makers at Amazon and Apple certainly should know. That means this confusion is almost certainly deliberate. It means both Amazon and Apple are quite happy to see their customers buy the fixed-layout/replica version only to have to buy the book again (if students) to read it on their iPhone or Android phone. Indeed, we might wonder why neither Amazon nor Apple allow both versions to be sold together and at the same price.
And yes, at Amazon, there is in tiny, tiny type a pull-down for the fascimile version that says “Available on these devices.” Pulled down, the list for the Replica version is shorter than that for the mobi version, although of little value. Would I want to try to read my 6×9 inch book reduced to the screen size of my iPhone 5? Not in a million years.
Disgusting. I’m going to try to fix that by rewriting the blub I supply to Apple and Amazon to note, for the fixed/replica version, its limitations. But I shouldn’t have to do that. Both Amazon and Apple need to display the intelligence or integrity—whichever is lacking—to make clear that a digital version that looks like a 6×9-inch books isn’t suited for all but perhaps the largest smartphone screens. That is basic truth in advertising.
I grow tired of having to tell Amazon and Apple about situations that ought to be obvious. For Amazon, the Replica version should be renamed “Kindle Tablet.” And Apple should make clear that their fixed-layout versions are in practice iPad-only. The exceptions, meaning those where the page layout is small enough to be readable on even smartphone screens, can be dealt with as exceptions.
This is stupid, really stupid. A little one-Mac publisher should not be having to tell these giant companies how to do their job properly. They should be figuring it out for themselves, showing pride in the quality of their work not just the value of the corporate stock. Yes, that’s the real problem.
One of the most obvious issues for both is not displaying two quite different ebook formats as if they were the same. Another is not allowing publishers and authors to sell both in the same purchase. Why should readers have to pay twice for the same content?
Those who’re interested in that book now know what Amazon and Apple should have told them and can apply it to all their purchases. And if this ebook mess bothers you, the print version is being released through CreateSpace/Amazon and LightningSource/Ingram, so virtually any bookstore on the planet should be able to get it. Doing that has taken hours of work.
The downside of those editions is that I’ve got to enter no less that six ISBNs for them in Bowker. Bowker is a perfect illustration of how monopolies don’t care about clients. I queried Bowker to see if they allowed the most obviously needed of features, the ability to assign multiple ISBNs to titles in different formats, titles that are otherwise identical. No such luck, Bowker told me. Each of dozens of entries has to be entered six times. At best, I might save a little trouble by using a “clone” feature to copy some of the data.
Keep in mind that it was Bowker who lobbied loudly that all ebooks need their own individual ISBN, the same Bowker that can’t be bothered to making populating all that data anything but a long grind. My frustrations with Amazon and Apple are nothing in comparison to the fury I direct at Bowker. Fortunately, I own 1,000 ISBNs purchased back in 1999 before it inflated prices. I’ll never have to pay them another penny.
–Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books, Auburn, AL
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In case this affects you 😱
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