Kindle for iPhone app outshines the Kindle
Hello my fellow iPhone lovers, its been a while since I have posted anything, but not much has been going on in my iPhone world that has not already been discussed to length already.
Recently however, I have had an itch to buy some kind of a tablet-like device that has a larger screen, web browsing and in a perfect world, a touch screen. Believe or not, there are times when the iPhone is too small when I am lounging around on a Sunday morning wanting nothing more than to read a book, news, or a simple recipe when I am cooking up dinner. A laptop will be too big and the iPhone too small, so what to do?
Not being able to find anything that fit the bill perfectly, I thought the Kindle might take care of the majority of needs and desires.
Based on its features, the Kindle would not just be an eReader, about also a simple web browser. I had done my research, read the reviews, and thought at length about my usage habits and what I really wanted. Still not being too sure though, I decided in the end to buy a less expensive 1st generation Kindle on eBay.
Now, mind you, I have been reading books on mobile devices since the days of the Palm V (still one of my first PDA loves), and I have been using the Kindle app on the iPhone which over the last few weeks which has become my main reader. This is followed by the free textoniphone web app. So the notion of reading books digitally was nothing new, in fact, I have a deeper comfort reading on a device than picking up a book (weird, maybe).
So I received the Kindle, and I have to say the unboxing was very Apple-like, good start. (I think Jeff Bezos wants to be the next Steve Jobs.) I charged up the unit, loaded my books and started to read away.
Very quickly however, I found myself, disliking the e-ink screen screen and the UI was awful and clunky. And the button design was the pain that everyone said it would be; I kept hitting the next page button just trying to hold the device while reading.
Now the Kindles E-ink technology has its benefits, but there is something to be said about a backlit PDA screen and my personal conditioning. What I mean is, that I am used to reading with a backlit screen so the issue of eyestrain has never been a problem for me, Therefore, when I read non backlit screens like the Kindle and “real” books, they all seem too dim and dark, which then creates eye strain when you’re not used to it.
As for browsing the web, what a hassle (putting it lightly). From the clunky interface to poor design and button placement, I got so frustrated with the “next page” button, and being sent back to my google reader log in page, only to have to re-enter all of the log in information all over again. I simply gave up.
Enter the iPhone Kindle app and the iPhone. Beautiful web browsing, fast, seamless and I can read my feeds without issue. The Kindle app has made some massive improvements recently including background choices, landscape reading and a cool feature that Apple should run with, and thats a lock feature that allows you to lock the display in portrait or landscape mode, disabling the accelerometer. So just after a few days, I will be selling my Kindle for 3 reasons:
- No backlit screen - I actually prefer it.
- Terrible web surfing interface - I can't even stomach it.
- Too costly a device for what ultimately boils down to nothing more than a larger screen.
So I have made my decision to stick with the iPhone for my reading needs, and get over the smallish screen for now, I will continue and hope for an Apple tablet device soon.