What features do the e-Ink Kindles still need?
August 14, 2014 | 10:25 am
By Joanna Cabot
There is a new Kindle Paperwhite update making the rounds! It adds some features which have been present in the iOS app for awhile, including the ‘sync to most recent open page’ option and some PDF features.
I really like some of the ‘extras’ eBooks allow me to take advantage of. I love the on-board dictionary, the Wikipedia and Google Translate options, the notes and annotation features (I never used to highlight paper books; I often do with eBooks) and, few bugs notwithstanding, the vocabulary builder. So, what’s left? What features could Amazon still add here?
1) Academic Citation Features. I wonder how hard it would be to implement a paper-edition correspondence for academic citation purposes. The way I envision it working would be that you’d highlight something, as you do now, and select an ‘academic citation’ option from the same ‘more…’ menu that hides the Wikipedia and Google Translate stuff. If you choose the citation option, it will give you the citation, including paper edition page number, for the Kindle location you’ve selected.
2) Series Organizers. I’d like to see a feature, set up in a similar way to the Vocabulary Builder as its own little mini-app, where you can keep track of series books you own. It should have a little browser where you can select from series titles which are loaded onto your device, and when you choose to open one, there should be a list of all titles in the series, with the ones you own highlighted and the ones you don’t own greyed out. You should be able to sort by publication order or reading order (if that’s different from the publication order) and be able to look up at a glance which books feature key characters or events.
3) A Visual Browser for the Store. I’d love to see them try to set up an interface for the Kindle store which mimics the retail store experience, since many people seem to think they are missing out on that. It would be like the way computers use the ‘desktop’ analogy: you open up the store app, and there are virtual table displays you can click on to see more; and a big ‘Stacks’ you can click on to search the vast back catalogue…
What else do you think the e-Ink Kindle can still afford to add as a bonus feature? What would you like to see your eInk reader do to push the envelope further?