Friday, February 11, 2011

Is Amazon the next Apple?

Early this week, the biblioblogosphere was buzzing about pagination coming to Kindle. A tool that might make the ubiquitous ereader useful for scholarship!  As soon as I saw that the software update was available, I logged in, only to find the software update wasn't yet available for my second gen Kindle.

Now, that does suggest it will work well with old versions in the future. But it's ghettoization based on hardware version. But it reminds me of inherent limitations tag-teamed by hardware and software at Apple, which might be close to ending support for its original iPods. Speaking of which, these drag-and-drop binaries to update? Strike me as very vintage Apple-y.

In a related note, in my recommendations (part of the user experience which Amazon is SO GOOD at), I began to see "enhanced" versions of ebooks I've already bought. Decoded with enriched with an hour and a half of video? Now, that's a way to sell both the print AND paper products. But again, check your hardware.

Maybe it would work on Kindle for the iPad, but I can't get mine to connect to the Internet, my 3G data plan with AT&T held hostage until I upgrade to Snow Leopard and the wifi not playing along right now, either. I had discovered Kindle was supporting color for its iPad version last month:

(which I had to take a picture of, with iPhone, since I could not get either network mechanism on the iPad to output a screenshot. Maybe you can tell how thrilled I am with that piece of hardware.)

Meanwhile, harbingers of an Apple/Amazon schism indicate Apple wants a share of Amazon's profit for those in-app Kindle reads. So what's the point of building in (and flogging) functionality your proprietary hardware doesn't yet support? Just part of this weird, morphing ebook landscape.

1 comment:

  1. Just came across your blog through someone I follow on Twitter. Great post! As a former teacher, I'm practically ecstatic over the possibilities of added "enhancements" to document non-fiction books. I'm not sure what the best application of the new technology is for fiction - but I'm annoyed when publishers add a book trailer and author interview, passing off marketing techniques as "enhancements."