New features coming to the Kindle

Amazon like to keep us guessing on where they will announce new features. Sometimes they announce on the Kindle blog, and sometimes they announce in the support forum. They posted this in the support forum today:

We wanted to let you know about two new features coming soon. First, we are making Kindle newspapers and magazines readable on our free Kindle apps, so you can always read Kindle periodicals even if you don't have your Kindle with you or don't yet own a Kindle.

In the coming weeks, many newspapers and magazines will be available on our Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and then we'll be adding this functionality to Kindle for Android and our other apps down the road. Our vision is Buy Once, Read Everywhere, and we're excited to make this possible for Kindle periodicals in the same way that it works now for Kindle books. More details when we launch this in the coming weeks.

Second, later this year, we will be introducing lending for Kindle, a new feature that lets you loan your Kindle books to other Kindle device or Kindle app users. Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period. Additionally, not all e-books will be lendable - this is solely up to the publisher or rights holder, who determines which titles are enabled for lending.

We will post to the forum later this year when these features are available.

Eh, whatever. I strip the DRM from my ebooks anyway, so the whole lending feature really doesn't matter. And with most of the newspapers and magazines, you can get better content on the respective websites.

There's a third problem that most haven't thought of yet. People are used to having higher quality content on their Android smartphone and the Kindle apps can't provide it. When they get the Kindle version of various magazines the response will be a resounding "Ewww". (It will be even worse on the iPhone.)

About Nate Hoffelder (11467 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on New features coming to the Kindle

  1. I’ve got on preorder the forthcoming Sony 950. I currently use a Sony 505, which, even after 3 years of heavy use, still works perfectly. I’m “upgrading” to the 950 because I want to read my New York Times daily on my reading device and I think this will finally be the device that will let me do it easily.

    I tried on the 505 and although it could be done, it wasn’t an easy experience. I borrowed a friend’s Kindle to see how it would work there, and discovered that (a) the Kindle version of the Times isn’t the same as the print version and (b) although getting the Times on the Kindle was much easier than getting it on the 505, the reading experience was similar — simply not good.

    I am currently convinced (and I say currently because it is subject to change) that for a newspaper-reading experience, a larger screen than the 6-inch is needed (I’m hoping the Sony 7-inch will be enough) and touch screen technology is needed, which is where I think the new Sony will excel.

    I suspect that the experience would be better on something like the iPad but then — for me — the iPad would be useless for anything else. I cannot see using it as my primary reading device, which it would have to be, and not worht the money just to read a newspaper. (I also understand, but do not know for certain, that the version of the Times available to the iPad is like that available on the Kindle, which is less than a copy of the daily print version, which is what I want.)

    Hopefully, the Sony 950 will be what I need; the Kindle is not.

  2. I’m surprised any publishers even bother with the DRM frankly, since it is more than an annoyance than a lock. We’ve just launched our first Kindle book, dispensed with the DRM from the git-go, and plan to continue along that line.

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