What eReader Feature Would You Like to See in 2018?

What eReader Feature Would You Like to See in 2018? e-Reading Hardware Kindle

2017 was a rather paltry year for new ereaders. Aside from the Remarkable 10.3" writing slate, the one interesting new ereader was the Kindle Oasis 2 with its 7" screen.

Given that the new Oasis has a screen size that Sony pioneered in late 2009 combined with a one-handed design that Pocketbook pioneered (also in 2009), last year was noteworthy less for new ideas than the recycling of old ones.

But 2018 doesn't have to be that way. We are due for either a brand-new Kindle model or a refresh, and since it will be two years since the last new Kobo model, we're bound to see a new device from them as well.

When it comes to new ereaders, what are you looking forward to? Is it the new screen tech from ClearInk?

Me, I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation for the new hardware from Onyx. This Chinese ereader maker is working on a 6.8" ereader as well as a 10.3" model called the Note. Both run Android  6.0, but unfortunately Onyx hasn't even set a firm date to start production, much less ship the new hardware.

The same goes for Onyx's netbook, the Onyx Typewriter. We saw a prototype in April but there's still no firm commitment on the launch day or price.

So what would you like to see in terms of new ereader hardware?

About Nate Hoffelder (9968 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."

38 Comments on What eReader Feature Would You Like to See in 2018?

  1. For Amazon to have an option of getting rid of that {much cursing deleted] page turn animation in all the kindle apps. My eyes try to follow the page turn instead of keeping attention on the text. It ruins both stories and non-fiction. The apps I use instantly change the screen and I can keep my mind on the text.

  2. Having started with a clunky Kindle 1, I’m pretty happy with my Kindle Voyage, especially because it offers both touch screen and physical button page turning. What I WANT is for publishers to support the features that already exist. The X-Ray feature on Kindle is great but a huge number of books don’t have it enabled because there is no file in place to support it. I’ve done the setup for my own books and it’s not that hard!

  3. Nate, when you posted this in the past I wrote waterproofing. While the Oasis 2 has that feature, I would like to see it on a more budget-friendly Kindle ereader.
    I would like features that show less blue light on a Kindle, such as inverting the text (such as black background and white text and whatever else lowers blue light). Again, the Oasis 2 likely does this but how about adding that to the other models?

  4. I would like to see the next oasis generation to have a better battery life. I have to charge it at least once a week. Give me a charging cover please! Also immersion reading. At the moment you can read or listen to audio not both at the same time where the audio follows the highlighted text. The feature seems to be only on tablets for now.

  5. The latest Oasis knocked off almost all of my wishlist…size,storage etc. Only one thing left for me…a large color e-reader!
    ..text to speech to return…even if by Bluetooth.

  6. I like my Kobo Aura One, but it would be nice if they could offer fast charging, like my mobile phone.

  7. Waterproofing on the Kindle Paperwhite (some of us don’t want a bigger ereader like the Oasis) and for those of us with Kindles without ads, let us choose the option of the current book cover as the screensaver image (that’s the only reason mine is jailbroke).

  8. My perfect ereader would be a combination of my first ereader, the Franklin EBookman, and the Sony PRS T-1 – small, light, with library access and PAGE TURN BUTTONS ON THE SIDE.

    The Franklin Ebookman fit in my palm and had a rocker wheel that rested under my index finger (left hand) or thumb (right hand) and all I had to do to turn the page was barely flick it with that finger. Gosh, that was nice.

  9. It’s simple, but color temperature on the backlight. Yellowy-red would be great. I know one of the readers (Kobo?) that came out in the last year or two had that.

  10. I’m happy with my Paperwhite as it is, but there is one little thing I would love to see added in a future update. I would like Amazon to put the date up at the top of the screen, right next to the time. Other than that, I’m content.

  11. Integration with wordreference.com or some similar site added to the dictionary. That site is my go-to for translation when I’m reading on my PC or I have my phone by my side, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.
    A real and managed way to deal with annotations and bookmarks, until that problem is not really solved, any serious reader interested in investigation and studying is not going to use an ereader for that.

    • Bookamrks and annotations? Did you consider Margin Note X as reader? (works on iOS and mac devices only). It’s not even (software) reader in generic sense. It’s study tool.
      If you want more traditional reader – Bookari (works on iOS/Android, you can work with notes from it using web site on computer).You can use ColorDict and custom dictionaries with Android version of Bookari.

    • I am not understanding your comment. Every reader I know of has a built in dictionary, and a way to enter notes..etc… I think kindle even links to Wikipedia. I never seen an instance where I even needed to use a dictionary lol

  12. Nate
    For me is the ability to easily export my notes to my computer in various formats.
    Far more dictionaries for those of us who read other than
    Automatic night reading and microsd slot.

  13. I’d love to see a simple 7.5 inch e-ink screen tablet able to run the Mantano (aka Bookari) e-reader software. (It’s great for note-taking and export of highlights, notes, etc.) PDF viewer like Adobe Reader would be a plus. I’ve given up using Kobo and Nook e-ink devices because the note taking/exporting capabilities are non-existent… But I miss the battery longevity of the e-ink devices.

  14. Robust, ergonomic page-turn buttons. I’m on my third eReader (PB 360, OB i62HD, OB Kepler Pro), and none of them have been completely satisfactory in this regard.

  15. The comments about exporting notes reminded me of one Kindle enhancement I do want; I can easily access my notes for books I bought in the Kindle store via the web (https://read.amazon.com/notebook), but that interface doesn’t capture notes or highlights I made in documents I side-load or email to my Kindle. I really wish it did!

    • You can export notes from Personal Documents directly using the Kindle apps for Android, iOS, or Fire. They can be sent as email attachment or sent (via Sharing) to a note app such as OneNote, Evernote etc.

  16. “Paltry”? The 2017 Kindle Oasis is perfect. I mean I guess it’s cool Sony and Pocketbook (who?) “pioneered” a couple of its features in 2009, but is either company even still making e-ink devices? Android 6.0? What’s Oreo? How many exploits behind is that?

    That Typewriter laptop does look pretty cool, but I wouldn’t hold my breath it’ll ever make it to a US retailer.

    • “perfect”?

      Isn’t that how every ereader has been described since the Kindle 3?

      • Have they? Not by me. I love the Paperwhite, but wanted a (slightly) bigger screen, thinner form factor and bezel, and physical buttons, which was why the Voyage fell short of perfect for me. The Kindle 3 wasn’t perfect, but it was the one that finally grew up, so to speak — it got rid of the awkwardness of the first and second generation, had a much better keyboard (though Amazon should have bought RIM, used them for the Fire Phone, and implemented their keyboard on the 3). Remember the basic Kindle that was super small and super thin? With the page-turn buttons along the side bezel and the little square button right below the screen? That was really close!

        Anyway, yes, I’d call the Oasis 2 perfect. It’s a great form factor, the buttons are terrific, the screen is the perfect size, and with the magnetic cover it really does all come together to get the hell out of the way of the words and stories. I can’t think of a single way I’d improve it. MAYBE reducing the button side bezel further, but I actually do like the weight of the “bump” in my palm.

    • Yes Sony’s still making devices. They just released a new 13″ device capable of taking notes as well as reading ebooks. That device and the Onyx Boox digital paper devices are already available in the US. Like ReMarkable, they’re just a different form factor and rather expensive compared to the Kindles. The DX form factor probably isn’t ever going to be a large portion of the market, but the success of the iPad Pro, Surface and the number of tablets and 2 in 1’s already announced for 2018 that include a stylus and handwriting support vividly illustrate that’s where the market’s going in 2018. Microsoft has basically all but announced they’ve got a dual screen e-ink device known as Andromeda coming in 2018 that we saw in its original form as the Courier in 2009 and they confirmed existed as the “Surface mini” back in 2015.

      The theme for 2018 is going to be “what’s old is new again.”

  17. The Onyx Max 2 was released towards then of 2017 and it’s a rather exciting new device. Just check out the discussions going on over on mobileread.

    However, I’m waiting for the 10.3″ Onyx Note. Booxtor, over on mobileread, has said that mass production is slated for March of this year.

    2018 looks promising indeed.

    Personally, I’d like to see a cross between the reMarkable for its sketching capabilities, a Kobo for its reading capabilities and Onyx for its Android capabilities.

  18. I second The Rodent’s idea of Bookari.
    Last time I checked it with Onyx devices it didn’t work well (sync issues, strange display issues (‘line’ across screen), theme not adopted to eInk). They made eInk theme since that.
    I would like 6-6.8” reader which can work with Bookari. 3G connection will be plus.

  19. The Kobo Aura One LE is just about perfect but it needs page buttons. Kindles? Way too much wrong with them to fix.

  20. Wish list:
    1)Fire HD 8 (6th generation) update to include bold font option.
    2)E-readers designed for easy battery replacement.

  21. Better software for all the Kobos (I currently use the first generation H20). Highlighting in particular is still a frustrating experience, and an easier way to export highlights and/or notes would be much appreciated. A second generation Kobo Aura One with new software and an even sharper screen would definitely be on my shopping list.

  22. Bigger sizes (8, 10), a physical Home button, a simple word processor and the ability to connect it to a wireless keyboard.

  23. B&N’s Nook – the original with color LCD below eink display – could have taken another path and achieved perfection, defined as pleasing both the users desiring a device for content creation and the very vocal “I just want to read!” contingent. But B&N management chose to ignore the treasure trove of market research volunteered by their user community in a quest to “put B&N in the palm of your hand”.

    Imagine a Nook 2 with 7.8″ 300ppi 1872 x 1404 x 256 greyscale frontlit primary display above an LCD touchscreen of 640×1404 used as both the command interface and app interaction, reserving the eink display for “virtual paper”. The LCD can display a keyboard for text entry while speech recognition and text to speech support alternative content creation. A simple sliding cover over the LCD prevents inadvertent command entry.

    Expandable microSD memory, wifi, Bluetooth for optional accessories, GPS for interactive atlases, accelerometer for shake / tilt interface plus programmable buttons (2 on each edge plus Home) defaulting to page turn / volume round out the platform.

    I believe the Nook 2 could have been the ideal “One Laptop Per Child” XO-3 slate computer.

    • This ignores software such as virtual printer emulation so your epaper serves as a cloud-based printer from any computer or Named bookmarks (defaulting to “Page nn”) which may also carry annotations if desired. If attached to cover, they apply to the book as a whole and could carry user-defined metadata such as “Have Read / Reading / Read Next” – ideally via a user-defined template carried as XML “under the covers”. Notes and Bookmarks may be exported as XML independently. The often-requested “Go To Page” feature could prompt “Page Number ___ of 9999” on LCD but allow the entry of a named bookmark as well (with horizontally scrolling text entry), dropping an implied bookmark at point of departure so hitting the Prev Page button instead of entering a page number would return to each previous anchor point…

  24. ..and of course the cover should feature a solar charger and flipstand so the HD camera can be steadied for OCR!

  25. I want to see clear ink be successful. Not for the color capability. But rather my hope is that it would be easier (than e-ink) to graft onto android as the display. To the point where clear ink tablets would so numerous it would be just like buying any other android tablet.

    Or am I being too hopeful?

  26. As usual…
    – More variety of sizes: 8″-13″
    – Color screan reflective (ACEP?, Liquavista?…)
    – Solar charger integrated.

    I think that a Remarkable ereader with color screen + long battery life would be perfect for me.

    But I’m afraid there will not be major improvements. I see the world of electronic ink very stopped.

  27. How about the Kindle paperwhite with the physical buttons on both sides
    The similar buttons like the Kindle KB

  28. I also think my Kindle Oasis 7” is near perfect. They really should have had a charging cover for this. No matter what Indo to improve battery life I’m still charging once a week.

    If the shape was more like the Voyage or tablet shaped but still 7” or bigger and better battery I would love it more

  29. 1) Full compatibility with Calibre organization. No more having to upload and then organize. Only Sony has EVER had this properly implemented.

    2) More page turn buttons. I would like options other than amazon for a reader with buttons.

    3) Color screens good enough for use with comics and static images.

    4) Combine the functionality of e-readers and e-writers so you have multi-function device.

    5) Charging via photovoltaics. E-readers use such little power that they ought to be able to charge like calculators. Especially if you can integrate it into the screen so the entire surface is photovoltaic, which recent advances in transparent solar cells should allow.

    6) Kill AZW in favor of Epub. Improve e-pub to make it more accessible and fully editable.

    7) Full programability so readers can double as control panels for prototypes, arduino systems, etc. Technically you can do this now but the android versions loaded are poorly optimized outside e-reading so eve if you jailbreak you get horrid performance.

  30. KOBO 6.8″, 500 ppi, light under 130 grams, pages turns buttons, whiter background not that grayish.

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