Kindle in Motion: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about Amazon’s New Enhanced Format (Screenshots)
First noticed by KBoards, Kindle in Motion adds GIF-like animations which can be seen on the Fire tablet and in the Kindle apps for iPad, Android, and iPhone (if you read one of these ebooks on a Kindle, you’ll just see the regular ebook).
Edit: Kindle in Motion is not to be confused with Kindle A\V, or Kindle with Audio\Video. That format had embedded audio video clips, and debuted in 2010.
Amazon has not announced the new format, and they’re not even talking about it. I was scooped on this story because I was waiting for Amazon to respond to my questions, but while I was waiting I bought a few ebooks and spent a few minutes playing with the format.
Here’s what we know so far.
- Six Kindle in Motion titles are available right now, all from Amazon’s publishing division. This includes four original romance titles and two new editions for an Edgar Allan Poe collection and The Secret Garden.
- The ebooks sport various enhancements like animated covers, video clips, and page backgrounds which can be turned on or off if you don’t want to see them while reading.
- The enhanced versions of the ebooks are limited to portrait mode only, and are quite large (200MB to 400MB).
- There’s no known way for anyone to use KDP to produce this format.
I bought several Kindle in Motion titles. The romance titles had embedded videos, but the two public domain titles had animations.
I took a few screenshots to give you an idea of what they look like, but then I noticed that Amazon has video previews – so I downloaded those instead. I can’t find a way to limit the window size, sorry:
I could take or leave the animations, although I do admit that I like one snarky suggestion made on KBoards ("the bears are going to be shifting into billionaires on the covers"). Now that I would like to see.
On a more serious note, the Kindle in Motion ebooks do have at least one feature which IMO enhances the reading experience. A couple of the ebooks showed the text of the story over a page background.
Yes, I know that we’ve seen this type of feature with fixed layout ebooks, but Kindle in Motion lets you resize the text and maintain the backgrounds.
Do you see the branches in the corners of the first screenshot? No matter how you change the font size, the text will not cover the branches.
I love this.
That is a small change but I think it could make for a great improvement to the reading experience.
Even if a background were used in several books, or if all Kindle ebooks were limited to (say) a dozen backgrounds, I would still like to see this in the ebooks I read in my Kindle app.
This page background feature is the kind of thing which print snobs point to in a paper book and cite as an example of why print is better, and adding it to the Kindle platform would really go a long way to making ebooks the equal of print books as an art form and not just as a reading material.
Hey Amazon, what would it take to make this a standard feature?