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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
  • Stanza
    • strengths
      • Have night mode
      • Can edit the viewing format extensively
        • font, font size,
      • Can control brightness by sliding finger up and down
    • Weakness
      • choosing to highlight or look up a word is more time consuming because of having to tap and hold again after already having done it once; cumbersome
  • iBooks
    • strengths
      • highlighting color and texture looks nice
    • weakness
    • Very slow with the new upgraded version
  • Kindle
    • strengths
      • shows dictionary definition snippet right away when a word is chosen, instead of having to tap again on 'dictionary'
      • remembers where left off, syncs with the same account for diverse devices
    • weaknesses
      • the maximum font size is not big enough, and can't control the brightness of the screen right away as in Stanza

There's a lot of old out-of-copyright books from Google and Archive that I want to read as .ePub file on the iPhone. But the table of contents are very few when you download them as .ePub files from the two sites. So I thought either they should develop their converting software so that the table of contents are more accurately formed in the .ePub, or someone who doesn't work for the two sites make a program that makes edits so that the table of contents are correctly added.

Features that I suggest in eBook readers:
  • There are sometimes typos in .ePub files and it should be rendered in such a way that it could correct it right away as I'm reading it on iBooks.
  • outlining program right on eBook reader so you can outline the gist of the book.
    • But since typing on the iPhone is slow, I propose this feature:
      • You speak a line, it makes that as the first line, and then you say 'tab, blah blah' which would make 'blah blah' go under the first line. 'undo tab' would unindent
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, but it does cause permanent distaste for reading on the Kindle app on the iPhone, which makes it useless for my purpose. It has so much potential, crushed by one only defect of not having big enough font size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also, when you read font that small, you have to place your eyes very close to the screen, which is bad for eyesight on the long run. Shortsightedness is caused by not being able to look too far. Our vision is blocked everywhere by buildings, or since we stay indoors all the time our sight only reaches a a few meters at best, when we were meant to look far out at mountains.

Ideally one would have a gigantic font size and read from a good distance. This can be done with laptops, though it might be a bit discomforting to hold it and view it in a comfortable position while walking, standing, sitting. So a way must be found out by which one can read a laptop comfortably while on the go. Or simply, make the Kindle font size bigger.

Do people in charge of developing the Kindle app actually read this board? Should I make a YouTube video directed towards none other than Bezos himself and hope he sees it?

It has been noted elsewhere that it's hard to read Kindle on the iPhone:

Lastly, I would say that the Kindle app is a little easier and faster to navigate. Its only shortcoming is that the screen size of the iPhone may be too small for reading at long stretches of time.
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-use-the-amazon-kindle-reader-for-the-iphone-ipod-touch/

An iPhone and iTouch does not make for a good Kindle substitute, partly because of the disadvantages of the app mentioned above but mostly because the screen is too small and hard on the eyes.
http://tech.spotcoolstuff.com/apple-iphone-itouch-ipod/kindle-app

However, the real problem seems to be the actual limit on the size, not the screen itself. I have no problem reading with bigger fonts in other readers. Kindle is unique in that it will not let you make the font bigger than a certain size that is too small to read comfortably.
 

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Font size is clearly an individual need - the "middle" size font on the Kindle app on the iPhone is big enough for me, if my eyes start getting tired I can go to the next size up - I don't think I'd ever need the largest font, at least not in the near future. But if it isn't big enough for you, then it's a problem for you. And the iBooks app does give a larger font, so clearly is a better choice for you.

I'm a bit unclear about which Kindle app you're talking about. I thought it was the iPhone. Then you talk about reading on a laptop. But I assume you're mostly talking about reading on a phone, and you do mention iPhone.

Personally, my iPhone is my last choice for reading, because of the constant page turns. On the other hand, I don't like the size of the screen on the iPad for reading a novel, it's too much print "in my face" at once. So the 6" screen of the Kindle or the 7" screen of the Kindle Fire are just right. For me. I can read on the iPhone in a pinch, though.

You also state in your first post that you can't change the brightness of the screen on the Kindle app, but you can - at least in the iPhone app. It's in the same place you change the font size (tap the AA) - there's a slider bar for changing the brightness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was mostly talking about iPhone, and the laptop I meant reading PDF files on a laptop but I guess Kindle app would be fine too.

Ok, I edited the original post to correct that you can't adjust the brightness of screen right away as in Stanza by moving it up and down.

The problem with Kindle is that there is no backlight so it's perfect for reading while walking outdoors (although I'm not sure if you can hold it with one hand and turn the page with the same hand, and how good it could survive if I drop it with a case on - what case would ensure that it would not be damaged even if I dropped it from a meter or so from the ground?) but in darkplaces, I guess you could use the light but the light on it must be uneven with a part of it having too much light, and reading in the complete dark might be not good if the Kindle light is too bright. (Is there a Kindle light that is adjustable in its brightness and also lights the whole Kindle evenly?)

Yes iBooks does give a better font but it only syncs with Mac and you can't look up a definition right away like in the Kindle app.

 

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The problem with Kindle is that there is no backlight so it's perfect for reading while walking outdoors (although I'm not sure if you can hold it with one hand and turn the page with the same hand, and how good it could survive if I drop it with a case on - what case would ensure that it would not be damaged even if I dropped it from a meter or so from the ground?) but in darkplaces, I guess you could use the light but the light on it must be uneven with a part of it having too much light, and reading in the complete dark might be not good if the Kindle light is too bright. (Is there a Kindle light that is adjustable in its brightness and also lights the whole Kindle evenly?)

Yes iBooks does give a better font but it only syncs with Mac and you can't look up a definition right away like in the Kindle app.

[/quote]

Well, iBooks is only on Mac products (I think) so of course it only syncs with Macs. But you can look up definitions - just press and hold on a word and you get a pop-up box with the options to "Define" or "Search". One step more than with the Kindle app, but not a big step.

They all have their strengths & weaknesses, there's no universal "right" reader or reading app for everyone. It's just a matter of figuring out which is the best for your personal needs. And there's no "perfect" protection from drops for Kindles/eReaders - they have glass screens so there's that degree of vulnerability - obviously it's more likely to survive if it's in a cover, but if it hits just right, the screen is likely to fail, cover or not. My daughter dropped hers from tabletop height and the screen failed. It was in a cover. The good news is that Amazon replaced it for her (free).

There are lots of book lights, I prefer to read in bed on a backlit screen with the brightness turned down all the way (with white print - or better yet, gray print if I can make that change - on a black background), it produces less light to disturb my husband when he's sleeping. Some book lights have varying levels of light, some don't. Some provide better coverage than others. Again, they aren't perfect - you just need to do a little homework and read reviews to find the one that sounds like it would work best for you. I've gone through several booklights (before I got a backlit reader) - the Octo is probably my favorite, the Kandle would be a close second but it uses the flat disc batteries and I don't like messing with those.

I can hold my K4 (the $79 one) in one hand and turn pages, no problem.

The nice thing - buy a Kindle from Amazon and you have 30 days to give it a good try and see if it meets your needs. If it doesn't you can return it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1. Yes you can look up definitions but not as conveniently as Kindle, and that is cumbersome for me to have to tap twice when you can only tap once like Kindle. Since they all have their strengths and weaknesses, I think they should try to implement the strengths of others to create the ultimate e-reader. And I don't know programming but I don't understand why it's so hard for them or takes them so long time to implement these changes. (First of all they need to realize these changes to be made but I guess just me posting on this forum isn't going to do anything. Is there anyone on this forum who has connections with people at Kindle?)

2. By the way, if you don't have the Kindle Touch, how do you look up a word? Is it by a tedious method instead of simply tapping the word?

3. By the way, if you buy the 3G one, how useable is it to use it to do a search on Google or read some blogs while on the bus or car?

4. Anyway Kindle needs to get: better highlighting colors like iBooks, ability to adjust font size bigger like Stanza (press with two fingers and spread), and ability to change the layout any way you like like Stanza (background pictures, lots of fonts and font colors available).

 

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1 & 4. I think Amazon's thinking about Kindle reading apps (for the iPhone or iPad or even the Fire) is different from iBooks or Aldiko or Bluefire, which are simply reading apps to go onto Apple or Android devices. I suspect that Amazon looks at a Kindle app as a bit of a "gateway" device - if you like the app (and the Amazon bookstore for Kindle) enough, they hope you'll end up buying a Kindle. If you like it "too much" you'll just stick with that app and never buy an actual Kindle. Conversely, if you already have a Kindle, then the app is just an adjunct to that Kindle. Something that's nice to have for reading on when your Kindle isn't handy. Either way, neither approach would spur them to make one of the apps as "full-featured" as an actual Kindle, or a stand-alone reading app. The same is true with the Nook and Kobo reading apps, or was last time I used them. They'd rather you bought an actual Nook or Kobo reader. Amazon owns Stanza so I'm sure they could implement those things you like about Stanza - I just don't think that's their priority with their reading apps.

The one place I'd have a disagreement with that approach is on the Fire - if it's a "Kindle Fire", that particular app should have more of the features an eInk Kindle has (most specifically Collections). I could envision a time where I'd use only my Fire for reading - if something happened to my K$79 once it's out of warranty, I'm not entirely sure I'd feel compelled to replace it now that I have my Fire. But I'd hate to be using it as my primary reader without having the Collections feature.

2. If you don't have a Kindle Touch, you look up a word by moving the cursor up to that word using the 5-way controller. It isn't tedious to me, then again I don't find it "cumbersome" to have to touch twice to look up a word instead of once. So YMMV on that one. ;)

3. If I'm not mistaken, the current generation Kindles don't allow much use of 3G now beyond the Kindle bookstore and possibly Wikipedia - but I don't have a 3G model so I don't remember for sure. It was never easy to use the browser for web-surfing - I don't even like shopping for books on the Kindle. It's just too slow and cumbersome. But can be handy in a pinch - or could before I had an iPhone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow.. then I guess it would be upto a 3rd party to make reader-app that has all the strengths of the three readers mentioned. Plus scrolling to read instead of flipping as well which iFlow reader has. Then they could drive the Kindle etc out of business. Maybe I should do it? But then I don't know programming, and don't know how much time it would take to learn enough programming to develop such an app.
 

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Well, to drive Kindle out of business they'd need to be able to read DRMed Kindle files. And since Aldiko & Stanza & Bluefire reader haven't run Nook or Kobo out of business, I think to most folks, like me, the differences aren't big enough to drive them away from one to another. Folks who aren't pirating have to get their books somewhere - I do prefer Aldiko to all the other reading apps I've used - but it's for Android only, and for ePub & PDF only. Stanza is nice as well, but it is what it is at this point, it (apparently) will never be updated again, at least not the apps - not sure about using it on a laptop or desktop - and it doesn't read Kindle books. I've never actually used it much for reading books myself - I stick with the convenience of the Kindle app for my Amazon books if I'm on my iPhone or Fire or (rarely) iPad, and whatever store my ePubs came from (Nook or Kobo - Bluefire Reader for library ePubs).

If you want to give Amazon your input on what you'd like to see in a reader, contact them. You can go to
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/forums/kindleqna/ref=kindle_help_forum_tft_tp?ie=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1GLDPZMNR1X53&cdThread=TxOOI807QNQBZA

Click on "Contact Us" and use the form you'll get to to "Provide Feedback".
 

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I would highly suggest as a consumer and a reader that subscribing to Kindle Prime ($79/yr dues) is a great way to save money, especially since you get to read one free book a month, along with free two day shipping. I am not being paid to tell you this. I just bought a lot of presents and pet stuff, and music things on Amazon and did not have to pay one cent on two-day shipping. If you want to ask me about Kindle Prime, I will give you any advice you need about it.  Oh, BTW, when I bought my Kindle Fire a month ago, Amazon gave me one month of Kindle Prime free just to see what a great thing it is. They give you free movies, but most of those movies you can watch on YouTube for free, so I won't crow about those. Overall, however, if you shop a lot at the Kindle Store, or Amazon, save a lot on shipping with Kindle Prime. It will pay itself back in savings over a year of shopping for family gifts and supplies on Amazon.
 

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AEZents said:
I would highly suggest as a consumer and a reader that subscribing to Kindle Prime ($79/yr dues) is a great way to save money, especially since you get to read one free book a month, along with free two day shipping. I am not being paid to tell you this. I just bought a lot of presents and pet stuff, and music things on Amazon and did not have to pay one cent on two-day shipping. If you want to ask me about Kindle Prime, I will give you any advice you need about it. Oh, BTW, when I bought my Kindle Fire a month ago, Amazon gave me one month of Kindle Prime free just to see what a great thing it is. They give you free movies, but most of those movies you can watch on YouTube for free, so I won't crow about those. Overall, however, if you shop a lot at the Kindle Store, or Amazon, save a lot on shipping with Kindle Prime. It will pay itself back in savings over a year of shopping for family gifts and supplies on Amazon.
I've been considering prime. I have a ktouch. I don't have the fire, have an iPad. Can you stream the prime movies on the iPad through the kindle app? If I can, I think I would definitely get prime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Meemo said:
Well, to drive Kindle out of business they'd need to be able to read DRMed Kindle files. And since Aldiko & Stanza & Bluefire reader haven't run Nook or Kobo out of business, I think to most folks, like me, the differences aren't big enough to drive them away from one to another. Folks who aren't pirating have to get their books somewhere - I do prefer Aldiko to all the other reading apps I've used - but it's for Android only, and for ePub & PDF only. Stanza is nice as well, but it is what it is at this point, it (apparently) will never be updated again, at least not the apps - not sure about using it on a laptop or desktop - and it doesn't read Kindle books. I've never actually used it much for reading books myself - I stick with the convenience of the Kindle app for my Amazon books if I'm on my iPhone or Fire or (rarely) iPad, and whatever store my ePubs came from (Nook or Kobo - Bluefire Reader for library ePubs).

If you want to give Amazon your input on what you'd like to see in a reader, contact them. You can go to
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/forums/kindleqna/ref=kindle_help_forum_tft_tp?ie=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1GLDPZMNR1X53&cdThread=TxOOI807QNQBZA

Click on "Contact Us" and use the form you'll get to to "Provide Feedback".
Is the Kindle app font bigger on devices that have bigger screens? For example is the biggest font of the Kindle bigger on Samsung Note? What about iPad? Anybody care to attach a screenshot?
 
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