Amazon has released the Kindle, their electronic book device. This is
a very interesting product. My initial reactions:
It's the right size/weight. I didn't like the industrial design of it
at first (too antiseptic?), but it's growing on me. I can't imagine
enjoying sitting down with it as much as I do a book made of paper,
but then, once you get into the story, maybe the object you are
holding doesn't matter so much.
On the other hand, there are several things that really appeal to me,
like the ability to search your content, the ability to annotate
(without defacing the book), and bookmarking.
They've done some really smart things, such as including the wireless
service in the fee for the product, rather than requiring a separate,
monthly fee or service contract. You can read the first chapter of any
book for free before purchasing. It handles magazine and newspaper
subscriptions. It also will display blog content, but is limited to
some specific set of blogs, and this comes at an extra fee. They also
charge a fee to put your own documents on the device (via email).
As for the UI, call me spoiled, but their selection wheel with the
separated selection indicator bar seems disconnected. Having had an
iPhone for over a month now, I would want the ability to select things
by tapping them on the screen. Even without a touchscreen, why can't
the selection be shown within the content display, rather than in a
separate display beside it.
I like that they made the next/previous buttons available on both
sides, but made the previous button significantly larger on the left,
and the next button larger on the right. Still, I want to flip pages
with a horizontal swipe of my finger.
Using a grayscale display makes sense for reading books, but when it
comes to magazines, blogs, and even newspapers, color would be