Informal e-reader library comparison
Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper) has done a very nice comparison of the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks on the iPad. He’s comparing availability of content (books and periodicals) less usability of the various tools.
By the way, Instapaper on the iPad is an incredible way to read articles that you’ve stored there. It caches the articles so they can be read offline and has many of iBooks’ reading features like type size and face control and more.
Seen in a comment thread this morning:
Person 1: “Anyone know: what planet or star system is Jeff Bezos from?”
Person 2: “Kindle.”
In all seriousness, the Kindle Fire looks like a very interesting device.
The iPad and Kindle Fire are two different things and will appeal to two different types of users. My guess is there will be plenty of room for both devices: the iPad will continue to grow its already large user base and the Kindle Fire will grow a large user base as well, some of which will be iPad users who want both devices.
It’s not all or nothing, one or the other. Framing it that way is a mistake. There will be room for many devices and different operating system styles in this category.
These types of devices are the first steps toward replacing general purpose and cumbersome computers with smaller, cheaper, and much less cumbersome tools for doing the same things. I use my iPad in places I would never carry the MacBook Pro and have used a MacBook Pro for many years in many places where one could not use a desktop computer. The fact that these devices are getting smaller and cheaper coupled with the fact that access to the internet is getting cheaper (free in many places) and more widespread seems to me to be a leveling of what used to be a rather tilted playing field.
I like the fact that people are tweeting the Green Revolution from the streets of Iran (with smartphones) and these tablet devices are another category of device that allows computing anywhere.
Never sell Jeff Bezos short, he may not be as charismatic as Steve Jobs (his laugh is hilarious) but he’s done amazing things with Amazon and I’m pretty sure the Kindle Fire is the beginning of something important for the industry and for us users, whether we ever buy one or not.
Great stuff. Glen creates hacked Kindle for his sister who has cerebral palsy.
This reminds me so much of the early days of what is now called assistive technology: Hacked Apple IIs, HyperCard running X10 controllers, big switches, and the Closing the Gap conference where we all shared this stuff. This was my life for close to twenty years.
For a more elegant solution for iPad, see Assistiveware.