Thursday, June 23, 2011

I wish Amazon would innovate faster on it's Kindle OS

Amazon seems to be really slow and conservative on features for the embedded software (OS) running on it's Kindle devices. The last update (v3.1) was on Feb 2011. I don't see why they can't let users opt-in for cutting-edge feature experiments. This way they could easily roll-out wireless beta updates to advanced users and experiment with feature designs/variations, collecting usage data on what works/doesn't.

Some areas they could've been experimenting publicly for ages:
  1. Social features: why stop at public note sharing via twitter/facebook? Why not integrating to services like Evernote, Instapaper, Delicious? Why can't it sync my notes to Amazon's website? It would be nice to be able to review them online. 
  2. Notes/highlights usability: The reading experience should be at least as powerful as the Real Thing. Why can't I attach notes to whole chapters or even books? Why restrict it to contiguous blocks of text? After all, the whole reading experience is mostly not about what I read, but what I thought about it, what I learned from it, how it applies to me, and people use notes for remembering these things.
  3. Podcasts: it has enough storage and CPU for playing mp3s and downloading data on the background. Why not scheduling the download and managing podcasts?
  4. Improve the experience for reading blogs. Why not integrating to Google Reader?

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