Joshua Gans draws our attention to Amazon’s attempt to create the iPod for text. Kindle. Joshua’s quite keen though unimpressed by Kindle’s inability to display pdfs. I’m more seriously unimpressed by that, and don’t reckon it will be a goer. At $400 US it’s expensive . And I just can’t imagine people being too impressed with having to do everything through Amazon. Meanwhile as Starbucks offers free WiFi it’s starting to look obvious why Google’s trying to get hold of some spectrum. At $1 per download and RSS feed (which Amazon is charging according to this graphic from Gizmodo) it wouldn’t take long to recoup one’s investment.
As the Gizmodo article says, it’s open standards versus connectivity. Well perhaps connectivity will win. But what about when open standards get connected. I’d really like one, but won’t be buying till I get both (or until forced to as I was with iPod – to listen to Brad Delong’s lectures – which turned out to be disappointing).
I’m also amazed at the relative unfriendliness of navigation on Kindle. What happened to pointing – it seems you can’t do that, but if you watch the animation of someone looking up a word – it’s cumbersome – double tapping on the word with one’s finger would have done the trick.
Still, these guys have done their homework no-doubt, so we’ll see how they go.