On Kindle and Openness… /cc @webmink @symbiat

I wrote about my iPad and Nexus 7 thoughts; Ajai responded on FB*:

I find it odd you mentioning how closed iOS is and ye you carry a Kindle. The others readers offer ePub support which is obviously an open format.

Anyway, I use my Nexus 7 for: reading books (take your pick: Kindle app, nook app, Google Books, Aldiko or Kobo); Google maps is excellent (most of the Google apps have been optimized for it); Google Reader or FlipBoard work well; it’s quad-core CPU and 12-core GPU so much better than the Galaxy Tab (but also because it’s stock Android, none of that TouchWiz nonsense).

I see the confusion, but the truth is that I can** put by one means or another _any_ open content onto the Kindle because “it’s just words” – so Kindle’s adherence to the FOSS-blessed format du jour is not relevant to me so long as the Kindle does not inhibit me from adding stuff to it.

Frankly I am most annoyed that it lacks a decent .TXT and offline HTML viewer; but HTML I tend to post on the web and view from anywhere, anyway…

And it’s unusable as a content-creation device, so I don’t worry about it not writing in an open format because it does not write at all.

I should get to play with Simon Phipps’ N7 today. We shall see.

And he can put me right about the format issue, too, if needs be.


* isn’t that ironic, in retrospect? 🙂
** by means of geek uberness if not brute force

3 Replies to “On Kindle and Openness… /cc @webmink @symbiat”

  1. As someone really close to buying one of these things, I’m hoping you’re right.

    I’m annoyed about the lack of DRM-free e-readers, but I’m totally sick of waiting and am ready to bite the bullet, hoping that geek determinism[1] will win out once Amazon finally release an e-ink-based reader that feature-matches the front-lit glow-light Nook reader that B & N refuse to make work properly outside the US (I’m in NZ, and they don’t work well here)

    Yes I could side-load, DRM-crack, and flex that geek-uberness (for now, though I wish I didn’t have to – things seem to be moving the right direction wrt. e-book publishers, fingers crossed) but I really would like to benefit from an integrated easy-to-buy experience too.

    Buying from a different e-book market and reading it on this device might be inconvenient (though make it convenient, and I’ll be your customer for life) but it certainly ought not be illegal.

    Proper txt conversion seems like a no-brainer, but as an e-reader n00b, I’m hoping that Calibre will see me right there too?

    [1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/14/problem-nerd-politics

  2. My experience so far – barring issues of Java and Flash – is that I can get any “just text” document I’ve needed to read, onto my iPad (sometimes with a little bludgeoning).

    I see where you’re coming from, when it comes to widgets though; Apple’s missing a trick, here. OS X has them (and has had, for some time); it looks like it would be good if they were to find their way to iOS…

  3. I love my Kindle, and Calibre. 🙂 But 99% of the time it is showing some boring screen saver you cannot change. Unless you root it of course.

    So depending on your use of a tablet, your argument that iOS is a closed system might be lost. You can read any* E-mail and browse any** website on it. You can read any electronic books or TXT on it. You can even install all the apps on it that Apple approves of. 😉 And even more when you jailbreak it of course.

    I’m looking forward to your review of the N7. A few years ago I made the choice to buy the Galaxy Tab instead of the 1st iPad. What a piece of junk that was. I quickly replaced it with an iPad2 after it was stolen.

    * except for a few nasty bugs with IMAP
    ** as long as it not flash only or has other brain dead designs

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