The good folks over at the Good E Reader site asked a question this week. What would make you buy a new kindle? My white paperwhite is working well, but I’d trade it in for a new one if… Here are some of my ideas.
Here are my top–3 hardware feature requests!
The kindle paperwhite I have is not the newest one, which is waterproof. That feature is worth quite a lot, but not enough to make me trade up. It would take at least one more improvement. And that’s switching from micro-USB to USB-C!
What’s the big deal about the charge port type? It’s that most of my other gadgets now use USB-C, so this is about convenience and simplifying the cables around my house. Less cable clutter!
So just adding USB-C to the current waterproof design would likely tip me over the edge to upgrade.
But the one single feature that would outdo all the others: Color e-ink!
Of course, I’d still want black text on white pages. But color would bring to life book covers! It would also enable colored highlighting in e-ink fashion. And, while not much benefit to me, it would promote color e-ink comics!
Amazon already makes this, but it’s only on the high-dollar Oasis. This bigger display would be nice to have in the paperwhite, but I would not want to sacrifice its size. Instead, make the bezels a little bit smaller. Optimize them for finger-grip and a bit more screen.
- More color options for the outer housing (bring back the white paperwhite)
- Faster CPU for speedier overall performance
- Include a free case/cover for Prime members
- Wireless charging
The kindle has great software features: built-in dictionary and word finder, vocabulary builder, goodreads integration(!), and X-ray. It’s quite a list; I’m not sure what else to add!
My top software request is for the display to show the cover of the last book I was reading when turned off! I read that was coming soon, but I’ve still not seen it.
How about a progress bar? Add this option at the bottom of a book with the location/time/percentage indicators. A progress bar would be a simple visual way to show how far you’ve read. It could be a skinny line, or if thicker it could show tick marks at quarter or third points in the book.
I’d like to also see new incentives for purchasing. For example, each kindle could include one free ebook of your choice. Or, for Prime members, drop the free Prime Reading option, which offers only 1,000 books to read. In its place, offer kindle Unlimited, with its full catalog, for $5/month instead of $10. That would be a great Prime perk.
Finally, every physical book you buy from Amazon could offer the ebook version for at least 50% off the normal price. And vice versa, every ebook you buy could offer the physical copy for half-off! Some books you just wanna collect on a real shelf.
So I’ve listed several big-ticket items that I want in my next kindle. And I’m sure there are other good ideas out there – like cooperating with libraries for better ebook lending.
The kindle in its current form – 3 versions – is already a winsome ereader. I love my paperwhite! But Amazon shouldn’t rest on its laurels.