A Kindle for your eyes

I have gone from reading on the Smartphone to reading on a Kindle Paperwhite (second generation). Here’s what I like best about it:

  • A bigger screen than my Smartphone, so I don’t have to hold it close.
  • Much lighter than my iPad, which I also use to read PDF documents on some occasions (besides my laptop).
  • Uniform brightness, hurts less while reading in the dark. After reading in night view on my Smartphone, I can see dark lines for a while after closing my eyes. I also have difficulty focussing on distant objects after a prolonged reading session on the Smartphone.
  • Syncs my personal docs, and books purchased from other publishers in MOBI format. Even syncs furthest location and highlights.
  • Pinch to zoom works all right with images and PDF documents. I prefer reading PDFs in landscape mode, so I can avoid constantly having to pinch to zoom. PDF is such a bad format for small screens, I’m trying to avoid it altogether.
  • Send to Kindle Chrome extension works beautifully, to send content I want to read later, straight from the browser to the Kindle. The content is also cached in Personal Documents.

I am liking my Kindle so far, and wondering why I didn’t get one sooner. I think I was waiting for a reader from Amazon worth buying. The Paperwhite is that reader.


Apps should support multiple accounts

Apps that are backed by some kind of service in the cloud should support multiple accounts. This is a no-brainer but several apps fail to provide this convenience feature. I’m particularly frustrated by the Kindle app. Though it could apply to other apps like Netflix.

Why would you need multiple accounts. Well, you might have a personal account and a business account, for starters. You may have an account you share with other family members, and so on. It is of course quite likely that limiting the number of simultaneous accounts to two or some such upper limit is desirable, for performance reasons and to prevent abuse.

Kindle vs iBooks


Is it just me? The mobi format book open in Kindle (on the left) doesn’t look as good as the epub format book open in iBooks. Both apps are set for night view for some late night reading.

Here’s what I find better with iBooks (epub):

– The text caption below the figure is better aligned to the figure

– There’s more text to read on the screen (having chosen the smallest font size in both apps). The text font can be changed too.

– Night view shows figures with a lower contrast, better on the eyes

– Search books

– Copy text from the book to other apps

– Smaller file size (4.7MB) than mobi (5.6MB)

I don’t know how the Kindle native format (prc) compares to mobi. The Kindle app may also be less feature-rich on the iPhone.