View Full Version : Missing features: RSS aggregator, Other formats, data plan for external content


Charbax
11-19-2007, 08:49 PM
Though I would hope Amazon would consider adding these features in a future automatic firmware update:

- There should be an open RSS aggregator, one that updates feeds when the user is active or that can automatically pull feeds every once in a while and certain feeds can be set to make the device beep or display an alert when there is a new item.

- One should be able to drag and drop PDF, DOC, TXT, HTML or any other such formats onto it using the USB cable, or download from other services on the Internet and it should work directly. It could offer the Amazon Kindle conversion for a fee like it does through the Kindle email, but it should be able to upload the text file from the device, store it in the cloud and pull it back on demand.

- Google Blog Search, Google News (Amazon could auto-reformat web news pages to display with ebook optimized adds in cooperation with the websites that are linked to from Google News, thus there should be an ebook optimized Google News interface), Google Reader type of RSS aggregator, Gmail and other Google apps should work on this.

- The full web browser and Wikipedia could be part of such a full Internet data plan, one where Amazon could charge money per MB or per GB packages that one wishes to use to download data over the wireless connection that isn't content that Amazon can earn money on directly. So for example I wouldn't mind paying 1 or a few dollars per GB over this full Internet access data plan. Thus alternative online book stores, audible.com, Google Booksearch should be accessible this way over the wireless connection and Amazon can charge reasonably priced data fees for that.

- Audiobook to ebook synchronization service, line could be highlighted on demand or maybe even the sentence or the word could be highlighted while the audiobook is playing. And a function to continue reading the book in audio mode and then resuming to reading the text and turning off the audio. Adding the audiobook version to an ebook shouldn't be very expensive, I'd think around $2 should be a reasonable price to get the additional audiobook downloaded and synched up.

- One should be somehow able to get ones personal book collection digitized. Although there are rights restrictions to this currently, and one cannot provide bills for all ones book collection. Possibly there should be a service where one would send in the used books to Amazon, who then adds the titles to ones Kindle account manually and Amazon can then recycle those used paperback books on their website. That is until regulation changes in this area so that one will in the future have unlimited access to old books for a flat culture licence fee.

- An external USB keyboard is better to type long texts on this then the thumb keyboard. So unless the hardware does not make it possible, I think there should be somekind of way to put the device on the table with a kickstand or using a kickstand with the leathercase, and then unfold a full sized keyboard to enter text rapidly.

DaleDe
11-19-2007, 08:58 PM
Though I would hope Amazon would consider adding these features in a future automatic firmware update:

- There should be an open RSS aggregator, one that updates feeds when the user is active or that can automatically pull feeds every once in a while and certain feeds can be set to make the device beep or display an alert when there is a new item.

They are charging for the RSS feed. They would have to give that up to do what you want.


- One should be able to drag and drop PDF, DOC, TXT, HTML or any other such formats onto it using the USB cable, or download from other services on the Internet and it should work directly. It could offer the Amazon Kindle conversion for a fee like it does through the Kindle email, but it should be able to upload the text file from the device, store it in the cloud and pull it back on demand.

I suspect the the Windows Mobi Reader can be pressed into this service easily. It can already convert all of the files you listed and it can already make a file that Kindle can read so all that is required is to make it recognize the reader is attached. An easy task.


- Google Blog Search, Google News (Amazon could auto-reformat web news pages to display with ebook optimized adds in cooperation with the websites that are linked to from Google News, thus there should be an ebook optimized Google News interface), Google Reader type of RSS aggregator, Gmail and other Google apps should work on this.

- The full web browser and Wikipedia could be part of such a full Internet data plan, one where Amazon could charge money per MB or per GB packages that one wishes to use to download data over the wireless connection that isn't content that Amazon can earn money on directly. So for example I wouldn't mind paying 1 or a few dollars per GB over this full Internet access data plan. Thus alternative online book stores, audible.com, Google Booksearch should be accessible this way over the wireless connection and Amazon can charge reasonably priced data fees for that.


Full Wikipedia is free at this time but I suspect that other stuff will end up with a subscription of some kind.


- An external USB keyboard is better to type long texts on this then the thumb keyboard. So unless the hardware does not make it possible, I think there should be somekind of way to put the device on the table with a kickstand or using a kickstand with the leathercase, and then unfold a full sized keyboard to enter text rapidly.

The only usb port they have is a slave port so this is not possible.

Dale

Charbax
11-19-2007, 09:06 PM
It's not a problem that they are charging $0.99 and $1.99 for certain 300 or so blogs. That is fine as long as that is what the blog publisher wants.

But for all the millions of other blogs, Amazon will never be able to get deals with every blog publisher, that's why they should provide an open blog RSS aggregator where they may charge the transfers per-GB for example. Even something like $5 per GB would be reasonable. This way Amazon has got the wireless data transfer costs covered.

To cover costs, Amazon should also offer ebook optimized advertising, so blog publishers can also sign up for that if they want instead of forcing the readership to pay the 1-2 dollar subscription.

Zoot
11-19-2007, 09:07 PM
One of the most interesting unknowns is how dynamic Amazon will be with software updates. Sony does not seem to understand the concept of increasing value through frequent software improvements, and companies like Apple actively avoid them to "encourage" people to upgrade to the next generation (if you have 1/10 the user base of the competition then you just need your users to buy 10x as many of your products).

But other companies come out with new device firmware quite often, and are happy to push new functionality back into older models. Microsoft's decision to offer all the new Zune functionality to the original Zune owners hopefully will be noted by Apple or at least their users (of course nobody actually uses Zunes).

Amazon has the opportunity to greatly increase the appeal of their device and service through the "customer delight" produced by offering frequent unexpected feature additions and improvements. Will they have the foresight to recognize this and take this route? Or will they follow the unfortunate philosophy of when it's done you ship it, and when you ship it it's done for good.

Z.

Charbax
11-19-2007, 09:11 PM
Another model that they should offer blog publishers is micropayments. Why not pay $0.01 per add-free blog post instead of paying the full blog subscriptions.

DaleDe
11-19-2007, 09:13 PM
It's not a problem that they are charging $0.99 and $1.99 for certain 300 or so blogs. That is fine as long as that is what the blog publisher wants.

But for all the millions of other blogs, Amazon will never be able to get deals with every blog publisher, that's why they should provide an open blog RSS aggregator where they may charge the transfers per-GB for example. Even something like $5 per GB would be reasonable. This way Amazon has got the wireless data transfer costs covered.

To cover costs, Amazon should also offer ebook optimized advertising, so blog publishers can also sign up for that if they want instead of forcing the readership to pay the 1-2 dollar subscription.

I forgot to mention that the Windows MobiReader can aslo import RSS feeds and republish them in mobi format. So, unless you want a live update, you can get them now.

Dale

Zoot
11-19-2007, 09:15 PM
And for a sort-of live update you could simply use the (currently) free web access to visit an RSS aggrigating web site and view your feeds online.

Z.

Charbax
11-19-2007, 10:07 PM
Yup but it seems Javascripts and AJAX is not supported by the built-in browser. So such a page as http://reader.google.com won't work on it.

And I think having a cusrtomized RSS aggregator on the device itself would be best, including pull or auto update of ones RSS feeds. Including some server-based content reformatting including standard import of comments and abillity to post comments to blogs directly from the RSS aggregator.

OK I'm hoping they can add USB host connector or some other way to hook up a full sized foldable keyboard to it by the time they release a HSDPA version in Europe. It should also have a WiFi switch in my opinion, and data should thus be free for browsing, streaming content when over Wifi.

Zoot
11-19-2007, 10:48 PM
Javascript is supported according to the manual.

But to what degree we'll have to wait and see. Obviously a lot of stuff is going to be problematic on a screen with a 1-2fps refresh rate.

It's not called "Basic" Web for nothing.

Z.

Charbax
11-19-2007, 11:31 PM
Yup especially without a mouse it's got to be kind of difficult to click on links and stuff like that. I wish it had a wacom stylus like the iRex Iliad even though the white LCD thing on the right side of the E-ink screen looks really cool.

Zoot
11-20-2007, 02:26 AM
though the white LCD thing on the right side of the E-ink screen looks really cool.
That's almost certainly a second e-ink display, a tall thin one (larger version of the ones used on some memory sticks and similar devices as a capacity indicator).

Links are not selected directly when browsing a web page. You use the vertical thing to point at the approximate place on the page of your link and then it pops up a list of the links near that point from which you pick. So you don't have to scroll through them one by one on the page which would be slow even with partial refresh I think.

Z.

DaleDe
11-20-2007, 11:49 AM
That's almost certainly a second e-ink display, a tall thin one (larger version of the ones used on some memory sticks and similar devices as a capacity indicator).

Links are not selected directly when browsing a web page. You use the vertical thing to point at the approximate place on the page of your link and then it pops up a list of the links near that point from which you pick. So you don't have to scroll through them one by one on the page which would be slow even with partial refresh I think.

Z.

Can you provide the dimensions for the secondary display. The wiki describing the Amazon Kindle needs updating on this point.

Dale