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Old 05-01-2013, 09:28 PM   #31
Elfwreck
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Things I want from future ereaders:
  • More file format support; specifically, doc/rtf/html: easily-editable formats. It's a nuisance to edit epubs.
  • Buttons, not touchscreens. Or in addition to touchscreens.
  • Multiple types of bookmarks, even if they're just checkmark/dot/star--the equivalent of color-coded post-it flags.
  • Better annotation/highlight support. Exportable as csv file.
  • Ability to flag 2 (or more) books as "open right now" to switch back and forth between them easily.
  • Side-by-side view of those two books, even if that means landscaped and only a few lines at a time.
  • Better image zoom, including auto-captioning with the image filename and dimensions. (so when you hit zoom, it'd add "map01.jpg, 450x235" underneath it. You'd know whether it was worth trying to zoom.)
  • Easy access to the book's metadata while reading it. (Quality of metadata depends on the publisher.)
  • User-Replaceable battery.
  • Solar charger.
  • Tags/groups/folders editable from within the device itself
  • Ability to see lists of both "all ebooks on this device," sorted various ways (title, author, date added, date last accessed, word count, filesize, possibly user-created rating), and subgroups--folders or tags.
I think all those are doable. Some would involve serious coding; some just involve someone paying attention to readers' rather than publishers' interests. But those aren't like "color and/or video e-ink," which have big technological barriers, nor like "ability to send tweets of a highlighted section while reading," which involves an interface with third-party software.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:01 PM   #32
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I just want to buy, store, find and read my novels easily. That's where the focus should be with ereaders. The rest is fluff.
I still say the real eReader advantage is with newspapers and essays. Although I also use my K3 for books, the paper form factor works fine there.

As for improvement, a stronger screen is number one for me. Crossing finger, though, I think I am getting to more careful about elbowing the thing.

K3 Battery replacment is easy enough for me, and I may need to do it soon. It's no problem, which I know from carefully snapping it open out of curiousity. This is definitely not recommended with some other models.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:01 AM   #33
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I have been waiting for years for an e-reader that is the size of a letter sized or a4 sheet of paper. You would think that the market for such a device is large. Companies have shown prototypes of large screen e-readers, but they never sell them. I just wrote to e-ink about their 19 screen for advertising. They basically told me to jump in a lake. This makes me think that they have not produced them yet. They are waiting for a large corporation to buy lots of them, at which point they will do into production.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:27 AM   #34
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More readers with buttons. That's pretty much the main one for me - I'm not a huge fan of touch screens, and it's nice to have the button alternative. I mean, I already have two with buttons (the T1 and Kindle Keyboard), but once/if those die, I fear I won't have button-y readers to replace them with if this trend of "all the touch screens, all the time!" keeps going on.
I am trying to work out the why behind buttons. I read with one hand, and the position of the book means it sits bottom right corner in my palm, 4 fingers on the back and my thumb on the right hand frame. This makes for a very simple thumb tap to turn every page. I do have very small hands tho, and MS which gives me close to no strength in my hands. Not sure if that makes a difference. It would be so difficult to use buttons on the bottom to turn a page, I would need to put my left hand on the book to balance it. Even the side page turn buttons require a pressure that some times unbalances the reader.
I also read rather fast with a large font so it is a constant tap, Maybe slower page turners using 2 hands do it easier with buttons.
Can somebody who uses buttons tell me where it is easier. I must be missing something.

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Old 05-03-2013, 06:40 AM   #35
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Can somebody who uses buttons tell me where it is easier. I must be missing something.
Depends on the buttons. With the Kindle's edge buttons, it was easy for me to just hold the device in my palm, more or less, and squeeze with my thumb rather than needing two hands. But I agree, a touch screen gives more different ways of holding/using the device one-handed. It would be nice to have a choice, though, IMO.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #36
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How about something simple, such as a user-replaceable battery? What are you going to do when your K3 battery dies?
Aren't you supposed to toss your current reader and buy a new one? I always thought that's why one can't easily replace the batteries on a lot of these gadgets.

That being said, like many others I would like to see a replaceable battery.

Also a standard power adapter. This should also be included with all models of readers, as should "basic" cases.

Built-in screen protector (like the Nook Glowlight has). Screen protectors are another item that one has spend additional money on. Depending on the reader purchased, the outlay required for adapter, case and protector can come close to the cost of the reader itself.

No "flashing" pages although perhaps that's not possible to entirely eliminate with E Ink displays?

Yes, I think that many people are now reading on tablets or phablets, as opposed to buying a dedicated reader. Which kind of makes sense I guess: a single device that can pretty much do it all.

I have recently moved in the opposite direction. I decided I wanted a dedicated reader for several reasons. Among other things, I wanted a smaller and lighter device with longer battery life. I just wanted something that basically did one thing.

I guess these wants are pretty basic. I will probably come up with additional ones as I become more familiar with a dedicated reader.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:05 AM   #37
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Also a standard power adapter. This should also be included with all models of readers, as should "basic" cases.
Virtually all current devices charge via a microUSB port. I neither want nor need yet another USB wall charger. Offering it as an accessory to those who do want one keeps the cost down for the majority who don't.

Quote:
Built-in screen protector (like the Nook Glowlight has). Screen protectors are another item that one has spend additional money on. Depending on the reader purchased, the outlay required for adapter, case and protector can come close to the cost of the reader itself.
I've never used a screen protector on an eInk device personally.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:46 AM   #38
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So, I was one of those people who scoffed at people with dedicated ereading devices. I had an app on my phone and couldn't understand the additional expenses of a one trick pony.

Then I went to Italy with my best friend (who brought her Nook) and my phone died a fiery hot death by wetting. She continued to read and I was kept from my books.

After returning state side and replacing my phone, the very next thing I bought was a Literati ereader (lcd screen; Kobo software; ebay for $15). That was my gateway and I now have an eInk Kobo WiFi.

So, don't count out the smart phone app users. Sometimes we just need to be shown the error of our ways.
It is never an error to save money and inch your way into a new tech.
Not everybody jumps in headfirst.
Phone/Tablet reading apps are gateways to the ebook world for many. As the readers get ever cheaper, the dedicated gadgets will draw in more of the fence-sitters.

BTW, Kobo Aura notwithstanding, the future of eink is small and cheap. $49 list will get here any day now.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #39
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As a single function device, ereaders have a limited appeal and market and once that market is saturated, their sales will depend on customers replacing their devices. The sales growth of tablets/smart phones is in a large part due to their multi-function nature - as new functions/features are available, they drive demand for newer, better tables/smartphones so there is a huge market of people upgrading their tables/phones every year or two. And this is also helped by the 1-2 year life expectancy of smartphones given how heavily they are used. Lastly, the number of people who want a cell phone is many time bigger than the number of people who want an ereader so it's just a bigger market.

So, anybody who was expecting the ereader sales to look like tablet/smartphone sales was misguided, and any company who was expecting to build a business based on that is now realizing the error of their ways. But does that mean there is no sustainable market or business model? No, but there may be a closing window of opportunity for the industry as the multifunction tablet/smartphone industry may and will probably evolve to the point that having a separate single purpose ereader becomes truly redundant (i.e. the advantages of an ereader over a tablet/smart phone disappear - those devices become lighter, longer battery life, better screens, etc. etc.).

To me, the reasons that I bought an ereader over a tablet currently still remain - lighter weight, better battery life, better screen for reading text, etc. But since it's a single function device, to me as long as it still serves that single function, I don't see myself replacing the device until it dies - which hopefully won't be for a few more years.

That said, the software *in* the ereader can and has been steadily improving and many of the suggestions given in this discussion relate more to the ereader software. And if a ereader company can evolve the software side of their business to the point that new software features will make me want to upgrade to a newer ereader, I may upgrade before my current ereader dies. But again, as long as it remains a single function device, the companies are constrained as to what kind of new features they can add - at the end of the day it's still a reading device, not a tablet.

Anyway, just my rambling thoughts.

Last edited by Auricle; 05-03-2013 at 06:18 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:47 PM   #40
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I want it to read the book for me and turn that book into a movie--complete with gratuitous nudity--and beam that move right to my retina.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:50 PM   #41
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So, anybody who was expecting the ereader sales to look like tablet/smartphone sales was misguided, and any company who was expecting to build a business based on that is now realizing the error of their ways. But does that mean there is no sustainable market or business model? No, but there may be a closing window of opportunity for the industry as the multifunction tablet/smartphone industry may and will probably evolve to the point that having a separate single purpose ereader becomes truly redundant (i.e. the advantages of an ereader over a tablet/smart phone disappear - those devices become lighter, longer battery life, better screens, etc. etc.).
It's also important to keep in mind that, at least for Amazon and B&N and, I think, Kobo, the goal behind selling the e-readers is really to sell books. The e-readers itself is more or less a break-even proposition.

People don't replace their razors very often, but they are always replacing their blades.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:12 PM   #42
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It's also important to keep in mind that, at least for Amazon and B&N and, I think, Kobo, the goal behind selling the e-readers is really to sell books. The e-readers itself is more or less a break-even proposition.
Right. The primary design guideline for all the entry level ebook readers is how to get more people onboard. As the pool of dedicated readers that still haven't jumped in dries up, the trick becomes to draw in readers from the pool of app readers or new readers who might be tempted by a lower-priced device.

Bigger feature lists will appeal to some upgraders but there really is more money in drawing in more customers from the pool of uncommiteds. Upgraders are already buying ebooks, after all. Selling them a new reader brings in a chunk of change, once. Getting a fence-sitter to commit to your ecosystem brings in an entire new revenue stream. (Or trickle, if it is a casual reader. )
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #43
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...Can somebody who uses buttons tell me where it is easier. I must be missing something.

applesauce
I don't particularly like to swipe and whenever possible try to get buttons to turn the pages for me. That is one of the key reasons why I like Sony readers because they always give you both options. It is also the reason why I love the Aldiko reader app because it turns my volume buttons into page turners.

I have no trouble holding my SGP5 in one hand and pushing the volume button to turn the page. The same with my Sony and Nexus. I like using the buttons because I don't end up with a finger printed screen.

And before someone points out you can buy screen protectors, I don't like them, I'd rather keep a clean screen and use the buttons.

The whole reason that manufacturers don't use replaceable batteries is because if we could replace our own batteries we wouldn't be adding to their profits by buying new gear!

If the majority of the people would change their habits and stop replacing perfectly working gear to have the latest and greatest, the manufacturers would adjust.

Which is why they come up with small incremental upgrades every damn year.

Personally I see no need to upgrade any of my current reading devices and will probably keep them for years. When my SGMP5 dies years from now I will probably upgrade to a 5 inch smart phone so that I can continue reading. But I think that is several years away.

This is how I SAVE money!
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:35 PM   #44
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Quite a few companies have made readers with replaceable batteries: Bookeen, Kobo, Pocketbook. All of my current ereaders have replaceable batteries.

I like both touch and buttons. I like the buttons if they are placed ergonomically(PB360 and Opus for me).

Reading on my Nexus 7 with moonreader+ with a blackbackground and white letters using screenfilter is quite pleasant for a couple of hours..
Waterproof and some gorilla glass would be a good step forward.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #45
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I just want to buy, store, find and read my novels easily. That's where the focus should be with ereaders. The rest is fluff. Fine to work on if you have mastered the essential four requirements but having those other things doesn't make up for being lacking in the essentials.
That's it exactly for me.

I want a built in SD card slot, user replaceable battery and just general durability -- maybe the ebook makers should take a note from the Alphasmarts, which are durable enough to be dropped from 4-5 feet high (repeatedly) and not suffer any damage.

I really want a keyboard so I can search easily -- the current Kindle basic interface is embarrassing.

I think the big issue that such articles are overlooking -- cheaper and cheaper tech. There's not a lot of profit to be gained by further refinements on black and white eink readers.

But, as with most electronics, it's logical to assume that the cost of manufacturing these devices are going to keep on going down and down. If current trends continue, I'd expect to see a $49 Kindle (basic) by Christmas, maybe $35 by Christmas 2014...it might not be too long before Amazon can offer a basic Kindle for $25 or even free, even if offered at a loss, because at that price, it only takes a handful of ebook sales to offset the hardware cost. And the rest is pure profit.

When ebook readers get as cheap as disposable mp3 players, I'd expect to see the market explode -- lots of casual readers will pick them up for convenience and hard core readers will no doubt pick up an "extra/spare" for travelling, for other family members, etc.

If Amazon is not working towards this $25 or Free basic Kindle reader, I'd be amazed.
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