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Old 12-19-2013, 01:54 AM   #1
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Cloud Collections: Compared, Contrasted, and Critiqued

I thought it would be useful to create a new thread for this, as the 'Paperwhite 2 First Impressions' thread has become about anything but that, it seems to me. And I think we're missing the bigger picture in there.

iOS
First up are Cloud Collections for the iOS Kindle app, which appeared a few months before the new Kindles got them.

Here's how they work:
  • the Home screen menu can display All Items, Books, Newsstand, Docs, and Collections.
  • you can add items to a collection (or create a new collection) from the first four of those categories by long tapping to bring up a menu (yes you can add individual newsstand issues to a collection)
  • Collections view shows thumbnails for each collection which show tinier thumbnails of up to six of the items they contain, and a count of items therein. You can sort these by Recent or Collection Name.
  • Opening a collection displays thumbnails of the items therein. There's no list view. On-device items have a checkmark icon overlaid. You can Add items from anything in your library (including Docs or Newsstand issues) without regard to whether they are on the device (in fact you cannot tell whether they are or not). There's a Filter where you can type in a keyword (part of the title or author name) and the list shrinks to match what you've typed. You can toggle selection status by tapping, it keeps track of how many are selected, tap Done when finished.
  • long tapping on an item lets you Remove from Device or Download (depending on whether it is on the device or not), Add [another] Collection, or Remove from [the current] Collection.
  • download is automatic if you tap on something that is not on the device.
  • items are added to the end of the list, but you can manually change that to whatever you want by tapping an 'edit' icon and dragging them to where you want them.
  • when you are reading the book, tapping Library/Home returns you to Collections view, showing the list of Collections in the sort order you've specified.

Critique:
  • the lack of List view to show full Title/Author can make it difficult to determine what a given item is.
  • one might well want the option to sort a collection by Recent or Name (though being able to establish a Custom order is useful)

Next up: the new Fires
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:58 AM   #2
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Cloud Collections: Compared, Contrasted, and Critiqued Part 2

Kindle Fire (HD2, HDX)
The new Fires got Cloud Collections a few hours after the Paperwhite 2 update. The implementation is similar to that on Kindle for iOS, but with some significant differences:
  • of the content ‘types’, only Apps, Books, Audiobooks and Docs can be put into Collections. Books/Docs/Audiobooks share the same set of Collections.
  • you can add items to collections by viewing the main list (either Cloud, which shows everything in your Library of that type, or On Device, which only shows on-device items) and long-tapping to bring up a menu [aside: I was surprised to see a ‘Delete from Cloud’ option for Apps] and selecting Add to Collection. You can also add/remove from Carousel. You can select an existing Collection or create a new one.
  • to view Collections select the menu icon (‘three bars’) and then Collections. These can be displayed in Grid or List view (the latter is useful if you want to use long Collection names)
  • open by tapping the collection thumbnail. As on iOS, there’s no List mode that would display title and author, you better hope the thumbnail is legible enough.
  • the order is ‘manual’ i.e. in the order you added them initially, but you can long-tap and drag them into another order (I believe that order will sync to other Fires or the iOS app)
  • you can Add (or remove) one or more items by tapping the Add+ icon. This presents a list of everything in your library of that ‘type’, without regard to whether it is on device or not. It is in Title order. You can only see Books when in Book view, and only Docs when in Docs view. There is no Filter option as on iOS.
  • long-tap lets you remove that single item (no multiple select). there is no option to Add to another collection or remove from device, as on iOS. When finished with reading a book opened from a Collection, Back to Books Library takes you back to Collections list, as on iOS. If you want to read another book, you have to know which collection it is in, open that one, and tap on it.
  • unlike the Paperwhite 2 (and traditional implementation of Collections) Collection view has only a list of Collections, and not also items that are not in collections.

Critique:
  • this is not as good as the iOS implementation, and improves on it in only one, relatively useless way: ability to show Collections in list or grid. okay, it is slightly easier to re-order the items as it is not a separate ‘mode’ as with iOS.
  • you have no Collections sort options (only By Name, no Recent)
  • as mentioned above, no Filter option makes adding items to an existing Collection a bit of a chore, as you need to navigate the full list of your Docs, Books, or Apps
  • you cannot add Books when you are in Docs view and vice versa. You have to add from one, go to the other view and add from the other.
  • it’s a pain to move an item from one Collection to another when in Collections view
  • it is impossible to remove an item from the device when in Collections view

Next up: Kindle for Android

Last edited by tomsem; 12-20-2013 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:04 AM   #3
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Cloud Collections: Compared, Contrasted, and Critiqued Part 3

Kindle for Android
The latest member of the Cloud Collections team and arguably the best so far:
  • you can add Books or Docs to Collections (no Newsstand items)
  • when viewing item lists long tap brings up options much like Paperwhite does, including Add to collection, Go to last page read/beginning/location, Shelfari book extras (wish they would add this to Fire), Remove/Download. You can create a new collection and change Collection membership as with iOS and Fire
  • Collections list is just a list of Collection thumbnails in Name order. No option for Recent order as on iOS.
  • opening the Collection, you can choose either List or Grid view. Moreover you can select sort order of Custom (manual sort), Recent, Title, Author A-Z or Author Z-A (I am not sure who would use Z-A but it is there). You can modify the Custom order manually just as on iOS, by tapping on the ‘edit’ icon and then dragging things into the order you want them in. I assume this syncs with iOS.
  • after opening a book from Collections view, the ‘<Kindle’ icon returns to a view of the Collection you opened it from.

Critique:
  • this is more or less a superset of Cloud Collection features
  • it is good that there is a List view inside each collection
  • it is good to have both Custom and automatic sorting for each collection
  • I like it that returning to Library from reading mode returns you to the view it was opened from. So if you were in On Device view you go back there (as usual) but when opening from a Collection view it takes you back to that view rather than to the Collections list, where you have lost context of which collection you were in and what book you were just reading.
  • I'd like to be able to sort the collections list by Recent as on iOS

Next up: the Kindle Paperwhite 2 with the Dreaded Update

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Old 12-19-2013, 02:10 AM   #4
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Cloud Collections: Compared, Contrasted, and Critiqued Part 4

Paperwhite 2 with the November Update:
(I have a PW1 so am extrapolating from that and incorporating reports here
  • Cloud and Device are disjoint lists, unlike iOS, the Fire and Android apps. So to add an item to a collection you have to go to one or the other list first.
  • long tap menu includes Add to Collection option which brings a selector to pick from available collections, or create a new one using a menu option
  • only Books, Docs, and (FWIW) Active Content can be put into collections (no periodicals)
  • collections appear in Recent/Title/Author sort as well as Collections view (unless you are just showing Periodicals). items not in Collections appear in Collections view.
  • when you open a Collection, you can sort by Recent/Author/Title, and you can choose Cover or List display.
  • long tap on a Collection Item or, when a collection is open via the menu, you can rename, delete, or add/remove items
  • when adding/removing items you can use sorting and Go To to find the things you want to add or remove (same as on normal home screen views)

Critique:
There is almost nothing that’s better about the PW2 implementation in terms of managing Cloud Collections.
  • BUG: you cannot do any collection editing offline without getting nagged about it. This doesn’t happen with the other implementations. It is unnecessary and unhelpful: if you never turn on wireless it should just do what you want it to do.
  • BUG: if you deregister and reregister, side loaded books that were in collections forget what collection they were in.
  • USABILITY ISSUE: it would be really nice to filter a collection view to show only what is on the device, to replicate the pre-cloud implementation. For collections with large memberships, it is difficult to navigate that list on eink devices (not as much of an issue on tablets). But note: you can adjust sort order and use Go To (tap on page status in lower right corner) to find it more quickly than page page page page. You are forgiven if you never discovered this feature.
  • USABILITY ISSUE: Collections appear in every Home screen view, whether they contain on device items or not. This creates clutter (but the historic implementation did too, which is one reason I never used them). This is not an issue for the tablet apps because items and collections are never shown in the same list.
  • if you have a Custom sort order as established with one of the other implementations you will not see it here.
I’m probably missing some issues here, but as I said, this is all second hand info for me until (as I'm hoping it will) it arrives as an update for PW1.

Next up: Summary
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:22 AM   #5
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Cloud Collections: Compared, Contrasted, and Critiqued Summary

I think the tablet implementations are more or less okay, at least I don't see many complaints (except for my own). These are the things that are more critical:
  • There should be a way to manage Kindles and apps so that any given one can ‘opt out’ of Cloud collections. Collections created on the opted-out device would only be seen on that device. Alternatively, provide a way to 'hide' (and unhide) a collection. This is the ‘shared account’ scenario, or the ‘I side load a lot’ one, the 'I don't like the change' one.
  • The Paperwhite implementation in particular needs improvement. Since users are used to seeing content partitioned into Cloud and Device, Collection lists should have ability to do that also (though I would vote for having All/Cloud/Device options).

I have to say, I mostly like the way it works on the tablet apps, and I'm using Collections for the first time as a result. I will probably be less happy when my PW1 gets them (assuming it's exactly the same as PW2 is now, which hopefully will not be the case), but I'm pretty enthralled with my new Fire HD2 so even if they mess up again with PW1 I will not be too put out.

Last edited by tomsem; 12-23-2013 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:57 AM   #6
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That is an excellent description of how Collections work for Apple and Amazon. You should add a post how Collections work for Calibre.

What you failed to note is that Collections may be just a minor fringe use for many readers of Amazon eBooks and not really that important to them.

I am really only interested in the TWO eBooks I am currently reading and almost never look at eBooks I've read in the past other than the Bible.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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What a mess!

I never use Collections; maybe if the implementation were better, I would. Personally I would rather manage collections on Amazon's Manage Your Kindle page and then have all the changes trickle down. But they don't show collections on there at all. I find that bizarre. I keep very few books on my Kindle so I really need the management capabilities on THEIR site (where my big library is), not my Kindle.

I only want to sort my books into "Read" and "Unread." Even better: I only want to put the books I've finished into a "read" collection and then show all the books that are not in a collection. That way I could only look at the books I haven't read. Is that too much to ask??

eP
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Im okay with iOS and Android implementations but I dread my Paperwhite 1 getting collections as hubby and I share an account and we don't want each other's collections or grey'd out books.

5.4.2 has put me off contemplating a Paperwhite 2 at all.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
That is an excellent description of how Collections work for Apple and Amazon. You should add a post how Collections work for Calibre.

What you failed to note is that Collections may be just a minor fringe use for many readers of Amazon eBooks and not really that important to them.

I am really only interested in the TWO eBooks I am currently reading and almost never look at eBooks I've read in the past other than the Bible.
Again, you're wrong. Now please jump in a lake. Thank you.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:51 PM   #10
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Ignore button - PLEASE

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
Again, you're wrong. Now please jump in a lake. Thank you.
I suggest you use the IGNORE button so you don't have to read my posts. I never use that button but do IGNORE what I don't like here.

Its very easy to use.

I happen to be a strong fan of Amazon and buy EVERYTHING from them. If that annoys you, so be it.

Finally, this happens to be the AMAZON KINDLE Forum. You must expect at least a few of us are just like ME.

Last edited by sirmaru; 12-19-2013 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
I suggest you use the IGNORE button so you don't have to read my posts. I never use that button but do IGNORE what I don't like here.

Its very easy to use.

I happen to be a strong fan of Amazon and buy EVERYTHING from them. If that annoys you, so be it.

Finally, this happens to be the AMAZON KINDLE Forum. You must expect at least a few of us are just like ME.
I'm a big fan of Amazon too. What does that have to do with anything?

This is the Amazon Kindle forum, not the forum for people who don't care what other people may be like. Please try to recognize that you are not necessarily like everyone else. In fact your track record is that you are very unlike everyone else. Therefore when you say things like how collections are a fringe use and not that important to most people, you are wrong and insulting the opinions of the majority of Mobileread members (at least according to your track record regarding the people who responded contrary to your views on the other threads) as well as everyone who believes in the idea that people can have different requirements.

In other words, when you claim Cloud Collections are a fringe use (on the basis that YOU don't use them) you are claiming to speak for a lot of people who seem to be quite upset that you claim to speak for them.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:55 PM   #12
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Well I can't manage without Collections, and given a choice I'd rather NOT have the current Paperwhite 5.4.2 update.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:39 PM   #13
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I USE Collections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
In other words, when you claim Cloud Collections are a fringe use (on the basis that YOU don't use them) you are claiming to speak for a lot of people who seem to be quite upset that you claim to speak for them.
I happen to USE Collections and they work perfect for me with the latest updates for the PW 2013 and the HDX 2013. My wife uses the PW 2012 and the HD 2012.

I use 9 Collections and all my eBooks and my wife's eBooks fit just fine. I have one Collection for the 2 eBooks I read and another for the 1 eBook she reads. We have 7 other Collections for the types of eBooks which neither us ever accesses. They are used for READ eBooks.

I only buy a new eBook if one of us wants to read it.

Remember, each of us here speaks only for OURSELVES. Criticism of others does not enhance the spread of knowledge here.

You may have problems with the Amazon firmware but don't project those problems to others. For me Amazon hardware, firmware and software fits ME to a "T." Of course, I work AROUND bugs instead of venting about them here.

If you have a SPECIFIC problem using a Kindle, post it without anger. Someone here may just have a solution for you.

Last edited by sirmaru; 12-19-2013 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:58 PM   #14
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I don't use Collections on the Fire HD But do use collections on my K3. So I really don't care about this Long Uninformative Post
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:32 PM   #15
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I really like Kindle Fire collections and you can on the KF or K4A use the carousel to add to collections. That's how I do it. As soon as the book or doc shows up on the carousel I add it to a collection before removing from there. So now my Carousel is used for Books on device without being in a collection. I also have a collection just for pdocs.
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