Friday, November 20, 2009

Amazon plans Kindle organizer, all-countries web-browsing

Leigh Anne Williams of Publishers Weekly reports that Amazon has said that it intends to enable its experimental browser in every country.

  This was from an article detailing how Canadian publishing houses like Harper Collins and Random House of Canada are working to make titles available on the Kindle in Canada.
  In a paragraph that followed several quotes from Jay Marine, director of product management for Kindle, Williams wrote:
' One key difference for Canadian customers, however, is that they won’t be able to use their Kindles to browse the Web yet, although they will be able to access Wikipedia.  But Amazon says it does intend to enable its experimental browser in every country.  In the meanwhile, Canadians will be able to download more than 90 newspapers and magazines with single purchases or with a subscription. '
Marine also talks about wireless coverage in Canada, which is somewhat spotty and explains that if customers in some areas are unable to get a strong enough connection, they can use their computers to download a book and move the book to the Kindle.

The Kindle finally gets library organization or folders?
  For newcomers to the Kindle: here's a guide to the basic Kindle organization structure and functions.

A Facebook announcement by the Amazon Kindle account at 1:07 PM Thursday said:
' Kindle Customers, We have heard from many of you that you would like to have a better way to organize your growing Kindle libraries.  We are currently working on a solution that will allow you to organize your Kindle libraries.  We will be releasing this functionality as an over-the-air software update as soon as it is ready, in the first half of next year. - The Kindle Team '
This Facebook post was greeted with no small disbelief in the Amazon forums where customers had been pleading for this feature for about 2 years with no response from Amazon in that time, and some who wrote that they had called Kindle Customer Service to ask about this yesterday were told it wasn't true.  In response to this thread, Amazon Kindle Customer Service posted the same announcement as the one seen on Facebook and added:
' The Kindle team maintains a Facebook and Twitter feed for customers to follow us. Here they are:


Twitter: '
At the time the International Kindle was first announced (Oct. 6, 2009), Amazon made a stand-alone Kindle Customer Service Q&A Community forum which they point to only at the right-hand side of the regular Kindle customer forum.

  As of Thursday, they added the topic announcement 11/19 Q&A: Organizing Content on Kindle.  The topic or thread was added at 6:32 PM PST.  The announcement is the same.  It's official, folks! Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. About time! I'm used to doing without the feature now, but I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with. I'll be happy if I can just separate out fiction from non. Thanks for the heads-up, Andrys.

  2. Jan,
    Let's hope they mean the first part of the first half of the year. :-)

    In the meantime, have you tried the tags workaround?

    You put a note, probably near the front of the book and put something like 'xfiction' on a book (and anything else you want to find it by) or 'xnonfiction' and when you do a search on the Kindle, it'll list only the books where the 'xfactor' appears.

  3. Oh, yes. I tried the method when it was first posted in various places. I just find it cumbersome and awkward. But thanks for the suggestion.

  4. I haven't bought a kindle yet, but am seriously looking at it. Have you heard if there are any plans to add a back light to this device? I love to read in bed at night after the hubby is already asleep, and a booklight is just cumbersome.

    Pam in Virginia

  5. Anonymous,
    I doubt there are plans to add a back light.
    First it can't be done with e-ink technology, which makes an experience like reading text on paper, print-like rather than the screen content glowing into our pupils.

    Sony added side-lighting to their PRS-700 for night-time use, and there were tons of complaints about the uneven lighting and added glare. They discontinued that model (it also had a touch screen).

    If you read in bed at night now, then the same lamp or night-light you use for a physical book, would be fine. You don't have to clip a booklight on it.

    But if you do add a clip-on to any e-reader you decide on (no e-ink readers have backlights), I have a couple of pictures of what that looks like even when covering a larger screen.

    I ultimately got the Kindle-version of the Mighty Bright II, as it has an extra foam pad so that it works also with the Kindle rather than just with the case.

    Good luck on whatever you decide!

  6. Anonymous, I think you may typically be right but the night lights that M-Edge sells through both their sight and Amazon are non-cumbersome and provide a better alternative to backlighting and the effect that it has both on battery life and your eyesight.

  7. Christopher,
    Right! On all accounts.

    As for an attached light,
    I have both the M-Edge and the Mighty Bright II. I use the latter around the house and the M-Edge when out of the house as it's less bright which is good when others are around, but I like a bit more when awake and around the house.

  8. Help please. I am thinking of purchasing a Kindle for reading, accessing the internet , and checking and responding to e-mails. If there a stand alone kindle that does this... and is the web access free ? How does it work for those who have it ? mary please send me an e-mail if you know about this thanks

  9. mary,

    I hope you clicked that you'd like to be alerted on responses to your comment. Might do an email later.

    Reading and accessing the web as a reason to get a Kindle is not a good idea. The web access is too slow.

    It's free, yes, and you need a LOT of patience if it's your main reason to get an e-reader. I use it for web look-ups but not for surfing (which would be more like crawling).

    See - webbing on a Kindle is possible, useful, but in no way pleasureable, except to get text information on the spot.

    As for how it works, download one of the User Guides in *PDF format* at for their explanation of how to use the web browser.

    Wish I could be more encouraging, but the web access is just a nice, slow-to-move bonus to what is mainly an e-reader for books and periodicals.


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