Apple just earned the patent for the underlying aspects of the page scroll.
This is common to the iBooks experience. However, the attached screenshot is from the Kindle iOS app. The devil is in the details I guess.
It is a cool effect and there’s a story about Jobs becoming absolutely fascinated by it when someone presented the concept.
In one other incident, Steve Jobs was stopped by a developer that came up with the MacOSX Tray effects with magnification etc. He was hired on the spot, if memory serves, to work on MacOSX and “may” be the same person for the iBooks page scroll.
Experiences worth patenting? In Apple’s eyes…yes.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I can get quite passionate about things I believe or don’t believe in. Sorry, if I fight for my right to paaaaart—y! :-)
Oops, sorry for the interlude. :-) [Beastie Boys 4ever!]
In the cross-hairs today? Amazon!
This article focuses on two key issues experienced this week.
In earlier threads, I made my case for an Amazon solution for Playbook users. As a happy iPad user, I wanted a smaller form-factor for on-the-go Kindle ebook reading. So I bought a Playbook. Nope, not an iPad mini. While the iPad (Gen 1) has no particular Kindle app issues, I just wanted portability. Not only did the Playbook fit the bill, I have been very impressed by the device for its U/X and Playbook 2.1 operating system.
But there is a problem. No native Kindle app exists for Playbook. Yes, I “could” sideload Android and yes, I could use Amazon’s browser-based Cloud-reader solution as suggested by Bezos’ executive offices at Amazon Fine. I tried the Cloud Reader on the Playbook but found the experience far worse than when using the iPad. For starters, Cloud Reader responsiveness was sluggish and proper screen rendering was off the mark most of the time. When I downloaded and pinned Kindle ebooks, repeat Amazon Cloud Reader use on the Playbook led me to discover that the downloaded content was missing. Translation: Please re-download.
So, I said enough was enough. I decided download my Kindle ebooks, de-DRM the content and do a few additional things: convert them to ePub format so that I can read them on my iPad (iBooks) and the very useful “Book Reader” Playbook app (for .99c, it’s worth it!). Done!
A second issue inspired me by a report from a colleague in the mobile industry. He posted the following on Facebook (last name withheld):
The Guardian UK story set off a social media storm igniting bloggers and developers to write about the plight of one customer’s experience with Amazon UK. (Full story here) Essentially, a Kindle account was deleted for no apparent reason. The customer, Linn Nygaard, was left without any viable explanation and was locked out of an entire “investment” in Kindle books with the snap of a finger by Amazon. Scary. The good news is that her books and account have since been restored but wow, that incident was an eye-opener!
While convenience always closes the deal, this will turn into a battleground issue for consumers. Let’s be real. How many of you have read the Terms of Service? Imagine investing thousands of dollars in digital content only to find DRM and a “kill switch” turning off your lights off permanently without any solutions.
Linn’s friend, Martin Bekkelund, and Kottke got involved with her plight by posting their own blog posts on the matter:
So both issues really got me thinking. I really need to get my content under my control! I decided that it wasn’t worth losing my investments thanks to Kindle DRM. Plus, once DeDRM’ed, a simple cloud-store for future use in ePub format would suit me just fine — so I backed everything up on Dropbox and Box.
However, deciding to act took a lot more effort than I had initially realized. For starters, if I still had my Kindle Keyboard (screen died after a week out of warranty), I could have extracted all the Kindle ebooks from the /books folder with a device connected to my Mac via USB. The files appear in .azw format.
So I kept thinking. Why not get Kindle Reader for Mac app. So I decided to download and install the Kindle Reader app for MacOSX to download all my Kindle ebooks to the Mac. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Wouldn’t you believe it? Apple decided to do some tricky stuff with Lion and actually hide the damn folders (naming Kindle folders) so that they were virtually undetectable by Spotlight Search or any other search method. Crazy.
I literally went bonkers searching for solutions with Google and found endless people asking the same questions on Apple and Kindle forums over the same issue.
Where the heck is My Kindle Content Library on a Mac?!
To find out where your Kindle content is stored on a Mac, you need to enter the Preferences setting on the Kindle Reader for Mac app to find the path directory.
Mine showed up like this:
Once you find your directory path, you need to manually enter this information into the >Go to Folder via the Mac Finder on the System Tray. How do you do this? By right-clicking or right-nudging on the Apple’s Magic Mouse to get the contextual menu.
You should see this:
Then simply select the >Go to Folder, enter the directory path for your Kindle Content. Be careful though….as the spaces count!
Once I entered this information, the “hidden” folder magically appeared. Thank goodness! It only took 30 minutes to figure this out!
I instantly created a Mac Desktop alias to avoid re-entering this complex directory path again! Once inside, I immediately sorted my Kindle ebooks by .azw format and backed the entire content portfolio into a nice burrito! Then, I simply uploaded the entire collection to my Dropbox and Box Cloud-based accounts for easy retrieval in the future.
My next steps will be to follow the recommendations from Zachary West (referenced in Kottke’s blog post) - thank you Zachary!
I hope this article is helpful and leads you to do the same. It’s worth the effort to protect your content.
P.S.: Please have a safe and happy weekend if you’re going out for Halloween fun. There’s no reason to drink and drive. Take a cab!
- DRM be damned: how to protect your Amazon e-books from being deleted (arstechnica.com)
- How Do I Get Rid of the DRM on My Ebooks and Video? (lifehacker.com)
- Amazon’s eBook Policing Problems Could Get Worse: Here’s How To Protect Yourself (techcrunch.com)
- Amazon Allegedly Erases Customer’s Kindle, Tells Her To Shop Somewhere Else (huffingtonpost.com)
- Kindle user claims Amazon deleted whole library without explanation (boingboing.net)
Do we see a pattern? Name the company. :-)
After my Kindle Keyboard screen #fail disappointment, I’ve decided to delegate future purchasing power to an iPad mini or Playbook tablet because I don’t want to buy Amazon device readers that simply breakdown for no apparent reason a short period out of warranty. I’m not in the game of cycling my device purchases that often.
So next time you think “price”, you better latch on “quality” to that device purchase decision and truly seek out additional legitimate warranty options. Right now, AppleCare is the best in the business. Hands down. Don’t even consider one of those crazy Best Buy warranties. You’ll be sadly disappointed by the fine print or the “wait game” for service repairs. I’ve heard some horror stories.
Onto to business!
Have you experienced this problem?
- You buy a Kindle ebook from the Amazon Kindle Store - could be online (Amazon.com), through a Kindle device, or via your Amazon Cloud Reader App (especially for iPad/iOS users since the Cloud Reader method skirts Apple’s 30% revenue share take on content sold through Apple’s App ecosystem).
- If purchased on an actual Kindle device or a Kindle Cloud Reader app (iPad, iPhone, Android smartphone), the Kindle ebook content is downloaded directly to said device.
- After this sequence, if you own other devices (physical Kindle, Android tablet, iOS iPad or iPhone) and wish to sync and download that purchased Kindle ebook content to these other devices, you simply tap the download icon (downward pointing arrow on iPad and iPhone Kindle apps). Essentially, after the initial purchase, the Kindle content sits in the Amazon cloud, available for download or re-download to ANY device — via physical, native or cloud reader app.
Under #3, the download/re-downloaded process should work flawlessly. Of late though, this has not worked well at all.
Basically, I see my Kindle ebook content sitting into the cloud after a sync/refresh at the device-level. To validate the purchase (already proven with Amazon receipts mailed to your email address), I’ve also double-checked to see my purchased Kindle ebook content at Amazon.com in the Kindle account settings panel.
Between my iPad and iPhone using the Kindle native apps, the purchased Kindle ebooks keep re-downloading but never get stored locally to the device. As such, the U/X displays a “downward pointing arrow” (indicating cloud download) to “New” (starburst) when there has been a successful download to the local device. A quick check for this downloaded content in the device tab for content library validates this.
But when I select and download my next purchased Kindle ebook from Amazon’s cloud platform, this content appears as “New” but my previously downloaded content goes back to cloud status displaying the “downward-facing arrow”.
Pretty messy, huh?
The problem is a recurring one between my iPhone and iPad Kindle native apps and also affects personal docs that I’ve sent to Amazon’s cloud with a unique email address. I’ve already checked local device storage as a possible issue but I am in a “bountiful” state for iPhone and iPad. Tons of free space available.
I can only speculate that this is a technical matter that is not being addressed because the incident isn’t massive in scale but random with a small base of users affected. Not sure.
Even further, it’s entirely unclear if there ever was fine print associated with this cloud service roll-out. All I do know is that recent native app upgrades from Amazon via App Store simply displayed the new cloud feature without any service limitations that I was aware of that the time. I even checked my Amazon Cloud Drive settings at Amazon.com and I am clear and free with a full 5GB of free storage available to me.
Either way, I do believe that actual Kindle/Amazon content purchased through Amazon doesn’t count towards Cloud Drive storage in the same way Apple’s iCloud and iTunes Match services work.
- Buy from Apple — free Cloud storage.
- Put other content in the Cloud (non-Apple), pay for Cloud storage
That said, this has been a massive thorn in my backside for the better part of two weeks. While I could see Amazon imposing some limits for personal documents using Amazon’s cloud infrastructure on a “free” basis, this should not the case for purchased Kindle content and I’m certain Amazon isn’t limiting storage in this manner.
In a nutshell, Amazon’s cloud sync platform isn’t working the way I’ve expected to work of late.
Jeff, please help me.
P.S.: I’ve emailed Jeff Bezos to three known email addresses so we’ll see if someone from Bezos executive offices will give me a call.
- Amazon makes space for new Kindle (gadgetynews.com)
- 8 Things We Think Apple’s iPad Mini Will Need To Be Truly Amazing (AAPL) (businessinsider.com)
- clearing out Kindles in prelude to new devices (geekwire.com)
- Amazon Confirms Cloud Player, Its Would-Be iTunes Killer, Now Works On Sonos, More Devices Coming Later This Year (techcrunch.com)
- Apple and Amazon security flaws (sciencetext.com)
Well, I never did say quality was the same as my iPad (generation 1).
I was reading on my device over the weekend and this sordid mess appeared. Several hard reboots and no luck. I looked up Amazon’s warranty service team and called. When they asked for my Amazon ID, they quickly informed me that I was outside my 1-year warranty service coverage but was entitled to a reduced rate on refurbished Amazon Kindle units. While I appreciate the offer, this isn’t that great. Not bad but not great.
What should I do?
- Buy a refurbished unit?
- Access all my content from Mac, PC, iPad or iPhone?
- Wait for the new Amazon Kindle units?
- Wait for the ‘rumoured’ iPad mini?
I am surprised at how quickly the Amazon unit died outside of warranty. Damn time-clocks. :-) I remember paying a large sum for this unit at time of release and it simply didn’t last. I know Amazon needs to recycle things that might have been used but I am only saving $10 on the lowest-priced unit and about $20 for the same unit for refurbished hardware. ‘Refurb’ doesn’t sit right for such a nominal saving.
I experienced an accidental water damage situation with my iPad in a backpack with a water bottle that “was” sealed (yes, I know…what was I thinking). I went back to Apple expecting to pay for a replacement unit ($400) but they stunned me by giving me a totally new unit at the Eaton Centre Apple Store. The Apple rep did say they couldn’t do this ever again but this was a one-time offer and fantastic surprise for being a loyal Apple customer.
While Apple and competition can’t be measured against this one-time but great Apple act, Apple does offers a great warranty program called AppleCare. If Amazon had something like this, I’d feel a bit better.
As a result of this unfortunate incident, it simply means I am going to wait things out for a 7” iPad Mini. Yup. And I’ll get a Playbook 10” as well.
Give it to us Tim, Eddy, Scott, Phil and Jony. You have “hungry” buyers.
So what should I do with my Kindle Keyboard? Will it Blend?
- Apple puts first refurbished third-gen iPads on sale (macnn.com)
- Apple could sell 40 million iPad Minis in first year: RBC (business.financialpost.com)
- Steve Jobs secretly “very receptive” to iPad mini (slashgear.com)
- iPhone 5 and iPad Mini to be unveiled September 12: rumor (zdnet.com)
- The iPad Mini Is Inevitable. This Chart Explains Why (mashable.com)
Yup, size does matter. My friend Roger and I talked about this a while ago and have video to show for. I haven’t gotten around to editing the video content on iMovie but hopefully soon.
It seems that the Apple-Samsung trial is simply highlighting something which we already knew about Apple. What they may share publicly may not always end up being the case. Apple is known to counter earlier claims and then release something that contradicts earlier statements.
“We want it to make toast.”
“We’re toying with refrigeration, too.”
I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen”
“To paraphrase Bill Clinton, ‘It’s the music, stupid, it’s the music!’ Music’s been around for a long time, will continue to be, it’s huge.”
In 2005, two years after the above comments were made, Apple released the 5th Generation iPod with a 2.7 inch screen for video. In 2007, Apple released a 3rd Generation iPod nano with a 2.0 inch screen for video.
Steve Jobs on 7” tablets in 2010:
If you take an iPad and hold it upright in portrait view and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway down the screen, the screens on the seven-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the iPad display. This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion.
These are among the reasons we think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphan product. Sounds like lots of fun ahead. (Source: CNET)
When Steve/Apple made these comments, I didn’t believe Cupertino. I purchased an iPad Gen-1 based on Steve Jobs’ living room chair demontration and after some use, I found the form factor to be just right to displace content consumption (video, digital books, music) away from a laptop. Boy, did it ever. Almost overnight, I was browsing, reading, viewing and listening to all my content off the iPad vs. my Macbook.
However, something did not happen. I did not take my iPad with meeverywhere. Relegated to the living room, Starbucks, backyards, the hammock, my bed, a couch, and the front porch, I was iPad-friendly in these instances but I simply did not find 9.7 inches a friendly force while commuting to and from locations. On transit, I was starting to lust for a smaller form factor that could be carried in cargo pants and which made it easy to hold up and read in crammed environments. In iPad terms, that was a whale of a form factor that simply didn’t work. Also, the iPad was still too much of a novelty with a high price point. I didn’t feel like walking around with such a costly device while reading signs on transit services warning me to keep an eye out for my smartphone and other “valuable” devices.
So I got a Kindle DX. Smaller, far more portable, and useful for “reading” while on the go, this completely filled my need to reader portability. As a result, I find myself using the Kindle far more often for reading (the device is WiFi only and browsing is horrendous on this unit so scratch that option).
Now there are rumours of Research in Motion and Amazon coming out with their own “iPad-sized” Kindle Fire and Playbook models while rumours swirl about Apple finally coming out with an iPad mini in the 7” form-factor. It seems this may be slightly true if the following internal Apple email string validates a future truth.
There’s no doubt, Apple got it wrong on size. Every form factor fits a specific need. For me, a smaller iPad (like the current Playbook) is the ultimate form-factor for reading on the go and its release could kill original (non-Android) Kindle devices that deliver single-purpose functionality in a 7” form factor.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
However, in the eyes of RIM, Samsung, Apple and Amazon, it looks seems as if sizes does matter so we can expect 7” and 9-10”competing tablets to keep us happy in 2012 and beyond.
I am constantly amazed by modern ‘media’ and the length they’ll go through to attract reader attention. Is it under-handed or necessary in a fast-paced, information-rich world of communication?
The art of copywriting is essential in today’s world.
Here’s my deconstruction of a modern click thanks to the HuffPost. While I can’t confirm the exact thought process, I do think I subliminally read the subject header as “New Nook a Tablet Killer”. There’s enough research out there to suggest we scan through volumes of information far more often than we should and unfortunately, it is a sad by-product of modern life. But, if you consider the volume of information I do pile through on any given day, whatever the exact key triggers were, they succeeded in making me read the article: GOOD for HuffPost and GOOD for Nook.
Pay close attention to the headline as you go through the steps.
Inbox Reading Pane Border
Inbox Email Body
Actual HuffPost Technology Article
Alexander S. Bosika
Source: The Huffington Post