November 23, 2011

Fear and Loathing with the New Kindle Format 8

Last month, Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire will support a new Kindle Format 8 with HTML5/CSS3 features. If you are confused by those nerd terms, it basically means that the new Kindle Fires will be able to better display interactive graphics, different fonts, better design, and hopefully some other fun features for eBooks. However, it has been a month and there has still been no further news on the new formats besides the original press release. If there are no guidelines for developers and publishers on how to build these new eBooks with Amazon's proprietary format, then how the hell are readers supposed to access the potential of the Kindle Fire that they shelled out 200 bucks for. The frustration can be seen over at this Kindle forum where authors and publishers alike are clamoring for answers about how to design eBooks for their readers in the Kindle Format 8.

You can signup your email here if you want to receive notification of when the new developer guidelines are out, but so far all I've heard is crickets.

The actual Kindle Fire tablet received a pretty lukewarm review from the folks at Wired, most notably that it had a very clunky web browser:
The Fire’s processor, a 1GHz dual-core chip, appears all but insufficient for fluid, silky-smooth web browsing, an area where I found performance to be preternaturally slow.
Technically speaking, eBooks are basically big long websites built with the same type of code. Therefore, it does not bode well that the Kindle Fire can't render simple websites, let alone a complex eBook.

Hopefully, Amazon is not suffering from oligopoly syndrome, where a small number of large companies have massive market share thereby squashing the economic forces that compel companies to innovate and devote themselves to customer satisfaction. If you want an example of oligopolies run amok, just look to my home state of Michigan. Most of the auto assembly plants were shut down years ago followed by the taxpayers having to bail out two of the Big Three. I hope that Amazon can stay on their toes in the fast-changing world of ePublishing, because a lot has changed just in the last six months and readers are clamoring for better eBooks.


Unknown said...

This is all so confusing, but I assume it'll shuffle out somehow. I wouldn't think that it'd be that hard...

Paul Salvette said...

Just got to keep changing as the technology changes, or we'll all be dead in the water.

dikvipreal said...

Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...
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