Too Bad Other Companies Can’t Make Kindles Too


Kindle-vs-Onyx-Boox-Note

One of the worst things about Amazon completely dominating the ebook market is the fact it locks people into using Kindle apps and Kindle ebook readers.

This isn’t really even Amazon’s fault; if publishers didn’t insist on locking down their ebooks with pointless DRM (pointless because it can easily be removed for free by anybody, which completely defeats the purpose) then ebooks wouldn’t be locked into any one company’s ecosystem to begin with.

But since most people don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading an ebook to a computer, then removing the DRM, then loading it onto an ereader to read, that mostly limits Kindle ebooks to Amazon’s devices and apps.

This wouldn’t be a big issue except for the fact that there are lots of dedicated ebook readers out there that are much nicer than Amazon’s Kindles.

I complain about this all the time but it’s totally unacceptable that the entry-level Kindle still has an outdated Pearl screen that was replaced by better Carta screens 5 years ago but Amazon still refuses to upgrade even when every single other ebook reader on the market now uses Carta screens.

Then there’s the Kindle Paperwhite that was first released in 2012. They upgraded the screen a couple of times but the design has remained exactly the same for over 6 years now.

If you want an ebook reader with page buttons you have to spend $250 for the Kindle Oasis, and another $20 to remove the obnoxious advertisements.

That’s totally ridiculous when you can get a device like the InkBook Lumos for $99 with page buttons, a memory card slot, and an adjustable frontlight.

I just got the InkBook Lumos to review and it’s amazing how much nicer the hardware is than the entry-level Kindle.

However, the Kindle’s software is light-years ahead of InkBook’s underwhelming ebook software.

Wouldn’t it be great if other companies could make ebook readers that run Kindle software?

For the past few months I’ve been using the Onyx Boox Note almost exclusively to read Kindle books using the Kindle Android app. I like reading on the large 10.3-inch screen a lot better than reading on the Kindle Paperwhite or even the Oasis, and since Amazon refuses to release a large-screen Kindle that’s about the only option.

However, the Kindle Android app isn’t on the same level as Kindle ereader software. You can’t customize the fonts and there aren’t any boldness options, among other things. Plus it’s not optimized for E Ink screens so it’s rather slow and wonky at times.

At this point I can’t help but wish it was possible to run Kindle software on other ereaders. Then we could have the best of both worlds.

23 Responses to “Too Bad Other Companies Can’t Make Kindles Too”

  1. Any idea what the longevity of other ereaders are, compared to Kindle? I know people that use their kindles for years and years.

    • I think it mostly depends on the battery. Kindles do seem to last a long time if used regularly, Sony readers too. My Nook Touch’s battery died completely after about 5 years. I have a couple of older Kobo’s with failing batteries because they were left discharged for too long but they still work.

    • I’ve had my Kobo for 5 years now. I have the kindle app on it and google play books. I like the google app because it has the orange backlight for night reading. I read at night about 90% of the time. The kobo has the odd glitch but i wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • Had my Sony PRS-T1 since 2011 and still going strong.

      Battery life is probably half what it used to be around 3 weeks (compared to 6 weeks when new).

      I figure I will have to do a battery replacement on it — in another 1-2 years. I’ve seen the procedure for it and doesn’t look that hard –and then hopefully get another 7-8 years. 🙂 — and then I’ll probably have problems getting a battery for it.

  2. The extra twenty for ad removal is annoying…I am left doubting that Amazon would lose money on an Oasis without an ad subsidy. I remain somewhat optimistic that Amazon will finally go large this year-even knowing that such a unit may not be a top seller. If Amazon’s e-reader software wasn’t so much better than the Kindle app I would pull the trigger on one of the recent large e-readers. Amazon did finally respond to requests for bold control and imported font -a big improvement for me.

  3. Carol Carol s Fitzsimmons Reply September 8, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    I use the Nook reader on my iPad. My complaint is that some authors books are released to several ereaders as series, then after you’re hooked on the series, you can only find more of the series on Amazon’s Kindle. This isn’t fair to the readers. One author told me it’s the publisher is looked into Kindle.

  4. Why are the ads so annoying? I’ve had some form of Kindle since they were released in 2007. Only my first one was as free. The ads are only on the sleep screen. They are not on pages with reading content, and so they don’t interfere with reading at all. I have a Paperwhite now and love it. But then again love loved all of them. Original Kindle, Kindle 2, Kindle Touch and now the Paperwhite.

    • They don’t bother me either. I credit ads for finding several authors for me. I have
      Kindle Unlimited so a lot of the books advertised we’re free to me. I did take the ads off my Fire though. They we’re for products and resulted in me wasting time on Amazon instead of whatever I turned on the device for.

  5. I’ve gone through four-hundred E-books over the last few years from Kobo to Amazon to the local library and never owned a Kindle. I refuse to buy one, ever. I have the Kindle for PC for reading at home. I download books to the computer and if I’m on the road I read them through Calibre on my tablet. The formatting on Amazon published Kindle books runs from OK to horrible. I’ve encountered a variety of basic errors in many books. In fact I can create my own e-pub books with tools on my pc that are better made than your average Amazon published e-book. It is embarrassing to have to reformat some of the garbage they produce. The tablet coupled with calibre provides a better reading platform than I’ve ever seen on a dedicated e-reader. I’ll pass on the Kindles.

  6. I got my Kindle for Christmas in 2010 — known then as the Kindle 3, later as the Kindle Keyboard. As the name implies, it has actual key buttons at the bottom, useful for searching. It has a decent-size screen … AND page-turn buttons. Oh, and they hadn’t hit on the idea of ads yet. IMHO, it’s the best model they ever made, even if it is black and white. Going on 8 years later, it still works beautifully. Not sure why there’s nothing similar and affordable today, except that the world’s moving away from buttons and people like color.

  7. I love kindle this my 2nd one the 1st basic ,oder as read outside in sun so ono glare but I pad Samsung can darken screen which I love but love selection on amazon for books

  8. I LUV MY PAPERWHITE…..NO COMPLAINTS, but maybe that’s because I’m 83 and easily pleased. The convenience of downloading a library book at will and that’s at no cost to me is HUGE!

  9. I had the Kindle Paperwhite but it broke down after two years. Now I have the Kindle Fire 7 which I’ve owned for six years and while I do love it, there’s so much room for improvement. That being said I have been looking for a new ebook reader but like the author mentions, there aren’t that many out there to choose from. I think Kindle Oasis is pricey and I’ve yet to come across someone actually owning one. Tablets are expensive and except for reading books on it, I wouldn’t use it for anything else. Hopefully soon new ereaders will enter the market. Until then, Kindle all the way.

  10. As I’ve never owned any sort of dedicated Kindle device, I’m not sure what “among other things” the Android app is lacking. The Android app provides 8 fonts, including one bold; 4 fg/bg color schemes; and 12 text sizes. (YMMV, my device is a Nexus 6P)

  11. In the end, the publishers’ attempts to use DRM to maintain control over the ecosystem will result in them giving Amazon the power to control all publishers. I primarily use my eReader to read library books, but ended up switching to a Kindle because they have better Overdrive support than anyone else.

    The publishers would have to give up Adobe DRM to change this, and they aren’t going to do that. Unless a eInk tablet shows up with Google Play support (I definitely don’t see Apple coming out with one) I don’t think I’ll migrate away from the Kindle at this point.

    My old eReaders are in a drawer now.

  12. I have a Kobo Aura One, and while I love it more than any other eReader on the market, I am often jealous of the Kindle ecosystem.
    Thankfully, Kobo has Overdrive built in for some added convenience.
    I also definitely have to agree with the author on how puzzling it is That Kindle can’t make a decent device without charging a fortune for it, like the Oasis.

  13. Hi, from the rest of the planet! 🙂

    No library ebook support on the Kindle for the billions of folks outside the USA… so it’s Kobo all the way for us. Unless we futz around with the DRM (and who can be bothered with that).

    Looks like the USA-ians might be getting a taste of how the other 3/4ish of the globe does eBooks with the Walmart/Kobo partnership.
    I hope Raukten-Overdrive-Kobo make another Kobo Mini that I can fit in my jeans pocket, upgraded with a tiny bezel, light, & audiobook capabilities (throw in a basic Android Go experience & you’d have a Kindle-killer)

  14. Indeed. The current market and Amazon’s position in it is bad for competition and innovation. The US of 2018 is not the same country that broke up Ma Bell, but Amazon should be forced to license away their DRM at a reasonable price, so other vendors can compete (very few users are tech-savvy enough to strip DRMs and convert formats using Calibre or other tools and are currently locked in). I’m not holding my breath, though.

  15. I have a kindle Fire I got for my birthday in 2012 from my daughter. They didn’t have the mini-ipad I wanted at the time and we got this Fire 7. Aside from the Kindle ereader app I could buy from Amazon store the Aldiko ereader which is a very nice one although in order to highlight and bookmark I had to purchase it for a few dollars. Everything still works beautifully, I have tons of books on it as well as other ereader apps that I had to download from Mobile Market 1 which I could download via Silk. From there I got Google Play app and since then purchased 3 more kindle fires. Recently I found a way to turn one of my older Fires into a “mini-ipad” which is very cute and stopped the ads. I actually liked the ads. I love the kindle fire and don’t understand why I would need any other tablet. I have a Microsoft Surface which turns into a “tablet” but the reading apps for Windows 10 are limited. Good for PDFs.

  16. Besides the Kindles and Nooks (and their apps), do any other e-readers sync between other devices? So if I bought a nice e-reader that use epub or whatever format, it will sync with my phone or tablet? That’s what I like best about my Kindle(s). I can continue reading on another device or another Kindle.

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