So, you’d be expecting something pretty wild in the ‘experimental’ section of your 2010, third generation Kindle, eh? Perhaps a demo of the kind of much-heralded multi-media content that will transform e-books (though, in black and white, it might not seem all that flash). Or a K-dar where you can match up reading matter with other Kindlers in the area, and find true love/friendship/fellow Hobbits.
Sorry to disappoint, but what you get is a not-bad text to speech program that will read to you for as long as you like, an MP3 player I haven’t tried yet, plus possibly the world’s most frustrating web browser.
Ugh. I know that it’s ‘only experimental.’ That we’re too used to touchscreens and that therefore it was always going to be frustrating. But presumably Amazon also wants to limit the amount of time/data used by Kindlers with the free 3G to check their emails etc. by making browsing as irritating as possible.
They’ve definitely achieved that. For a start, the internet looks wrong rendered as monochrome ‘printed’ text. Well, that’s to be expected, but it’s still odd to see. Interesting, but odd. The real problem is navigation, as you need to use the ‘five way’ button to select the part of the page you want to interact with, i.e. to enter a password, click on a link etc. As an internet addict, I’ve surfed on many unsuitable phones and devices, but this is easily the most irritating.
But I am a dogged sort, and I do think it could come in handy when abroad and not in the mood to clock up roaming charges or go to an internet cafe if I just want to check my email.
Kate's Experimental Wishlist
They should have included:
- An iTunes ‘genius’ style function which analyses what you’ve read so far – language, theme, style – and makes recommendations depending on mood.
- A Loathe-o-meter which connects you wirelessly to other readers who only got a page or two into a recent bestseller before hurling down the Kindle with dangerous levels of force.
- A Truss One Click App enabling you to send corrections to authors/publishers when you spot errors of punctuation or grammar.
Amazon, honestly, you should have me on your R&D team.
Samples downloaded (total): still 26. Too busy snarling at browser to download more.
Money spent: £0