My Kindle 2.0 Wishlist

If you’e been paying attention to the ebook world lately, you’ve no doubt heard that Amazon is expected to announce the second generation of their Kindle reader on February 9th.  Rather than add to the already rampant speculation, or further insult the UI (I haven’t seen a Kindle, so I’m not really qualified to judge the UI anyway), I thought I’d talk about the things that I’d like to see in the new device.

SD card support – It’s a great feature that they back up all your files in case you lose or delete them, but every other device on the planet supports some kind of removable media.  I already have a half dozen SD cards lying around, so that’s my removable media of choice.

No charge for stuff that’s already free – Ten cents to put a PDF on your Kindle?  99 cents a month to read an RSS feed, and only for approved blogs?  It’s like they built a big fence around your house, and then told you they had to charge you a dollar every time you want to go to the grocery store so they could pay for the fence.

WiFi – Even Amazon admits that their Whispernet connection only works in 48 states, and nothing international.  Montana, Alaska, and the entire rest of the world is left out.  The Whispernet is a fantastic idea, but with WiFi available in more and more places, it would be nice to be able to take advantage of it.

Improved user interface – As I said, I’ve never used it.  But with so many complaints, it must need improving.

A reasonable pricing structure for books – $9.99 is highway robbery for a book that you can’t resell, can’t loan to a friend, can’t do anything with but read.  Amazon is one of the few, if not the only, company that has the opportunity to completely change the way the market works.  It would be wonderful if they did it the right way.  A subscription service like Netflix would probably work.

Aside from the user interface, I don’t expect to actually see any of these things.  And that’s why I don’t expect to buy one.

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