Continuing Kindle’s Browser Development

I finally got a Kindle. For years I’ve been considering buying one but never did. Alongside reading The Strain trilogy and Nicely Said: Writing For The Web With Style and Purpose, I was intrigued to see an e-ink rendering of my website.

Before accessing the browser, you’re presented with a landing page labelled ‘experimental’.

Screenshot of the browser welcome message.
We are working on an experimental Web Browser. Do you find it useful? Should we continue working on it?
Kindle Development Team

Yes, you should continue working on it

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about offline access. I’ve been reading about AppCache as a means to improve the loading times of this website.

In episode 78 of Web Ahead, Jen Simons describes how she used AppCache in a prototype for publishers. In user testing, people requested the ability to save content for later. With the browser, users could access content, without any apps or third party tools, and regardless of connection.

Sounds like the use case of an e-reader to me.

Standardisation

With a lack of standardisation in the e-book world (discussed in episode 52), and HTML being the perfect format/solution, I wonder if there’s a drive from the business to remove the browser?

Without a browser, the Kindle would be solely reliant upon Amazon’s .AZW e-book format (a fork of the open source .MOBIpocket file type).

The user goals would argue the retention of the browser, through this, and technologies like AppCache, users will be able to read content in any format, at any time.

I applaud the Kindle team for allowing their customers the chance to input.