An article by Ezra Klein in the Washington Post caught my attention because Klein has caught on to the elegance of the Kindle app, especially its synched uploading of highlights and notes, that I’ve written about. I have found few other people who are talking about what a game-changing capability this is, so Klein’s giving it such an important place in his discussion of the potential of eBooks stands out (boldface added):
I don’t think we have any clear concept of how good eBooks are going to become. I wasn’t at all impressed with the first generation of eBooks, or eBook readers. When asked to review the first-generation Kindle, I reviewed it poorly and sold my device as soon as I’d finished the article. But now? I have the Kindle application on my home computer, my work computer, my iPad, and my phone. Wherever I am, my books are there, too. My place is always saved. My highlights and notes are automatically uploaded to a central Amazon server that I can access from any internet connection. I get more out of my books now, can read them in more places, can search back through them with more ease, can integrate them into my job with less hassle.
Klein doesn’t mention the Amazon tablet that’s been widely predicted to be coming out sometime in the next several months. Amazon’s dominance of eBook content combined with a strong tablet rival to Apple’s iPad, and leadership in “The Cloud” would put Amazon in a strong place in the eBook market.
Surprisingly, in the talk I’ve seen about the presumed Amazon tablet, it hasn’t been connected to the existing Kindle app. But the elegant tricks that Amazon has bundled with the Kindle app will certainly be carried over to the tablet. So if you want to see the future of eBooks, try out the Kindle App on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone.
Eric Rumsey is at: eric-rumsey AttSign uiowa dott edu and on Twitter @ericrumsey