The Kindle might see a new version, Kindle 4, sometime in end 2011 or in early 2012. Kindle 4 will probably have some new features, a whole bunch of incremental improvements, and perhaps even a jump or two in technology.
There’s a very interesting discussion currently going on at the official Kindle forum - ‘A wishlist for the 4th generation Kindle’.
Kindle owners’ Kindle 4 wishlist
Here’s what people are wishing for, with my thoughts in italics -
Note: Have put my favorite suggestions at the top.
- A faster processor, with faster web page downloads. Faster processor would definitely be nice. Web page downloads are probably restricted by speed of the 3G connection, or perhaps by some sort of throttling courtesy AT&T.
- Nested Collections (collections within collections). This would be a sweet feature addition.
- 7″ screen. A wonderful suggestion.
- Higher resolution screen. Another great suggestion. We have had more than enough contrast improvements – time to improve the resolution.
- Custom Screensavers. We can hope. Also a few people asking for image packs – what a splendid idea.
- Support for Library Books. Not many people mentioned this – which was very surprising.
- Number keys with @ in a row above QWERTY keys. Please bring this back, Amazon.
- Slide-out keyboard. An interesting suggestion.
- Better Keyboard. Yes. A proper keyboard would be a huge Kindle advantage – it’s time Amazon built a top notch Kindle keyboard.
- Flexible Kindle that can be bent as the user pleases. It would also make the Kindle very hard to break when dropped – hopefully.
- A more streamlined interface with better sorting. Quite a few people asking for this.
- Multiple user profiles on a Kindle. Different readers could share a Kindle better. Amazon probably wants each user to buy a Kindle of her/his own so it’s doubtful Amazon will ever add this.
- Turn on the microphone. Amen to that.
- A backlight. There’s no reason the pull out light can’t be ‘in the Kindle’.
- Allow books from other sources. Not a lot of people asking for this. Little chance Amazon adds this feature.
- Bring back the memory card slot. Another great suggestion.
- Color – with the option to turn it on or off. Color would certainly be nice.
- A touchscreen. Just one person asked for this – this would add a lot if done right. Most of the gains would not be in reading though.
- Ability to manage Kindle collections on the PC. That would be a useful feature.
- Letters that don’t rub off. It would be nice if Kindle owners didn’t find the letters on their Kindle’s keyboards getting rubbed off.
- Books that are already read being marked as such. Such a simple addition and it would add so much value.
- Better support for images in books.
- Download all ebooks to Kindle in one go. This would certainly be nice – except Amazon and AT&T would both have heart attacks.
- The ability to choose what music to play and the ability to organize music. Agreed. The current music controls are painful.
- Make the menus wrap-around so that pressing down at the bottom goes to the top-most item, and pressing up at the top goes to the bottom-most item.
- 1-click bookmark. If something simpler than Alt+B can be done that would be nice. Perhaps use Shift as the bookmark key.
- Option to reset ‘last page read’.
- Smaller Bezel. This is already too small for some people, so not sure if it’s a good idea.
- Buttons to feel more rubbery. Don’t even know what that means.
- More Graphic Battery Monitor. Agreed.
- Battery Indicator as a Percentage. This would do the trick too.
- Wireless headset. Lots of requests for this. Kindle 4 would have to have bluetooth added in.
- More Graphic Memory Monitor. Don’t know.
- Bigger battery that supports 2 corner reading lights. Don’t know about this one.
- Brightness settings for the reading light. A good idea – a dimmer would be nice.
- Replaceable battery and battery life monitor. The latter sounds too macabre – Your Battery has 27 days to live. Get the coffin ready. Buy a book of poems by Sylvia Plath.
- Ability to organize books by publication date. Very useful.
- Spill and Water Resistant. Interesting.
- Ability to specify the time period after which the Kindle screensaver will appear. A good suggestion.
- Discount on Kindle 4 for existing Kindle owners. This would be beautiful.
- Voice Commands. A very cool feature.
- Louder sound settings for those with hearing problems. Great suggestion.
- On/off slider at the top instead of at the bottom. Wonder if there are any manufacturing benefits to having it at the bottom.
That’s a very impressive list of suggestions. It’s doubtful that any single person could have come up with a list half as good. You can find the Kindle 4 wishlist thread at Amazon – thank to Capt. D for starting it.
Here’s an interesting tip from Paxton -
you can directly select music now. Just add the MP3 to your documents folder instead of (or as well as) your Music folder. Then create a “Music Collection” to store them in. Then if you want to play songs one at a time, you can pick whichever one you want.
Will have to check that out. Note: It only plays one song at a time, and a song played this way doesn’t play in the background when reading.
My Kindle 4 wishlist
A Kindle Tablet that is Amazon’s equivalent of the Nook Color.
A hacked Nook Color with Kindle for Android is just too ghetto – It’s like someone did everything Steve Jobs asks his designers not to do. Kindle for Android just doesn’t cut it on Nook Color – the app needs to be built from the ground up as a reading tablet app.
The Nook Color’s default reading app is very good – However, it does keep losing your place in the book. More importantly, you don’t have your Kindle library.
If a Kindle Reading Tablet is not possible, then a flexible, foldable, ‘fits in your pocket’ Kindle 4 with handwriting recognition would be great. Color would be a nice bonus.