TKC 330 Otis Chandler


Co-founder and CEO of Goodreads

Interview starts at 22:02

The world is really moving fast towards mobile, and Goodreads is no exception. We’ve seen huge adoption of our mobile products this year, and we’ve innovated a lot on our mobile web, particularly our iOS app.


The music and blog of my talented niece, Fran Betlyon


Amazon Echo

Eddie Mikell’s YouTube demo of Amazon Echo

Free TuneIn radio app for Fire tablets

Kindle Scout

Housebroken by The Behrg – chosen for publication by Kindle Press through Kindle Scout crowdsourcing

Tech Tip

Print Your Kindle Highlights Chrome extension

Interview with Otis Chandler


If you have features you’d like to see in a future update of Goodreads on Kindle, email them to support AT goodreads DOT com


Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

The Diamond Age (Bantam Spectra Book) by Neal Stephenson


Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

Send to Kindle

Comments 7

  1. Mary McManus wrote:

    When I first heard about Echo through your e-mail, it sounded quite exciting to this electronics junkie, and for awhile I was miffed that I hadn’t gotten an invitation. However, I have been reading all the comments on the Kindle forum from people who have received theirs and at this point have backed off from wanting one. As near as I can tell, the best thing it does is play music and radio stations, and has a very nice speaker for that.

    At the present time, it has limited ability to answer questions, not nearly as good as Siri. Since I have my iPhone with me 99% of the time, and often an iPad as well, I use them extensively to get answers to questions on the fly, questions which Alexa is currently incapable of answering. Also I keep several shopping lists on the phone as well as a very sophisticated to-do app called Things. When I am out shopping I have the phone with me and don’t want to have to bring along a Fire for lists. I know that I am sounding like a curmudgeon, and have refrained from posting all this on the Kindle forum where the Apple haters will attack. I love both my Kindles and Apple products and don’t know why we can’t all get along. The point of all this is that I can already do most of what the Echo offers, so until it is developed further, it is not useful for me. It will be interesting to see what advances are in the future for this device.

    Posted 29 Nov 2014 at 8:35 am
  2. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Mary thanks for your honest appraisal of Echo, which makes a lot of sense to me. I used to love adding to my iPhone Reminders on the fly, using Siri, and I miss that capability now that I use a Fire phone. The Apple infrastructure is tops, in my opinion, and hanging out on the Amazon frontier has its drawbacks. It’s also fun, to see what they come up with on features like Firefly and Dynamic Perspective, and I love having unlimited cloud storage for all the photos AND videos that I take with the Fire phone. I won’t be surprised if, after a lengthy experimental period, I set Echo aside mainly for music. But I’m hoping it will surprise me and become something more than a passing fancy. Meanwhile, I wait!

    Posted 29 Nov 2014 at 11:17 am
  3. Norm Gregory wrote:

    I just went to Amazon’s Echo page and was able to buy one, and only one, at full price.

    I was hoping during the Echo demos someone would ask Alexa where one could buy an Echo.

    Posted 29 Nov 2014 at 6:48 pm
  4. Len Edgerly wrote:

    I tried this and was not able to buy one. I’m glad you were able to, Norm!

    Posted 30 Nov 2014 at 8:04 am
  5. andrea orth wrote:

    I received my Echo before Thanksgiving. For the record, I’ve never used Siri on my iPad (never felt the need), haven’t used Google’s voice features on my phone (again, haven’t felt the need, and Google Now can’t seem to handle rural areas). I have used Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking on a PC and have a Ford Focus which uses Nuance’s voice system (poorly I might add). So Nuance is really my only other frame of reference in voice recognition.

    Bottom line, this is definitely a beta product. There isn’t much functionality yet. I suspect if Amazon gets comfortable with the voice recognition performance, we will eventually see more robust features added over time. I paid the prime price of $99. I wouldn’t recommend anyone purchase Echo at the full price. Not until the features available improve.

    I’m finding that Echo, unlike Nuance on the PC or in the Focus, does not require an exact command / phrase to work. I’ve asked Echo to do a variety of features multiple times and not always asked the same way; weather, TuneIn, shopping list, alarm, timers, and Echo usually figured it out. I suspect Echo is going off keywords more than commands.

    But I much prefer how Echo works and wishes the Ford Focus worked the same way.

    There were some features that I wanted shortly after setting Echo up. The ability to have Echo “take a note”. Basically, have Echo record a short note and store it in the Echo app or in the cloud for later viewing. And wanted to tell Echo to turn on the lights. I’m finding Echo to be a much more natural way to use voice commands and wish it was integrated more into the home.

    There’s no Audible app integration, but I bet there will be.

    I’ve been sending Amazon my feature requests and will continue to be deluging them with emails.

    I could prattle on more, but don’t want to write a book here.

    I’m not disappointed in mine at all, I’m having fun seeing what it can and can’t do, but I’m the type of person that will poke and prod tech just to find how it behaves and what the weak points are, I’m probably not a typical user.

    Posted 30 Nov 2014 at 4:25 pm
  6. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Andrea, I love the idea of being able to jot notes with Echo. I also have voice commands in a Ford Focus and have found the system adequate, after learning its quirks over the past two years. I hope Amazon is listening to your good suggestions. Thanks very much for leaving this helpful comment!

    Posted 30 Nov 2014 at 4:29 pm
  7. andrea orth wrote:

    OK, I’m back just thought it might be interesting to others to share some quick points from my latest feature request to Amazon regarding Echo.

    Per this Amazon rep, 50% of new features on the Kindle come from customer feedback. (I’ve had a Kindle since the 2 and thought this was interesting)

    Other feature requests from Echo users, the ability to dial 911 or emergency services (I also think this is a good idea)

    And someone wants the Echo remote to be something that can be pinned to a shirt like the Star Trek communicator (that person is awesome IMO)

    Posted 30 Nov 2014 at 4:37 pm