TKC 402 Meet Me at the Kindle Oasis

Neil and Chris

Neil Lindsay, left, Amazon VP-Devices, and Chris Green, Amazon Lab 126 VP – Industrial Design

This special episode of The Kindle Chronicles is all about the new Kindle Oasis, based on an embargoed preview of the device that I attended in New York City on April 7, 2016. The episode is divided into these four parts:
  1. Meet the Oasis – product specs and first impressions. 2:14 to 8:45  (Note: In answer to Faith Eldridge’s question, it turns out the Oasis does not have an adaptive light sensor. If that is an important capability, you may want to stick with the Kindle Voyage, which does have one.)
  2. Live from New York: It’s the Kindle Oasis briefing! 8:47 to 28:37
  3. Will Oasis be a Success? My thoughts. 28:40 to 32:06
  4. What’s next for the Kindle? 32:10 to 36:20

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.

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If you click here or on the ad at the upper right of this page to go to Amazon.com and purchase your Kindle Oasis, it will support my podcast by generating an Amazon Associates commission. Thank you! –Len

Right-click here and then click “Save Link As…” to download the audio to your computer, phone, or MP3 player.

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Comments 2

  1. Christina Sampson wrote:

    Hi,

    Thanks for this in-depth look at the Oasis. As an avid reader with smaller hands, however, I must admit I’m disappointed.

    Instead of being in pursuit of paper, Kindles should go back to being designed for *readers*. As of yet, nothing has trumped the Kindle Keyboard for me in terms of allowing me to get lost on a book.

    The larger size allows me to hold it as I would a paperback and I don’t accidentally hit corners that make me skip entire chapters (as my Paperwhite inevitably makes me do). It may not be as thin or light as my Paperwhite, but it’s still lighter than lugging around a book so I don’t care.

    Many readers, myself included, naturally curl our fingers or thumb over text and are perfectly content to move our digit down the page or momentarilary out of the way as we progress. So the introduction of a touch screen combined with narrow bezels has been a frustrating nightmare. And while I appreciate the Oasis’s abilty to accommodate left-handed readers, I don’t hold books like a prayer book or something (i.e. by their spine). And, some of us read with our thumbs angled in (sometimes over text — gasp!), not parallel to the text.

    It may seem like I’m a curmudgeonly lone voice here, but read the many, many three-star ratings on the Kindle Paperwhite and you’ll see I’m not alone.

    Forget about thinner and lighter. Add a Paperwhite light to a Kindle Keyboard with better buttons and a relocated on/off switch, with Bluetooth and audio, and I assure you we bibliophiles will come in droves. Take a 400-page hardcover and make that your maximum weight threshold, but you don’t need to go under a trade paperback. We’re here to read without hand cramps and that’s it. Stop overthinking it.

    Posted 19 Apr 2016 at 6:10 am
  2. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Christina, I know you are not alone in your love for the Kindle Keyboard with physical buttons. Your prescription for a super Keyboard model is intriguing, and I think you are correct that it might find a big market. I am going to be very interested to see if the Oasis seems as enchanting to me as it did at the brief demo in New York, once I have a chance to read for an extended period on it. I have found it challenging to write about it, because my attraction to the new design seems subliminal, based on touch instead of thinking. I hope I will be able to share how it measures up with prolonged use for next week’s podcast.

    I take your point about the limits of setting paper as the uber goal for Kindle improvements. Kindle has already surpassed paper in ease of looking up words, searching, translation, Vocabulary Builder, X-Ray, etc. I think Amazon uses paper as a way to describe the way forward with the hardware.

    To me, the biggest limitation of eReaders is still the ability to flip through a book as easily and intuitively as we can a paper book. This is a big engineering challenge, I’m sure, but I suspect that part of the Paper Goal relates to it. Perhaps there can be some kind of shuffling of virtual pages that simulates thumbing through a physical book. Maybe with a haptic representation of the feel of the paper edges on the tips of the fingers.

    Thanks for your insightful comment, and for listening to the show.

    Posted 22 Apr 2016 at 11:19 am

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