My thoughts about Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch

Below is the email I sent to a person asking about Kindle Fire.

“Kindle Fire is a new device. However, even now I can tell that the Kindle Fire lacks a lot of functionality when compared to Kindles 2, DX, and 3, and even Kindle Touch.

For example,

  • it does not include support for the Mobipocket index functionality,
  • it does not support look-up in non-Amazon dictionaries
  • or chapter navigation in books,
  • the hyperlinks that are close together or separated by a non-whitespace character are merged so that only the last hyperlink works,
  • its search function is extremely slow to the point of being unusable in Bibles,
  • its default font (others do) does not include polytonic Greek,
  • it ignores the font color tags,
  • it does not have the usual Text-to-Speech functionality,
  • no collections,
  • no physical buttons of any sort (Home, Back, page turn), etc.
  • Obviously, it does not have a physical keyboard.

For these reasons, OSNOVA DVJ navigation will not work on Kindle Fire.

So, Kindle Fire is an inferior e-reader than Kindles 2, DX, 3/Keyboard, although a good cheap Android tablet (Netflix and Amazon Video work on it marvelously).

The way to place any ebook not purchased on Amazon on Kindle Fire, is to connect it to a computer (in my case, a Windows PC) via a USB cable. Once connected, it enters into a storage mode. A Kindle drive appears in the computer file system. You can then drag-and-drop .prc, .mobi, .azw files into the folder called Documents. Then you can disconnect the Kindle Fire from the computer and find the new books under the Docs tab (not Books).

I hope this is helpful. I am disappointed that Amazon did not make the Kindle Fire at least an equal e-reader to the previous models.”


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12 Responses to My thoughts about Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch

  1. Tim Webb

    Thanks for sharing this. What are your thoughts on the Kindle Touch? I’ve been waiting for years to get an e-reader, and the Touch is about the closest to what I’ve wanted, and the low price is good too. (That’s why I discovered your site a few months ago, I’ve been searching out good places to get e-books, and you have a very good selection BTW.) Thanks, Tim

    • Tim,
      From my short experience with Kindle Touch, it is obvious that Touch is a derivative of prior Kindles. It retains much of the e-reader functionality, which is missing on Kindle Fire. For example, it supports chapter navigation in books (swipe up or down to move from chapter to chapter), it is possible to access the Index in books and dictionaries, its search is as fast as on preceding Kindles. Yet, it is still a step back from Kindle 3/Keyboard. The lack of physical keyboard is a big drawback (I’d prefer having both, a touchscreen and a physical keyboard). The use of OSNOVA DVJ in Bibles on K Touch is much much slower process. Even without a full physical keyboard, they should have retained a physical Back button and page turn buttons. Following hyperlinks is hit or miss on the touchscreen (the software has a difficult job of distinguishing between an attempt to follow a hyperlink or turning pages, etc.), especially if there are several adjacent hyperlinks. There is no landscape mode, no progress bar.

      In sum, Kindle Touch is a good e-reader for reading novels but not Bibles or other large works with complicated structure that are not typically read consecutively. Kindle 3/Keyboard and DX are still the best devices for that.

  2. Interesting review–thanks! I was excited about both the Fire and the Touch when they were announced and pre-ordered both. Upon more thinking, though, I concluded that neither was going to a step forward for me.

    I want a tablet primarily to access my Logos Bible Study resources, but I felt the Fire would be little more than an entertainment device, and 8GB storage would simply be unacceptable, regardless of cloud storage. The Touch looked interesting, but I didn’t see it as really that much of an advancement beyond my K3.

    I canceled my pre-orders, deciding to wait for what will hopefully be a better-resolution iPad 3 to satisfy my tablet desire. Down the road, Amazon will likely come out with an e-reader that will be a significant upgrade to the K3, so I will wait. Who knows but that some sort of e-ink hybrid will come out that will make for a great tablet/e-reader in one machine.

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  6. Tim Chau

    I just bought a Kindle Touch and downloaded the ESV Bible which uses the OSNOVA DVJ. Somehow, the indexing does not work on my Touch, but works on my son’s cheaper Kindle. Is this a known problem for the Touch?

  7. Tim Chau

    This is a reply to myself. I found that the ESV Bible DVJ feature works. The navigation for the Touch is just a little different. When I do the “find,”, I need to select “index item” from the drop-down menu.

    • osnova

      You are correct. However, note that ESV is not from OSNOVA. In our publications, we have a section on how to use DVJ on Kindle Touch.

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