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Kindle Fire’s Biggest Upside? It Will Bring Us More Beautiful Books Soon

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Thanks to the new Kindle Fire, eBooks on the Kindle platform are about to get a whole lot nicer to look at.

Amazon has mostly focused on its e-Ink devices, which feature plain backgrounds and text-oriented user interfaces and presentation. As a result, the Kindle’s book format, Mobi, has been similarly text-focused. Amazon Kindle readers don’t allow much in the way of fonts, formatting or other aspects of design. As a result the books are very plain.

Amazon’s competitors have used the open format of ePub, which allows CSS styling and fonts, transparent pictures, and a whole lot more. If you read books on the iPad or Nook Color, you’ve seen illustrated children’s classics and some beautiful books.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Now that Amazon has a tablet with color screen, it’s become quite clear to them that they need to play catch up in the beautiful book department. For a while some wondered if Amazon would buckle under and add ePub reading ability to their core software (seeing as that the e-Ink Nook reads ePubs, handles fonts, it’s not that much of a stretch to imagine it’s possible to do. But imagining Amazon releasing control of their format was harder).

With the release of the Kindle Fire, Amazon also has announced a new eBook format: KF8. This unsexily-titled new format is actually a heck of a lot more sexy than the name lets on. It allows HTML 5 and CSS. That means eBook designers can make books as beautiful as some websites, more resembling their real life counterparts. And it can more or less keep up with ePub books.

This is a win all around for readers and consumers, and very soon, for Kindle Fire owners who will get to read better presented eBooks.

KF8 isn’t out yet, but thanks to the Kindle Fire, it soon will be.

No word on whether KF8 books will be able to work on older eInk Kindles, though one hopes so.

Tobias S. Buckell is a science fiction author. He also blogs about gadgets and the future. You can find him online at TobiasBuckell.com, here, or on twitter (@tobiasbuckell).

2 Comments

  1. Garth Pettit

    11/16/2011 at 6:56 pm

    I am the author of 84 Amazon Kindle eBooks: Seventy eight are Oral 7 Hygiene Paint Your Mouth Visits 1 to 12 To GarGar The Dentist in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. These are oral health education resources for children, schools, libraries, teachers and parents to teach children why to and how to be orally healthy for life. Six are for Adultds: HOW TO KISS, Sensational Sensation Secrets. My eBooks  are filled with colourful illustrations which will be brought to life with this new technology. I am excited!
    You can read my story in this recent press release:

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/11/prweb8937437.htm

    Dr Garth Pettit
    Oral HealthCare Educator

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