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The future of Kindle for PC/Mac
#1  jhowell 06-24-2021, 04:47 PM
Microsoft announced today that Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade at the end of this year. One of the new features will be the ability to run Android apps with the app store being provided by Amazon as opposed to Google. (Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11 with Amazon’s Appstore)

This makes me wonder about the future of the Kindle for PC app. Amazon has already been putting about the minimum effort possible into maintaining that product with very few new features introduced in recent years. Kindle for Android is functionally superior in just about every way. I can see usage of Kindle for PC declining as Windows 11 takes off.

Apple appears to be heading in the same direction with iOS apps being able to run on newer Mac hardware so the same logic also applies to Kindle for Mac.

It seems likely to me that Amazon might eventually drop the PC and Mac Kindle apps in favor of the ones for Android and iOS. Certainly not immediately, but perhaps five years from now.

(I am posting under General since this is not about Kindle devices. I understand if a moderator decides that this topic should be discussed elsewhere.)
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#2  hobnail 06-24-2021, 05:06 PM
I'm forever whining about how Amazon has barely updated the UI on their Kindle ereaders, for example, comparing my Kindle Touch and Kindle Oasis. How does the "minimum effort possible" on the PC Kindle app compare to what I also consider minimum effort possible on their Kindle ereaders? Or, perhaps to put it another way, what things have they done on the Android app that would be nice to see on the Kindle ereaders?
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#3  salamanderjuice 06-24-2021, 05:25 PM
Been a while since I used a Kindle but do they collect series automatically together? That's something they do in the Android app and it's kinda nice to not have my library cluttered with tens of volumes from one series anymore.
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#4  jhowell 06-24-2021, 06:02 PM
Quote hobnail
I'm forever whining about how Amazon has barely updated the UI on their Kindle ereaders, for example, comparing my Kindle Touch and Kindle Oasis. How does the "minimum effort possible" on the PC Kindle app compare to what I also consider minimum effort possible on their Kindle ereaders? Or, perhaps to put it another way, what things have they done on the Android app that would be nice to see on the Kindle ereaders?
Some missing features in the PC app as compared with the Android app:

Cloud collections that sync with other devices
Personal documents that sync with other devices
Magazines and newspapers
Page flip (scrollable multi-page view)
Animated page turns
Series grouping
Reading insights
Library view filtering by various criteria
Language translation
Continuous scrolling
Themes for Aa settings
Reading Ruler
Word Wise
Audible integration
Arabic language books
Kindle in Motion (Animated books)
Start reading while a book is still downloading


By comparison most of the Android features missing from Kindle devices are due to technical limitations of the hardware. Some examples:

Scollable page flip view
Continuous scrolling
Reading Ruler
Animation in guided view for comics
Various color backgrounds
Viewing large page format print replica books
Kindle in Motion (Animated books)


Quote salamanderjuice
Been a while since I used a Kindle but do they collect series automatically together? That's something they do in the Android app and it's kinda nice to not have my library cluttered with tens of volumes from one series anymore.
Yes, series grouping works on Kindles but not Kindle for PC.
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#5  tomsem 06-25-2021, 03:09 PM
Word Runner is exclusive to Android/Fire app.

But Kindle has some exclusives as well:

Vocabulary Builder (would be improved if word list synced between devices)
Disable Touchscreen
Bookmark implementation is better IMO: you can preview bookmarked page and location/page is shown directly

Even if the PC/Mac apps improved, I doubt I would use them any more than I do now. Surely these are the least-used Kindle apps and that’s why they are lowest priority. However, I do think it likely that they will retire the Mac app and modify the iOS app so it can run well on Mac. And when Windows 11 w/Android support ships, that seems like a no brainer as well.
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#6  Pajamaman 06-25-2021, 03:54 PM
Does this mean Windows 11 will be able to install apk files in general?

And what does this mean for Kindle users and DRM? Is there any impact? AIUI, people use kindle4pc to download older formats of books in order to remove drm. Will this be affected?
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#7  Deskisamess 06-25-2021, 03:57 PM
I use an old version of K4PC on my Win 10 laptop. Version 1.17.44170
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#8  salamanderjuice 06-25-2021, 05:01 PM
Quote Pajamaman
Does this mean Windows 11 will be able to install apk files in general?

And what does this mean for Kindle users and DRM? Is there any impact? AIUI, people use kindle4pc to download older formats of books in order to remove drm. Will this be affected?
Windows 11 will be able to sideload apps. We don't know how that will be done exactly yet.

Amazon hasn't announced anything regarding the Kindle for PC app yet I don't think. Windows 10 is not end of life'd until 2025 and some machines like 32 bit devices and those lacking TPMs will be unable to upgrade to Windows 11 so Amazon has some reason to keep the PC client going a little longer. I don't think its possible to remove DRM using the Android kindle app without root access anymore so it might lead to end of easily removing Kindle DRM if Amazon gets rid of the PC client and the Windows 11 Android stuff is closed up tight.
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#9  tomsem 06-25-2021, 07:06 PM
There’s still download-from-manage-content-and-devices, which is what I’ve been doing (still many hundreds to go through).
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#10  jhowell 07-02-2021, 10:05 AM
It appears that the upcoming Kindle for PC version 1.32 will no longer fully support Windows 7.

Quote
You can continue reading the books you already own. Please upgrade to the latest version of Windows to continue receiving updates and read new books. Visit kindle-desktop-requirements for more information.
That message is oddly worded. It seems to be saying that Windows 7 users will still be able to download and read previously purchased books, but not any new ones. That is an odd way of forcing customers to update their OS, but perhaps it makes sense to Amazon in order to reduce call center costs.

Another way of interpreting that statement is that by not upgrading Windows they will lose the ability to read new books because they will not be receiving further updates to Kindle for PC. That would imply that Amazon plans to block new book downloads to older versions of K4PC going forward. That would close one of the main ways that customers are currently able to work around Kindle DRM.

Perhaps I am just reading too much into an unclear statement.
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