5 Causes Why The Kindle’s Touchscreen Is Worse Than Buttons

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To get it out of the way in which: Kindle guidelines. However, Amazon’s flagship Kindle, now the Kindle Paperwhite, continues a development that very a lot doesn’t rule: forcing us all to make use of a touchscreen to navigate an e book. That’s improper! It doesn’t imply Kindle is a foul product–it nonetheless guidelines–nevertheless it might rule extra, and we would like it to rule extra.

98% of your time with a Kindle is spent studying a ebook, relatively than buying or looking or adjusting settings or no matter, which suggests the overwhelming majority of your navigation is 2 instructions: page-forward and page-back. The touchscreen is nice for all the pieces aside from these two instructions–it’s a lot quicker to pick out gadgets in an inventory, for instance, by tapping what you need relatively than urgent the “down” arrow previous all of the belongings you don’t need. It’s additionally a lot simpler to kind within the on-screen keyboard. However having a touchscreen as the one possibility doesn’t make sense: why would you go for a management scheme that’s nice for the stuff you do hardly ever, and never nice for the stuff you do on a regular basis?

Right here’s why touchscreens will not be nice for e book readers:

It’s slower: This can be a nitpick, however this complete article is a nitpick a few product I actually assume is nice, so, you recognize, onwards! It’s slower to function a touchscreen than to press a button. That’s one factor that’s not thought of within the transition from paper to E Ink: turning a web page takes a lot longer than urgent the “subsequent web page” button. Cool! Sooner studying. However the touchscreen can also be slower than a button. The previous page-turn buttons are on the bezel across the display screen, so your thumb falls naturally on them. You don’t have to maneuver your thumb laterally in any respect to show a web page; you simply apply a tiny quantity of power. However with a touchscreen, you must transfer your thumb from the bezel to the display screen, then both faucet or execute and even longer page-turn gesture by swiping. Slower = worse.

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Off-balance: Going together with the pace downside: shifting your thumb means lessening the power of your grip on the Kindle. On a bumpy subway journey, you don’t need to be delicately balancing a $180 object in your fingers whereas your thumb gropes for the “subsequent web page” contact zone. You particularly don’t need to have to do this each minute, each single time you learn a ebook.

Unintentional press: After I switch trains on my commute to work, touchscreen Kindle in hand, I typically take a look at the Kindle and understand I’m now not on the identical web page I used to be after I stopped studying. Your hand brushes it, some drunk man elbows it, no matter–that’s a web page flip. It’s a lot simpler to by chance contact any a part of the display screen than to press a slim button on the bezel of a tool. And there’s no method to lock the display screen to keep away from that, as a result of there’s no different navigation in any respect: when you locked the display screen, you couldn’t do something.

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Right here’s the way you flip pages on a pill (that is the Google Nexus 7): See how the subsequent web page sticks to your finger as you drag it onto the display screen? That’s why the right-to-left swipe is smart as a page-turning command on a pill.

Blind gestures Swiping to show pages works high-quality when you’re used to studying on a pill, however I (and plenty of different individuals) am not, so it feels bizarre. The left-to-right and right-to-left swipe works on tablets as a result of you may see the subsequent or earlier web page as you drag it onto the display screen. There’s a way of progress: you may see the brand new web page showing, caught to your thumb, taking up the display screen. On the Kindle, you may’t see this taking place, which makes {that a} blind gesture, a gesture which you carry out and sit again and hope it really works. It co-opts a well-known gesture, however its {hardware} can’t replicate the feeling that makes that gesture make sense. Blind gestures: unhealthy!

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Tapping is difficult: One of many nice issues in regards to the Kindle is one-handed navigation, nevertheless it’s a lot tougher to do when you must faucet wholly totally different elements of the display screen to navigate. For those who maintain the Kindle Paperwhite along with your left hand, to go ahead by swiping (nope! Blind gesture!) or by stretching your thumb into the center of the display screen, as a result of tapping the left-hand facet makes you return a web page. It’s simpler when holding the machine in your proper hand, until you need to return a web page, by which case you must stretch allllll the way in which over to the left-hand facet. Awkward!

What grates is that the selection between touchscreen and buttons isn’t a alternative Amazon has to make. Normally I’m not in favor of getting too some ways to do the identical factor–it’s my main beef with Android–however on this case I believe it’s important. Barnes & Noble’s flagship Nook, the Nook Easy Contact With Glowlight, retains the page-turn buttons alongside the touchscreen. Buttons for turning pages, touchscreen for all the pieces else. Good!

I don’t need to recommend that the Kindle Paperwhite is a non-great product (we’ll have a evaluate up later this afternoon, and, um, spoiler, nevertheless it’s nice). The touchscreen downside shouldn’t cease you from shopping for a Kindle. This can be a plea to Amazon: your cool factor might be a cooler factor. Make it cooler, please!