I’ve often said that my iPad is my favorite electronic device ever. I love its utility, portability, and ease of use. Its app-centric focus and sleek design lets you forget you’re using an iPad and focus on your task at hand. Given how much I enjoy using it, you might think my Kindle e-reader would fall by the wayside, and that was true at first. But lately I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of my Kindle, and this is due in part to one positive and one negative aspect of my iPad.
The iPad’s “App-Centric” Focus
The software experience on an iPad easily stands out in the emerging “post-PC” era. Via Apple’s streamlined purchasing experience, you can quickly find an app that performs the task you need and start using it. The iPad’s touch interface combined with a well-written app allows you to forget the device and “get lost in the app”.
As I’ve come to appreciate this feature of tablet computing, it has dawned on me that in its own way this is what a Kindle excels in too. The Kindle e-ink readers (as opposed to the Kindle Fire) are optimized for one task: linear reading (i.e. moving page-by-page through a book from start to finish). Just as I would open an app for writing, drawing, viewing, etc on an iPad, when I want to do some reading, I grab my Kindle. Its inability to do anything else is actually becoming more and more of a feature as my available distractions multiply. In this way, it is the perfect reading “app”.
The iPad’s Ability to Distract
Speaking of distractions, this leads me to a negative aspect of the iPad which has made me appreciate my Kindle more. The iPad’s ability to distract is multifaceted. It has alerts which vie for my attention one beep at a time. The Internet is always at my fingertips with its myriad of rabbit trails. It has numerous modes and means of entertainment. I can check my email on it. Much as it’s possible to get lost in one good app, it’s easy to wander aimlessly from app to app.
My Kindle doesn’t suffer from any of these problems, and sometimes this is my favorite of its features. Whenever distractions are interfering with me reading a book on my iPad, switching to my Kindle is a breath of fresh air. All of the sudden I find I have new reserves of focus and thought simply because I don’t have all those temptations at my disposal.
So, if you’re like me and you have both an iPad and a Kindle, I hope this post has reminded you of your Kindle’s utility.