Amazon’s Kindle has evolved from being exclusively a reading device, to being a full blown tablet.
The newest additions include a 9-inch screen with high-resolution graphics, an HD camera and a plethora of new apps, including classics like Angry Birds, HBO and Netflix.
All of these qualities raise the question: Do the new, state-of-the-art features distract from the original purpose of the Kindle?
The original basis of the Kindle was to make books more accessible; a contemporary take on reading, per se.
The convenient size and digital formatting of print books aimed to encourage tech-savvy generations to read more frequently, and attract a broad scope of people who might not necessarily have the time or patience to stop by the library, ranging from teens to their parents and siblings.
Although the Kindle’s concept and structure appeal to non-readers, avid readers and hyperliterates are a surprisingly large portion of its audience as well.
Rather than carrying several stacks of heavy books, book junkies can store libraries in a single tablet, and purchase a new read with the click of a button.
With the newest features, reading no longer remains the heart of the Kindle.
According to Window creators, as of 2011, Netflix and Seesmic, a social network managing app, were among the most popular Kindle downloads, rather than apps involving reading.
Instead of a reading device, the Kindle Fire seems to serve as a cheaper alternative for the iPad. Another high-tech gadget that revolves around wi-fi and social networking.
With competition from companies like Apple and Android producing sleek gadgets like the iPad and Android Tablet, the boxy first generation kindle dims in comparison, and cannot possibly compete.
The high resolution has its uses. It can be helpful to students when downloading colored textbooks and apps that manage productivity, but it also allows for less productive applications to dominate the user’s attention.
Despite the available distractions, the Kindle’s original purpose seems to prevail.
A study released by Amazon reveals that for every 100 print books sold on Amazon, 105 books are bought, as of 2011.