I finished reading The Trilisk AI a couple of days ago and started to read Dead Soul from the In Her Name: The Last War trilogy. The former book was a Kindle edition and that one I read it on the Kindle app for Windows 8. The latter one is an epub-edition that I bought from Smashwords. On my old Android I would have read that one on the Kindle app as well by converting it to mobi-format using Calibre and then uploading it to Amazons personal document store.
However, the current Kindle app on Windows 8 doesn’t show documents from your personal document store so I am reading it on one of the free e-reader apps that are available in the Windows 8 marketplace. There are not that many to choose from yet but there are some good ones to be found. Freda is not too bad for instance and it is available for Windows Phones as well. The one I‘m using currently though is the Book Bazaar Reader which is really simple and surely does not have all the features of some of the reader but does just pretty much just what I want in a simply a uncomplicated way.
After having switched from the Kindle app to the Book Bazaar Reader for a couple of evenings I realized just how bad the Kindle app for Windows 8 is. It really looks like the Amazon guys put some student to shove an app out the door with minimal effort just so that they could say they had one. Below are my gripes with the current app and they are really things that I think should have been available or fixed before the app was released.
It is slow as hell! It often stops and thinks for a while before showing the page. Turning pages is really sluggish. The Bazaar reader has 3D animations making it look like you are turning a real book page and it is still a lot faster and more responsive than the Kindle one.
You cannot tell it to show the books on your device when starting. Instead it insists on showing you all the documents that you have in the cloud as it’s starting page. I know what books that I have bought damn it! I do not want to waste time and network bandwidth by going off and fetching that that stuff every time.
Why can I not use my personal documents? The Android app can do it so why can I not do it on the Windows 8 app. As a matter of fact neither the Modern UI app of Windows 8 nor the Desktop app shows the personal documents. Did Google pay Amazon to screw Microsoft?
The jumps in font size settings are huge. At least on my tablet most of the font sizes are really too small to be usable and they jump from too small to bigger than I would like in one go. Why not a slider or something instead of those preset sizes?
No way to organize you books. Sure this is more a convenience issue but come on. How hard can it be to introduce some simple categories or folders or virtual bookshelves and a way to organize you books in these?
When you compare the Kindle app with other apps the Kindle one really falls flat on its face in most aspects. The worst thing is that the actual reading experience is much less enjoyable on Kindle than on other readers, to the extent that, if I have a choice, I would choose some other format just to avoid having to use the Kindle reader.
I certainly hope that Amazon comes out with a major update soon.