As the final post in this series, if you haven’t already I invite you to check out Google, Apple or Amazon part 1 and then part 2. To review, I looked at Google and Apple first, and now will discuss Amazon and then a wrapup with final thoughts.
With the exciting release of a whole new line of Kindles, including the buzzworthy Kindle Fire, Amazon is boldly expanding its tech horizons with some really interesting products. But you might be wondering how they stack up against comparable devices like Google’s Android tablets and Apple’s iPad. Although they share a great deal in common, I think that Kindles can excel in areas that Android and Apple tablets do not. These key areas are readability (on the e-ink Kindles), battery life, and comfort while reading (again referring to the non-Fire Kindle models).
In terms of actual readability, I think the e-ink screens are incredible, and by far offer the best reading experience among comparable tablets. I’ve tried reading at length on screens by both Apple and Android-powered devices, and it just wears on me for some reason. On the other hand, I feel like I could (and do) read Kindle’s e-ink screens for hours without fatigue. On that same note, holding a Kindle while reading in bed (for example) is a much more comfortable experience than other leading tablets, because they are so light. As I said before, the Kindle Fire is more weighty, but the other Kindles weigh about the same as a book would (if not less!). And yes, without the backlight and color screen, the traditional Kindle battery lasts and lasts. That may not be high on your priority list, but it definitely is on mine.
Google, Apple or Amazon? Try All Three
As we’ve seen over the course of this series, each of the big three tech companies have different strengths and weaknesses depending on a variety of factors. As you’ve also noticed, there’s been a distinction between the devices they make (or power) and the content you can purchase through them. So in the end, the final consideration in choosing between the three might be the type of content you are most interested in and how you see yourself wanting to access that content in the future.
iTunes offers content that will play seamlessly on Apple devices, but not necessarily on Android devices, so if you want your content to be more flexible and accessible to more of your devices, you might want to purchase content through Google Music or Amazon’s Mp3 store (or their comparable video/ebook offerings.) Also, since Kindle offers free apps for Android and Apple devices, you can’t go wrong purchasing ebooks through Amazon (and having them available anywhere) instead of Apple’s book store, which would limit your access mainly to your iOS devices.
My Dream Setup
I’m not there yet, but if I had unlimited resources, here’s how I would organize my tech ecosystem:
- Apple iMac (desktop)
- Macbook Pro (laptop)
- iPhone (smartphone)
- iPad (tablet)
- Kindle (e-reader)
In this setup, I would buy all my music and movie content through iTunes (even though I stream most of both online for free or at a low monthly cost with Netflix and Hulu Plus). This way I could leverage iCloud and have everything synced without having to worry about it. I would still buy ebooks and periodicals through Amazon so they can easily be updated on my Kindle (which as I said, even though it’s not in the Apple ecosystem, offers a better reading experience, in my opinion.) Also, not to leave Google out in the cold, I would still use Google services extensively, just on Apple hardware and software.
I hope this has been helpful to you as you think through the best way to organize your tech for you. Best of luck in reducing your techno-stress by creating an ecosystem that works well for you without the hassle of complex workarounds.