Subscribe to TidBITS on the Kindle
Although it’s likely that more TidBITS readers rely on an iPhone or iPod touch for reading TidBITS, particularly now that we’ve released a free TidBITS News app (see “Free TidBITS News iPhone App,” 4 January 2010), we also have good news for Kindle users: you can now subscribe to TidBITS on the Kindle.
Much as with the TidBITS News app for the iPhone, reading TidBITS on the Kindle works through an RSS feed, which means it downloads new articles whenever it can, and caches them for offline reading. It supports basic text styles (bold and italic), and displays any graphics. You can even follow links to external Web sites, though only if Whispernet is turned on and available, and even then the Kindle’s experimental Web browser is mediocre at best.
You can jump to any article from the Articles List, and you can navigate to the next or previous article while reading (I’m using the little joystick on the Kindle DX). Somewhat oddly, the Kindle runs individual articles together one after another, so there’s never any white space between articles when you use the Next Page button to page through our feed.
Due to limitations on the Kindle platform, embedded movies don’t appear and there’s no option for listening to our podcast recordings (though some Kindles have their own text-to-speech features). I doubt either of these capabilities will ever become available, but both are minor in the overall scheme of things.
Reading TidBITS on the Kindle after a 14-day trial period isn’t free; Amazon requires a $0.99 per month fee, mostly to pay for the free Whispernet wireless service over which the feed is updated. Since we get 30 percent of all subscription fees, consider it a loose-change way to support TidBITS.
We’ve always tried to offer TidBITS in a variety of common formats and on a variety of platforms, so we’re pleased to add the Kindle to the collection. We also hope the Kindle reading experience will continue to improve.
If you like reading TidBITS, and you like reading on your Kindle, try mixing the two together for at least the 14-day free trial. Who knows, maybe it will be like peanut butter and chocolate, and either way, let us know what you think in the comments.
according to amazon: ' This title is not available for customers from your location in: Europe ' ;-)
Feh! I haven't seen any indication of country availability preferences in Amazon's blog publishing interface, so I'll have to ask manually. I can't see any reason they should be limiting access to other countries. Sorry!
It is interesting that you describe the Whispernet wireless service as 'free' when anything that uses it incurs a minimum $0.99/month fee! I know it's Amazon, not you, that classifies the wireless service as 'free,' but it still sounds very much like newspeak to me.
Yeah, I know - there isn't a proper shorthand to describe it. The problem is that the service really is free, as long as you use it for things that don't themselves come with a fee. For instance, there are free books you can download, and you can use the experimental Web browser, and you'll never incur a charge.
In short, the cost is all bundled into either the cost of the Kindle or the cost of the media you buy. Where it gets weird is with something like TidBITS that would otherwise be free content, but which can't be because Amazon wants to avoid losing more money on the network charges.