Kindle vs Google Books. Who Wins?

Whoa. Google just threw its ginormous hat into the eBook ring. The bell has rung, and the bout between the Kindle and Google Books has started. So, what do we here at Kindle Owners Blog think about it?

Here are my initial thoughts – Google Books right now loses the battle when it comes to ereaders, but things could change in the future, making them even more competitive. Let’s break it down based on the usual things someone is looking for in an ereader –

Pricing

Here, we of course are talking about book pricing, not e-reader pricing, as there is no specific reader for Google Books. It appears at this point that pricing for books is essentially the same for any title that is available in both formats. Which brings us to the next category –

Selection

The Kindle is the clear winner here. Google and Amazon have about the same access to popular titles (although I think Kindle may still have a bit more), but Kindle blows away Google when it comes to independent books.

Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla of independent publishing and generally the first place independent authors go to self publish their books, so a large chunk of these titles are available on the Kindle. They do have some competition, such as Lulu.com, but a good chunk of those books are available on Amazon as well, making them available on Kindle in many cases.

Cross-Device Use

Google has some fancy apps for Android, iPad, iPhone, desktop, Nook, etc. This makes it uber-portable. But, Kindle has all of those things, too! So, another tie in that category.

Google Books Big Downfall – Lag Time

The final category – and the one that really hurts Google for now in my opinion – is the way the books are stored. On the Kindle, your books are stored directly on your device. They pull right up.

On Google Books, your books are stored on Google’s servers, meaning each page you pull up has to be downloaded on your device. Ouch. Users have been complaining loudly about the “lag time” it takes to pull up a book. What a hassle!

And that, for me, seals the deal – Google Books is good, Amazon Kindle is still better. With no lag time, better book selection, and virtual ties in every other category, why go with anything but Kindle.

By the way, we didn’t even mention the availability of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Kindle is the winner there, too.

Mind you, we may be a bit biased here at “Kindle Owners” Blog, but I have tried to be as objective as possible, and I am personally a big fan of Google and have an Android phone. If it were better, even though I love my Kindle, I would reluctantly admit it.

I am sure the Google Books system will continue to evolve, and if it does, we may post an update here. In fact, soon, we will unveil our overall Kindle vs. Everybody Else page that we will keep updated.

Until then, Kindle 1, Google Books 0.

Kindle Wi-Fi is Here!

I love the fact that my Kindle syncs over 3G. I can take it just about anywhere and download just about anything! But for those of you who might not have the best 3G coverage or who lives outside the US or travel internationally, you may be tied to your computer to download your books.

The new Kindle with wi-fi offers the perfect solution! Now you can update your Kindle anywhere that has a wi-fi signal with these new models. There are two separate models – one with wi-fi only and one with wi-fi and 3G (which is still free!).

Also, the price has been lowered again. Amazon must know the Kindle has a lot of competition these days, because they just keep dropping their prices – $139 for the Kindle wi-fi, and $189 for the Kindle wi-fi plus 3G.

These new Kindle models also have a few of the features that Amazon brags about with the recently released Kindle DX Graphite -

They have better, easier to read fonts than the Kindle 2 or original Kindle DX.

They can now store up to 3500 books – double the capacity of the last model.

The screen has 50 %better contrast.

My favorite new feature, since I always forget to plug mine in – a battery life up to one month (4X better than the previous models).

A tweaked web browser for use with wi-fi (trying to compete with other tablets?).

What do you think? Will you be upgrading, or holding out for the Kindle 3 (which we will discuss in more detail next week)? Leave us a comment!

Check out our review of the top Kindle DX covers and cases.

Amazon Kindle Versus The Apple Digital Reader

apple digital reader

Are you waiting on bated breath like the rest of the planet regarding the Apple Digital Reader, (a/k/a Apple iPad – maybe?) it supposedly comes out tomorrow. Whoa!

The anticipation factor on this digital reader is HUGE, not too mention the rumors are just as big. Through all the speculation, fact is no one really knows for sure, the size – price – or specs on this, the Jesus reader. But one thing everyone seems to agree on, is that the Apple digital reader will be priced steep as is their style. And it will be sleek, as is their style.

Let’s take a look at the major differences between the Apple Digital reader and the Amazon Kindle. (from what we do know)

Kindle

  • Price – $259
  • Size – 6 inch and 9 inch (DX model)
  • Ink – eInk
  • Connectivity – Wireless 3G (via AT&T)
  • Storage – 2GB
  • Input – Keyboard

Apple Digital Reader

  • Price – $1,000 + (heavily rumored to be high priced)
  • Size – 9 inch (heavily rumored to be bigger than the Kindle 2, 6 inch screen)
  • Ink – LCD (computer like screen in tablet style form)
  • Connectivity – Wireless 3G (heavily rumored to be either via Verizon or Sprint)
  • Storage – n/a (but most likely will have good storage capacity)
  • Input – Touchscreen (heavily rumored)

Yes! this is mostly speculation, but one thing we can pretty much all bet on is the MEDIA BUZZ the Apple digital reader will create, and as such get people talking about “reading” in general.

Question

What specs have you heard or read about, that will most likely make it to the Apple iPad?