This is the internet weblog of Bix Frankonis.

Rejoining The Battle Of The Ereaders

As I said earlier, I'm starting to consider reverting to Kindle after several years of having switched to Kobo. At the time of that switch, the selling points were (in no particular order): the warm lights, native Pocket support, native Overdrive support (at the time, Kobo and Overdrive were owned by the same company), not being Amazon, and being able to link my purchases to support Powell's City of Books.

What's soured me somewhat is an increasing issue of Overdrive loans not being seen by my Kobo, and an inability on the part of either Kobo or Overdrive either to adequately explain why or to exhibit any indication that they consider it to be a problem in need of a solution; and my general dissatisfaction with the build quality of the Clara HD as compared to any Kindle I've ever owned (Kobo devices feel like plastic toys in comparison).

One very clear sticking point in this reconsideration is that Kindle still doesn't have any native support for a read-it-later service. Sending articles to read on my Kobo is part of my daily routine, and it's nowhere near as simple to do the same for Kindle. Given that one of the things I've had going on this year is trying to simplify and streamline things, this isn't an inconsequential difference.

I've been looking at Instapaper again, which does have a built-in process for sending a digest of unread saved articles to your Kindle on a daily or weekly basis, but I'm not entirely sold on the digest model over the individual article model. There's supposed to be a way in the iOS/iPadOS apps to send any given individual article to your Kindle, but it isn't working. In addition, unlike the native Kobo/Pocket integration, finishing an article on a Kindle, of course, won't automatically archive it for you on Instapaper (or anywhere else); that would have to be an extra, manual step over on Instapaper itself.

That's not a deal-breaker for me, per se, but what would make it all easier to swallow is if I could save articles to Instapaper and Kindle simultaneously, and ignore the Instapaper digest process altogether. Unfortunately, while you can save articles to Kindle through the iOS/iPadOS share sheet there's no way to make use of that action in a Siri Shortcut, which would enable you to send an article to both places in a single tap. It's not clear to me why Amazon refrained from opening such actions to the Shortcuts process, but it is what it is.

Whatever the case, apparently with a trade-in of an old device that's still in good working order, I could get $25 credit and then 20% off a newer model (my old one doesn't have the wam light, making it not an option for regular use), which together brings the price of the current Paperwhite down pretty reasonably.

What easily would cinch, or clinch, moving back to Kindle would be if they announced native support for a read-it-later service. In the meantime, I am experimenting with various processes using my old Paperwhite, to see if there's something sufficiently workable. It's just too bad I wasn't looking into all this prior to Prime Day, when I assume there were Kindle sales happening.


This post originally was published 7 months ago by Bix Frankonis on bix.blog. Posts older than a decade might not reflect my current views.