Yes, we’re a few days late with posting our holiday episode. You can blame me and all my travel for that. But it’s a good episode.
First we talk about tech gifts. We’re both into the Kindle and think it will have sold well this holiday season.
Jeremy also discusses how his father somehow ended up with a not-that-new-model Android phone because Jeremy’s father took the advice of his barber over Jeremy.
There is a lot more in this episode, like the new Twitter War and other interesting topics. We hope your holidays went well.
Listen to this week’s episode:
Download the MP3
We kick off the show by discussing plagiarism and how it’s handled at the college level. Apparently the process is long and arduous and no one comes out a winner.
We also discuss the state of writing in college today. Most students cannot write well coming out of high school, and this is causing headaches for college professors. Jeremy is a fan of one high school’s new plan to make a student rewrite any paper that has five or more errors in it.
We then get into how Facebook is becoming the driver’s license of the Internet. So many sites require you to have a Facebook account. Is this a good thing?
We discuss a lot this week. It’s a jam packed show and I hope you enjoy.
Listen to this week’s show:
Download the MP3
Jakob Nielsen has put the Kindle Fire through usability testing and is not impressed:
Amazon.com’s new Kindle Fire offers a disappointingly poor user experience. Using the web with the Silk browser is clunky and error-prone. Reading downloaded magazines is not much better.
The most striking observation from testing the Fire is that everything is much too small on the screen, leading to frequent tap errors and accidental activation. You haven’t seen the fat-finger problem in its full glory until you’ve watched users struggle to touch things on the Fire. One poor guy spent several minutes trying to log in to Facebook, but was repeatedly foiled by accidentally touching the wrong field or button — this on a page with only 2 text fields and 1 button.
Nielsen’s research finds that 7-inch tablets are too small to use full websites properly. 10-inch tablets, on the other hand, work quite well with full websites. Nielsen suggests that the only way for 7-inch tablets to succeed is for websites, apps, magazines and services to be designed specifically for this form factor. “Optimize for 7-inch or die,” he said.
Despite being a Kindle, Nielsen also found the Kindle Fire to be an overall poor reading device.
Personally, having spent a long time using a 10-inch tablet and a smartphone, I can’t see where a 7-inch tablet would fit in my life.
Reuters is reporting that Hearst Magazines expects to each 1,000,000 digital subscribers by the end of next year:
The launch of Newsstand in iOS 5 seems to have helped spur more digital subscriptions on the iPad. Newsstand is a central place on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that allows users to subscribe to and manage magazine and newspaper subscriptions. New editions show up each day, week and month automatically and a user’s subscriptions show up on a bookshelf in a very user-friendly format.
Newsstand is not a feature designed for expert users. Expert users already knew how to easy manage their news subscriptions. The beauty of newsstand, however, is how it is allowing more users to enjoy news content on their iPads.
Part one was making a device that could work well for magazines and now part two is making it really easy for users to subscribe to and manage magazine subscriptions. There are high hopes that Amazon will be able to done the same with the Kindle Fire in the future. Other Android tablets are not seeing many digital subscribers to magazines and don’t have a good way to subscribe to and manage magazine subscriptions.
The current 7-inch Kindle Fire is not a good magazine reading experience, but Amazon is expected to release an iPad-sized tablet next year.
The quality of news apps on the iPad is all over the map. Some are just digital versions of print, while others are embedding in a lot of interactivity and multimedia. Some news apps are extremely hard to use and are a substantially worse experience than their own websites on the iPad.
It will be very interesting to see the quality of news apps in a few years.