iWant: More Fonts and Sizes on the Kindle and Kindle Apps

04/30/2014

IMG_1927.pngIn spite of the fact that I use Apple products, I’m a Kindle user. Apple’s iBooks only lets me read on iOS devices and Macs; with the Kindle, I can read on just about any device with a screen. In addition, I like the Kindle Paperwhite (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) because I can read it outdoors; something I can’t do on my iPad or iPhone.

But the Kindle – both the Paperwhite and the apps – has a serious limitation: there aren’t many fonts. On the Paperwhite, there are only six fonts; the iOS Kindle app only offers five. This is too few for devices with excellent screen resolutions: the Paperwhite is 212 pip, and the Kindle iOS apps use the native resolution of iOS devices.

In addition, the font sizes are wonky, especially on the Paperwhite. With some books, the difference between the font that’s just-too-small-for-me-to-read and the next one up is huge. So I have to choose between a tiny font and one that’s too large. I don’t know if this has to do with the way books are generated, but I’ve seen it very often. This is less of an issue on the iOS apps, which seem to have more font sizes, or at least better rendering.

These are both important points, as the Kindle does one thing, and does it well: it lets you read books. The thing you read is the fonts. I’m surprised Amazon hasn’t done more to offer a variety of fonts and sizes for their devices and apps.