Collections come to a Kindle reader app

Collections come to a Kindle reader app

Well, well, well!

One of the main concerns people express when they go from an RSK (a Reflective Screen Kindle…not a Fire) to a Fire is that they don’t have a way to organize their books on the device. There have been some third-party (not Amazon) apps to try to address it, but they’ve had real limitations.

In this Amazon Kindle Forum thread

What’s New in Kindle for iOS Version 4.0?

they announce changes to the iOS (mobile Apple devices) app.

Most of it is appearance and interface (how it looks and menu changes), but the Collections addition is new functionality.

We have it on current RSKs: it lets you create “Collections” (sort of like folders in Windows, although they work differently) such as “To Be Read”, “Romance”, or whatever you want.

Does this mean it will come to other apps…Blackberry, Windows for PC, Windows for Mac, Android…and the Kindle Fire?

Well, it shows that they are working on Collections, but you can’t easily take something you built for iOS and presto changeo make it work for another platform. It would be like…designing a play in American football, and trying to use it in rugby. πŸ˜‰ The basic goal might be kind of the same, but how you get there is very different.

My guess is that the next generation of Kindle Fire (which I think may be announced soon maybe might have Collections, and this again shows that there is an effort to get Collections into apps…but we’ll see.

They haven’t updated the page on Amazon yet, but the iTunes listing does show the information on 4.0:

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theΒ I Love My Kindle blog.

11 Responses to “Collections come to a Kindle reader app”

  1. scottishbookworm Says:

    This is excellent news, thank you! That is my one gripe about my Fire – organisation is very tricky.

  2. celtica98 Says:

    I would like collections for sure. But my biggest wish is for the ability to categorize by genre, on kindle itself and on the manage my kindle page.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, celtica98!

      Collections would allow you to do it by genre on the device. If you went with the genres listed at Amazon, you might not be happy with it. πŸ™‚ Those are selected by the publisher, and are often apparently done for marketing reasons. I’ve seen the same book classified as non-fiction and fiction, for example.

      Having Collections on the Manage Your Kindle page? Immensely more complicated, and would require a redesign of accounts…although I’ve been suggesting that might happen for years. πŸ™‚ The issue is that the account applies to all of the devices, while the Collections are on each device. We have four people on our account. We might all have a “To Be Read” Collection on our accounts, but with different books in them.

      We might have the same book classified different ways. I might have it under “To Be Read” and “Classic”, but another person might have it under, “Favorites” and “Historical Fiction”. Currently, the MYK page (your “Cloud” or archives) doesn’t differentiate the books you own by device.

      I do think it will happen, and I’m always hoping for sooner rather than later…

  3. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I’m still hoping for the ability to put collection inside of collections. I’d like to have two big collections for fiction, and non fiction, then inside those collections, things like Sci-Fi, Mystery, Memoir…. etc. And I’m still wishing I could put blogs into a collection.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Those would both be challenging…but not impossible. πŸ™‚

      In terms of putting a Collection inside a Collection…well, there is no there there. πŸ˜‰ Collections are much more like tags than like folders: it’s a document based system rather than a location based one. However, it can be done, and we may get it eventually.

      I think the problem with blogs and Collections is that every time the blog downloads, I believe it is identified as a new item by the Kindle system. I’m not sure about that, but I’m guessing that’s the case. Again, that could be addressed, but does make it more difficult.

  4. Denise Says:

    When I loaded the update to my iPad mini, it then showed every collection that’s ever been created for any device on my Amazon account. Unwieldy, to say the least.

    • Tom Semple Says:

      Since there is no ‘import collections feature,’ showing everything is better than starting from scratch. Just delete the collections you don’t want to use.

  5. Round up #206: tracking Collections impact for Associates, ILMK Reader Hero 2 in the news again | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Fun and information about the Kindle and the world of e-books « Collections come to a Kindle reader app […]

  6. Tom Semple Says:

    Collections work differently on the iOS app than on Kindle. Most of that is to the better:
    – you can add any item in your library, whether it is on your device or not. Conversely, when viewing a Collection you can see all of the items you’ve added, whether they are on your device or not (items that are on the device have a check mark icon superimposed on the cover image). This seems more logical than the way it works on Kindle.
    – Collections have their own separate view, which contains only a list of collections and not any other items. The other library views show only items and not Collections. So it seems more logical and less cluttered than on a Kindle (one reason I don’t use them on my Kindle)
    – you can (and implicitly, do) sort items in the collection manually. So if the collection contains a book series you can order them sequentially. However there is no way to sort them dynamically by Title/Author/Recent.

    – you cannot import collections created with the iOS app to kindles, or even to another instance of the iOS app. So any organizing you do with the iOS app cannot be reused. That is too bad since it would make a decent ‘collections manager’ (much better than a KIndle or some feature they would add to the already horribly sluggish Manage Your Kindle page).
    – Collections display only thumbnail (no list view), sometimes that is not enough information to figure out what the item is without downloading and opening it.

    For me Collections still don’t have much value, or at least not enough to justify the overhead of maintaining them.

    The feature I’d most like to see on the iOS app is an ‘NCX navigator’ (for navigating ‘active table of contents’). And I’d like to be able to set narrower margins on iPad.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      I really appreciate that field report! I don’t have an iOS device, so I appreciate someone I know is technically savvy with a good sense of user experience letting me and my readers know what’s up. πŸ™‚

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