This morning I got an email from Amazon, they are now syncing side loaded documents to their cloud service alongside Amazon-purchased books. I loaded the kindle apps on my iOS devices again and sure enough, the one test book I had uploaded showed up. With a little bit of arguing I got annotations to sync.
I wanted to see how it compared to Google Play Books, as much as I find Google’s offering on on be the most palatable, the apps are a little stale and bare-bones.
The mobile offerings were quite good. Good rendering of fonts and colors in a few books I have, and nice page-turn animations. Highlighting and annotations have a nicer interface than on Google. However… The desktop version is still outdated. No syncing takes place at all to the desktop app… So it’s just about useless to me.
I did find that second hand Kindle readers are dirt cheap though, if I was willing to stay handheld it would be a great solution.
The other thing I could hope for is that Kobo gets the message and opens their doors (even just using third-party cloud storage?). If they do that, and update their desktop app, I would be even happier in their environment.
Right now the reader landscape is so very fragmented, especially with annotations. I hope the next few years brings some sort of standardization so that e-documents will be more durable than they are today.