I was transferring old blog posts from Blogspot to Hugo a few days ago and came across a post I wrote in 2010 about the benefits of reading an eBook on Kindle vs the newly released iPad. Specifically the visual benefits of an eink display over a backlit LCD.
At the time I had a Kindle 2, twice the size of modern models and with a full sized keyboard. It was a great device for reading on, before a hoard of different options at different price points arrived.
The ironic thing now though, is that I don’t use a Kindle for reading, or even any other eReader for that mater. I use my iPhone.
This sounds a bit shocking, especially when you consider the tone of my original post! (oh the benefits of hindsight). But let’s consider a few improvements in the screen space in the past nine years.
My iPhone 8 has a pixel density of 326PPI, the original iPad had a pixel density of 132PPI. This is nearly a 2.5x improvement. This increase in density makes words on the screen appear much closer to print, making it clearer and a lot easiest to read.
F.lux was around in 2010, but not for the iPad or iPhone. In 2016, Apple released Night Shift in iOS, which achieves much the same thing. Night Shift makes reading on my iPhone at night a lot more bearable and less likely to keep me awake.
Let’s just face it. I take my phone everywhere. The Kindle cannot compete with that level of portability. The level of portability where I can just take my phone out of my pocket and read.
These 3 things have meant that I’ve not used my Kindle in over 2 years. The ability to open iBooks anywhere and just read. Especially in bed, where I can turn on Night Shift, set the background to black with white text and turn the brightness right down. The Kindle is still a great device, but the displays on smart phones has developed to the point where I just don’t think it’s needed anymore.