I was a Kobo user for several years before I decided to switch to a Kindle Paperwhite last year. As a reading device, both the Kobo and the Kindle are great e-readers. Both have features that I love but this is not a post about the devices, it’s about the ecosystem.
The thing I love most after switching from a Kobo to a Kindle is the Kindle ecosystem. The Kindle ecosystem brings together all the platforms that I use seamlessly into one. The platforms I am referring to are Audible, Goodreads, and Amazon.
I am a big Audible fan. I’ve been a subscriber of Audible since 2013, and I listen to a lot of audiobooks. Since Audible is part of Amazon, I can download my list of audiobooks into my Kindle device. I love that all my audiobooks and my e-book collections are stored under one library on one device. I’m able to manage my digital book collections better. This means that aside from listening to my audiobook from the Audible app, I can also listen to my Kindle.
Unfortunately, my full collection of books in both audio and e-book format will only appear on my Kindle device. My collection of audiobooks do not appear on the Kindle app on my iPhone unless I have purchased the audiobook companion to an e-book version. Not ideal, but I can live with not having my full digital collection across all apps. In any case, I have no complaints about the Audible app and prefer listening to my audiobooks through the Audible app anyway. This leads me to the Whispersync for Voice feature on the Kindle.
With Whispersync for Voice, I can switch between reading and listening to a book on my Kindle. How cool is that? To do this, you will need to purchase both the e-book version and the audiobook companion. Personally, I think this is an awesome feature that allows switching from reading to listening if I want to, especially when I want to continue “reading” a book but need to do mindless chores.
Also, I need to mention that my experience reading on multiple devices, be it via Kindle, tablet, or iPhone has been seamless. The updates across devices are up to date, and I never lose the page I’m reading when I move from one device to another.
Amazon also owns Goodreads which means that I can easily update my Goodreads status and reading progress straight from my Kindle.
The bummer here, however, is that you can’t update your audiobook progress on Goodreads as yet. I’ve seen a lot of people, myself included, request this feature. It’s definitely a feature I’d love to have.
If you like highlighting quotes from your ebooks as much as I do, you can also share your highlights to your Goodreads account once you’re done reading your books. This only works for the e-books in your Kindle, obviously, not a function that’s available for audiobooks.
Both the Kobo and Amazon store carries an extensive list of books. Bestsellers are readily available on both platforms. However, I do read a lot of non-fiction and have found that most books on my reading list are more available on the Amazon platform. This is, of course, based on my own personal experience. I do know a few people who seem happier with the book selection from Kobo better than Amazon.
Being in this region sometimes means that both Amazon and Kobo may not carry the books I want in e-book format, which annoys me to no end, but alas, I can’t do much about this. I usually end up buying physical books when this happens.
While I’m happy with the current functions in the Kindle ecosystem, there are still many opportunities to improve the seamless experience between the three platforms. I do hope to see more features that will allow better integration, especially between Audible and Goodreads.