Recently amazon made some changes to their Kindle Reader app for Android. They added support for PDF and also line spacing, margin size settings and more font sizes.
They also took out some things, support for PalmDOC and the original Mobipocket ebook formats. The problem is they didn't completely take out support for those. Those books still show in the list and can be opened, but not properly.
The old Mobi books open to a blank page at location -1 of 1. Yup, a negative location.
PalmDOC books may open the same way as the Mobipocket books or they may appear to open normally but advancing a few screens of text will go to either gibberish or a blank screen and the Kindle app will lock up.
There have been several revisions to the app since but nothing has been done to fix these issues, either by fully removing support for those book formats or restoring them to full support.
Other problems remain as well.
PDF support in the Kindle app is largely redundant since many Android phones ship with software capable of opening PDF (like ThinkFree Office), software which cannot be removed unless the phone is rooted and 3rd party apps designed for removing preinstalled software are used. Adding PDF support increased the size of the app and the amount of RAM and internal storage it requires. The space required is reduced if the app is moved to external (micro SD) storage. Unfortunately for owners of lower-spec phones with limited RAM and storage and/or without external storage, the increased size means they either cannot use the newer versions or have to uninstall other apps to use the Kindle app.
The Kindle app can take so long to launch that Android assumes it has become unresponsive and offers to force close it. Despite some reduction in size since the initial update with PDF support, the app is still very slow to launch, even on a fast phone like the Samsung Epic 4G. That never happened on my phone prior to the addition of PDF support.
If you are going to stop supporting an older file format with a program, ensure that support for it is completely removed or at least the code for it is completely isolated so that those files are either "invisible" to the program's file handling or just won't open, preferably with a message to the user that they are no longer supported.
Solutions: Either restore compatibility with PalmDOC and all versions of Mobipocket files or remove support for them completely. (I and anyone else with a large collection of such files would obviously prefer restoring compatibility.) Remove PDF support or provide the option of downloading a version without PDF support but with all the other features that have been added.
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014
"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus
, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".