Improve the Kindle by removing this feature

As any Kindle-owning traveler knows, there’s that dreaded moment when the flight attendant announces “at this time, all laptops, cell phones, iPods, gaming devices, Kindles … anything with an off button must be turned off”.  This leaves the Kindle-owning reader with nothing to read except the Sky Mall magazine.  Of course many just hide their Kindles in the Sky Mall magazine and continue to read while keeping one eye out for the the attendant.  Since I’m a rule follower, I put my device away and spend the next half hour pondering why anyone would need a stainless steel wallet.

The solution to the Kindle-gap on the plane is obvious. Amazon should remove the off button from the Kindle.  With the Kindle’s 30 days of reading time, there’s no real need to turn it off.  Sure, keep the button and have it turn off the wireless functions, but don’t power down the whole device, keep all the reading functions live.  Don’t make me resort to reading that airplane safety card one more time.

  1. #1 by Chris on April 17, 2011 - 1:47 pm

    I have very little to back this up, but I think there’s at least a voluntary code of conduct that has measures aimed at reducing energy wasted by electronic devices left on standby – I’m pretty sure having an off button is a minimum requirement. I seem to recall a few years back there was a bit of an outcry about TVs, hifis and so on that were impossible to turn off and it came as a result of that.

  2. #2 by roymond on April 18, 2011 - 11:17 am

    They’ll simply rewrite their pre-flight speech if you remove the button. I think a moment’s worth of meditation is called for during take off and landing. Even, god forbid, some quick social contact with the person sitting next to you. Flight attendants have better things to worry about than whether I’m in airplane mode or not. I’d rather they not have to haggle with stubborn passengers who feel empowered by their Platinum Medallion status.

  3. #3 by Jesper on April 20, 2011 - 8:05 am

    A nightmare from coach – right?

    And a Faraday cage in your pocket – now that’s kinda cool. Thanks for the link :)

  4. #4 by Nick on May 5, 2011 - 12:54 am

    The Kobo e-reader has a mode that displays the last page being read in a book when you turn it off (with a “**Powered Off**” banner across the top).

    It makes sense, because e-ink displays only needs power to rewrite the display – keeping an image on it requires no power at all.

    It’s very useful on planes.

  5. #5 by Jukka Niiranen on June 10, 2011 - 3:41 pm

    Whenever I’m travelling with my Kindle and need to put it away due to the in-flight regulations, this wonderful quote from @johnbiggs Kindle review on CrunchGear comes to my mind:

    “Flight attendants will tell you to turn it off on take off and landing. You can’t explain that it’s epaper and uses no current. You just can’t. It’s like explaining heaven to bears.”

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