Monday, October 14, 2013

Undisturbed reading, app proposal

I forget if I ever wrote about an idea I brought up during my interview in The Kindle Chronicles.

For people who like to read, and read on a Kindle Fire, or iPad or other tablet, and find it hard to concentrate when email and Plants Vs Zombies becon just a tap away, one migh make software which could set a "Concentrate Time".

For example, one might set it so that during the next hour, it would be impossible to get out of the reading app and do anything else.

It would surely be wise to make an emergency escape hatch (such as when one feels that either one gets to topple pigs' houses, or it's back to heroin). It could be a minute's wait until one could get out. Or it could be a little task to be executed before being allowed. Just something which would introduce a bit of a barrier, so our mental enertia would help us stay in our reading session.

I think it would be easier to do on Android, since on iPad, for better and worse, it's near impossible to do anything with an app which affects the system or other apps. It's good for the system's health, but bad for flexibility. (When recording a ringtone on my iPhone, the app can't get it to the right place to be used by the phone, I have to plug it in to a computer with iTunes to do the right steps to do that. This is called "sandboxing", each app has its own little protected playground.) So I guess Apple would have to make this function if it is to appear on the iPad. And I doubt they will, because the iPad is not basically a reading machine.

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