Kindle Format 8

Designing and developing for Kindle's .mobi format has been like revisiting 1999. Embedded tables? (check!) Limited CSS support? (check!) Screwy box model? (check!) With the release of Kindle Fire, I was initially disappointed that Amazon did not take this opportunity to support the EPUB standard. Luckily, Amazon has announced its own file format entitled “Kindle Format 8” that offers support for many HTMl5 & CSS3 tags.

Straight from the horse's mouth:

We’re pleased to announce a wide range of new features and enhancements – including HTML5 support – coming in Kindle Format 8 (KF8). KF8 is the next generation file format for Kindle books – replacing Mobi 7. As showcased on Kindle Fire, KF8 enables publishers to create great-looking books in categories that require rich formatting and design such as children’s picture books, comics & graphic novels, technical & engineering books and cookbooks. Kindle Format 8 replaces the Mobi format and adds over 150 new formatting capabilities, including fixed layouts, nested tables, callouts, sidebars and Scalable Vector Graphics, opening up more opportunities to create Kindle books that readers will love.

Interestingly, it appears that this new format will only work with the latest generation of Kindle devices. This leaves me to wonder, will Amazon allow publishers to submit stripped down .mobi versions of titles or will customers with year old Kindles be left out in the cold?