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My Answers Expert Articles: E-Readers, iOS
June 21, 2013 | 6:33 am

faceshotOne of the reasons I haven’t been writing as much lately here is that I have another part-time writing gig now that takes up much of my attention. I’m the “PC Expert” for’s Experts program, contributing 500- to 600-word articles on subjects pertaining to computers, tablets, and related issues. It’s a very different sort of writing than I do for TeleRead, as those articles have to be neutral in tone and informative or instructional, rather than editorial. Along the way, I have managed to fit in a number of posts relating to topics relevant to TeleRead. A number of them...

Apple apparently opens refurbished outlet on eBay
November 19, 2012 | 11:04 pm

ebay-logoIt’s not clear whether Apple is doing this or it’s just someone who’s cut a deal with them (both 9to5Mac and CNet asked Apple for clarification, but the company apparently hasn’t responded yet), but an eBay store entitled “refurbished outlet” has opened up, selling factory-refurbished Apple products at the same prices (including some 4th-gen iPod Touches at the bargain prices I noted a couple of weeks ago) and with the same one-year warranty as on the Apple Store. (It’s a buy-it-now only operation, so there’s no bidding.) As a side benefit, only a few states’ residents—California, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey,...

Refurbished 4th generation iPod Touch on bargain sale
November 8, 2012 | 9:15 pm

If you’re looking for a handily pocketable e-reader and wouldn’t feel dirty giving money to Apple, CNet points out that Apple is running a pretty good deal on refurbished 4th-generation (the model from two years ago) iPod Touch units. The 8 GB version is available for $129 shipped (it costs $199 new), the 32 GB version is $179 ($229 new), and the 64 GB version is $229 (not available new). While these aren’t the latest model, with the 16:9 screen, Lightning connector, and better rear-facing camera, they do have Retina-resolution screens, FaceTime cameras, and modern operating systems. I don’t mind saying,...

The 7-inch iPad may not be a value product after all
September 15, 2012 | 1:07 pm

By Jeremy Hill | for Gadgetell Apple spent its entire media event this past Wednesday showing off the iPhone 5, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the iPod Nano and updated software for iOS and iTunes. We didn’t hear a peep about the fabled 7-inch iPad, so it’s fair to assume that’s being saved for a later event. However, I’m not so sure it will be the Nexus 7 destroyer many have made it out to be--assuming it’s real. Here’s the problem: The 7-inch iPad is believed to be a more budget-friendly version of the full sized iPad. It’s supposed to swoop in and completely...

4” iPhone, iPod Touch, 8” iPad Mini possibly expected in September
July 25, 2012 | 12:06 am

macotakara_ipod_touch_2012_mockupAs the new hardware refresh comes ever closer, the Apple iDevice rumors grow ever thicker. Here’s a couple of choice ones with e-reading implications. MacRumors has a report suggesting that the iPod Touch will get an update to a new 4” design right along with the iPhone. (The picture at left is a mock-up of what this iPod Touch might look like.) It will have a “buffed aluminum” rear shell, and apart from the camera there will be another hole in the case, at the center near the bottom. It’s not clear what this hole would be for. ...

Music piracy and the eight GigaDollar iPod Classic
June 12, 2012 | 9:23 pm

Novelist and music-industry expert Rob Reid has written an amusing satirical look at the high price of (being found guilty of) copyright violation on Ars Technica. When damages are set at $150,000 a song—more than the price of a five-bedroom home—it can start to seem a little ridiculous. This means, Reid points out, that a $249 iPod Classic can hold about $8 billion worth of music. (While it’s written from the perspective of digital music, it applies equally well to digital books. Indeed, since e-books are so much smaller than songs, a single Kindle or iOS device could probably hold...

iOS Instapaper app available free for visiting a Starbucks
June 5, 2012 | 6:41 pm

Interested in the read-it-later iOS app Instapaper but don’t feel like shelling out $5 for it? Our sister blog Gadgetell reports that Starbucks is offering Instapaper as its “Free App of the Week”. To get it, you have to go to a Starbucks location and pick up a card with a code to redeem for the free app. I’ve been using Instapaper a good deal lately in researching stories for this blog. I had been frustrated that Zite lacked a good way of marking articles to review (and blog) later, like the “star” option in Google Reader, and also...

4th-generation iPod Touch sees refurbishment discount
April 17, 2012 | 12:30 am

CNet has a piece about what a good deal the newly-discounted refurbished 4th-gen iPod Touches available at the Apple Store currently are: 8 gig discounted $30 to $169, 32 gig discounted $50 to $249, and 64-gig discounted $60 to $339. These are the models that have the double-resolution Retina Display, and would make great e-readers. If I didn’t have other demands on my money, I might very well scoop one of those up. Another CNet writer has argued that Apple should ditch the iPod Touch, saying that as a brand name the iPod had basically died out. But...

E-reader accessory review: Flygrip one-handed device grip
April 15, 2012 | 6:26 pm

GEDC0093A few days ago, I was contacted by Chih-Chin Sun of Flygrip, an iPhone/e-reader handgrip accessory made by a company that began selling its products in February of this year. Ms. Sun had read my post about seeking a one-handed e-reading solution for my mother, who had her right arm amputated on New Year’s Eve, and wanted to send my mother and me each one of the Flygrip devices gratis—for my Mom to try out, and for me to review. She noted that the device already had a number of quite satisfied one-handed (and two-handed) users. After looking at...

Scribd fails to sell news aggregation app to Yahoo
March 20, 2012 | 12:10 am

TechCrunch has a piece on Scribd, the document-sharing platform with 100 million registered users and 90 million monthly active users. The piece focuses on the iOS news aggregation app, Float, that Scribd developed and almost sold to Yahoo for between $2 and $8 million before Yahoo decided to walk away in February. Float had gotten off to a good start, with up to 200 news partners and good ratings at the app store. However, it soon ran up against some stiff competition: “When we originally launched Float, Scribd wanted it to be Instapaper and Read...

Mass Effect 3 and interactivity in storytelling
March 15, 2012 | 1:14 am

MassEffect3_BoxImage_PC_bigLast week, Mass Effect 3 came out. And it’s been eating into my doing-other-stuff time ever since. But Mass Effect 3 isn’t just interesting as a video game, and as the conclusion to a trilogy of stories I’ve been following for years. I find it interesting in its overall implications for electronic media and storytelling—including electronic literature. Mass Effect 3 was built from the ground up to interact with other media. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other game that has gone quite so far into linking itself across multiple platforms. Apart from...

Readability launches iOS app March 1
February 24, 2012 | 12:38 am

Readability’s latest attempt to stay relevant hits the iPad and iPhone on March 1. That’s when a free Readability iOS app launches. As with its predecessors Instapaper and Read-It-Later, the app promises to allow users to tag articles they would like to reformat in a web browser, then sync them to the iOS app and read them with a nice, simple interface. There is a one-minute trailer for the app up on Readability’s iOS app page, and it looks reasonably nifty in terms of simplicity of interface, adjustability of font and so on, and I’m sure some people will...

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