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TeleRead Links: Amazon sales increase, update moves nVidia Shield features, phones that please their owners, and more
July 25, 2015 | 4:41 am

amzonsmileAmazon Reports 20% Increase in Net Sales (GalleyCat) Net sales at Amazon increased 20 percent to $23.18 billion during the company’s financial the second quarter, as compared to $19.34 billion in Q2 2014. The TeleRead Take: More Amazon financials. It’s noteworthy that they don’t break out e-books vs. regular books or other products; they just talk about total sales. And even if (as GalleyCat points out in its third paragraph) Amazon introduced a new Kindle e-ink reader and expanded its kids’ tablet to the UK, that doesn’t necessarily explain the increase. Perhaps there’s more going on here than...

TeleRead Links: Talking View-Master, Google Play Books gains note sync, and more
July 20, 2015 | 1:30 am

viewmasterThe Electronic Talking View-Master Was the Original Oculus Rift (Gizmodo) Seen here in an ad dating back to February of 1983, the Electronic Talking View-Master used the same slideshow discs as previous versions of the toy. But they were embedded in a special cartridge alongside a tiny vinyl record that would be played at the same time. The TeleRead Take: It’s interesting looking back at old iterations of technology, isn’t it? Back in the day, when they didn’t have anything like what they wanted to do, they had to invent something completely new. And so we got a...

TeleRead Links: Lower book sales, lost-phone retrieval, smartwatch success, and more
July 19, 2015 | 2:13 am

Book Sales Down 6.5% in Q1: AAP (GalleyCat) Though sales in Trade Books for the quarter were $1.53 billion, down only 2.2 percent from the same quarter in 2014. Adult book sales helped the category, with book sales up 12 percent in March, and 3.4 percent for the first quarter. Children’s & Young Adults and Religious presses, on the other hand, both saw sales decline during the quarter, down by 15.9 percent and 5.5 percent respectively. The TeleRead Take: Overall sales were $2.22 billion, as opposed to $2.38 billion for the same period in 2014. It’s hard to...

TeleRead Links: Phone battery tips, Microsoft goals, $30 Android PC, blog wisdom for authors, and more
July 17, 2015 | 2:45 am

remixminiHow to Make Your Phone Battery Last Longer (Reviewed.com) Though there's a limit to how far any phone can stretch, battery life isn't written in stone. How you use your phone and how you treat it determine not only much time you get on a charge, but also how long the battery itself lasts. Here are some pro tips. The TeleRead Take: There’s some good, thorough advice here about what features and programs to disable to make your phone battery last longer. Dim screen brightness, disable animations, shut off location services and unneeded communication radios, update apps manually rather than automatically, disable...

Requiem for the iPod Touch
July 17, 2015 | 2:16 am

It’s funny how viewpoints change over time. Apple just introduced a new version of the iPod Touch the other day, with a faster CPU and better camera hardware. The price stays about the same, starting at $199 for 16 GB and topping out with a new $399 for 128 GB option. But the screen size remains the same 3.5” it has always been, which leaves David Rothman less than impressed. This bemuses me, as I remember that back in 2008, in the Kindle’s early days, the same-sized iPhone and iPod Touch were considered a seriously strong contender for e-reading....

Mobile technology foments leaks at Comic Con
July 16, 2015 | 9:00 am

comic-con-logoAh, mobile technology. It’s giving people the power to e-read and consume other media pretty much anywhere—but it’s also giving them the power to record media pretty much anywhere, which is a problem for studios who want to control the distribution of stuff that’s just supposed to be shown to the fans in one particular location. Such as Comic Con. The Sydney Morning Herald has a fairly long article looking at the issue. Movie studios are complaining that a lot of footage that was intended to be shown just at Comic Con to the fans there has turned up...

Cell phone Internet comes to half the world
July 14, 2015 | 1:00 pm

The digital divide is shrinking, TechCrunch points out. 94% of the world’s population receives a cell phone signal of some kind. 48% of the world’s population has cellular Internet service available to them. 28% of the world’s population has subscribed to that Internet service. Those figures are really pretty impressive when you think about it. More than one person in every four has access to the Internet now. Of course, those numbers are not exactly uniform; a lot higher percentage of the people in the developed world have it, and a lot lower percentage of the people in the undeveloped world...

How I finally fixed my Android phone’s internal storage issues
July 10, 2015 | 9:07 am

Screenshot_2015-05-24-12-59-22At long, long last I finally worked out how to cure my Navon Mizu M500 Android smartphone of the insufficient storage issues that were bedeviling it. Despite all my past efforts to clean it out, the phone was down to just 1.1MB of internal storage lately. But as of this morning, I've freed up around 500MB, and it looks like this solution will stick. For the benefit of other troubled Android phone users, here is how to do it. Two caveats, though. First, your phone needs to be rooted. Second, I take no responsibility whatsoever for any bricking of your device...

How to save loads of memory on a MediaTek device
June 25, 2015 | 9:11 am

MTK logger settingsReaders may recall I rooted my Navon Mizu M500 phone a short while ago, partly in order to stop the machine running short of phone memory and refusing to update apps. Sure enough, the problem started to manifest again, with hidden files apparently filling up the machine's onboard capacity. In most cases on Android phones, the culprit appears to be log files, which are implemented by differing manufacturers in various ways and progressively fill up the system with activity logs. With a rooted device, you can get down and actually clean these out. But how? The following fix appears to apply...

A dedicated smartphone for e-reading?
June 6, 2015 | 9:34 am

dedicatedsmartphoneThe launch of the ASUS ZenPhone Selfie, a smartphone - well, obviously - optimized for taking selfies, put me in mind of other dedicated, specialized phones out in the market right now. Smartphones, remember, are increasingly commoditized, and differentiation is ever more important, especially for the East Asian manufacturers who pursue market share as their prime goal. You have the Sony Xperia C4, desperately jockeying for the title of "world's best selfie smartphone." You have the Samsung Galaxy Note, purposed for taking notes, receiving input, and generally making standalone tablets obsolete. You have the LG G Flex and the Samsung...

Typo settles with Blackberry, stops making phone keyboards
June 2, 2015 | 6:20 pm

Don’t mess with Blackberry, even if you’re Ryan Seacrest. That’s the lesson Typo seems to have learned. After a lawsuit and an injunction, the company has reached a settlement with BlackBerry to stop selling its Blackberry-like smartphone Bluetooth thumb keyboards. It can still make keyboards for tablets, but its entire original raison d’être—to make a more useful smartphone keyboard—is now completely off the table. This seems like a pity for people who prefer the thumb keyboard style that’s so hard to find on non-BlackBerry touchscreen smartphones these days, but it can hardly be disputed that Typo made some pretty...

E-books on your Windows phone: Try free Freda app—offering text to speech and easy downloads of free books
June 2, 2015 | 6:05 am

fredavideo  A free e-reading app called Freda might be just the ticket for your Windows phone. Freda already shines by Windows Phone e-reading standards. It’s won an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 from 1,384 customers of the Windows Phone Store. Perhaps when a Win 10 update rolls around for the app itself, Freda will be still better. Versions come in English, German, French, Chinese and several other languages. The above video from XDA TV is not up entirely to date but will still help you understand the app’s possibilities. As described by Turnipsoft Limited, here are some goodies: Reads ePub (DRM-free), HTML, and...

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