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Amazon Prime streaming video app coming soon to Android, Amazon says
July 23, 2014 | 12:36 am

It might be a bit surprising, but one of our most popular articles here at TeleRead deals not with books but rather with video—in particular, how to use a Flash-enabled web browser to watch Amazon Prime streaming videos on Android devices. Since there’s no native Android player application for the service, the way there are for Kindle Fire and iOS devices, this workaround has been the best that Android owners can do. (And even that didn’t work outside of the US.) Until now. PC Advisor reports that Amazon Instant Video marketing director Russell Morris said at an event in...

Big phone or small tablet: the next tech shift?
July 14, 2014 | 12:25 pm

big phone or small tabletIn the Weekend Links, I highlighted a GigaOM story which claims that sales of bigger phones are starting to cut into sales of smaller tablets. I believe it. When I got my iPad Mini, it was because I wanted a not-phone-sized device that didn't weigh a ton. I still use my Mini a lot (mostly in situations which call for two iPads, such as the Beloved being able to FaceTime at home on days I stay late at work, or a train ride we take semi-regularly involving a small child who won't share). But in my perfect tech world, I'd...

Rotring meets the digital pen challenge?
July 5, 2014 | 12:21 pm

800pls_hoverAs a follow-up to my earlier TeleRead piece on why the premium pen manufacturers aren't meeting the onscreen writing challenge, it's good to report that at least one firm does seem to have stepped up to the plate: The German precision pen and drawing instrument manufacturer Rotring, whose stylographic pens have been a staple of drawing and engineering courses for decades. Founded in 1928, the company's rapidographs became the virtual standard for technical drawing. However, as its Wikipedia entry states, "the advent in the 1990s of computer-aided design (CAD) saw the partial demise of the technical drawing pen. To combat...

Amazon gives away 30 free Android apps June 27, 28
June 27, 2014 | 3:36 pm

If you’ve got an Android tablet and are looking for something fun to put on it, don’t miss this Amazon giveaway. Instead of just one app, today Amazon’s giving away thirty with a combined total value of over $100. And these aren’t some random apps you’ve never heard of, either. Gizmodo has a rundown of some of the better ones.  The list includes the Plex media streamer, AccuWeather Platinum (a great weather app, which I personally used myself already), Notepad+, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and more. Most of them will work with any Android tablet, as long as you’ve...

Portuguese app store Aptoide files anti-trust accusation against Google for bundling Play Store
June 18, 2014 | 5:37 pm

aptoideGigaom (and our sister blog TechnologyTell) reports that a Portuguese Android app store, Aptoide, has filed an anti-trust complaint against Google to the European Commission. This isn’t the first such complaint Google’s gotten in Europe, either. Aptoide complains that Google’s Play store won’t permit fully-functional third-party app stores on board (which is to say, apps that let you download other apps from outside Google), that Google has been making it harder and harder for people to find the setting necessary to allow installation of third-party apps, that the Google Play store is bundled with Google’s services and required to...

Ars Technica exhaustively documents all Android versions
June 16, 2014 | 2:37 am

its-been-quite-a-journey1-980x439In the interest of documenting it for the historical record, Ars Technica has just posted an immense 40,000-word retrospective on all versions of Android to date, with as many screen shots and as much information as they can gather. It’s possibly the biggest article I’ve seen on their site, at 26 separate pages; Ars Technica premier subscribers can view it in single page form on the site or download a PDF. Those folks who don’t pay for a subscription may want to use an aggregator like Instapaper to view it in a more manageable form. It might even...

Amazon could ‘attack’ Android…but why would it want to?
June 15, 2014 | 3:48 pm

So, investment tea-leaf-reading site Seeking Alpha has a piece by Panabee Research on ways that Amazon could “attack” Android with its new device, presumably a smartphone, it will be announcing this week. Noting that Amazon has historically sold its hardware devices at close to their wholesale cost and made most of its money from content sales, Panabee believes Amazon should go with “a volume strategy and an attack on Android.” Because Android is so fragmented, Amazon doesn’t require a large market share in order to “threaten Android and present a compelling alternative to developers.” The article goes on to...

$50 tablets are now a thing
June 8, 2014 | 5:42 am

DigiLand-DL-71These are the days of miracle and wonder… A few months ago, I wrote that the $100 laptop was now the $100 tablet. It turns out that now, it’s the $50 tablet. First they were on sale for that at Office Depot. Since, I’ve seen them around the same price in Fry’s. Now Nate reports on The Digital Reader that Best Buy has a $50 dual-core Android 4.4 tablet, and I just got a Wal-Mart sales circular email advertising Ematic 7” tablets for $55 and $60. It also features a number of other tablets in the $70 to $100...

LeVar Burton discusses Reading Rainbow TV show cancelation, plans for Kickstarter
June 5, 2014 | 12:49 pm

The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter has reached about $3.5 million, and the velocity of increase has slowed considerably. I still think it has the potential to make 10 if it does well over the course of the month, especially when it gets the end-of-Kickstarter boost. But even if it makes its $5 million stretch goal, that will be something. LeVar Burton has been interviewed by Think Progress, and he took the opportunity to dispel a few rumors about why the show was canceled, and discuss how the show originally got started and how the money from the Kickstarter will be...

How to upgrade the Nook HD to Kit Kat with Cyanogenmod
May 31, 2014 | 4:59 pm

Screenshot_2014-05-31-16-44-33Ever since I got my Nexus 7, my Nook HD has been kind of languishing. I’d upgraded it to the most recent Jelly Bean Cyanogenmod version a while back, but I was curious: what might Kit Kat be like on it? Could I run it? Given that I had the Nexus, I wasn’t in danger of losing my only Android tablet solution if I screwed it up, so I figured, why not break me off a piece? I found some not terribly user-friendly instructions, puzzled my way through them, and commenced. It worked for me, so I’m going to tell you...

LeVar Burton launches Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, fully funds in less than twelve hours
May 28, 2014 | 8:55 pm

LeVar_RR_bio.largeTake a look, it’s in a book. The Verge ran a story today that LeVar Burton has launched a $1 million Kickstarter with the goal of bringing Reading Rainbow to the web, to reach kids across the globe. It’s already available for Android and iPad, but not all kids or schools have access to those devices, or the $60 per year the subscription costs. In addition to putting it on the web, Burton wants to create a version for teachers to use in the classroom, and to set up a not-for-profit organization to make it available for free to low-income schools. The...

The education world has gone tablet-crazy!
May 28, 2014 | 3:25 pm

tabletA report crossed my in-box the other day via the usually reliable Teachers with Apps blog. It promised to inform me on 'education trends I need to know about' and said it would highlight data from around the world. Sounds good, right? Well, I'll save you reading the whole thing and sun it up thusly: everybody loves tablets. Americans, Indians, Japanese, Swiss---everybody. They love tablets. They want tablets. Tablets are the future of education. I'm not sure what to make of it. I think there needs to be some maturation of the group management options before that happens. I am still...