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Posts tagged apps

Morning Roundup: Rise of mobile apps. Kobo for iOS updated and more
April 9, 2014 | 9:00 am

Income vs. Expenses: How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living (The Billfold) Remember that this is pre-tax income. It’s also before Paypal takes out its fees, which add up. I wish Paypal were not the ubiquitous method of paying freelancers, but I did not create the system. *** The Rise of Mobile Apps and the Decline of the Open Web (GigaOM) Venture investor Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz and others say they are concerned that the increasing use of mobile apps means less investment in the open web, and that this could have a negative effect on innovation. But is that true? *** Kobo for iOS...

Morning Roundup: Compete with Amazon? Ten amazing book apps and more
March 11, 2014 | 9:00 am

compete with amazonHow do We Compete with Amazon? (Brave New World) It would be wrong to believe that they can be beaten on discounts, as the only winner in a discount war is the consumer and the one with the strongest nerve and deepest pockets. Wishing for a white knight may have been feasible ten years ago, but today it isn’t going to happen and no start-up is going to suddenly change that. *** Will the Canada - South Korea Trade Agreement Include Copyright Term Extension? (Michael Geist) The IP issues have not received any attention (the entire agreement remains secret so discussion has been generally...

Whither the book app?
March 7, 2014 | 2:31 pm

book appJuli sent this blog post my way, by indie writer L.R. Styles. In the post, Styles laments the cost and difficulty of producing book apps---not non-fiction interactive apps, but ones based on novels, with soundtracks and old-timey fonts and so on. From the post: "As an indie author, I love the idea of making each book title into an app. Such individualization—to me–really helps focus on the feel and tone I envisioned for each book when writing it. Just being able to include a soundtrack, font and old-school decorative printing flourishes makes my mind whirl with ideas, and such is the...

Android versus Apple apps: The time factor
March 7, 2014 | 12:32 pm

appsThe vexed question of Android versus Apple apps has surfaced again, but this time it's not money: it's time. And those nice people at Crispy Codes have shared an infographic that helps make sense of this issue and map out project timelines. According to Crispy Codes, "Android devices vary. It takes longer to build an Android app vs. iOS or Windows." But issues such as UI design (whether out-of-the-box or custom made),  level of complexity, and integration with a backend server, obviously make more of a difference. See below for the whole story. ...

How much would you pay for a phone installed with Flappy Bird?
February 10, 2014 | 4:24 pm

Too much of a good thing can be tough to handle. Dong Nguyen the creator of the viral game Flappy Bird couldn’t handle the quick rise of popularity of his game – even though he was supposedly making a lot of money off ads – so he took it down. This has caused people to find alternative methods to finding Flappy Bird, one of which may cost people thousands of dollars. Several smartphones and tablets that have the game installed already have sold on eBay for more than $3,000 – all the way up to $10,100. Are all these auctions legit? Probably not. I...

BARD Mobile app allows the blind to read on iOS devices
February 6, 2014 | 2:47 pm

BARD mobileThis is a fairly old press release, but it only came to my attention recently. Last year, the Library of Congress released an iOS app to allow access to NLS BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) accounts. I did a quick search of our archives, and it doesn't look like we covered it. Since I'm sighted and don't have a BARD account, I couldn't test the app, but this feature piqued my interest. “With BARD Mobile, patrons can play talking books and magazines on their iOS devices. Patrons may also read electronic braille books, magazines and music scores using a refreshable braille...

Amazon offers $5 Appstore credit for downloading any Android app, and another for buying a digital PC game
December 24, 2013 | 4:58 am

Screenshot_2013-12-24-04-50-53Have an Android device? You can get a $5 credit in the Amazon Appstore by installing it and downloading any application, even a free one. Amazon is offering this deal from 12/24 through 12/28. You just have to download the Appstore installer, then snag an app from it. See this page for details. It’s worth noting that sometimes the versions of apps Amazon has in its store are not the same as the latest version from the Play Store. Might be worth checking the version of the app in both places before you buy it. As with the...

Universal Marvin App Free For “Limited Time”
November 22, 2013 | 3:56 pm

marvinMarvin released an upgrade today, and while the changelog wasn't as impressive as some I've seen, there's still big news. This was the last upgrade for Marvin for iPad. Going forward, all updates will be to the universal iPhone/iPad version. From a development perspective, that makes sense, and as a user, I much prefer universal apps. However, the universal version isn't free. It's $2.99 (quite reasonable for such a great app). However, even you cheapskates don't have to worry. To aid in the transition, the app will be free for a "very limited time." I'd interpret that to mean a couple...

Mashable app list: Really making you a better reader?
November 11, 2013 | 6:37 pm

Social media and technology site Mashable has grouped together "8 Apps to Make You a Better Reader" - and not just concentrating on e-reading, but also bringing in some apps that will be just as helpful for print reading as well. If they help. Because the premise for choosing some seems the exact opposite of making you a better reader - i.e. making you a hastier and less insightful reader by predigesting and dicing up your reading matter. As Mashable's Mark Knoblauch says, the article has been "trying to stray from the obvious reading apps, like e-readers." And yes, as well...

App Sale: SwiftKey is Half Off. Today Only
October 22, 2013 | 10:37 am

SwiftKeyI've tested and reviewed many third-party keyboards for Android, and SwiftKey remains my go-to keyboard on my Nook HD. If you've been thinking about trying SwiftKey, today is a great day. It's half off on Google Play (to celebrate 5 years of Android), bringing it to $1.99, which is an excellent price. Here's my review from earlier this year, if you want to check it out before heading over to buy the app....

Apple allows old iOS devices to install ‘last compatible version’ of newer apps
October 6, 2013 | 6:00 pm

ipadlatestappThis is a slightly old story, but I thought it was worth following up on when I had the chance. A few weeks ago, Apple quietly added a new feature to its iOS app store. It used to be that when you had hardware too old to run the latest version of an app, and you lost the version of it you had, you were out of luck. After OS 7 came out, for example, when I tried to update my 1st-generation iPad’s Zite app, I was told that the new one required OS 7. So if I...

App Review: Afterword for Android
September 23, 2013 | 3:32 pm

Sometimes I like an app that does one thing and does it well. Someone I know tweeted about Afterword, and I decided to give it a try. If you are an author on Kindle, the app allows you to look at your sales data. You can select which country to view, or the app can give you total sales across all countries. You can look the current month or the prior month. That's all it does, but it's a quick and easy way to get up-to-date information on your book sales. I find it easier than going to the KDP site. Which...