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Posts tagged apps

Double App Review: MegaReader and QuickReader for iOS
August 30, 2013 | 6:41 pm

I'm reviewing both of these apps together because they're so similar; there's just one feature difference between them. The developer was celebrating five million downloads and in honor of the occasion was offering free versions of the apps to bloggers. Lucky me! Anyway, at their heart, they are both e-reading apps. (Both are also available for iOS only.) Let's start with MegaReader. It has more features than most of the store reading apps (Kindle, Kobo, and Nook), but far fewer features than Marvin. That's either a good or bad thing, depending on the user. While I love Marvin, I can see its...

Edinburgh guides you round its bookshops — if you’re on iOS
August 21, 2013 | 10:45 am

EdinburghTo help mark its status as the first UNESCO City of Literature during the International Book Festival, Edinburgh has put up an interactive Flash map of 53 of the city's bookshops and released a free Edinburgh Bookshops Trail iPhone App—but on iPhone only. The app "shows you all Edinburgh bookshops on a map, with shop descriptions, stock information, addresses, contact details, website links, the works. It even gives you the quickest way to get there! You can also filter by genre, and we have added a quick overview of literary events for the coming 7 days." Unfortunately, Android users will have to...

‘Undownloading’ — the New Geographical Restriction?
August 20, 2013 | 9:18 am

Google BooksFrom Techdirt comes this upsetting but not terribly surprising story about a Georgetown professor who downloaded a Google Books update while travelling, and then had it 'undownload' his books when it detected he was outside the USA. From the article: "What makes this tale particularly noteworthy is the way it brings together a host of really bad ideas that the publishing and distribution industries insist on deploying. There's DRM that means you can't make backups; there's the country-specific usage that tries to impose physical geography on your digital ebooks; and there's the update that spies on you and your system before deciding unilaterally...

Marvin and Calibre: Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly (video)
July 16, 2013 | 10:35 am

Since I just received a shiny new iPad (fourth generation) as an early birthday present, I've been doing more reading in Marvin, which I reviewed earlier this year. There have been several updates since my initial review, and one of the things I noticed was a "Calibre Connector" in one of the menus. I did some searching and discovered that books can by synced to Marvin directly through Calibre, over a wired sync. Since Marvin has one of the best Dropbox integrations I've ever seen, I wouldn't suggest this for loading one or two books, but it's a great way to sync...

Android app development: Really pricier than iOS?
July 16, 2013 | 9:27 am

AndroidAdam Tinworth, in his oft-cited personal blog "of the transition of journalism, publishing and content in general into the online world," One Man and His Blog, made a post a short time ago about the comparative costs of developing apps for Android platform and for Apple's iOS. In his post, "Android: Triple the development costs of iOS?," he states exactly that, citing a recent BBC blog post by David Berlin, senior product manager with the BBC, about developing the BBC iPlayer App on Android. Tinworth took exception to the BBC blogger's statement that their Android development team was triple the size of their...

Weekend Roundup: Tel Aviv gets a beach library; Miami-Dade County may lose 42 libraries; free productivity apps from Amazon
July 14, 2013 | 10:41 am

libraryTel Aviv Gets First Beachside Library (Gadling) Need a good beach read? Visitors to Tel Aviv's Metzizim Beach can now borrow books for reading on the sand. The city has launched the first beachside library, providing over 500 free book rentals in five languages, including English, Hebrew, Arabic, French and Russian. * * * JK Rowling Revealed as Writer of Crime Novel (NPR) An ex-military man tries his hand at writing, publishes a debut detective novel, and wins critical acclaim. But here's the twist in the tale: The true identity of the author is none other than "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling. * * * Miami-Dade County May Shutter 42 Public...

The New York Times Now Available as a Kindle Fire App
July 12, 2013 | 1:37 pm

Kindle Fire AppLove The New York Times and want to read it on your Kindle Fire? Until this week, you had to settle for the Kindle edition, which gave you the articles but none of the multi-media content. No longer. Kindle Fire users can now run a New York Times app, with the features of the Android and iOS apps that have been available for a while now. The Next Web has a nice roundup of the features and a short interview with Paul Smurl, GM of Core Digital Products at The New York Times. We reviewed the New York Times app for Android and...

Kobo for Blackberry 10 Now Available
July 9, 2013 | 12:08 pm

KoboKobo has announced via their blog that Blackberry 10 users can now download a Kobo app of their very own. Users of the Z10 and Q10 models have a new app available to them with all of Kobo's signature features, including cross-device syncing, day and night modes and Reading Life stats. They also get a free book (Jessica Hagy's "How to Be Interesting After You Graduate" just for downloading. Happy reading!...

Morning Roundup: The future of books, the e-book market in France, and more
July 8, 2013 | 9:08 am

Morning RoundupeBooks Now 3% of French Market (The Digital Reader) eBooks might be seeing immense popularity in US and UK but they’re not having the same luck in France. There’s a new report out this week that shows that ebooks are still a negligible part of the french book market. * * * Self-Published Children's Author Shares Advices (GalleyCat) Author Tim Cohorst was the first children’s book author to crack our Self-Published Bestsellers List this year. Since its publication last year, His Jocomo book has always hovered near the top of the Smashwords charts. * * * The Future of Books: Library Apps (Book Riot) I recently got...

Weekend Roundup: Digital rights protection and the future of writing
June 30, 2013 | 10:52 am

Weekend Roundup3 Reasons Why Facebook Can't Replace Your Author Website (Jane Friedman) I’ve occasionally been asked by authors at conferences: Why not just use Facebook? Isn’t that where everyone is spending their time already? Why would people visit my site? Why bother with all the effort of establishing a site, which, if it becomes dusty or out-of-date, could be more damaging than no website at all? * * * Digital rights protection and the future of writing (The Guardian) SiDiM, an ingenious new rights protections system, may point the way to the experimental literature of the future. Germany's FraunhoferInstitute recently revealed that it is working on a new digital...

Does Apple’s rejection of political games constitute a monopoly?
June 24, 2013 | 3:55 am

rottenE-books are one form of new media commonly associated with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, but another—arguably, one more unique to them—is video games. But politically topical games have always been a hot button issue with Apple’s iOS app store, which is prone to reject them on the slightest flimsy excuse. Polygon has an interesting feature covering the difficulties of some such studios to get their games approved. While I would quibble a bit with Polygon’s terminology referring to politically-topical games as “serious” games—as if non-political games can’t have serious stories—I would tend to agree with its point...

Samsung’s new ATIV Q tablet runs Android apps in Windows 8
June 21, 2013 | 1:30 pm

Ativ QThe mobile OS wars rage on, but Samsung seems to be hedging its bets with the recently-unveiled Ativ Q tablet. The 13.3-inch (3,200 x 1,800 HD resolution) ATIV Q will run on Windows 8, but have the ability to switch to stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean without needing to restart the device. Photos and other data will purportedly be transferable between the OSes, and Android apps can even be pinned to the Windows 8 start screen. The tablet also features a convertible design with a built-in QWERTY keyboard, able to be turned into a tablet, laptop, or video player with adjustable stand. Pricing...