The iPad is rapidly becoming a Swiss army knife for e-reading apps of all types. Just in case you find Apple's iBooks disappointing (and most of us do), there are the Kindle, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble apps. While each has its advantages, they're generally not compatible with each other. They also make sharing and file-format recognition beyond their e-books pretty difficult.
Well, here's the good news: Stanza just hit the iPad last night.
Stanza has been a longtime favorite of iPhone and iPod Touch users--it accesses a variety of e-book stores directly, can read several formats, and has an amazing amount of font, spacing and color customization. It was a bit of a surprise to see this latest update, simply because Amazon acquired Stanza last year to create the backbone for their Kindle app.
The universal iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad app update that has just arrived, version 3.0, looks superficially just like Stanza did before, albeit on a larger iPad screen. Unlike the Kindle and Barnes & Noble apps, Stanza can still browse Feedbooks, Project Gutenberg, and several other book collections directly within the app. The app doesn't connect with Amazon, nor does it offer any indications of an Amazon link.
The additions to this version, however, are eye-opening: Stanza now supports PDFs and comic book files in CBR format (yes, full-color ones). That comic book reader we were excited about that costs about 7 dollars? Irrelevant.
And here's the final kicker: Stanza also happens to be free. … Read more
China's Hanwang Technology has teamed up with chipmaker Marvell to create a new line of inexpensive e-book readers powered by the latter's Armada processor.
Marvell's Armada 166E system-on-a-chip includes an integrated e-paper display controller. It is designed to offer quick display of high-resolution PDF and ePub electronic documents, according to Marvell. It also features a hibernation mode to conserve power.
Hanwang's new e-reader line will hit the market … Read more
Barnes and Noble launches an iPad app to sell books from the Nook store
Google Latitude will now track where you've been
BillShrink can help you compare cable and satellite TV services in your area
The iPhone 4G may launch on Sprint, not Verizon. Keyword: may.
Do you love both Asus laptops and Amazon's Kindle book-reading app, but are extremely lazy? As in, so lazy you can't be bothered to download and install the PC version of Amazon's free Kindle app on your new Netbook?
Fortunately for you, the alphabetically enhanced companies Asus and Amazon have heard your cries and responded by striking a deal to preload the Kindle app on select Asus systems, including the Eee PC 1005PENetbook, the 13-inch UL30Aand the UL30VT--with other models to follow.
Why bother preinstalling more free software on an off-the-shelf laptop? According to the Asus news … Read more
Recently, Scott Turow, the best-selling author of legal thrillers, including "Innocent"--his just released sequel to "Presumed Innocent"--was named president of The Authors Guild. That Turow, a practicing lawyer, was named president is probably no coincidence, considering the myriad issues that authors and publishers now face as digital books and e-book readers not only disrupt the marketplace but leave it vulnerable to that nasty little vermin commonly known as piracy.
In an interview with Media Bistro's Galley Cat (see video below), Turow talked about how author royalty rates for e-books were too low, but the larger problems for authors and publishers involved piracy. "It has killed large parts of the music industry," he said. "Musicians make up for the copies of their songs that get pirated by performing live. I don't think there will be as many people showing up to hear me read as to hear Beyonce sing. We need to make sure piracy is dealt with effectively."
Why this suddenly more-alarming tone? Well, though Turow recognizes that the iPad has clearly taken the e-reader to a whole new level, he doesn't specifically single out the iPad as the No. 1 catalyst for pirating. But I am.
To put it in the context of the music world, it goes something like this: You remember the first MP3 players to catch on? They were from a company called Rio and the early ones used SmartMedia memory cards as their storage medium. Then there were more Rios, and most of them were really pretty good (I still run with a Rio Chiba). I look at these players as the Kindles, Nooks, and Sony Readers of the e-reader world. … Read more
I didn't show too much enthusiasm for Microsoft's new Spindex project in Wednesday's episode of Loaded. But truth be told, I am cautiously optimistic about it.
Spindex is a social-networking aggregator designed to pull in your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, whatever accounts in one place. Big deal, right? It's when you mix in the ability to add RSS feeds that I get excited. Throw in the ability to bookmark like Evernote, which is a product that I love, and search with Bing, which I really like a lot, and my interest is sufficiently peaked.
I spend a … Read more
The e-book revolution is upon us, and I, for one, am delighted. It's not that I don't love bookstores and real, bound books that you can hold in your hands--I do. But for years I've been smitten by the convenience and environmental-friendliness of books "printed" in digital ink.
Ah, but which e-book reader should you get? I'll save the Kindle versus iPad versus iPod versus smartphone debate for another day. Today, Buy.com has the Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 for $139.95 with free shipping.
Chip in with your siblings and you have … Read more
Gizmodo is reporting that it has been tipped off about a couple of new Nook devices that will be released later this year. While there are no details about the so-called Nook 2, an update of the current Barnes & Noble e-book reader, the other Nook device will be a "lite" version that's Wi-Fi-only.
Both should include an integrated Web browser, as the software update reportedly due next week for the current Nook will grant it a full browser among other updates.
That all sounds plausible, as does the $199 price point for the "lite" … Read more
If you ask me, the iPad's prowess as an e-book reader lies not in pulp fiction, but in kids' books. Think about it: the latest Grisham novel is just raw text, which any old Kindle can deliver. But children's books are all about big, splashy pictures and wild colors--elements perfectly suited to iPad screens.
And needless to say, the iPad can do a lot more than just display static pages. It can read stories aloud; it can enrich a classic tale with touch-powered extras; and it can even render pages in 3D. Let's take a look at five dazzling e-books for kids, starting with an eye-popping rendition of "Alice in Wonderland."
1."Alice for the iPad" This lavishly illustrated 52-page abridgment of the classic tale incorporates animation like no other e-book to date. Readers can tilt the iPad to make Alice grow and shrink; shake it to watch the Mad Hatter's bobblehead bobble; and so on. The frantically paced demo video (above) is a little over-the-top, but there's no question this is a showpiece iPad app. Thankfully, there's a free Lite version you can try before splurging on the $8.99 full version.
2. Dr. Seuss books Already among my favorites (uh, I mean, my kids' favorites) on the iPhone, Oceanhouse Media's three Seuss titles--"Dr. Seuss' ABC," "The Cat in the Hat," and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"--are just that much bigger and better on the iPad. Each interactive story sells for $2.99--quite a bit less than their respective hardcovers (as it should be). Oh, and stay tuned: one of my all-time favorite Seuss titles, "The Lorax," will make its iPad/iPhone debut in about a week.
3. "Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook" I think the title says it all, no? The "interactive" part comes in the form of games, activities, hidden Easter eggs, and the like. Gorgeous artwork, read-along text, and a reasonable price tag of $3.99. What's not to like?… Read more