E-reader app cornucopia on the iPad!

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As a dedicated reading device the iPad does not disappoint on content, formatting and features. The only major drawback, the battery life, might negate all the enthusiasm which follows. I will keep this ipad for a week longer to see if I can get by without it and with just my e-ink kindle.

The Dream Come True: 

The Kobo app is a very cute e-reader with an achievement system. The achievements won me over immediately (because I’m a raging achievement whore and ) for being completely unique among all other reading apps. Kobo also has a reading statistics page that now seems like a grossly overlooked feature by all other apps. There is also a built in sync to Instapaper, without the document type limitation of the Kindle-Instapaper syncing. This app would make me more receptive to the Kobo e-ink reader if the device were cheaper than the Kindle’s $139 reader. The Kobo device, based on the gadgety blogs, is unfortunately only a bare minimum reader that has a slightly smaller form factor than Kindle 3.

My next favorite, the iBooks app, allows me to breeze through my PDFs. No other reader really lets me view my own documents, let along PDFs.  The missing feature is that i cannot annotate my documents.

The other reader which comes close to allowing some sort of open-ish platform is the Bluefire reader for allowing library book borrowing.  Bluefire also has a good built in book store that promotes free indie books. This app claims it gives you a choice between EPUB and PDF, but I found that the PDFs would not load.

Stanza has a great built in book store and has a section for downloading sheet music.

Flipboard is absolutely amazing. Screenshots do no justice.

The Kindle app is cool because it syncs my activities between my iPad and kindle e-ink device.

Gourmet live is among the few free and useful magazine apps.

The Underappreciated:

The Nook app was underwhelming, but that was mostly because I didn’t want to give them my credit card information just to sample a free book.  I never got far enough to read anything on this app so I can’t even pass judgement.  I also do not like going to Safari browser to do my shopping, but that is probably Safari’s fault.

SafariBooksOnline.com‘s mobile site was my only alternative to their reneged ipad app.  The formatting is tolerable but there is a notably missing swipe-to-turn-the-page feature.

The Google books seems to be something like a clone of Kindle free collection and a poor clone of the rest of Kindle’s collection.  Google also does not have an in-app store, but instead has a web store that borders on ugly and spartan.  Their free books usually starts out with a few scanned pages and then switches to OCR, which is interesting but not really aesthetically or functionally valuable.  

Conclusion?

Every app has something very outstanding about it, and there isn’t one app that rules them all. It would take that fully featured app to make iPad indispensable. Who will be crowned champion?

Sent from my iPad

Free pulp fiction ebook: The Great Secret

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This is a rare case of quality, classic pulp fiction combined in a free digital package. While fans of physical media can purchase this book for under $10, the digital version is free as it should be. This is a collection of four individual, galactic adventure stories from early era of science fiction, reminiscent of early BattleStar Galactica and Star Trek. This is a quick read, packed with action, and not heavy on the didactic.

Finally a good use of tobacco: Better Batteries

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I just hope that when our future batteries are filled with virii, exploding batteries won’t be starting plagues. To me being tethered to an outlet is a terrible feeling. I’d like to see all these portable devices not only hold such long charges, but also have the capability to recharge through motion and thermal changes.

Google plays follow the leader into the crowded ebook space

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Great, just what I needed: another e-book platform to distract me from reading. Since I don’t have a reading tablet and I don’t read on my PC, I guess Google’s foray into this space hardly affects me.  I highly doubt I would do actual reading on a tablet, since it offers so many distractions!  It will take a significant amount of innovative excellence to sway the likes of me over to yet another gadget.  I am close though.

Some of the biggest bummers for me:

  • Google e-books won’t be compatible with the Kindle
  • Google books uses Adobe DRM
  • The iphone app is wickedly sluggish and the app doesn’t have an in-app store.  I do not like going to Safari for anything.  There must be an app for it!
  • When are they going to bring an app to the Windows 7 Phone (even though I have an iphone)?

Things I like:

  • I am excited to have easier access to Google’s free books.  I’m a big reader of the freebies, so I’ll take it.
  • Cross platform bookmark memory (which does not work according to other blogs)

Things I want:

  • A better social reading experience than what Copia is attempting at.  Allowing easy “online book club” experience for a social group
  • Better access to scholarly annotations or allowing educators to create teaching editions
  • Syncronized notes across platform even for books that are not distributed by the e-book provider.
  • Better aesthetics, like fonts, spacings, decorations that are typical to print editions. 

iPad Dominates as multipurpose e-reader

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Ipad definitely fills the gap that Kindle lacks for the full spectrum of e-reading. For a dedicated, upgrade of the paperback, Kindle cannot be beat. I wager that the majority of people reading e-books on the ipad are the casual crowd rather than the serious serial reader.

Kindle Owners by Age Group

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If there’s any correlation between reading, buying books, and intelligence, does this chart indicate that my age group is the dumbest among all age groups?

Chinese e-reader maker Hanvon to debut first color E Ink device | VentureBeat

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Dear Amazon,

Please make model your Kindle 4 after this amazing looking device. Also, please make it so that I can read Chinese on it easily.

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