Ever since the Internet spawned the World Wide Web, there have been a lot more ways to read than linearly from start to finish. Over on The Literary Platform, Kat Sommers talks about a few experimental web projects on on-line arts service The Space in making reading interactive. The projects are the typical interactive text-based works—non-fiction pieces that serve as companion pieces to works of literature, allowing readers to explore the “cloud of ideas” at their own pace and in their own chosen directions. Not really a lot new there.
Perhaps more interesting to me is Sommers’s comparison of text to other media in the beginning, noting that text requires concentration while movies, music, and plays carry on whether you’re watching them or not (unless you hit pause).
[Read more →]
I’ve been playing with my Inspiron Duo for the past few days, and I thought I’d take a few minutes to discuss which reading apps worked well on the touch screen. This is just an overview of the apps; some won’t need any more details and the ones that do will be covered in depth in a later post.
Edit: now that I’ve written the summaries, I can see that reviewing these apps in depth might mean 1 app to a post.
First let me define my criteria, which are rather low. I’m primarily looking for the first 2 items on this list, but I do have a number of other ideas.
- Does the app have a full screen mode that removes the frame?
- Can I tap on the screen and turn the page?
- Does it have a multi-column mode?
- Are the settings menus usable from the touchscreen?
- What about pinch-zoom?
Here’s TLDR version:
- Useful - Kindle, Adobe Reader 9, Mobipocket
- Marginal - Kobo, FBreader, Nook
- Useless - Blio, NookStudy
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I’m working my way through installing reading apps on my Duo and I discovered that Dell’s strange little netbook convertible shipped with a reading app. It’s called Bookstage, and it’s powered by Blio.
This isn’t much of a news item, but I haven’t seen it mentioned on other blogs. Engadget didn’t talk about it in their review and they’re usually rather thorough. In fact, the only reference I found was from MobileRead where a new Duo owner wanted to know what the app did.
Edit: I’ve found the press release from back in January. I was at CES at the time, which is why i missed it. That’s why everyone else missed it too.
I’m going to hold my opinion for a later post. But I would like to hear what you think of it. How well will it work on other Win7 tablets, do you think? better or worse than the default Blio?
You can get it here.
March 16th, 2011 · opinion
by Piotr Kowalczyk
Photo: Arvind Grover
Reading on mobile phones is a subject of my continued fascination. How to help people read e-books on their phones? What to do to overcome popular prejudices?
Certainly, mobile phones won’t be a primary ereader for anyone who wants to read more than occasionally, but they can be very useful as a supporting, emergency device. In a couple of days I’ll publish an article with tips on how to effectively use phones for that purpose.
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Ebrary, a digital library content distributor, is conducting apoll right now. They’re working to develop new ways to support an offline/download model and to reading on handheld devices. They want to better understand your needs, and they would very much appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Update: This Survey is directed at librarians, and it asks questions that most of the general public may not be able to answer. I hadn’t filled out the survey yet, so I didn’t know. Sorry.
You can find the survey here.
via No Shelf Required
This past Sunday Kirk Biglione created and uploaded a WordPress theme for iPads and tablets. It’s based on Bibliotype, a freely available html template. (If you want to see the theme in action, point your browser here.) Bibliotype was released about a month ago, and it’s not a commercial product so much as it’s an experiment in how you might lay out a long article so it can be read easier. [Read more →]
Laptop Magazine have been running a contest over the past week to choose the best reading app.They just closed the polls today, and 169 out of 418 voters picked Aldiko (the Nook app came in second place).
Do you see what’s wrong with that contest? I do, and there are many. First, when you have hundreds of people commenting on a topic your result is the most popular, not the best. I’ll agree that Aldiko is certainly very good and it is also very popular. I’ll even respect your opinion if you think it’s the best – just so long as you explain why you think that. But if you have 400 people voting by checkbox you’re not going to get a value judgment. [Read more →]
So this new Koobits reading app went live last week. I only just got a chance to play with it today and it’s not bad. I don’t like the color choice for the interface but the design is decent.
There’s an integrated ebookstore, but you can also add your own ebooks. It didn’t work so well with some of my PDFs but the Epubs came through okay. Unfortunately, I can’t use any of the annotation with the Epub. Pagination and correct CSS support was lacking in the Epubs, too.
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iFlow Reader is getting a lot of attention today. This is a new reading app for iOS, with different versions for iPhone and iPad. While it comes with a good set of reading options, iFlow’s one big pitch point is that it abandons page turns in favor of scrolling.
This is so not a good idea. [Read more →]