Tag Archives: ereader

Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet is so attractively priced that who needs a Kindle Oasis?

2016-09-14

It is kind of funny that Amazon has introduced an reader (Kindle Oasis) that has a greyscale six-inch display and costs more than $250, and at the same the company markets Fire tablets with color screens that let you do more and cost less than Kindle ereaders. The Fire HD 8 tablet comes with pretty high resolution 8-inch color display, costs $90, lets you install apps, and consult Alexa. Which one to choose: an ereader or tablet?
amazon fire hd 8, girl reading
The size increase from six inches (typical ereader size) or seven inches (typical small tablet size) to a tablet or ereader with eight-inch screen gives you more than you might expect. That is one of the reasons the Kobo Aura One has been favorably reviewed: people simply like its larger 7.8-inch display.

If you read a lot of ebooks (more than a book a week), an ereader is a better choice. An ereader is also better choice if you are easily distracted away from a book you are supposed to read.

Tablet is a good choice for ebook lovers who read and view books with images, tables and charts. This is where color display and larger screen really help to present and absorb information.
amazon fire hd 8, 3 tablet colors
The highlights of the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet are that it has a 8-inch color display in 1280×800 resolution (pretty good), it has a microSD memory card slot for extra storage space (you will need it), and it is priced at $90. It will also be integrated with Alexa system, so that you can speak your commands and Alexa will speak to you as well.

Here is Amazon’s introduction video to the Fire HD 8 tablet with Alexa:

Amazon Fire HD 8 key features and specifications

– 8-inch touch screen; 1280 x 800 resolution at 189 ppi.
– HD video playback, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and advanced polarizing filter.
– Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.0 x 0.4 inches (214 mm x 128 mm x 9.2 mm)
– Weight 12.0 ounces (341 grams).
– Quad-Core: 1.3 GHz CPU.
– 1.5 GB of RAM
– 16 GB (11.1 GB available to user) or 32 GB (25.3 GB available to user) of internal storage.
– microSD card for more storage (card not included).
– Battery Life: up to 12 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music.
– Wi-Fi for connecting to public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the dual-band 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
– File formats: Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, M4V, MP4, AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, MKV, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, 3GP, VP8 (WEBM)
– 2.0 megapixel camera at the back, 640×320 pixel camera on front panel.
– Location-based services via Wi-Fi
– Colors: Black, Magenta, Blue, Tangerine
– External volume controls.
– USB 2.0 port with micro-B connector.
– Bluetooth (A2DP compatible for stereo headphones)
– 3.5mm stereo jack for audio.
– Speaker.
– Microphone.
– Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier, enabling access to the vast majority of Fire tablet features.
– Adjustable font sizes/color, and built-in Oxford dictionary.
– USB 2.0 cable, 5W power adapter, and Quick Start Guide included in the product box.

Ebook news digest: two types of digital nomads, low-cost ereader, drone photography for everyone

2016-08-16

Ebook news digest August 16, 2016

digital nomad dorothy by duncan rawlinson

Digital nomad Dorothy by Duncan Rawlinson


Mashable: My life as a remote year guinea pig

Stephanie Walden participated in a year-long packaged tour around world. It wasn’t a vacation, but a package for digital nomads who worked the whole time (well, depending on each nomad’s own motivation). They stayed in one place for one month, experiencing 12 destinations during the year. The organizer, Remote Year, took care of travel and accommodation costs and logistics. The idea was to have a community of 70 nomads who would stay together for the whole year. Many exciting and interesting things happened during the year – an intriguing story which is a must read for everyone even remotely thinking of nomad life.

Amateur Photographer: Drone the World holidays promise travel photography with a twist

Everyone knows that there are lots of ways to take better travel photos than the usual selfies in front of statues. Black Tomato has made it extremely easy for anyone to become a master in rather difficult special field of photography: snapping images from a drone. The company organizes travel packages where professional drone photographers follow the travel group. The professionals take aerial images of travelers and they can also teach individual tourists to control a drone and its camera.

The Ebook Reader: New Onyx Boox C67s ereader now available for $73

Even though the Amazon Kindle totally dominates the ereader market, a few companies are actively developing new products for ebook lovers. Onyx has introduced a new product, the Onyx Boox C67s, which looks like a reasonably good value for the money. Six-inch E ink screen with 1024×758 resolution, but no Wi-Fi, touch screen or frontlight. Price at the moment: $73.

Law Fuel: Leading Blogger Becomes Digital Nomad on World Cruise

Active travel bloggers and photographers may give the impression that every digital nomads is a relatively young, trendy person. Personally, I have always suspected it, because it is the over-50s and over-60s who tend to have resources to live a nomad life if they wish. Jo Castro, a social media consultant, is one of these seasoned digital nomads who has embarked on a trip around the world. She is doing it in style on a cruise ship that visits 39 destinations in 27 countries over 104 nights. The upfront cost is about the same as the digital nomad who traveled for one year on a packaged around the world nomad tour.

Resource Travel: Top 9 landscape photography locations in Northern Spain

Christian Hoiberg lived one year in Santander, a coastal town in northwest Spain. The story features good tips if you are considering traveling in this part of not-so-well-travelled Spain, and even better tips for photo locations and pictures from the northwest region’s rugged coast.

More travel stories here.

Ebook news digest: ereader hacks, tips for Google Play Books, the future of reading

2016-07-15

Ebook news digest 15. July, 2016

kobo glo hd ereader

Kobo Glo HD ereader.


Six E-Reader Hacks You Need To Know (Bustle)

Book lovers fill up their ereaders with ebooks that have been sitting on the to-be-read list when they head for vacation. Julia Seales provides excellent tips for ereader users who already know the basic features of their devices, but don’t necessarily know that it is possible to read magazines and news on many ereaders as well.

Ebooks: How the future of reading became an open book (The Big Issue)

We have heard so many arguments in the continuing discussion of “I love the smell of old books” versus “ebooks are the future” that we are tired of the whole debate. That is exactly why Jane Graham’s balanced article on the book formats is a refreshing read, and it highlights one of the key points of ebooks: the new technology will develop books into a new direction.

How to upload your own eBooks to Google Play Books (Updato)

Google Play Books application gives you access to the Play bookstore, and lets you read EPUB and PDF ebooks as well. A less advertised feature in Play Books is upload: you can upload ebooks that you already have to your Play library, and read them in the Play Books application. EPUB and PDF books are accepted by the app as long as the books are DRM-free (watermarked ebooks are fine).

High Art: The Best of Drone Photography (Wmagazine)

A web site specialized in drone photography Dronestagram organizes photo contests for the best drone pictures. Admire the best of this year’s drone photos.

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is the Most Travel-Friendly E-reader Yet (Travel+Leisure)

Amazon’s high-end ereader the Oasis is thinner and lighter than other Kindle devices, and its special case provides additional power for the product, which makes the Oasis an ideal travel companion. That’s what Travel+Leisure claims, but we still believe that although an excellent product, the Oasis (current price $290) is not as good value as the Kindle ereaders priced around $100.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

Ebook news digest: ereader reviews, drone photography for travelers, writing tips from an author, imprint explained

2016-06-22

Ebook news digest June 22th, 2016

apple ipad pro 9.7 smart keyboard
Why are there so many new publishing imprints? (The Guardian)

* So what is an imprint, and why are there suddenly so many more of them? The simple answer is that they are subdivisions of bigger publishers. Sometimes, they come about through takeovers and sometimes they are startups.

10 Travel Photography Tips (Julia Trotti)

* Excellent, proven tips. The only point we encourage travelers to reconsider is how many cameras to take along – with a high-end smartphone you can take excellent photos (and videos), and a waterproof camera is a practical choice in some destinations.

Ebook Readers: The 5 Best Models You Can Buy (Gear & Style CheatSheet)

* Yes, the Amazon Kindle is a very good ereader, but Kobo and Onyx models are good choices as well.

‘I write first thing, when I can suspend disbelief in the act of making things up’ (Will Self)

* It is valuable for a writer to learn from other writers. Will Self makes the point of writing a specific amount of text (a Conrad) in the morning before he does anything else. It works for some authors, whereas others may prefer to do other things in the morning and plan what to write in the afternoon.

High times: the rise of drone photography (The Guardian)

* Photos and video clips shot from drones are one of the fastest growing types of images on Instagram. A new profession: drone operators who travel to shoot images for brands.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

Ebook news digest: best reading apps, tips from The Atlantic, unique travel photography

2016-06-12

Ebook News Digest June 12th, 2016

Google Word Lens Translator, a Swedish map translated to Spanish
Five e-reader apps for smartphones and tablets: from Wattpad to Scribd (EveningStandard)

– We would like to add FBReader and Kindle to the list of ereading apps as well.

Lemonade and Sketches of Spain: The Week in Pop Culture Writing (The Atlantic)

– Tips for fine nonfiction reads.

Best eReaders 2016: What’s the best eReader? The 8 best e-book readers you can buy in the UK today: Best eReader reviews (TechAdvisor)

– 4 out of 8 are Kindles, but the other 4 ereaders are fine products as well.

The amazing world of Kiwi photojournalist Amos Chapple (Stuff)

– Intriguing travel photography.

Technology – 6 excellent e-book reading apps for your smartphone (Mid-day)

– Try Google Play or Bluefire reading app as well.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

Need a handsfree ereader? Wrap it on your wrist

2016-06-02

When you read an ebook on an ereader, smartphone, or tablet, you need one hand to hold the device and often, the other hand is required to control the device. Unless you have a dedicated stand for your device, and you want to leave both hands free, you have a problem. That’s where the wristphone Rufus Cuff may help.
rufus cuff wristphone
The Rufus Cuff is a small smartphone designed to be strapped on a wrist. It is not smartwatch, but a much larger, more powerful, phone-like device. Rufus Labs calls the Rufus Cuff a Wrist Communicator, but in essence, it is a small Android phone that is always with you on your wrist.
rufus cuff, Android smartphone on wrist
The product is not available in stores yet, but some reporters have had an opportunity to test it. Engadget’s reporter wasn’t impressed. He didn’t like to wear a bulky electronic device on his wrist. The display quality, camera and overall features don’t match the features of ordinary smartphones.

Reading a whole book on Rufus Cuff’s low quality 3.2-inch screen may not be enjoyable, but reading a couple of minutes while waiting at a tube station or at a lobby of a bank is probably what we would do with it.

The Rufus Cuff runs on Android operating system, which means that plenty of applications is available for the device (all Android apps won’t run on the wristphone). Rufus Labs sees enterprises the primary market for the product. Hotels and restaurants, delivery and courier companies have already indicated interest in the product. The product is priced at $300 which is reasonable compared to, for instance, many smartwatches.

Here is a promo video of the wristphone by Rufus Labs:

Would you wear a wristphone? We wouldn’t – not yet. Wearable computing is taking its first baby steps. New concepts and new products are continuously tested. That’s how every new technology is being developed. It takes time and patience to get it right so that the mass market really wants it. Smartwatches, like the Apple Watch haven’t been able to break through to mass markets yet. The Rufus Cuff has some work to do before it can get even to that position.

Key features and technical specifications

3.2 inch TFT Touchscreen
TI Cortex A9 Processor
Android 4.4
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS
Speaker
Dual Microphones
Front-facing Video Camera
16/32/64GB Storage
LED Alerts & Flash
Spill & Splash Resistant

Book cover matters: Take a look at reactions of fellow travelers to provocative book covers

2016-04-11

Some book publishing professionals believe that the rapid rise of erotica was caused by popularity of ebooks and ereaders. If you wanted to read a book – absolutely any book – in a public place like subway, park or bus stop, no one could judge you because no one could see the cover of the book you were reading.

People are curious by nature. If we see someone holding a book and we are able to spot its cover, we definitely want to see what the book is about. That is exactly what people commuting on a subway do. Although they do it very discreetly, they are caught when they can’t help smiling at an obviously fake book cover.

Here is the funny video of reactions caused by book covers by The Chortle:

The best smartphones for reading ebooks

2016-01-01

The original Kindle ereader had a six-inch greyscale display and Sony had really nice compact ereaders with five-inch screens. Today’s smartphones tend to have five-inch and larger screens. Additionally, smartphone displays have at least two times higher pixel density than ereaders. It is not surprising that book industry experts are saying that reading on mobile phones will be one of the strongest trends in the near future.

Which features are the key factors that affect the reading experience on a smartphone? Once you have identified them, you can pick up the perfect smartphone for you.

lg g3 smartphone, kindle ebook reading app

Kindle reading app

David Rothman has identified seven features that define the reading experience on a smartphone.

1. Screen quality. Numbers don’t tell the whole truth, you should always take a look at the display yourself – if possible, both indoors and outdoors.
2. Battery life.
3. Volume button position (often used for turning pages in reading apps).
4. Robustness of the phone.
5. Operating system version. The newer, the better, because all apps won’t run on old operating systems.
6. Storage capacity.
7. The amount of RAM memory.

Tips from our experience are that screen quality really is important. Make sure you are happy with it before buying. No matter how durable the glass on the display is, it breaks if it falls on concrete or bends in a pocket of tight jeans. Protective case may help. A smartphone that comes with a memory card slot solves storage problems. Memory card is a highly recommended feature on a phone.

Usually, factory installed applications on smartphones don’t include reading apps, so you have to install one. Here are a few popular choices:

Kindle Reading App (available for phones, tablets and PCs)
Aldiko
Bluefire (for Android, for Apple)
FBReader
Google Play Books
iBooks (for Apple devices only)
Kobo

samsung s2: fbreader ebook reading app

Fbreader ebook reading app

Ideas Box is a modern library that can be set up anywhere in minutes

2015-10-02

Ideas Box is a practical educational solution for people who have had to leave everything behind and settle in refugee camps, or village schools with insufficient resources. The Ideas Box is a set of industrial strength large boxes that contain books, ereaders, tablets, a projector for movie presentations and a even a generator for producing electricity for the gadgets. The product that is already being used in Syria crisis and Africa is designed by Philip Starck
ideas box, set up at a camp
Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (Libraries Without Borders) was the organization that started the program. Others have joined in to help finance the production of boxes and transporting them to places where they are needed.

The Ideas Box consists of six strong boxes that contain:
– Books, ereaders, tablets.
– Information technology.
– Movie presentation facility.
– Management component.
– Tables and chairs.
– Room for a generator.
ideas box components

View a video where some of the gear included in the Ideas Box is shown in action, starting at 2:25 minute mark: