Tag Archives: Android

The key differences between 10-inch tablets and 10-inch ereaders

2018-09-22

Small e-reader devices with 6-inch E ink displays are still around, and new models are continuously introduced, but new development is happening elsewhere. Recently, 7.8 and 10-inch ereaders have adopted so many new features that it is time to examine what really is the difference between an 8 or 10-inch tablet and an ereader of the same size.

This comparison considers both the Amazon Kindle and EPUB reading devices as ereaders, and both Android and Apple 8 or 10-inch devices as tablets, because the purpose is to study the principal differences of product categories, not individual products.
Amazon Kindle e-reader in sunshine

Display

Tablets come with LCD or LED screen that can display bright colors (up to 16 million different). High-end tablets have sharp displays whereas budget tablets can have quite low resolution displays. Nonetheless, the tablet displays are excellent for watching movies, photos, web pages and reading nonfiction books or textbooks with illustrations.
E ink screens used in reading devices can only display black and white, and a few shades of grey. They are optimized for text. It works so well that many book lovers prefer ereaders instead of paper and ink. On the downside, viewing video clips is not even possible on most ereaders, and photos don’t look very nice.

Processing power

Since ereaders have been optimized for displaying text, the required processing power has been minimal. This is changing with 10-inch ereaders. Because many large screen models can accept handwritten input and they run Android software, more powerful processors have been introduced to new ereaders.
Generally speaking, tablets have more processing power because they are multipurpose devices, capable of, for instance, playing and recording video.

Storage

Storage capacity in tablets and ereaders typically consist of two separate spaces: storage space inside the device (it is fixed in size and can’t be changed) and a memory card slot where you can insert a card of your choice. No meaningful differences between ereaders and tablets.

Connectivity

Wi-Fi for wireless internet access is a vital connectivity feature, and it is included both in tablets and ereaders. Usually, a USB port is featured for charging and for PC connection as well.
The key difference is that it is possible to order some tablet models with a mobile network connection (3G or 4G), whereas ereaders don’t have this option (if you know one, let us know).

Reading

Ereaders were designed for reading. The display technology successfully imitates paper and ink. The display doesn’t flicker once the text has been rendered on the screen. The introduction of built-in light that allows reading in poorly lit conditions finally made ereaders products that can be used anywhere, from dark bedroom to direct sunlight. Many features make reading comfortable, such as changing font size and type, search, and possibility to make notes.
The display technology in tablets is the same as in laptop computers. The colors are bright and beautiful that help when reading, for instance, an illustrated nonfiction book or textbook. Some experts regard long hours of reading from a screen that emits light and flickers potentially harmful, but the fact is that office workers and freelancers stare at laptop and tablet screens for long working hours. Reading applications available for tablets have similar features as ereaders.
Inkbook Infinity, 10.3-inch e-reader - writing tablet

Writing

Few people acquire a tablet or ereader for writing alone, but both can be used to typing notes and jotting down drafts.
Some high-end tablets come with wireless keyboards, and other tablets can connect to Bluetooth keyboards for typing. For instance, Apple iPad Pro has sophisticated features for writing with stylus.
Writing is the hot feature that new 10-inch ereader devices have introduced to the world recently. No more are e-readers for reading alone, but it is possible to write down notes, drafts, and draw images with a stylus. This changes the original purpose of the product. For instance, Sony regards its 10-inch model DPT-CP1 a tool for office workers who can store their documents in the device, read, and annotate them on the screen.
We believe also researchers and writers can use a 10-inch ereader that is running on Android software for collecting information, storing documents, saving voice notes, annotating documents, jotting down notes, and writing drafts on a device.

Music, photos, video

Tablets are excellent for music playback, as well as for video and photo viewing. Many tablets have stereo sound, and a headphone jack for enjoying audiobooks, podcasts and music. Videos and photos are a pleasure to view on color screen.
Most ereaders have an MP3 player application for listening to audiobooks and music. Video viewing is not possible, and photos don’t look good.

Social media

Tablets are ideal devices for social media. It is easy follow multiple social channels, view photos, videos, and update personal comments to newsfeeds. All social media services are available for tablets.
Ereaders that are powered by Android software can connect to social media services if a respective application runs on the device. Videos are not available, and photos don’t look very nice in grayscale. Old ereaders without Android can not access social media services.

Indoors

Tablet screens provide their own light, making it possible to use them indoors in brightly lit rooms and in dark corners.
Modern ereader devices come with frontlight that makes the black-and-white screen visible even in dark. Beware of old ereader models that don’t have frontlight at all.

Outdoors

Tablets can be used outdoors, but shade is required. No matter how bright the screen is, direct sunlight will make it unreadable. Also reflections on the screen disturb viewing.
E ink screens used in ereaders are exceptional in sunshine: it is easier to read on an ereader than a printed book, magazine or newspaper.
Kindle Fire HD tablet

Applications

Millions of applications are available for tablets at Apple App Store and Google Play. The possibility to download applications is a remarkable advantage because it allows you to enhance the functionality of the device.
Traditional ereading devices were closed systems where it was impossible to install new apps, but new ereaders that are running on Android operating system make it possible to download apps (all apps won’t work, but many do).

Battery

Battery life in ereader devices is so long that you may almost forget about it. The special screen in ereaders requires very little power, making it possible to use a device for weeks without recharge.
Tablets must be recharged after a day or two, naturally depending on the usage. The primary reason is the color screen that consumes plenty of energy in a tablet.

Price

10-inch tablet prices range from 100 to 1500 dollars/euros. Low-end tablets are made of cheap plastics, whereas high-end tablets have been designed to replace powerful laptops, raising their prices considerably.
10-inch ereaders typically cost 300-600 dollars/euros.
Onyx Boox Note 10.3 inch reader for note taking, drawing

More information on large screen ereaders

Bouye Likebook Note
Icarus Illumina XL6
Sony DPT-CP1
Onyx Boox Note
Onyx Boox Max2
Pocketbook Inkpad 3
Ereaders with 8 inch screens

Ereaders are growing bigger and more powerful: Icarus Illumina XL6

2018-09-11

Dutch ereader vendor Icarus has introduced a device with large 7.8-inch E ink screen that also has enough processing power to run a recent version of Android operating system. In addition to reading ebooks or viewing PDF documents, Android applications can be installed to the device, enhancing its functionality.
Icarus Illumina XL6, e-reader with 7.8-inch screen, Android
Four features make the Illumina XL6 an attractive option for ebook lovers who are looking for a powerful ereader device:

– Large and sharp 7.8 inch E ink screen. 300 dots per inch density means it is as sharp or sharper than printed book pages.
– The ereader is running on Android 6 operating system. This is a relatively recent version of Android software which means that a vast number of applications on the Google Play app store are available for the e-reader – although not each and every app is compatible.
– A powerful processor (for an ereader) that actually makes it possible to run many applications downloaded from the Google Play Store.
– The ereader doubles as an MP3 player, making it possible to listen to audiobooks and music.

It is likely that Kindle ebooks can be read on the Illumina XL6. The trick how to do it is to download Kindle for Android application from the Google Play Store to the device. Until we (or someone else) have tried the Kindle app on an actual production device, and confirmed it works, we can’t be absolutely sure if the Kindle app can open ebooks.

The Icarus Illumina XL6 is priced at 229.95 euros with Dutch VAT, and without VAT 190.04 euros (here you can check the vendor’s web shop for any updates on the price). Icarus ships products to all continents, but not to South America and Russia.

Icarus Illumina XL6 e-reader specifications

7.8-inch E Ink Carta HD screen.
Display resolution 1872 x 1404, 300 dots per inch (DPI).
Touch screen, adjustable frontlight.
Android 6 operating system with Google Play application store.
16GB of internal storage space.
No memory card slot.
2GB RAM.
Rockchip RK3368 octa-core, 64-bit processor.
WiFi 802.11 B/G/N.
USB 2.0.
Bluetooth.
Compatible ebook formats: PDF, FB2, EPUB, RTF, MOBI, TXT, HTML.
Plays MP3 audio files, for audiobooks and music.
Displays JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG images.
Included applications: File Manager, Music Player, Dictionary, Image Viewer, Library, Reading.
Battery 2800mAh, thousands of page refreshes at a charge.
Dimensions 145 x 200x 9mm.
Weight 275 gr.

Reading functions
Go to Page
Text Search
Bookmarks
Table of Contents
Screen Rotation
Auto Page Turning
Book Information
Music/audiobook Player
Adjust Font Size
Adjust Font Type (in EPUB documents)
Adjust Page Margins (in EPUB documents)
Install new fonts (TrueType)

Via The Digital Reader.

Bouye Likebook Note sets lower price level for 10-inch ereaders

2018-08-21

Six inches has been the standard size for e-reader devices for years, but fortunately, the situation is changing. A number of e-readers with 10-inch screen have been introduced to the markets. It means ebook users can enjoy some tablet-like features, like writing and drawing on their devices. The Bouye Likebook Note ereader comes with a 10.3-inch screen, stylus, and with a price tag that makes it very competitive.
Bouye Likebook Note, stylus for writing and drawing
Bouye may not be a familiar brand for many people, but the Chinese company has produced a few ereader devices before the Likebook Note. In essence, it is an ereader with large, very sharp E ink screen that lets you write on it. Since the device is running on Android operating system, and some early customers are saying that Google Play is factory-installed, it is possible to install additional applications from the Play Store to the Likebook Note.

The possibility to install apps from the Play Store makes the ereader similar in functionality to a tablet, although it is worth reminding that all Android apps will not run on an ereader.

The key specifications and features of the Boyue Likebook Note

Bouye Likebook Note, adjustable front light

– 10.3-inch flexible E Ink Carta screen.
– Resolution 1404×1872.
– Front light.
– Android 4.4.
– Wi-Fi.
– RAM memory 1 GB.
– Storage space 16 GB.
– MicroSD memory card slot.
– USB port.
– Bluetooth
– Audiojack.
– Stereo speakers.
– Microphone.
– Physical buttons for page turn, back and home.
– Dimensions 191 x 262 x 8 mm.
– Weight 386 grams.

All is well in the specifications department. 1 GB of RAM memory for running Android and applications is not much, but many low-cost tablets have the same amount of RAM. Another thing is that Android is quite an old version.

Other than that, the Likebook Note has plenty of features for a 10-inch ereader that costs only about 370 euros at Aliexpress online store. Stylus and case are included.

Here is a video clip that shows a few features of the Bouye Likebook Note, like the front light and writing with the stylus:

Other e-readers with 10-inch or even larger screen are, for instance:

Onyx Boox Note
Onyx Boox Max2
Sony DPT-CP1

Bouye Likebook Note e-reader comes with case
Via Ebook Reader Blog.

Want to have an 10-inch Kindle e-reader? Here is how to get one

2018-06-18

In the early days of the Kindle ereaders, Amazon had a model with 9.7-inch E ink display. Perhaps it didn’t sell enough, or there were technical problems with the product, but it didn’t survive for long. Since then, Amazon has only been marketing 6 and 7-inch size Kindle ereaders. Many ebook lovers, however, want larger screen. Is it possible to find a 10-inch device for Kindle ebooks? Yes, it is.
Onyx Boox Note ereader 10.3 inches

Onyx Boox Note.

The trick is to find an ereader that is running on a recent version of Android operating system (version 6 or 7 is fine) that comes with the Google Play store. Then, you can open the Google Play store on the device, search for the Kindle app, and download and install the Kindle app on the ereader. That’s it. You have an ereader of any size you want where you can read Kindle ebooks.

The Ebook Reader blog has created a video where the Kindle Oasis 2 (7-inch display) and Onyx Boox Note (10.3-inch display) are compared. Because the Kindle ereader only has the Kindle app for reading, the comparison is conducted using the Kindle app on both devices.
amazon kindle oasis ereader with cover

Kindle Oasis ereader.

The fact that the Onyx Boox Note is running on Android and it lets users install applications from the Google Play store, makes it functionally more like a tablet rather than a simple ereader. You can download, for instance, a proper web browser, an app for writing notes, dictionaries, maps, perhaps even simple games.

The price of the Onyx Boox Note is about double than the price of the Oasis, but if you view the video, it is easy to understand why. The Onyx has more processing power, larger screen, it lets you install apps from the Google store, you can write and draw on the screen, among other things.
Onyx Boox Note 10.3 inch reader  for note taking, drawing

How to read Kindle ebook on a non-Kindle ereader?

View the video below for side-by-side comparison of the Kindle Oasis 2 and the Onyx Boox Note (by The Ebook Reader.com). You can see how the Kindle app and the Google Play Books reading applications run on the Onyx:

Will Amazon interfere?

Now that it has been established that Kindle ebooks can be opened in other ereaders than Kindle devices, what will Amazon do? The entire Kindle business system is built on tight control where Amazon decides where Kindle ebooks can be read. The goal is to ensure the biggest selection of ebooks is only available on Kindle devices and reading apps. The ebooks have to be purchased from Amazon Store. Well, so far, Amazon has succeeded. It is the dominant ebook business system globally.

It is obvious that Amazon doesn’t want to sell Kindle ebooks to any other ereaders than Kindle devices. Amazon may even try and prevent the Kindle app running on other ereaders. Let’s hope it doesn’t, because book lovers have more choice when Kindle ebooks are available on other ereaders as well.

Let your iPhone or Android phone or tablet read that ebook aloud to you

2017-09-20

Listening to a book while doing something else is a fun and useful way to enjoy a good story or learn from a nonfiction book. Audible and other stores let you purchase audiobooks that have been narrated by professionals, often actors. Most book lovers already have a selection of ebooks, and it is not very tempting to re-purchase them as audiobooks. Here is how you can make your mobile device (iPhone or Android) read an ebook to you for free.

Android smartphone or tablet

Voice aloud reader, text to speech from ebook to audio

For Samsung, LG, Nokia, and all other smartphones and tablets that are powered by the Android software, there are many voice reader apps available at the Google Play Store. At the store, you may search, for instance, “voice reader” or “text to speech” for applications to download.

I have been using @Voice Aloud Reader on my Android tablet and phone. The way it works is that you specify the folders where you have your ebooks or any other texts stored. The app can also automatically scan the folders for ebooks.

Open the app, browse the ebooks and documents that are available for reading aloud. Choose anyone, and the app will read it to you. Play controls are available at the bottom of the screen.
Voice aloud reader, text to speech from ebook to audio
For EPUB ebooks, Voice Aloud Reader works really well. You can view the table of contents, jump to a chapter you want and the app will read it to you.

The app doesn’t come with its own voices, but it relies on voices that come with Android. It is possible to download additional voices from the Play Store as well.

The free version displays ads that can be removed by paying for an upgrade.

Apple iPhone and iPad

The app that can read text aloud to you is already on your iPhone and iPad. You just have to find it – it is well hidden into the iOS operating system’s menu system.

1. Open Settings.
Select General > Accessibility > Speech. Toggle on Speak Screen.

2. Open the ebook you want your iPhone or iPad read to you.

3. Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers.
It will take a moment before the audio starts, and a pop up window with buttons to control playback appears.

4. Change the reader’s voice.
Go back to Settings – Accessibility – Speech section, and open Voice. You will get choices for voices that read to you.

The feature works best with the iBooks application, but it works on any screen where you have texts. Just swipe down with two fingers. So, you can use it in the Kindle app and in the web browser, but it may read some irrelevant text, too.

The best apps for reading ebooks on smartphone and tablet

2016-06-26

Reading books on smartphones has increased along with the rising popularity of mobile devices that have bright, large, and sharp displays. Reading ebooks on a phone or tablet is convenient only if it is easy to download and read long texts on the device. And that is a job for an app. Which app?
reading ebook in kindle app on LG G3 smartphone
First, we will list most popular reading apps for Android (for instance, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony tablets and smartphones ) and Apple (iOS apps that run on iPad and iPhone) devices. Second, we will give a few tips how to choose the app that’s best for you.

All the applications can be downloaded fro Apple App Store and Google Play.

The following reading applications can open EPUB ebooks, and some can open HTML, TXT, PDF books and documents as well.

24 Symbols
Aldiko Book Reader
Bluefire Reader
Bookmate
FBReader
Google Play Books
Kobo Books
KyBook (Apple only)
Marvin (Apple only)
Moon+ Reader (Android only)
NeoSoar
Nook
Scribd
Universal Book Reader (Android only)

If you download your ebooks from the Amazon Kindle Store, you must have Amazon Kindle ereader app on your mobile device. Kindle app is available for PCs as well.

Kindle

If you purchase your books from the Apple iBooks Store, you have one choice only: Apple’s own ereading app that runs on Mac as well (in addition to the iPad and iPhone).

iBooks

Listening to books instead of reading is convenient on mobile devices as long as you remember to keep a headset with you. You need an app for that as well. Two audiobook services are popular:

Audible
Storytel

reading ebook in fbreader app on LG G3

Which ereading app is the best for you?

If you already are buying, or you are going to buy, your ebooks from Amazon Kindle Store, you must install the Kindle app. The same applies to Apple iBooks Store: if it is your bookstore, you must use the iBooks app.

If you are subscribing to a service that lets you read ebooks or listen to audiobooks for a monthly fee, you must use the application provided by the service. This applies to 24 Symbols, Audible, Bookmate, Scribd and Storytel.

Many book lovers purchase their ebooks where they happen to discover them or where they get the best deal. In addition to a must-have app, you should have an ereader application that can open EPUB and PDF books. FBReader may not pretty, but it can open many document formats. Google Play Books and Bluefire Reader are both fine EPUB and PDF reading apps.

Tips for traveling with a Wi-Fi only Apple iPad or Android tablet

2016-06-17

Having returned from a three-day road trip last night, a timely story published on Cnet caught my eye. Matt Elliott provides a few tips on traveling with a tablet that comes only with Wi-Fi connectivity. He has some good advice, but since the topic is fresh on my mind just now, I am going to add a few more tips.
navigation app on Apple iPad
Here are tips for traveling with a tablet (Android or iPad) that has Wi-Fi connectivity, but doesn’t have 3G or 4G mobile network access.

Five tips from Cnet:

1. Download books, music and movies you believe you need during the trip to the tablet before you leave. A 16GB or 32GB memory card provides plenty of extra space for Android tablets, whereas the Apple iPad doesn’t have a memory card slot at all.

2. Make maps available offline. Cnet recommends Google Maps, but I recommend Maps.me. It is the only navigation app that really works without an Internet connection. It really works. Before leaving, you have to download the maps for regions you are going to visit. All the other navigation apps that promise offline usage, like Google Maps and Here have always failed me – without an exception.

3. Turn off Wi-Fi if there is no signal available to preserve battery. Otherwise, your tablet constantly seeks for signal.

4. Turn on find my tablet -feature if your tablet comes with it.

5. Pack a protective case and a keyboard along with your tablet. Protective case is an essential accessory. If you are going to write anything longer than Twitter messages, get a Bluetooth keyboard – they are light and slim.

acer tablet with BLuetooth keyboard
Additional tips for traveling with a Wi-Fi only tablet from Klaava Media’s travel writers:

Learn how to use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. An Android phone can be turned into a hotspot in Settings-Tethering. Beware though, your phone’s battery will drain pretty quickly. We use this method for brief Internet access sessions only.

If you need regular Internet access, get a dedicated battery-powered Wi-Fi/4G router. We are using Huawei E5377Ts-32 that hasn’t failed us yet. It can also provide Internet access for your laptop.

A portable power pack is small and low-cost accessory to ensure your phone and tablet can be charged even in a situation when there is no power available.

If you will be driving, acquire a micro-USB charger that can take its power from the cigarette lighter. Both your phone and tablet can be recharged with this.