Tag Archives: EPUB

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

Five frequently asked questions that an ebook producer has to answer

2018-08-01

Large bookstores, such as the Kindle Store, Kobo, Google Play have made downloading and reading of an ebook easy for their customers. What happens before the book is available in the store, however, is a long process where the author, publisher, ebook production expert and marketing people work with the book. Since our role is to produce ebooks, and often also to publish them, we have heard a number of questions concerning ebooks. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
cartoon character working with computer
Before we dive into the questions and answers, let’s make one thing clear about ebooks. There are two types of them: fixed and reflowable. A fixed layout ebook behaves like a printed page. The layout is exactly the same independent of the screen size you use for reading. For instance, page in an PDF document represents fixed layout: you can zoom in and out, and move up and down, or left and right to read it. If it doesn’t fit into a single screen, there is nothing you can do about it.

An ebook that has been created to have reflowable layout adjusts itself automatically to any screen size you want to use for reading. This is why it is convenient to read the same ebook on a small smartphone as well as on a large computer monitor. You can even change the font size to suit your eyesight. The magic behind this is that lines are shorter (less words) on a small screen and longer (more words) on a large screen. Because there are no fixed lines, there can not be fixed pages.

Since reflowable ebooks are far more common than fixed layout ebooks, our frequently asked questions deal with reflowable only.

Why page numbers are missing from the table of contents?

Instead of page numbers, you get links directly to chapters from the table of contents. An ebook that automatically adjusts to different screen sizes doesn’t have pages or page numbers.

Why do you want me to break my informative tables into small pieces?

It is perfectly all right to have small tables in an ebook. The problem is with large tables that may not fit on a screen horizontally or vertically. If a table doesn’t fit into a single screen, the output is unpredictable and may confuse the reader. Break large tables into small ones.

Why has the caption moved to the next page away from the image?

The image and its caption move around to allow the reader the change the font size and to read on devices with different screen sizes. Try it yourself. Change the font size and monitor how the content of the screen you are looking at changes.

The index is missing. Are you going to create it?

No. Every ereader device and reading application for mobile devices and computers has a search function that lets you search for any word you want in the book.

Why can’t you just publish the book as PDF?

Yes, we can, but … The thing is that some bookstores don’t even accept PDF books, and even if they do, readers are not happy if they try to read it on a small tablet, ereader or smartphone. PDF doesn’t adjust to screen size, but leaves it to the user to zoom in and out and to scroll sideways on every page they want to read.

The apps you want on your tablet or phone when reading ebooks

2018-05-28

For ebooks on your tablet or smartphone, you only have to download a reading app on the device. Most ereading applications come with note taking and highlighting features that let you annotate the text you are reading. As you develop new habits with digital reading and your ebook library grows, you probably want additional apps that complement the reading app. Here are a few tips for applications that can help.
ipad tablet in a bookshelf

Recommendations for ebook reading applications

If you tend to shop at the same bookstore, the easiest option is to use the reading app the store provides. For instance, if you purchase your ebooks from Kobo, use the Kobo app because it makes managing you library and purchases easy.

For tablets, good choices for ereading apps that are not tied to any specific bookstore are Bluefire Reader, Bookari, and Moon+.
reading ebook in fbreader app on LG G3
The same reading applications that run on a tablet can be used on a smartphone, but also FBreader is a good one to have on the phone because it can open a number of different ebook file formats.

For Apple computer and mobile device users, the iBooks (available at the App Store) app is an excellent choice.

It is worth reminding newcomers to the world of ebooks that Kindle books purchased from an Amazon store can only be opened with a Kindle reader, Fire tablet, or the Kindle app that is available to all PCs, tablets and phones. Other bookstores have ebooks packaged in EPUB format that is usually compatible with many reading applications, like FBreader, Aldiko, Kobo, and with all other e-readers apart from Kindle.

Useful additional apps that complement an e-reading application

Simplenote on an iPhone
Pretty soon after I began reading ebooks, I realized that didn’t want to write down my notes inside the reading application. The reason was that, especially during the early days of ebooks, it was difficult or even impossible to transfer the notes easily to a word processing software for further work. After I discovered Simplenote, I have written all my notes, drafts and lists with it. It is an online app that requires Internet connection, but it is so simple and reliable that it is all I need for my notes.

Android Authority has reviewed a number of applications that can be useful for ebook readers.

Goodreads. A large community of book lovers who can manage their personal libraries, discover new reads, and connect with other readers.
LitCharts. It displays story points, synopsis, and other information about books.
Literature Terms. A dictionary that explains terms and phrases related to literature.
Browsery. A service and app that lets you connect with other readers and discover new books.
Poems. An app that features poems from a variety of authors.

Helsinki: Klaava Travel Guide, sample page

Ebook news digest: ereaders for musicians, new EPUB version, interaction with readers

2018-05-01

News on ebooks, writing and ereaders

Amazon Kindle ereader on laptop keyboard
Want to improve your writing? Mind the Gap.
The Writing Cooperative

The Curiosity Gap Theory for writers can help to find story themes that resonate with readers.

PadMu is a 13.3-inch (x2) E Ink eReader for Musicians (Video)
The Ebook Reader

Ereader devices with black and white screens are now also marketed to musicians as sheet music readers. Some products even come with controllers for the musician to turn the page without having to touch the device.

Why Specs Change: EPUB 3.2 and the Evolution of the Ebook Ecosystem
EPUBSecrets

EPUB is the industry standard file format for ebooks (Kindle is proprietary to Amazon). The vast majority of EPUB-books are based on the version 2 of the standard, although during 2018, a new version 3.2 will be published. The article reassures that existing ebooks are compatible with the new standard and encourages publishers to move to the version 3.

Must-read inspirational tech books to add to your reading list
Gadget Flow

Solid recommendations for books that practically are already classics in the genre of high technology. If you haven’t read any of these, leave books related to Steve Jobs at the bottom of the reading stack. First, get a proper perspective to the industry.

Don’t reply to comments when you’re hangry, and other tips for engaging with readers
Nieman Lab

A number of major web sites run by big media have closed their comment channels altogether, but it is not recommended for authors who should be interacting with their readers. The article covers the basics of managing the good and bad of public commenting.

Travel guidebook to a Nordic capital: Helsinki, Finland
Klaava Travel Guide

Scandinavian countries are transforming from chilly winter to warm summer season as travelers head to the clean cities, clean waters and untouched wilderness regions of the northern Europe.

Trust, Visibility, Mobile Storytelling And Blockchain For Books: Lessons Learned From London Book Fair 2018
The Creative Penn

A long report from the London Book Fair 2018. The report is also packed with tips to authors who haven’t visited any major book show, because primarily these events are for publishers and agents who trade rights at meetings during the fair. Of course, the shows are a good place to see and experience what is happening in the world of books. The writer has posted so many selfies in the article that I have to ask: do they add any value to the content?

Should I Become a Book Collector?
Book Riot

As the article explains, you need time and money to be able to become a book collector, but forgets to mention a key problem with collections: they require space, and often, a lot of it.

In 2018, every single no. 1 nonfiction best-seller has been about Trump
Entertainment Weekly

Nonfiction books about President Trump are bestsellers in 2018, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the trend will continue to 2019 and 2020.

How to read ebooks without installing any additional applications on your PC

2018-03-26

Recently, one of my neighbors asked how she could read the ebook she had bought from a store. She had managed to download the book, but there was no way to open it. As many of us do in a hurry to start reading a new book, she had simply ignored all the prompts to download an ebook reader application to her device. Well, the problem was quickly solved once we installed a reader application for her. Microsoft has taken a step towards easier ebook experience by including ebook reading into the Edge browser application.

The thing is that every Windows 10 computer comes with the Microsoft Edge browser application that includes the feature to read ebooks.

ebook table of content in Mircosoft Edge browser
If your Microsoft Edge can not open EPUB ebooks, ensure your system has received all the security and feature updates from Microsoft.

This is how you can instantly verify if Microsoft Edge browser on your computer can open ebooks.

Open File Explorer.
Locate the EPUB ebook you want to open on your device.
Right-click on the EPUB file.
Select Open with.
Select Microsoft Edge. If it is not on the list, click Choose another app, and look for Edge.

The ebook should open in a tab in the Microsoft Edge application. If the book doesn’t open, the chances are that you are trying to read a copy-protected (DRM-locked) ebook. The rule of thumb is that ebooks bought and downloaded from a bookstore are copy-protected (you can always read them in the app the store provides), but free ebooks are not locked (and can be read in any EPUB ebook app). Kindle ebooks are a different story altogether, but the rule of thumb is that you can read them only in Kindle devices and apps.

In addition to non-DRM, not copy-protected ebooks you can download ebooks from the Microsoft Store to the Edge browser. It is still early days for ebooks on the Microsoft Store, which means that ebooks are not yet available in many countries at all.

Once you have an ebook in the Microsoft Edge, you can use the following useful features as you read a book.

Open the table of contents and jump to a page you want. Click the leftmost icon on the black bar above the book.
read aloud (TTS) in Microsoft Edge
Let the application read the book aloud to you. Click the loudspeaker icon on the black bar above the book.
highlight, make notes in ebook in Windows 10 Edge browser
Highlight or underline text. Select a section of text, and a small tool window opens up. You can also write notes that are attached to the position you selected.
change ebook font size in Windows 10 reader app Edge
Change font and font size. Choose A-icon, and you will see the options.
search any text in ebook in Edge browser EPUB reader in Windows 10
Search any text in a book. Click the magnifying glass and type your keywords.
Bookmark pages.

Especially, read aloud is a useful new feature in an ebook reading app. You can turn an EPUB ebook into an audiobook simply by asking the Edge browser to read it to you. At the moment, three voices are available for choosing which one pleases your ears the most. Edge can read web pages as well, so you can listen to articles you discover on the internet.