GoodeReader - The definitive News Outlet on eBook, e-Readers, and Digital Publishing News

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The Summer months have officially drawn to a close and Fall is now upon us. There has been plenty of excellent fiction and non-fiction titles that kept us all busy at the cottage, beach or just curled up on the couch. Today, I take a look at the top five eBooks that riveted me the most. In the video below, I cover the entire list and give you my prospective on each one.


Categories : E-Book News
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Many companies involved in the e-reader sector are paying attention to what Amazon has created with the new Kindle Voyage. This new device has a number of innovative hardware features such as Page Press and the front-lite controlled by an ambient light sensor. Amazon has also developed exciting new software that even allows you share content with family members. Has Amazon set the bar so high now that no one else can compete?

The Kindle Voyage features a six inch e-ink carta display with a resolution of 1430 x 1080. It has 300 PPI, which is the highest we have ever seen for an e-reader. The upcoming Kobo H20 has a 6.8 inch screen with the same resolution but a lower 265ppi. The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight is the most affordable one, but only has a resolution of 1024 x 758 and 212 PPI.

Lets face it, people are used to interacting with touhscreen smartphones and tablets on a daily basis. All prior Kindle models had a sunken screen and employed infrared touch. The Voyage has the screen completely flush with the bezel, which is the same sort of tech that the Kobo Aura and Tolino Shine used. A capacitive touchscreen allows for better interaction and better pinch and zoom capabilities.

Instead of physical page turn buttons, the new Kindle Voyage has a feature called PagePress. This is a custom-designed force sensor made of carbon and silver, which reacts to a subtle increase of pressure, triggers a page-turn, and provides a haptic response only your thumb can perceive. Because PagePress has no moving parts, the haptics provide you with the most minimal indication that you have pressed the button, to reduce distraction from reading.

The Kindle Paperwhite 2 had one of the best illuminated screens in the world. Unlike tablets and smartphones that have light emitting from behind the screen, most e-readers have five small LED lights on the bottom of the bezel that project light evenly access the screen. Many companies got this technology wrong, by having splotches all over the screen, or by a pale blue hue, as seen on the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. The new adaptive front light automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on your environment, and can even be fine-tuned further to your personal preferences. When reading in the dark, the adaptive front light slowly lowers the display’s brightness over time to match the way the eye responds to darkness.”

According to The Verge “The ambient setting is actually smarter than you’d expect. If it detects you’re reading in the dark — say, in bed — it will slowly lower the brightness. The idea is that your eyes naturally adjust to darkness over time, so what seems bright enough at first will be too bright once your pupils dilate. It’s a thoughtful, clever feature, and Amazon also says that you can fine tune the behavior if you don’t like the default.”

Sure, the hardware is really good on the new Voyage, but what improvements has Amazon made on software front? Likely the most important one is the Kindle Family Library, which allows users connect their Amazon accounts to share content with family members. The new feature “links your Amazon account to that of your spouse or partner so you can easily share apps, games, audiobooks, books, and Prime Instant Video content,” according to the company. What is even better about the sharing program is that Amazon says it will work across Amazon devices and Amazon’s third-party apps for platforms including iOS and Android. It can link the accounts of two adults, who can, in turn, manage up to four child accounts.

Amazon has also improved their internal searching feature to work smoother when browsing the Kindle Store to discover new books. It previews results based on your past purchases and GoodReads. In addition Amazon has added a small timer on the books you are reading. Based on your reading habits it will let you know how long it will take you to complete the chapter or the book itself. Take THAT traditional page numbers! I really like the About the Book function, which tells you all about the author and if the eBook apart of an established series.

Amazon has many advantages over their competitors. Apple sees the iBooks business as an afterthought. During their entire iPhone event they never mentioned their bookstore once. Barnes and Noble is floundering, continuing to lose money and is still piggy backing technology from late last year. Kobo is going to release their H20 e-reader very soon and is likely going to generate strong revenue. Many of the smaller companies such as Onyx, Ectaco, Tolino, Bookeen and Pocketbook are very hard to come by. They are mainly sold by small websites in Poland, France or Russia. Shipping alone to the US or UK is enough to frighten off any prospective buyers.

When you buy the Voyage e-reader you are going to have access to over 600,000 titles, by legitimate bestselling authors and indie ones. It has arguably the best eBook social networking site, in the form of GoodReads firmly integrated into the entire eBook discovery experience. I think one of the big strengths of Amazon, that no one really talks about is their user review system. Whenever someone leaves a written review, its automatically populated in their e-readers, tablets, apps or websites. Companies like Kobo fetch their reviews from 3rd parties, and even their Android app is comprised of reviews left just on that specific platform.


Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Amazon is one of those companies that never divulges specific dollar amounts or how many eBooks they have sold. During the holiday season last year they strayed from the normal PR blackouts and proclaimed that tens of millions of members were members of Prime. This got annalists salivating, and we now have potential figures that give us an accurate portrayal of Amazon Primes worldwide numbers.

RBC Capital conducted a research note yesterday and Mark Mahaney said RBC is now estimating that 30 million and 40 million in the U.S. and 40 million to 50 million globally are members of Amazon Prime. Most of this data comes from a new survey that RBC conducted from 4,000 Amazon customers  and found that 37% were current Prime members.

According to a recent survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners  The Amazon Prime has become a significant drivers of Amazon sales, even in light of the recent Amazon Prime price increase from $79 to $99.  That means by 2016, the $20 price bump could generate incremental revenue of as much as $1.7 billion. “Prime members spend twice as much, as the rest of Amazon’s customers,” said CIRP co-founder Mike Levin.

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A reader uses her Nook ereader
The summer of 2014 saw many new e-readers get released and some old favorites get used on the beach and cottage. Today, we take a look at the top five e-readers that either came out during the summer or remained perennial favorites.


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A few days ago Good e-Reader broke the news that there was a 10 page note taking limit on the Sony Digital Paper DPTS1 e-reader. This prevents people from making a note from scratch and going beyond 10 pages. Today, Sony has responded  to this limitation with a promise that a future firmware update will remedy it and also provided us with a 25 page PDF document, that can be used to bypass the limitation.

“Sony is highly aware of the 10 page limitation and we already have plans to address this limitation in a forthcoming release of firmware which will be available toward the end of the year.  Users will no longer be limited to 10 pages of notes.  The improvement will be available to everyone via Over The Air update (or by connecting Digital Paper via USB to the computer).” said a Sony rep.

Ray Zwiefelhofer and his team at Worlddox has done some experimentation and they have developed some fun forms and other features from which Sony Digital Paper users might enjoy http://www.worldox.com/products/sony_digital_paper_tools and if you are looking for a 25 page PDF that can be used to take bigger notes, you can download it from HERE.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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instapaper

With the arrival of iOS 8, apps are starting to release updates to take advantage of the new features. Instapaper is no exception, adding several new features this week but also moving to a freemium business model. What this means for users is that the universal iOS app can now be downloaded for free –with the old subscription package being renamed to Instapaper Premium.

Reviewing a list of the new key features should persuade you that Instapaper continues to be a productivity app leader:

    – Now featuring text-to-speech (using Apple’s text-to-speech synthesizer) will let you listen to saved articles while on the go. Consider this a way of making custom curated podcasts from the news you are interested in knowing but wish you had the time to read.

    – Save an article with a single tap (functionality that the Android and web versions of the app have enjoyed previously, but was noticeably absent in the iOS version until now)

    – Unified browse brings articles from your favourite editors or friends into a single feed

    – Link to your friends’ profiles based on the articles that they like

    – View your article saves from today which will now appear in the Notification Center (and read with a single tap)

Once you give Instapaper a try, you will likely agree that a Premium subscription is worth the price of admission (currently listed at $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year). Premium members will enjoy unlimited highlights (free users only get 5 highlights per month) and text-to-speech playlists of saved articles.

If you happen to be an existing subscriber, you will be automatically upgraded to the new premium service at your current rate. If you purchased Instapaper in the past, you will enjoy a free month of premium service as compensation.

Categories : Android News
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The next time you are waiting in line somewhere and trying to pass the time for 28 seconds, complaining about the speed of the Internet on your smartphone… keep in mind that there are a lot of countries in the world where there are no proper data connections. As smartphone manufacturers start building less expensive Android One devices in many of these countries, finding ways around the lack of data plans is important. Fortunately Cosmos for Android is an app that could help –letting users browse the web using SMS text messages.

Sure it’s cumbersome, and definitely slower, but it’s nonetheless possible.

How it works is simple in concept: visit a web URL using the app, which will then send a SMS request to the Cosmos backend. The response will be a compressed package containing the source of the website being requested (minus the interactive pieces, CSS, and JavaScript).

It may not look pretty or quite as the web developers intended, but the jist of the content should be there.

There are other considerations, of course –such as needing an unlimited text messaging plan, given the number of messages that are likely to be flying back and forth if you are using Cosmos. Having this extra SMS traffic may also delay other text messages

Cosmos should be released by the end of the month. You may want to give the app a try even if you do have a data plan, you never know when you might be without 3G or LTE and needing to find out a piece of important information (you know, very important things such as settling a bet made around a campfire, or trying to find out the actual rules to a board game that you are playing at the cabin).

Categories : Android News
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Barnes and Noble has just removed the ability to download eBooks that you have bought from the online Nook Store. They did this so users could not download purchased content locally on their PC and either strip it of the encryption or use a 3rd party reading app.

The Barnes and Noble customer care division has sent out a tweet, letting people know that this is their new policy and not a bug. “The ability to sideload NOOK purchased content has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

If you own a Nook e-reader or tablet, you will continue to enjoy purchasing and reading books right on your device. Ditto for people who use the official Nook app for Windows, Android or iOS. This issue mainly affects people who use an internet web-browser and accesses their Nook Library. In the past, a download option would appear, but now this has been removed.

There are some rare cases where select eBook titles still have the download button, but include the text “We’re working on making this title available on NOOK for Web. In the meantime, read it on our free NOOK Reading Apps.” I also confirmed that graphic novels still have the download button, because they are currently incompatible with the Nook for Web HTML5 based e-reading app.

The elimination of downloading titles to your PC will mainly effect the “power users” that tend to use 3rd party e-reading apps for their mobile devices or strip the DRM completely and bypass Nook security.

Barnes and Noble is currently in the process of totally revising their website for purchasing content and also the way Nook books are presented. In early 2015 it will be formally unveiled and likely this change to downloading content is likely a precursor to reading everything exclusively online.

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Nook Press is the self-publishing system that Barnes and Noble developed to allow authors to submit eBooks and sell them online. It has been a US exclusive since its original launch, and only recently expanded to the UK. In order to better promote Nook Press as a viable alternative to Kindle Direct Publishing and Kobo Writing Life, Barnes and Noble has partnered with The Bookseller on a New Preview Section for Self-Published Authors in the UK.

NOOK Press will sponsor the new section and will be the exclusive source of self-published titles for preview consideration through April 2015. Each month, beginning in October, The Bookseller will select approximately 10 NOOK Press titles to feature on the new section. Authors simply have to be published on NOOK Press, or sign up and publish their works, to have the opportunity to be featured in The Bookseller’s Independent Author Previews.

“Our goal with this new section is to discover the best new books published independently and made available to customers in the UK and we’re thrilled to have partnered with NOOK Press, one of the leading self-publishing platforms, to exclusively deliver this content through next April,” said Philip Jones, Editor at The Bookseller. “This is a new spin on what we have been doing for more than 100 years, and recognizes that some of the best new writing now comes through non-traditional channels. The Bookseller’s job remains the same, however, to shout about these books and bring them to the attention of our audiences. I know we’re all excited to read some of the great new publishing being made available through NOOK Press in the UK.”

“We are constantly looking at new ways to help NOOK Press authors get the exposure they deserve, which is why we’re thrilled about this new partnership with The Bookseller. It will give our self-published authors a new outlet to showcase their work, while giving NOOK customers another resource to discover their next great read,” said Colin Eustace, General Manager, Barnes & Noble S.à.r.l. “We also encourage self-published authors who are not yet on our platform to sign up today to be considered for this great opportunity and discover all of the great promotions available to NOOK Press authors.”

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Amazon has updated their Kindle e-reading app for iOS and added a ton of new features to take advantage of the new iOS 8 that was released yesterday. It makes reading multiple books easier with the handy Kindle Today Widget. Customers also get the ability to copy passages from their books and paste them into text messages, e-mail, and other applications on iOS outside of Kindle. Readers who encounter words or phrases in other languages can quickly comprehend the author’s meaning with a convenient translation feature.

New Features

Kindle Today Widget (iOS 8 only) – Multi-book readers can now surf between books from anywhere on the device by pulling down the ‘Today’ view and tapping on one of the three titles in the Kindle Widget. They can choose from their most recently opened library titles, like the ‘jump’ function on a TV remote.

Copy & Paste – Customers asked and we listened. Version 4.5 includes the ability to copy passages from your books and add them to the iOS clipboard for pasting into a text message, e-mail, social media, or other iOS applications outside of Kindle.

Smart Lookup Translation Card – Authors often include phrases in other languages to add depth or meaning to a story. Readers can now get a full understanding by selecting the word or phrase and viewing the translation card.

iOS 8 support, bug fixes, and stability improvements.

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Amazon has enhanced their operating system to pave the way for the new line of Fire tablets. It is entitled Sangria and upgrades the Android OS to Kitcat and packs a number of money functions.

The latest version of Fire OS, “Sangria,” continues Fire OS’ content-forward user interface that delivers easy and fast access to your favorite books, songs, videos, and games—open them with one tap rather than hunting through folders and apps. Fire OS 4 updates the visual design of the UI and adds Profiles so each family member can have their own individual email, Facebook and Twitter accounts, settings such as display brightness, bookmarks, spot in a movie, and game levels.

Fire OS 4 is based on KitKat and adds features and services to make it faster and easier to use. For example, Fire OS includes ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) which predicts the movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and starts them instantly, and Smart Suspend develops a device-specific profile for when the tablet is typically not in use and proactively turns wireless off and on to deliver up to 25% more standby battery life.

Fire OS is not just a device OS—it deeply integrates with the Amazon cloud to further improve performance and ease-of-use, to enable cross-platform syncing, and to power services that require more processing than is possible on a mobile device. Examples of new cloud services in Fire OS 4 include Family Library so you can share your apps, games, audiobooks, books, and Prime Instant Video content with other members of your household; Firefly so you can identify and take action on artwork, text, and audio instantly—available for over 100 million items; and free unlimited storage in Cloud Drive for photos taken on Fire devices.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Amazon has revised their HDX 8.9 inch tablet with a brand new version of 2014. It has a startlingly light design and stunning HDX display with a new, more powerful processor, exclusive Dolby Atmos and the latest Dolby Audio, and all-new Fire OS 4 “Sangria” features and services.

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 2014 edition has a capacitive touchscreen display with resolution of 2560 X 1600 and features exceptional pixel density (over 4 million pixels, 339 ppi) for vivid, lifelike images.

Fire HDX 8.9 features an 8MP rear-facing camera that allows for high-resolution photos and 1080p HD video. The rear camera includes an LED flash, Electronic Image Stabilization to remove hand jitters, a wide-aperture lens, and support for panorama and High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. The front facing 720p HD camera, perfect for Skype HD video calls and taking photos to share via Facebook or email.

Underneath the hood is a Quad-core 2.5 GHz processor, Dual band WIFI, and comes in 16, 32, or 64 GB variants. Even with a faster, more power-hungry processor, Fire HDX delivers incredible battery life—up to 12 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching videos, and listening to music—without adding weight or thickness to the design. The new Fire HDX also has weeks of standby battery life, so you don’t have to worry about waking up in the morning to find your tablet battery depleted because you forgot to plug it in. This standby battery life is made possible by combining power-efficient hardware components, low-level software improvements, and a new feature called Smart Suspend. Smart Suspend develops a device-specific profile for when the tablet is typically not in use and proactively turns wireless off and on to save power. Smart Suspend will still turn on Wi-Fi periodically to fetch new emails or app notifications, so when you pick up your tablet it’s ready to go and up to date.

There are a number of new software enhancements that make the new 8.9 HDX a compelling tablet. If you are tired of waiting for a video to buffer every time you hit “Play.” a new service called Advanced Streaming and Prediction learns what movies and shows you like and gets them ready for you to watch. The more you view videos on your Fire tablet, the more accurate ASAP becomes, dynamically adapting to your viewing habits. It also has a custom variant of Firefly, which was the main selling point of the Fire Phone.

The new Fire HDX is available for pre-order starting today for just $379

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Amazon has unveiled a new brand entry level Kindle model for $79 that should appeal towards gift buyers and the price conscious. For the first time ever, the basic model Kindle will forgo the D-PAD and include a touchscreen.

The all-new Kindle includes a 20% faster processor, twice the storage, and now features a touch interface and all of the latest features customers love about Kindle, including Kindle FreeTime, Goodreads, and Smart Lookup. The new Kindle is small, light, and portable—toss it in a beach bag or put it in a pocket to always have your reading with you. The new Kindle is great for anyone who’s new to e-reading.

Most of the advancements other than the touchscreen have to do with new software driven features. You can see at a glance how long it will take to finish a chapter or book with Time to Read. It is completely personalized based on your reading speed, and is constantly updated as your speed and habits change. Word Wise, available on many popular English language titles, makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions. Tap on a word to bring up a simple card with definitions, synonyms, and more. You can adjust the number of hints you see with a simple slider. In the next few weeks About the Book will be pushed via a firmware update that will let you see information about the book as you start to read, including its place in a series and author information, plus mark it as “Currently Reading” on Goodreads.

We don’t know much about the internal specs, but unlike the Kindle Voyage this model is employing an e-Ink Pearl screen and Neonode IR Touch. The new Kindle is available for pre-order today for $79 for the special offers variant and $99 without it. They will begin shipping in October.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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