e-reader

Archive for e-reader

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Energy Sistem, a Spanish tech brand that has recently launched its new range of e-Readers. The Energy Reader Slim, Energy Reader Screenlight and Energy Reader PRO all have wildly different specs and the pricing structure makes them all tremendously affordable.

Likely the best model this company has just released is the Energy Reader PRO. It features a six inch e-Ink Pearl HD display with a resolution of 1024×758 pixels. It has a touchscreen, which makes it easy to click and navigate around the UI or just simply flip the pages in your favorite e-Book. It also incorporates a front-lit screens, you may elect to read in the dark and customize the different levels of illumination. Underneath the hood is a ARM Cortex A9 1.0Ghz dual core processor and 8 GB of internal memory. It also has the option to expand the memory up to 64GB with a SD/SDHC card. This model costs 119 Euro

The mid level model is called the Energy Slim, which has a 6 inch screen with a resolution of 800×600.  It also has a front-lit display, to allow you to read in the dark, but does not have a touchscreen. Instead, it has a D-Pad and manual navigation buttons to flip pages.  This e-reader will run you 84 Euros. The entry e-reader is named the Energy Slim, it doesn’t have a front light or a touchscreen display, and is aimed primarily at people new to e-readers or are on a budget, the cost on this unit is 69 Euros.

I like the fact that all three models have support for EPUB, PDF and MOBI, this means it will play nice with the vast majority of books you will download or buy from the internet. In order to get you reading right away, there is 1,500 titles that come bundled on all three models, in different languages.

In the near future will be reviewing all of these readers, so if any of them look especially compelling to you, we will be doing a comprehensive hands on review, unboxings and comparisons.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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The Kindle Keyboard is close to five years old and Amazon is still supporting it. The Seattle based company has just issued a new firmware update that seeks to resolve a security issue with the internet browser.

The vulnerability with the internet browser stems from accessing online content utilizing the 3G connection. Modern websites often have heavier security credentials when it comes to accessing email or using the login forms. The Kindle Keyboard had used an antiquated version of security, which resulted in this e-reader getting locked out and not being able to connect to certain sites.

The very small update that is currently available resolves this issue, the exact version number is 3.4.1. If you are having problems connecting to the internet I would recommend you download the firmware update manually. It can sometimes takes months for updates to hit all devices, because Amazon does it in a staggered release, so millions of people aren’t doing it all at once.

The Kindle Keyboard was the last Amazon branded e-reader that used 3G to access the internet, all subsequent models use WIFI.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Pixel Qi first first established in 2008 by Mary Lou Jepson and her husband John Ryan took over the reigns as CEO in November 2012. Mary left the company in March of 2013 to become Head of Display Division at Google X. John followed her in September to become the Director Program Management at Google X. With a non-existent executive team and no display prospects for the future, for all sense and purposes, Pixel Qi is out of business.

The company designs liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that can be largely manufactured using the existing manufacturing infrastructure for conventional LCDs. The advantage of Pixel Qi displays over conventional LCDs is mainly that they can be set to operate under transflective mode and reflective mode, improving eye-comfort, power usage, and visibility under bright ambient light.

Pixel QI had some moderate success in the early years and shipped out 2.2 million devices using their technology. The Nation Ink Adam, Innoversal Lattic, Clover Systems Sunbook, Hydra-T3 and their biggest client ZTE released a single tablet using a Pixel QI Screen.

In 2012 3M invested heavily in the future of Pixel Qi and used their financial clout to influence the direction of the company away from consumer electronics to focusing on big business, military and government.

John Ryan, Former CEO of Pixel QI told me in early 2012 that “one of the first ways they will deploy their Pixel Qi technology is within the military and give soldiers a new way to receive mission data. If you look at your average paratrooper or ranger they are constantly receiving revised mission parameters and in harsh conditions like a dessert. Being in very bright environments or in the complete darkness is what the essence of Pixel QI is all about. Most military operations worldwide still employ maps and written communications, to receive updates to their mission parameters requires many steps and circumstances can change at any time. The plan is for soldiers to have heavily versatile tablets that last for weeks and are wired into mission control to receive new updates on the fly.”

Did Pixel QI have any success with the military and was the 3M prompting to enter an untested market the right call? In hindsight Pixel QI never announced any formal contracts with the military, and the entire concept was apparently dead in the water.

The final nail in the coffin for Pixel QI was the loss of their existing fab, where all of the manufacturing was done. Floyd and Harris, an IT company in Budapest, outlined the last major setback in early June of 2013.

“We have been using Pixel Qi displays extensively in our UAV ground control stations and generic field service PCs with much success, so today’s news hit us hard about Pixel Qi having to move its manufacturing base from their current subcontractor. Both one of our clients and the European Pixel Qi distributor has called us with the news, so I believe it must be true. Such moves may have very serious implications for the supply chain and the general availability of the only low power sunlight visible solution available for our systems.” The company went on to say, “From what I heard so far, Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) cannot offer their services to Pixel Qi anymore. Most of my sources tell me that the production quantities are still too low for them, but I couldn’t substantiate this from primary sources. There were already some issues trying to get at least a single piece of the new 1280×800 type screen from them, but I was able to buy one eventually from the other EU distributor, Densitron. One contact at the time said that the first marketable production run of these new panels will only start in September, but again, there was no first hand information about this.”

Within three months of the final loss to their manufacturing capabilities John Ryan, CEO fled to Google.

Currently nobody knows the exact status of Pixel QI. The executive team all fled, the main phone number for their headquarters in California is out of service, as is their satellite office in Texas. None of the email address I have gained over the the last five years are working anymore. This includes their entire executive team, IT department and press office. It was a fun ride Pixel QI, you will be missed.

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E-readers have been continuing to become the preferred method of reading digital books since the original Kindle was released in 2007. The industry has had their high and low-points and right is more is more or less consolidated between Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.  Some people love their devices and prefer to keep them in safe, working order with a case. There are two kinds of cases readily available, the traditional or faux leather and some people buy custom cases.

Custom cases are very much like tattoos, they really extenuate your personality. There are a number of online retailers that sell one of a kind cases online. Decalgirl is primarily known for quirky artistic designs, where artists all over the world submit their original works and the website grafts them to a case. Traditional purists who are a big fan of  leather work often select Oberon Designs, this US company only supports the Kindle reader, but makes a number of wicked original work for most tablets.

When you think of a protective case for your device, you often think of either a pouch or more traditional protective shell that makes your e-reader open up like a book. These days, things have gotten more interesting and there are a number of options to choose from.

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Clip case – is a classic one piece snap-on case that is primarily designed to keep your phone safe from bumps, scratches and day to day wear. These are traditionally not made for e-readers or tablets. It’s made from impact-resistant polycarbonate and printed with rich, vibrant, high-gloss graphics from edge-to-edge. All ports for connectors and controls are fully accessible, and it’s thin enough to work with most docks and accessories.

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Hybrid case –  this protective, two-piece case sports an impact resistant hard shell and a form-fitting TPU inner liner that protects against impacts and those “accidental” drops. The glossy outer shell is printed with rich, vibrant, high-gloss graphics from edge-to-edge that will safeguard your phone against scratches and also makes it easy to slide in and out of your pocket.  Hybrid Cases are sometimes refereed to as the “Best of Both Worlds”, meaning they provide the most protection while remaining as svelte as possible.

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Bumper Case – provides heavy duty double-layer protection for the most demanding users. Its rugged two-piece design consists of a tough, shatter-resistant polycarbonate outer shell wrapped around thick impact-absorbing silicone. Know your e-reader is protected from drops — even on pavement or concrete. The inner silicone liner features hinged dust plugs for the headphone jack and charging ports while the glossy outer shell is scratch resistant.

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Skins – e-Reader skins are fun and decorative ways to add style to your device, while also offering a small amount of protection. They are not the same as cases, which are usually more focused on function and less on style. The skins attach directly to the surface and are easily peeled off for maximum flexibility.  You can achieve a more unique look than most cases can manage.

E-Bay or Amazon are normally the online destinations to find sometime less fashionable and artistic and more, cheap and often devoid of all personality. These are your traditional leather case that comes in a myriad of colors, but is most often black.

Are cases necessary for your e-reader? It depends on who you talk to and what your day to day situation entails. If you are a harsh klutz that is always walking into walls, stumbling on a sidewalk crack or bumping into people on public transit, a case is likely ideal. Seriously though, a lot of people I know that ride the subway or bus on a daily basis use a case, because it helps protect their device against unexpected drops. E-Readers though are fairly durable and when is the last time you actually saw a picture online of a broken Kindle screen? I thought so.  Now iPhone cracked screens?  Oh BOY!

Personally I never use cases for my tablet, smartphone or e-readers. I use my Blackberry or iPhone on a daily basis, and sure I have dropped it on occasion but I have never cracked or damaged it. E-Readers tend to get thrown in my bag when I am going to the beach, to a cafe or on vacation. I tend never to give them a second thought. Maybe because I am young and single and don’t bulk at buying a new one if it ends up breaking on it.

Do you use a custom or more traditional case for your e-reader?  Is your e-reader or tablet quite naked? Do you have a cool case you want to share?

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Jan
09

Inkcase Plus Hands on Review

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The Inkcase Plus is a portable secondary e-ink touchscreen extension of  your Android smartphone. It was designed to connect via Bluetooth and run a series of dedicated apps that allow you to view pictures, read e-Books or use as a sports tracker.

The InkCase Plus features a  3.5 inch 360 X 600 resolution Mobius e-ink display. It comes with its own battery, which should last about a month with regular use. Unlike the Yotaphone which has the e-ink screen physically apart of the hardware, this one is separate.  There is a dedicated case that Oaxis sells that fits the e-ink screen inside, giving you the functionality of an Android phone on the right and Inkcase Plus on the left.

There are 4 main apps that are available to download from the Google Play store that adds new functionality to the device. There is a connectivity app which basically establishes the Bluetooth connection and lists the number of apps that were specifically created for it. There is also a photo and sports app, which allow you to send over content to your Inkcase. The sports app is a bit of a letdown because the timer is staggered to refresh every 5-10 seconds and basically is just sending over a series of screenshots.

The best app that was made for the Inkcase Plus is the EpiReader  app. It allows you to take advantage of the manual page turn keys and turns it into a dedicated e-reader. All you have to do is download EPUB or PDF documents to  your phone and import them into the EpiReader app. You can then access a menu function to transmit the entire book to your portable and read to  your hearts content.

You can think of the Inkcase Plus as a dumb terminal, when you are reading there is no options to increase the size of the font, change the font-type or augment the linespacing. Instead,  you have to do this on your phone, within the app itself. After making the adjustments it is sent over to the Inkcase live, so you can read books with the font size of your choice. To find the ideal reading setup it does take a bit of time to find your sweet spot.

There are a few other options the Incase Plus allows you to employ. Anytime you get a notification on your phone, such as a phone call, text message, Whatsapp ping or an incoming Skype message, you see it all on the portable. It is possible to disable these notifications, but you have to do it one by one.

I think this device is really solid. You can think of it  as a super low-cost e-reader where you can read books and avoid all the notifications that constantly barrage you on the phone.  The screen isn’t the largest in the world, but users coming from a Blackberry background or a flipphone will feel right at home.  You can buy the Incase Plus with the official case for your Android phone for $105.


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Netronix has debuted a new 13.3 inch e-reader at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This device features a resolution of 1440×1600 and its powered by a Freescale i.MX6 Solo Lite CPU processor. It is running an older version of Android right now, but they promised it will be upgraded to Kitkat within a few weeks.

This 13.3 inch e-reader has a capacitive touchscreen display and is meant to be interested with via the active digitizer stylus. All of this combined allows for pin-point precision in taking notes, making highlights and annotations. Users can read tradition e-books but also have more flexibility in controlling their PDF editing experience.

Netronix is claiming that they are looking for OEM partners to license the hardware and they will also provide the SDK for the pen application suite. This includes different sized thickness to line drawing and the entire editing package. I heard that the wholesale cost will be $600 and the company will be ready to mass produce them in three months, after they redesign a new housing for it.

Visually, this prototype bears a striking resemblence to the Sony Digital Paper. It has the same flexible housing and looks to employ e Ink Mobius e-paper. The software is completely different though and the overall price should be significantly more affordable.


Categories : CES, e-reader, e-Reader News
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Barnes and Noble has just announced that their holiday sales for e-readers, tablets and e-Books did not meet expectations. Customers expressed trepidation about the booksellers new line of Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook  devices and did not purchase them in droves like B&N had hoped.

The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had sales of $56 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 55.4% as compared to a year ago.  Device and accessories sales were $28.5 million, a decrease of 67.9% from a year ago.  Digital content sales were $27.4 million, a decline of 25.0% compared to a year ago.

Print books once again were the savior of Barnes and Noble, even though digital did not live up to expectations. The Retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores had sales of $1.1 billion, increasing 0.2% over the prior year.  Sales benefited from the continued stabilization of physical book sales and growth in the educational toys and games and gift departments.

I for one am very disappointed that Nook e-Books and e-reader sales continue to tank for the company. It is very hard to compete against the Kindle Voyage and Kobo H20 which sold in record numbers all December long. It also helped that many industry news and review websites gushed over these two devices and did not really hype any of B&N consumer electronics.

I would recommend if Barnes and Noble released a new e-reader in 2015 they should push it out at the end of October, in order to take advantage of all the positive press going into the holiday season. The last e-reader they issued, the Nook Glowlight came out at the beginning of 2014 and lost momentum towards the end of the year.

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Onyx doesn’t make it easy to get your hands on their latest e-readers since they are only primarily available in Europe. The company operates their own store and shipping to North America can be quite expensive and normally has a long delay, due to customs. In order to get their new flagship e-reader into customers hands Onyx Boox has just begun to offer the Afterglow 2 for sale via Amazon.

The Onyx Afterglow 2 came out in early December and features a six inch capacitive touchscreen with e-Ink Pearl HD and a resolution of 1024×758. You will be able to read in the dark via the front-lit display, which is the same sort of tech you see in the Kindle Voyage and Kobo Aura H2O.

This e-reader has a few things really going for it that makes it standout in a crowded marketplace. I really like the dual core 1.2 GHZ processor which should keep things really speedy, most other digital book readers all have single cores. It also has a stock version of Google Android 4.2 and users can install any app they want via Google Play.

The Afterglow 2 enables you to listen to e-books whenever you need to multi-task. IVONA text-to-speech system with its advanced technologies reads texts less like a robot, and more like a human. You get two voices: English and Polish. This device is also capable of reading a fair number of e-Book formats, including PDF, EPUB, MOBI, DOC, TXT, DJVU, HTML, RTF, and FB2.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Dai Nippon Printing has released their first e-reader called the Honto Pocket. It has been available in Japan for the last few weeks and the company intends on making a number of e-book anthologies available to purchase by the end of January and will be opening up an online bookstore in February.

The Honto Pocket basically has no place in the modern world, it is a throwback to how e-readers were made as cheaply as possible five years ago. This little device has a five inch screen with a resolution of 800 X 600. It does not have a touchscreen, so you will have to navigate around with the D-Pad. It does not have wireless internet access and many bloggers in Japan are saying once books are loaded on it, there is no way to actually delete them. Oh, best of all, it has two AA batteries to power it.

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This e-reader is available at many different bookstores in Japan.  There are a few e-Books that come loaded on it, but the publisher is trying to get people to buy a few anthologies.  You can buy 100 titles by Agatha Christie for ¥74,800 or 43 books featuring detective Hercule Poirot for ¥ 32,800.

In a few months the company will be launching an online bookstore, where you can purchase content to your computer and then plug the e-reader into it to sync over all of the e-books you buy. Not very intuitive.

I would not recommend this e-reader to anyone. You can buy plenty of great devices in Japan such as the Sony, Kindle or Kobo e-readers. They all have WIFI and allow you buy books right on them. The Honto Pocket is certainly budget friendly, but so was the Extaco Jetbook Mini, and that didn’t sell well.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Barnes and Noble tends to go through phases where they are total in stealth mode about whats happening in the Nook division. The last time they had anything to say was in November when they launched Nook Audiobooks and before that, they really hyped up the two Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets. How are hardware sales doing and how many people are listening to audiobooks? Nobody seems to know, and this is the type of information that appeases shareholders and makes for a good headline. So whats next for Nook? Today, we take a look back at their most notable achievements of 2014 and project what the company will be doing in 2015.

Barnes and Noble did not release any new e-ink based readers in 2014, but did issue the Nook Glowlight in late November 2013. This was their second iteration of a reader that included a front-lit display. It was polished and refined, but did not sell in the type of numbers that the Nook Simple Touch experienced.

Instead of e-readers, the largest bookseller in the US decided to go the tablet route. In the past, they did everything in-house through their California research and development center. This time around, they decided to just outsource the entire hardware design to Samsung, which merely gave them the 7 and 10 inch Galaxy Tab 4th generation tablets. Barnes and Noble simply used a stock version of Android and ported over a few of their customized Android apps. This included an online bookstore, e-reader app, app store and various customization options.

Many customers expressed disappointment in their latest line of Nook tablets, citing the resolution was worse than the previous generation and it lost most of the Nook charm.

Barnes and Noble really shook up their executive group in 2014. The company got a new CEO, former president, Michael Huseby, who replaced William Lynch. Jim Hilt, head of global e-book sales, digital products director Jamie Iannone and VP of digital products Bill Saperstein all departed in early 2014. Towards the end of the year Theresa Horner the VP, Digital Content at Barnes & Noble has left the company and was replaced by Doug Carlson, CMO and EVP of Digital Content.

Barnes and Noble have been bringing in a number of people from outside the traditional book-selling industry, such as former Zinio executives Doug Carlson and Jeanniey Mullen. The main intention behind these and many other great new hires is to bring in fresh ideas. The previous Nook regime had all been there forever, before Nook even launched. Most of them were not very tech savvy and were basically thrust into new roles. The brand was really solid at first, but somehow lost their way in 2013, as apathy and boardroom politics affected the brand.

Towards the end of 2014, Barnes and Noble wanted to solidify more control over the future of the Nook brand. The bookseller plans on spinning off the Nook business from book-selling in late 2015. In order to lay down the framework they had to buy out Microsoft and academic publisher Pearson’s stake in Nook Media.

What does Barnes and Noble have planned for 2015? The company intends on releasing a new e-reader. I have heard reports that intend on making it very modern, and use a capacitive touchscreen display with a new version of e-paper from e Ink. Likely, they will not release any new tablets, as they tend to do it in two year cycles.

Barnes and Noble is at a crossroads with their digital distribution system and has hard choices to make in 2015. They spent a fortune developing their own app ecosystem and luring developers to use their own custom SDK to include their apps on the Nook App Store. A few years ago, they decided that they had to form a relationship with Google, in order to have Google Play available on their complete line of tablets. This effectively relegated the Nook store to play second fiddle to Google. The same thing is occurring with Nook Video, they simply don’t have the necessary team in place to really make it a viable alternative to Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.

Nook also has to figure out about what they want with Nook Press, their self-publishing platform. This service is not promoted very well at all, and has literary zero presence at most of the big events that center around publishing, like Book Expo America and Romance Writers of America. The platform has a whole does not even appear on the top 89 sites commonly used by indie authors.

Nook Press has a lot of potential. The synergy that can be blended between the physical bookstore and the digital is something Amazon, Kobo or Smashwords can’t match. Not only does Nook Press need an evangelist to promote the platform globally, but also needs to lay down framework that gets the bestselling indie novels inside their bookstores and promote it. As soon as they manage to do that, they will generate and cultivate a new breed of writer that wants to sell both traditionally and digitally.

I think spinning off the Nook division from the traditional book selling business would be a good move. It would create separation on the executive level, you would have the digital people and the bookstores in totally different camps. This would allow Nook to create their own company culture and have more freedom to take calculated risks. I also think that more executives and brilliant minds from the tech industry would be more likely to consider working at Nook, if it were purely digital and whose sole intention is to be a priority, not a diversion.

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Amazon had a very productive year and managed to keep themselves in the news with ton of product releases and business maneuverings. Today, we take a look back at the 10 most notable things Amazon did in 2014.

Amazon Buys Twitch

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Amazon acquired the video-game streaming site Twitch Interactive Inc. in August for $970 million. The company doesn’t make a lot of acquisitions, so one of this size was notable. The video streaming service will complement Amazon’s Prime Music streaming service, which is part of its Amazon TV system. Already Twitch culture has changed since Amazon bought it, when partial nudity is no longer allowed.

Send in the Drones – Meet Amazon Air Prime

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Amazon took over the blogosphere by storm when it announced their futuristic Prime Air program. It promises a quad helicopter will drop off your package 30 minutes after ordering it. Amazon wants to get it running in the next few years but FAA restrictions are not making it easy.

Fire TV

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In April Amazon announced Fire TV which allows you to install apps and watch Amazon-produced content on their TVs. It is similar to Apple TV and Roku, except it has more of an emphasis on playing games.

The main Fire TV unit came with a remote and optional game controller. At the tail end of 2014 the company unveiled the Fire Stick, which is an alternative to the Google Chromecast.

The Golden Globes

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Amazon produced “Transparent” receives two Golden Globe nominations. The success of the show marks Amazon’s real entrance into the competitive online television network. The show is available via Amazon Prime, which Amazon mentioned got 10 million new members during the holiday season.

Kindle Voyage

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The Kindle Voyage is widely considered the best e-reader ever made. It has the highest resolution e-paper screen in the world and the PPI is unparalleled. It has buttons built into the bezel, an ambient light sensor and employs a new hybrid magnesium alloy. This not only makes the e-reader lighter than previous iterations, but prevents scuffs and fingerprints. Family Sharing allows you to share purchases with your friends and family.

Fire Phone Flops

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Amazon admitted that their first ever smartphone was a flop, but that is not going to dissuade them from releasing more in the future. The phone suffered from a very high price and exclusivity with AT&T when it first launched. Its fairy cheap now and the unlocked version has fallen from its $699 launch price.

AWS Lowers its Price

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Amazons cloud computing network powers Netflix and other major companies all over the world.  They cut their data transfer rates by 43% starting in December 2014, which is halving many startups bills that can’t afford their own server farms.  The reduction in price was made to help combat competition from Microsoft, Google and the giant VMware, not to mention the hundreds of cloud companies sprouting up around the world.

Hachette Dispute Dominated the headlines

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Amazon and major publisher Hachette were locked in a six month long contract dispute which polarized the entire publishing industry. Never before have we seen pop culture and various author groups lambaste Amazon as being a money grabbing empire, who is bad for authors.

Kindle Unlimited Launches

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Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, the ebook and audiobook subscription service that lets members pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited access to its catalog, went live during the summer. It offers users a thirty day free trial and the option to pay $9.99 a month for the service.  There are over 700,000 e-Book and audiobook titles available. Major publishers have yet to embrace the platform and the vast majority of titles are from indie authors who publish on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. This service has been in the news in the last few months as  many authors are seeing a huge decline in sales.

Construction

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Amazon added nearly 4 million square feet of office space in Seattle in 2014. The company is constructing two 38-story high-rise buildings and a five-story “bubble” building in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. It is on track to have enough space for more than 71,000 employees in the city in the next five years.


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Sony was legendary in the e-reader business because the vast majority of their e-readers had touchscreen displays and came with a stylus. This appealed not only to casual readers, but people who needed to make highlights and annotations with pinpoint precision. Now that Sony has exited the consumer sector, there is now a void to be filled, and Kobo is aiming to rise to the challenge.

When Kobo starts to design their next generation e-readers, the logistics and manufacturing is actually done by one of their longstanding partners, Netronix. Back in August Netronix was demoing a new e-reader  at a  tradeshow and showed off a new touchscreen device utilizing Wacom technology. What was most interesting was that the shell containing the new screen was the Kobo Aura HD, which is 6.8 inches and very distinctive.

Wamcom is well known in the industry for making digital pens and touchscreen displays that are often selected by artists. When I worked in the game development industry, almost everyone involved with creating 2D or 3D art, was normally using a stylus. Many of the leading comic book artists, whether they are making print or web-comics also swear by Wacom.

I have heard various rumors coming out of Taiwan that the new Kobo Aura HD will be using a specialized version of Wacam called “WILL.” The Wacom Ink Layer Language (WILL) is an universal inking engine and ink layer framework which connects hardware, software and applications. WILL is a technology that enables high quality digital pen and ink experience. Likely, Kobo will be employing the WILL SDK for its Linux based operating system and integrate it into their reading app and note taking apps.

What I think Kobo is hoping to accomplish is to make a consumer version of the Sony Digital Paper. The DPT-S1 is 13.3 inches and is legendary for its lightweight nature and stylus integration for editing PDF files. It is very expensive, normally retailing for $999.99. I think Kobo really wants to make a 6.8 inch variant and aim it their existing customer base and hopefully give old Sony e-Reader owners a reason to upgrade.

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Amazon Prime currently has 35 million members in the US and 50 million worldwide. There are many benefits to the $99 per year subscription, each as a free eBook every month, access to Amazon Instant Video and Prime music. Lots of people buy Prime for this very reason, you can simply get a lot more value for your Kindle Fire.

Loyal Amazon shoppers are quite aware that you get free two day shipping if you are a Prime member, but many Kindle owners just buy e-Books. This year though, the number of Prime members who took advantage of the free shipping for the first time were staggering.  More than 10 million new members worldwide tried Prime for the first time. Amazon customers also benefited from low prices this season, including more than 25,000 Lightning Deals.

“We are excited to welcome more than ten million new members to Amazon Prime this holiday season, who benefited from unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on their holiday gifts. Prime members can also borrow more than 700,000 books, listen to one million songs and hundreds of playlists, save unlimited photos and watch tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes including the Golden Globe nominated show from Amazon Studios, Transparent,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “We are working hard to make Prime even better and expanding the recently launched Prime Now to additional cities in 2015.”

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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