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FBReader, an eReader app with over 5 million active users, announced that it added DRM support in a push to to become more attractive to content providers and potential device partners. The company will be using the open Marin DRM standard on Intertrust Technology’s ExpressPlay platform.

The company had been receiving interest from potential partners, but the lack of DRM protection was a major hurdle. With the FBReader’s primary goal of building a larger user base, it has now opened up the doors to the possibility of partnering with content providers and to be pre-installed on devices.

One thing FBReader wants to make clear is that they are not looking to open their own store at the moment, but to offer content providers with a low cost DRM solution. It wants to test the market and believes its platform presents a good opportunity to publishers. According to founder Nikolay Pultsin, “if you have a large catalog and you want to try this protection scheme, your payment does not depend on number of the books in your catalog, just on number of purchases.”

There is going to be be a greater emphasis on their API system after the success of the TTS plugin, which was developed by a third party. This has the potential of adding a more personalized experience, developed by the hands of the reading community itself. According to Mr Plutsin, a new API “will support a lot of new functionality. In particular it will be possible to create skins for standard FBReader screens.”

FBReader is working on more features for its device as well, including ePub3 and video support. Mr Pultsin says, “I’m still not sure that ePub3 books and especially books designed with fixed layout(s) are the future of electronic reading. However, we want to support this type of content too, with no loss of speed for usual books containing text and images only.” It is also looking at adding PDF support, widgets and synchronization across device

If everything pans out and device manufacturers and publishers buy into the secure system, FBReader has a promising future in the competitive eReader market and could be worth your while downloading. With the ability to customize a reading experience along with the prospects of adding publishers’ content its should become even more attractive to new users. Having opened up the doors to the possibility of pre-installs on devices could be a major avenue of growth for the company as well.

The ereader is available for Android and Blackberry devices and FBReader is planning on adding more device support . It can be downloaded from the Good e-Reader App Store.

Categories : Android News
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Good e-Reader is proud to unleash the latest feature to our Android and Blackberry App Store, ratings and reviews. This new system will allow users to leave a written review of the app they download and also give it a rating.

The ratings and review engine is a great new feature that is tied to our mobile android app store. Every Time someone reviews or rates an app within our app for tablets/smartphones it is instantly visible on the website. Our main intention was to build more synergy between the mobile client and website.

In the last few weeks we have developed some really compelling enhancements to the Good e-Reader App Store. One of the most recent was out App Notification System, where users can flag apps that are out of date or require a new version. Since that went in, we have had over 1,200 requests pour in. This helps assist us in having a better curated experience.

Ratings and reviews has been a requested feature for quite sometime. We are really proud of the new system. If you notice any bugs or have any questions or concerns, let me know! Check it out, an example of an app with lots of ratings and reviews is Kindle for Android.

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Mar
10

Android Promises SDK For Wearables

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sundar_Pichai

With an already overwhelming presence in the mobile devices segment, Google now wishes to engage with consumers at a more deeper and personal level. The search giant made that amply clear at the SXSW with Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai announcing the launch of a SDK that will enable developers to make apps for wearables. Right now that seems to be applicable more to smartwatches and fitness tracking devices, though Pichai is envisioning the wearable segment to get more and more intimate in the coming years. Maybe we can have smart jackets in future, or even a smart device implanted under the skin to keep track of vital health parameters at all times.

Coming back to the present, Pichai promised the SDK will be made available in just about 2 weeks’ time. This will be accompanied with the way Google perceives the smart wearable segment to evolve in the next couple of years. The company also stated they will come up with a version of Android for use in smartwatch devices. The new OS variant will draw heavily from Google Now and search feature and is expected to be launched towards the end of this month. Google is also reported to be collaborating with LG Electronics in developing a smartwatch of its own in what surely is going to be the Nexus equivalent of a smartwatch device. The smartwatch is slated for launch in June during the Google I/O conference.

The above development is accompanied by similar efforts on part of Google to have its OS be seen in almost as many segments as possible. Back in January, Google had announced the Open Automotive Alliance the comprises of car makers such a GM, Hyundai, Audi, Honda Motors as well chipmaker Nvidia that looked for ways to implement the Google Android OS for use in the automotive sector.

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android_launchers

The new year has already proven to be big with Android launches. Android launches according to Flurry in just the first quarter this year has already surpassed that of the entire 2013, still not quite at the end of Q1, 2014. Some estimates are at about 30 million monthly users in the US, still far from assuming a dominant share.

Nevertheless, the tremendous growth recorded in Q1, 2014 shows consumers’ willingness to use Android, especially Google Now, Facebook Home (though this hasn’t proven to be particularly popular), even those catering to a niche segment like Kids Place – Parental Control.

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android

Android has emerged as one of the most popular operating systems in use today. That devices running Android has outsold all its competitors in 2013 is no doubt a good measure of its popularity, beating even Apple iOS in the process. The online search giant has now upped the ante claiming its mobile OS has proved to be the fastest to reach the top.

“I mean, look, in the history of operating systems, I think Android has been the quickest and most successful adoption of an operating system in the world. So you just sort of stop, take pause and say, oh my God, that’s crazy. Nobody could have ever predicted that we’re going to get an operating system adopted in an industry, which has so many different OEMs, manufacturing with their own operating systems having adopted around the world,” said Nikesh Arora, senior vice president at Google while speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

First acquired by Google in 2005, Android (the company also of the same name) has since seen several upgrades. However, as stated by Google, the OS first attained a level of maturity from the Ice Cream Sandwich version. The OS then attained newer heights with the upgrade to Jelly Bean which continues to be the most used version of Android so far. Google has since launched the Android KitKat version, the most recent so far.

However, to completely ignore Apple’s iOS when discussing the most successful of mobile OS’s will be just half the story told. Apple devices such as the iPad and the iPhone continue to be the single largest tablet and smartphone brand respectively, outselling any of its Android competitors by a healthy margin. It’s just that the iOS got swamped by an operating system that is based on a completely different business strategy. Android is doled out free enabling any manufacturers to use it as per their will. In contrast, Apple maintains a vice like grip over iOS and is the only maker of gadgets based on it. In any case, it will be interesting to see how things pan out now that Android has proven to be more popular than iOS.

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Android Version

Google has come up with an updated distribution list of the various Android versions that are being employed.  Not surprisingly, it is the preceding Android version – Jelly Bean that continues to hold the sway with about 62 percent adoption.  The latest iteration, KitKat,  can now be seen running on just 2.5 percent of devices, which marks about a slight improvement over the 1.8 percent Android devices that had the newest Android version last month.

One of the barriers to KitKat adoption is the bulk of mainstream phones from  LG, Samsung, Sony, HTC not pushing out the latest updates. Most of these companies all have a custom UI that hinders quick updates.

Coming back to the Android version distribution list, while its Jelly Bean that continues to be the largest version in use right now, its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that runs in the majority (35.6 percent) of devices followed Android 4.2 and 4.3 versions is use on 17.1 and 9.6 percent of devices respectively.

Among the other preceding Android versions, 14.2 percent of devices continue licking Android Ice Cream Sandwich while HoneyComb has been reduced to just 0.1 percent. In contrast Gingerbread can be still seen running on 19 percent devices along with Froyo on 1.2 percent devices. These figures aren’t expected to show growth any more but will only be fading into oblivion.

Overall, the above figures might not be of much interest to the average users but still makes for an interesting read for Android users as it gives them an insight as to which group they belong to or how big or small the group has come to be over the months.

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play-services

Android and malware seem to  like each other very much, but Google is about to spoil it. The search giant is in the process of launching an update for its Play Services that will make is difficult for mischief makers to inject malware-infected apps into the Google app store. An update to Android’s Verify Apps function will now be made to work 24/7. Verify Apps will now be scanning apps at all times behind the scenes to find out if there are any issues to be dealt with. This will no doubt be a good thing given the popularity of the Google platform and recent reports that Android has the highest susceptibility to malware attacks.

The Verify Apps function was first introduced with Android 4.2 version but it would only verify an app when it went live at the Google Play Store or when an update was made available. Verify Apps will also look for issues in apps that a user might have installed directly and not via the official Google Play Store. It will search for known trouble making codes and when a match is found, it will notify the user via warning messages.

According to Google, it will be relevant for almost 99 percent of devices running Android. While some developers choose to bypass the Google strategy of matching apps against known codes by launching some advanced codes, these no doubt will eventually get caught once Google becomes aware of the malicious codes. Now it comes down to how often Google updates its own database of malicious codes. In any case, this is an excellent development considering the threat level associated with Android.

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Major game and app development companies are being approached by Blackberry to submit their apps to a new section on Blackberry World. In the past, Blackberry only accepted apps done using their own proprietary format. In the near future Blackberry will be releasing a new firmware update that will allow users to install Android apps (apk) files directly on their phone. To gear up for this transition, Blackberry will be offering Android apps for direct download in their online app store.

At least four different game development companies at Pepcom and CES confirmed to Good e-Reader that they have been approached by Blackberry to include their productivity and gaming apps into Blackberry World. This basically requires no work on the developers part who have an existing Android app that is compatible on 4-6 inch smartphones. All the studios/developers have to do is make a new profile and submit icons/screenshots and app descriptions. Blackberry owners will be able to download and install them the same way they have been downloading apps since Blackberry 10 was released.

Blackberry is betting big on the 10.3 firmware update that will allow native android apps to work on the Q5, Q10, Z10 and Z30. This will allow your average user to install whatever they want and not be limited. The Good e-Reader labs tested an early build of this update on the Z10 and installed our own Good e-Reader App Store. I was able to install and run every app we had. This is going to be a serious boon for people who have been let down by the dirge of apps until this point on Blackberry World.

There is no estimated date when the new firmware update will be pushed out. Some companies have confirmed that its basically all done, but Blackberry is waiting to have at least 10,000 Android apps in their library before they start a marketing campaign.

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Google has just launched a Newsstand app for Android which basically replaces Google Magazines and Google Currents. This app will allow you to add RSS feeds and customize your reading experience while on the go. It works mightily fine on both tablets and smartphones and should be a boon to people who want to read most things Google offers in a singular app.

In order to get Google Play Newsstand to work, some users will need to update to the newest version of Google Play Magazines while others will need to update to the newest version of Google’s feed-reading app Currents. If you check out the Play Store you will be prompted to upgrade these apps.

Not only will you be able to read any magazine you have purchased from Google or read your favorite news blogs, but you can watch video in the app too. I like the interface it is clean and robust, and features little animations. The news blog icons are quite large and full of color. People looking to use an app that will likely receive a ton of updates might want to give this a try.

Download it today for free from the Good e-Reader App Store!

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The Good e-Reader Android App Store is Canadas largest and has close to 100,000 free apps to download. The Android client for smartphones and tablets is currently being used by over a million people every single month and we have just pushed out the largest update we have ever done!

We have added a new Facebook Connect system that will allow users to connect up their accounts and stay logged in, even if they close the app. When logged in via Facebook you can now have your Facebook image appear when leaving reviews of apps. There is also new sharing options available when you install an app or click the share button, so you can let your besties know what new game or reading app you are checking out.

Most Android users have at least one tablet and a smartphone and use the same apps on both devices. The new Good e-Reader Cloud system compiles a list of any app you have ever purchased or installed from the store. Under a dedicated “Cloud” list you can 1 click install any app from your list of prior installed apps, no more searching the the store for your favorites. If you want to uninstall an app, we have a new 1 click uninstall option accessible under “My Apps.” Finally, we eliminated a ton of existing bugs to make the store more usable on older devices.

The Good e-Reader Android App Store has been going strong for over one year now and we offer a more compelling ecosystem then Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Getjar or 1Mobile. We mandate ourselves to only stocking the best apps available and have no fear of promoting our competitors. Our App Market whether you are accessing it on the web or within the client will work in every single country in the world, without restriction.

Download the new Good e-Reader Client from Google Play or the Good e-Reader App Store.

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Top-10-New-Android-Apps-From-Last-Week

Every week we will be developing a list of the best new apps from the Good e-Reader App Store for Android and Blackberry 10! Sometimes its hard to keep track of all of the best new apps to come out on a weekly basis. All of our Top Lists will be valid for one week and then we will generate a new one, so download quickly.

The Good e-Reader App Store features over 100,000 Android, Playbook and Blackberry 10 Apps! We are the leading alternative store that works perfect on the Kindle Fire line of tablets, and tablets not certified from Google. We have over 5,000 apps that are able to be sideloaded onto your Blackberry device and you can get exclusives with us such as Netflix, Vine and Instagram.

AOL Patch for Android and BB10 – This brand new app delivers a beautiful browsing and reading experience to Android users, with an emphasis on simplicity. You’ll be able to check out what’s new in News, Boards, and Blogs, recommends posts, and participate in conversations, from all of your favorite Patch towns.

Switchr for Android - Switchr is a well-designed, well-polished, feature packed and simple, yet practical application that allows switching between running tasks with impeccable elegance and flawless perfection.

Google Maps Engine for Android - Google Maps Engine on Android enables you to view your custom maps anywhere, anytime.

ESPN Fantasy Hockey for BB10 - With the ESPN Fantasy Hockey app, you can manage multiple teams and leagues, follow your matchups in real-time, add/drop/trade players, and make last second line up changes from wherever you are. You’ll be one tap away from your teams and leagues, and one step ahead of your friends.

Grand Theft Auto iFruit for Android - Fruit hooks directly into your experience of Grand Theft Auto V with some fun activities to further postpone the need for real social interaction. Keep up-to-date on the latest Grand Theft Auto V news, log into the Rockstar Games Social Club, stay connected on LifeInvader and launch other Rockstar Game apps.

BlizzCon 2013 Guide for Android  and BB10 - The BlizzCon 2013 Guide mobile app, available now for Android™, is a fast and easy way to help you make the most of your BlizzCon experience. With it, you can: Plan your day, Catch your favorite events, chart a path, stay updated, live streams, and social networking.

Google Helpouts for Android - Helpouts connects people who need help with people who can give help over live video. Download the Helpouts app today to get help across multiple topics with your mobile device anytime, anywhere

TV Trac for Android  and BB10 - Keep track of all your favourite TV shows with TVTrac! Mark which shows / seasons / episodes you have watched.

Band of the Day for Android and BB10 - Band of the Day delivers fresh music daily by revealing just one new artist a day, every single day. Love staying in the loop with the best new music, but don’t have the time to do so? We’ve got you covered. Think of us as your go-to music geek friend who always knows the hottest new bands before anyone else.

Dessin Free for Android - Dessin (pronounced like “design”) is an innovative combination of mind map and phone automator. It allows you to make notes, draw mind-maps and even build circuits, which will control your phone.

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The Good e-Reader App Store has been going really strong for the last two years and we now have over 30,000 games and apps available for Android and Blackberry. Towards the end of the month Blackberry will be pushing our their fabled 10.2 update that will upgrade the Android emulator from 2.3 to 4.3. This is huge news because you will now be able to run most mainstream apps on your Z10, Q10, Q5 and other phones running the Blackberry 10 operating system.

In order to prepare everyone for the launch of the new firmware for Blackberry 10 we have created a brand new section in our Good e-Reader App Store. Every day we will be uploading a copious amount and apps with the intention of keeping Blackberry relevant.

Since we opened up the new section 48 hours ago we have uploaded popular games such as Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds Star Wars 2, Simpsons Tapped Out and tons more! If you would like to request an app we don’t have, you can do so on our official Crackberry Request Station Thread.

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blackberry q5

Blackberry has officially released their Q5 smartphone that could be considered the spiritual successor of the Curve. It may not pack the punch in terms of overall hardware specs like the Q10 does, but the price is right at around $300. Is there room in the world for a low-cost phone with a full QWERTY keyboard? Today, we give you a full hands on review of the new Q5, and let you know if we recommend it.

Hardware

hardware

The Blackberry Q5 features a 3.1 inch LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 720×720 pixels. The overall display screen gets the job done, but I feel that the Q10 Super AMOLED screen provides richer colors. This is more noticeable in graphic heavy content, such as comic books, magazines and videos.

One thing that is important to note about the screen is that you are locked into a portrait exclusive view. You cannot turn the phone into landscape mode and watch videos or use it the same way as you would the Z10. Blackberry has locked the phone in such a way, that you will never be able to use in it landscape mode.

Underneath the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 1.2 GHZ dual core processor and 2 GB of Ram. It has only 8 GB of internal memory, but you can enhance it via the SD Card up to 32 GB. Most Blackberry phones have the SD card underneath the removable battery, but the Q5 buckles that trend by having the SD and Micro Sim card slot on the side of the unit, underneath a plastic flap.

Speaking of plastic, this phones build quality is all plastic and does have the elegant aluminum and glazed glass as the Q10. It does not necessarily feel like a cheap phone, but draws the distinction between a high end and lower end phone. Sort of like drawling the old parallels between the Blackberry Bold and Blackberry Curve. The Q10, has a faster processor, more memory and a bigger camera, but carries a hefty price of around $900. This unit is only $300 off contract, so it may have a more global appeal.

The big draw about the Blackberry Q5 is the full QWERTY keyboard. This phone will make sense to current or former Blackberry users, who find typing a lot of texts and emails too cumbersome on a traditional touchscreen device. Personally, I get around 200 emails a day, and it is nice to respond with a real keyboard instead of relying on the predictive text correction features found on an iPhone. The keyboard is the real reason you are buying this phone.

In the end, this may not be the most glamorous smartphone out there, and the plastic design does feel a bit tacky. Still, you can get the full Blackberry 10 experience with a keyboard at more then half the price as the Q10.

Software

software

Blackberry has invested heavily in their Blackberry 10 operating system, and this phone ships with version 10.1. One of the most seldom recognized features of this new generation OS is the built in Android emulator. All BB10 phones have the ability to run Android files, which makes it easier for developers who submit apps into Blackberry World. They don’t have to redo their apps in the native language and can easily use tools to convert their existing library of Android content over to Blackberry. Currently, Blackberry 10.1 has a fairly outdated version of the Android Runtime, with 2.3. Blackberry is currently beta testing a new version of the emulator that will bring it all the way up to Jellybean. This will ensure that a greater number of apps will be compatible and will likely kindle renewed interest into Blackberry devices.

There are a few things that remain attractive about the Blackberry ecosystem in general. First of all, email. Email is handled very differently on Blackberry then it is on Android or iOS devices. The most compelling feature is the ‘delete prior’ which will bulk delete all emails in a specific inbox. If you have an iPhone and get a bunch of emails, you have to manually delete each one and it’s unrealistic to manage large quantities. Blackberry makes email management a top priority and currently still offers the best service in the business.

The second element is the revised Blackberry Messenger experience. This is one of the few services that have all data handled by the companies own data servers, so customers benefit from lower data usage. You can chat via text, voice or video chat with your BBM brethren. If you want to add a friend, you can use NFC to bump the phones to share contact details, or even generate a QR code to add a friend. No wonder the entire internet is enamored with the idea of BBM coming to iOS and Android.

Blackberry World is the place to go if you want to download apps, movies, music and games. They have over 200,000 apps currently in their system, but most are painfully woeful. Most of the apps people use on a daily basis, such as Instagram, Vine, and Netflix are nowhere to be seen. Instead, customers have turn to 3rd party app stores to get these apps, such as our own Good e-Reader BB10 App Store.

One of the big drawbacks about Blackberry World is a large number of the content is converted Android apps. This type of content normally suffers from performance issues and can often provide a lackluster experience. There is no way to organize the store by apps that were developed natively for BB10 and what ones were converted. There are also a number of pirate apps and games issued by people who weren’t the original developer.

Blackberry 10 on a whole, is a fairly polished operating system. You will likely never encounter crash issues and everything just works. Multi-tasking and Blackberry Balance remain two things that most competitors cannot touch. The severe downside is the quality of the apps out there, and people are obsessed with them.

e-Reading Experience

reading

Readers in North America and Europe often have dedicated e-Readers and tablets to consume media. A large demographic in China, Japan, Korea, and South America mostly use their phones. Reading is big business and often the phone is always with you, which makes it easy to catch up on websites and news items.

There really aren’t an extensive library of reading apps in the official Blackberry World app store. Amazon released a Kindle app for the Z10, but is only compatible with that specific model. You won’t find many apps at all and instead you will be forced to learn how to side-load in your own apps. Luckily we have put together some extensive tutorials on how do this, step by step. This will insure you can get Pulse, Flipboard, Feedly, Kindle, Kobo, Comixology, Manga, or anything else you want. I still find it odd that Blackberry has not really tried to focus more on e-Reading.

The Blackberry Q5 only has a 3.1 inch screen, so it is not the most compelling e-Reader out there. I have found the type of apps best suited to the screen are ones that display pure text. eBook reading apps really shine, because you can chance the size of the font to suit your optimal needs. RSS apps are also fairly useful, because they normally strip away everything but the core story.

We tried various newspaper, magazine, and comic book apps, but the screen was really too small to read effectively. You will find yourself constantly pinching and zooming every single page to get the pictures large enough to read the built in text.

Wrap Up

our thoughts

When we first got this phone last week, I thought I would hate it. The Blackberry Q10 was a fine phone, but not worth the $900 it was available in Canada to buy off-contract. The Q5 is only a few hundred, and will reel in prior Blackberry users that may have shifted to another phone, because of the high costs.

If you love physical keyboards, text like crazy, or answer a ton of emails, this may be the phone for you. You will not break the bank and it has enough features to suit most peoples needs. For the advanced user, there is an entire new world of app-possibilities out there with sideloading.

PROS

Priced Right
Keyboard is a pleasure to type on
Solid hardware

CONS

No Micro HDMI
Plastic Design feels cheap
Not the best phone to watch movies on
Blackberry World still woeful for quality apps

Rating: 7/10
User Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 3.40 out of 5)
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