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.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 has suffered from a major PDF error since the unit was first unveiled last year. If you loaded in a PDF over 50 MB, you would often have a very slow experience and in some cases the rendering engine would crash. If you loaded in a file over 100 MB you could not even do anything with the e-reader before the whole thing just froze out. This obviously has been tremendously disconcerting for people who rely on the Kindle for any kind of complex document. It seems as though Amazon has solved this issue with a new firmware update for the Paperwhite 2.
We tested a couple of documents that used to always crash our e-reader before the new update, and we are happy to say they have full functionality now. If you have a penuche for academic, gaming, comics, or newspapers in a PDF form, the Kindle Paperwhite 2 is relevant.
The core PDF experience is dramatically enhanced now. The PDF files are tending to load quicker and overall navigation is smoother. Pinching and zooming is fairly robust now and does not stutter like before. In our video we show you some of the cool new enhancements, such as inertia scroll.
The Kindle is not the best six inch PDF reader out there. The Kobo Aura HD and Sony PRS-T3 do a better job in performance and advanced options. The one thing the Kindle has going for it, is that you can make notes, annotations, highlights, look words up in the dictionary or use the new auto translate feature.
Wargaming earned close to 219 million dollars in 2012 with its seminal World of Tanks franchise. The company has since expanded into World of Airplanes and World of Battleships. Customers gravitate towards this multi-player simulation because of its historical accuracy. The company is transcending gaming and launching a new digital magazine for iOS and Android.
The new digital magazine called Lets Battle will focus on the companies various properties and put a special emphasis on the history of military warfare. One of the cool aspects of Wargaming is that when they develop new tanks, they often send a team down to many different countries to actually drive it around and get a feel for the handling. Obviously the entire crew at Wargaming is big into military history and this magazine may have a wider appeal.
“We are always looking for new ways to engage gamers with the content and projects we are creating,” said Alexander Shilyaev, Director of Global Operations for Meta Games and Service Apps at Wargaming. “With the digital magazine, we’ll be able to provide more coverage than ever to our player community, creating and molding our publications to fit the needs of a tech-savvy generation of modern gamers and military enthusiasts worldwide.”
You can download the new Wargaming Magazine from the Good e-Reader App Store for Android.
Pocketbook is developing a new e-reader called the Pocketbook Ultra. This will be the first device the company has released that will include an e Ink Carta display screen. This is the exact same technology that the new Kindle Paperwhite has. In addition, the reader will have a built in camera to allow you to scan books.
The Pocketbook Ultra will have a six inch capacitive display screen with a resolution of 1024×758. It has the Carta screen technology to deliver crisp images and text. It will also have a front light on the screen, similar to the Nook Glowlight. One of the main benefits of this new screen is faster page turns and a full page refresh occurring every chapter, instead of the industry average of every six pages.
The Ultra will be the first e-reader to utilize a built in camera. There will be dedicated OCR software able to save the photos / scans in real and editable text. One of the main benefits would be to scan text, a blackboard, a chart and then save it in PDF for future readings.
Flipboard is currently one of the most popular online news reading apps and the company has been gaining massive traction over the past few years. In order to facilitate further growth the company has bought out one of their competitors, Zite.
Zite was formerly owned by CNN, who had paid $25 million for it back in 2011. CNN Money proclaimed that the buyout figure from Flipboard was to be in the neighbourhood of $60 million.
Flipboard founder Mike McCue said that the partnership with CNN will include all of CNN Digital’s content. We will also see the launch of heavily customized magazines created by a number of CNN personalities — including Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King of CNN News. Those magazines are poised to go live later today.
Flipboard is also inking a new premium advertising partnership, “the kind of advertising you see in print magazines,” CNN’s head of digital KC Estenson said. CNN and Flipboard will be jointly selling ads for the CNN content. “We’ve been developing a healthy relationship.”
In the wake of Facebook launching their news reading app “Paper“, Flipboard has been ramping up its effort with publishing partners and advertisers. Flipboard has secured a new deal with Condé Nast to give titles such as Bon Appétit, Details, Glamour, Golf Digest, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Flipboard also has a great relationship with The New York Times, The Telegraph, Forbes, Esquire, Fast Company, Oprah, and Lonely Planet.
CNN is a victim of big media trying to run a news app. They simply could not innovate internally to make Zite a compelling enough service to give its serious rivals a run for their money. Flipboard puts the executioners axe to another competitor and is able to now harvest their original content to integrate it into their own service.
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.
Marvel is endeavoring to focus almost exclusively on digital distribution to maximize revenue. In the past few months the company has pulled their comics from bookstores all over the world. You would be hard-pressed to find anything but the odd graphic novel in your favorite bookstore, such as Barnes and Noble.
Marvel is finding that they are selling more comics online, than they are in the retail environment. Comixology is their main partner in the digital sphere and they have dedicated reading apps on every major platform. They have sold over 125,000,000 comics since 2009, most of them from Marvel.
Selling digitally obviously has its merits. Marvel does not have to worry about printing as many comics anymore and having them shipped back to the supplier if they don’t sell. This is more or less how bookstores handle books, magazines, newspapers and comics. If they don’t sell before they become irrelevant they get cash back from the supplier from the inventory that is unsold. Comic shops on the other hand, are normally stuck with whatever inventory they purchase. If single issues go unsold, they go right into the bargain bins.
Marvel has trained their audience to buy digitally. Whether you have an iPad, Android, Windows or a myriad of others, you can buy comics in the comfort of your own home and get them the second the clock hits midnight on comic book Wednesdays. The process is simplified and digital comics don’t take up as much room as the physical thing.
Bookstores in the US and Canada are still carrying graphic novels by Marvel. This is primarily due to the fact they are being sourced by Hachette, instead of Diamond Comic Distributors. Diamond is still the ones who are selling individual comics and graphic novels to comic shops, but for how long?
What are Marvels plans for the future? The company is trying to be less reliant on Comixology and develop their own digital infrastructure. They have been hiring developers, designers and coders to make their own comic selling app. They hope to incorporate Marvel Unlimited, Marvel AR, Marvel Events and their new comic store into a singular experience. They basically realize that digital is their future and they don’t want to have all of their eggs in one basket with Comixology.
One of the big quandaries of buying eBooks is trying to discover new content, without having to break the bank. Sure there are a number of book discovery sites out there that will email you a bunch of cheap Kindle books, but few sites have a wide appeal. eBookSoda has just launched a new free subscription that lets you deal with many different companies and has a huge genre list of specific titles.
One of the more compelling aspects of eBookSoda is the ability to choose what eBook store you want to deal with. Their selection is basically the whose who of the digital book industry, such as Amazon, B&N, Google, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords and iBooks. There are also over 30 different genres you can select, this will deliver a curated list of titles that are exclusively relevant.
Indie authors often find themselves getting lost in the shuffle. Sure you might have written a good book, but how do you make it stand out in a crowd? Soda has a new system where indies can submit their books into the daily newsletter, to put their titles in the hands of readers who really like a particular genre. To submit your titles is currently free, but they may start charging in the future as it begins to get traction.
There might be some credence to the rumor that Amazon might announce the Kindle Paperwhite 3 before Mothers Day. The Seattle based e-Commerce giant is not really known for big discounts on their current generation devices. Today only, you can get the Kindle Paperwhite 2 for $99 and the 5th generation Kindle for $49.99. It is basically a twenty dollar savings to pick either of these up from the US Amazon website.