Posts Tagged ‘eReader’

New Amazon Kindle Offerings Raise Bar for Tablets

September 7th, 2012 No comments

Yesterday, Amazon announced its new Kindle line up, offering several updated tablet options to fit the needs of a wide range of consumers. For the heavy media consumer, the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G has all the bells and whistles a technophile could want, with a larger 1920×1200 HD display, exclusive Dolby audio, high speed Wi-Fi and 4G LTE capabilities, at a price point of $499. A Wi-Fi only version will sell for $299. Another added perk for the top of the line Kindle Fire HD is the special $49.99 4G data package that covers the entire first year of use. However, the plan does restrict data usage to 250MB a month, and after the first year, pricing reverts to the standard monthly fee. For those who don’t demand as much screen real estate or 4G connectivity, the 16GB 7″ Kindle Fire has been dropped to $199. Read more…


Amazon Launches Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

November 4th, 2011 No comments

Yesterday, Amazon began offering a new service to its Prime members with the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. This new feature allows members to borrow eBook titles free of charge, though the program does have restrictions. The service is only available on Kindle eInk hardware or the soon to be released Kindle Fire tablet, and will not be accessible through any of the Kindle apps on other platforms. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, about 5,000 titles will be available at launch “including more than 100 current and former national bestsellers”, though at present, none of the six largest publishers in the U.S. have agreed to participate in the program. Users are allowed to borrow one title per month, a number that may not impress avid readers. However, unlike most public library eBook lending policies, there is no due date, so users can borrow book for as long as they like. Read more…


New Approach to Classic Children’s Literature

December 15th, 2010 No comments
Mashable names "PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit" as one of the top interactive books for the iPad.

Mashable names "PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit" as one of the top interactive children's books for the iPad.

In previous posts, In the Stax has discussed the merits of the iPad as an eReader and as an educational tool for young children. This engaging device also offers a unique platform for app developers to combine these two functions and produce stand-out interactive interpretations of classic children’s stories. Mashable recently posted a list of their Top 5 classic children’s books designed for the iPad. Each selection was chosen for the eBook’s ability to engage young readers and provide a variety of interactive experiences through out the story. Read more…


iPad Helps Children with Autism Communicate

July 9th, 2010 No comments

ipad_angledThe virtues of the iBooks app and the iPad’s function as an eReader have been the subject of several previous posts here at In the Stax, and while most early adopters utilize the device for entertainment and productivity purposes, it is also emerging as an educational tool for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that have communication difficulties. In a recent post for BlogHer Shannon Des Roches Rosa proclaims the family iPad, won in a raffle, to be a “near miracle” for her son Leo, who has autism. With several autism-focused AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) apps available, such as TapToTalk, Proloquo2Go, and iCommunicate, children with speech or communication difficulties can improve their skills and gain confidence. “We maintain a list of social questions for Leo to work on; with iCommunicate, we were able to create a list of answers to those questions for him to access and tap on any time — and (bonus) he even did some of the icons’ voiceovers.”
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eReader Price Wars Heat Up

June 23rd, 2010 5 comments

kindleThe battle between eReaders got heated on Monday as Barnes & Noble and Amazon slashed the prices for the Nook and Kindle respectively. The first shot across the bow came from Barnes & Noble, which announced that the price of the 3G Nook would be trimmed down to $199, and that a new WiFi-only version of the eReader would be available for just $149. Amazon fired back later in the day when it cut the price of the Kindle to $189. All versions of the Kindle have 3G capabilities built-in, and this new low price slyly undercuts the 3G Nook by $10. Amazon’s press release also emphasized the more than 600,000 titles in the Kindle Store, which has a larger selection of books, including New York Times Bestsellers, than either the Nook or the iPad.
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Kindle Software Update Will Add New Features

April 30th, 2010 No comments

kindleAmazon announced the upcoming release of Kindle (and Kindle DX) Software Update Version 2.5 on their website this week. The updated software will first be released to a small group of Kindle users, with a full launch planned in late May 2010. Among the new features will be the ability to share passages of your favorite books with friends on Facebook and Twitter, and zoom or pan around PDF documents for easier viewing. The highlights of the new features listed on Amazon’s site are as follows:

  • Collections: Organize your books and documents into one or more collections.
  • PDF Pan and Zoom: Zoom into PDFs and pan around to easily view small print and detailed tables or graphics.
  • Password Protection: Password protect your Kindle when you’re not using it.
  • More Fonts & Improved Clarity: Enjoy two new larger font sizes and sharper fonts for an even more comfortable reading experience.
  • Facebook & Twitter Posts: Share book passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter directly from your Kindle.
  • Popular Highlights: See what the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you’re reading.

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Apple’s iBooks App to Feature 30,000 Free eBooks!

March 26th, 2010 1 comment

Apple iPad with iBooks AppYesterday, reported that the iBooks App for Apple’s new iPad will feature the entire Gutenberg Project catalog free of charge. An incredible digital resource, the Gutenberg Project is maintained with the help of thousands of volunteers, and offers more than 30,000 digitized books for free. The books are available in a variety of digital formats (ePub, HTML, etc.) and can be viewed on PCs, smart phones, eReaders, and soon the iPad. All of their titles are in the public domain, and speculates that Apple pursued this partnership in order to head off the propagation of inferior apps created to make a profit on books already free to the public. We’re big supporters of reading for free at In the Stax, and applaud Apple for providing these valuable resources to their consumers at no charge.
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Apple Enters eReader Arena with New iPad

January 27th, 2010 2 comments

Apple iPad with iBooks AppEarlier this morning, Steve Jobs introduced the world to Apple’s latest technological marvel: the iPad. The slick new interactive tablet, which looks a lot like an iPhone on steroids, allows users to browse the web, get e-mail, view photos and video, play music and games… and read books.

Just .5″ thick and weighing 1.5 pounds, the iPad’s 9.7″ glossy multi-touch IPS display offers considerably more screen real estate than its competitors in the eReader space. Both the Nook by Barnes & Noble and the Amazon Kindle 2 have 6″ screens, though the Nook does also have a 3.5″ color nav screen. Like the Nook, the iPad will use the ePub format.

Apple’s new iBooks app (which works similar to iTunes) and its partnership with 5 big publishing houses: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster, allow users to  access a wide selection of titles that are easily purchased and downloaded. In addition to books, The New York Times has already announced its new app for the iPad, and a number of other publications are rumored to be in talks with Apple to provide content for the device.
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Nook Gives Kindle 2 Serious Competition

October 22nd, 2009 1 comment

nookBarnes & Noble debuted Nook on Tuesday evening, and announced the new eBook reader will be shipping in November. Nook offers several advantages over Amazon’s Kindle 2, most notably the 3.5″ color touch screen at the bottom of the E-ink display. The touch screen utilizes technology similar to the iPhone, and can be used to navigate content, purchase eBooks, or browse downloaded tiles by book cover. Nook can connect through AT&T’s 3G network, or through free Wi-Fi at all Barnes & Noble retail stores. While in store, users can browse any complete book for free, just as they would a real book. This feature is another key advantage over the Kindle 2, since Amazon has no brick and mortar storefronts and is unable to provide content in this way. One of the drawbacks of eBook readers has been that titles cannot be shared or loaned for free. Barnes & Noble has addressed this issue by allowing certain titles to be lent to friends for free for up to two weeks. eBook borrowers will not need a Nook to read titles, they can be viewed using an iPhone, Blackberry, Mac or PC. This borrowing option is up to the publisher, so Barnes & Noble is currently working with the major publishing houses to enable this feature on more titles.

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