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November 7, 2011

Barnes and Noble announced their Nook Tablet today, a successor to their now $199 Nook Color.  The $249 dual core tablet is aimed squarely at the $199 Kindle Fire but has 10GB more (16GB total) storage and the ability to add up to 32GB via micro SD card.  It also has a superior screen to the Kindle and the popular Hulu Plus and of course Neflix for watching videos.  The app library is a much smaller  subset of the Android market, however it is curated much better so only quality apps are allowed in.

Although we hear it a lot, the Nook Tablet or the Kindle Fire aren’t really competitors to the iPad.  Realistically, if you have a budget for a $500-$830 iPad, you aren’t considering a $200 alternative … and vice versa.  Sure all are “tablets” but it is like comparing a netbook to a MacBook Pro.

If anything, these cheap 7-inch tablets are competition for the $188 iPod touch (though with increased portability, superior app and content ecosystem and cameras -that too is a stretch).  Price, being one of the biggest purchase considerations, puts these things more in line with the lower priced iPods.  For people who want a bigger screen and don’t consider the many other advantages to being in the Apple ecosystem a plus, these might make sense.

If you had a choice between the two, would you choose a $199/$249 Nook or a $199 Kindle Fire?

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July 25, 2011

new screenshot left, old screenshot with Kindle Store link (right)

It looks like not only is the WSJ and the Kobo App store relenting to Apple, but so is Amazon.  In the latest release, they’ve pulled out the link to the Kindle Store.  The remaining holdout?  Google.

Update: Nook got the same treatment which render the current screenshots outdated.:

You can read any NOOK Book you have purchased on this updated NOOK for iPhone app, however the Shop link has been removed so to buy NOOK Books from your iPhone, open your Safari browser and go to nookbooks.com. 

There are some other updates for the Kindle App release notes accompanying the Kindle update (iTunes): expand full story

June 2, 2011

Barnes & Noble’s all-new Nook e-reader is now shipping. The company announced via a press release yesterday that the new Nooks have been shipped to those who pre-ordered them. New orders placed via their website will ship immediately, in time for Father’s Day. The device will also be in stock at Barnes & Noble locations. The e-reader features a six-inch display with the latest E-Ink Pearl display technology that responds to touch input. It also surprises with other noteworthy goodies…

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May 27, 2010

Bookseller Barnes and Noble have introduces the Nook app for the iPad, the bookseller

July 29, 2015

I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been rooting for iOS 9’s upcoming Apple News app to succeed. I’ve been a dedicated Reeder user since it debuted in the App Store, quickly dumped alternatives such as Flipboard and Pulse, and don’t need to change my daily news reading routine. But ever since Apple launched Newsstand in 2011, I’ve been waiting for a truly next-generation iOS news reading experience. Apple hasn’t just missed the boat on this; it actually sank the ship it launched, and lost a lot of talented sailors to rival companies that were developing digital book and magazine apps.

Having paid for Newsstand digital magazine subscriptions, I (like many people) was beyond disappointed when Apple abandoned Newsstand and the publishers who supported it. Newsstand was a great first step, and had the potential to become much better. Today, it seems obvious that Apple was hoping to coax Newsstand publishers over to its new app Apple News, but after testing iOS 9, I don’t think News is ready to replace Newsstand. Moreover, unless something major changes over the next few months, I’d be very surprised to see News succeed where Newsstand failed.

Whether it’s Apple or someone else (say, Amazon’s Kindle division), I’d like to see a bold company take the next big step and unify published content — at least traditional newspapers and magazines, and probably also traditional books and Internet-based publications — into a single Reading app with the best features of News, Newsstand, and iBooks. Below, I’ll explain why this would be a great next move for publishers, consumers, and Apple itself…

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March 24, 2015

One of the great things about technology is the way it has democratized the publishing world. Today, anyone can publish an ebook on iBooks and Amazon, whether as a freebie or a commercial book.

Creating an ebook isn’t difficult. If you’ve written your book in Pages, you can export to EPUB–the format needed for iBooks–direct from the app. There is also the excellent Calibre app (featured in our How-to guide), which will convert just about any file format to any type of ebook. There’s also iBooks Author, but that has the disadvantage that if you use it to create your book, you’re not allowed to sell the iBooks version through other channels.

But as I found out when I came to create my own ebook, generating an ebook that looks attractive on all of the different devices available is a rather tougher challenge. That’s the job the Mac app Vellum claims to do, so I put it to the test …  expand full story

February 14, 2015

Having reviewed hundreds of different models over the years, I can say with some authority that iPad cases are rarely “exciting.” Early on, Apple established the folio — a lidded sleeve with the ability to stand upright for videos — as the de facto standard for iPad case design, and perhaps half of all the iPad cases since then have followed the same general theme, differing more in materials than functionality. Incipio’s latest designs for the iPad Air 2 are all small riffs on the same idea: fabric lids connected to plastic iPad holders, varying more in the particulars than the broad strokes.

We’re taking a quick look today at three cases: Clarion ($35), Faraday ($40), and Tuxen ($50). Despite their varied MSRPs, they can all be had for between $31 and $33 through Amazon, with some color options going for higher prices. Functionally, they’re very similar to one another: all three support both video and typing angles, protect most of the iPad against scratches and dings, and use magnets to automatically turn the iPad’s screen off or on when it’s closed or opened. Read on for what makes them different from one another…

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January 15, 2015

History suggested that iPad Air 2 cases would be far more numerous after January’s annual CES show, but due to unexpected production delays, there still aren’t many choices out there. But thanks to ZeroChroma, there are two largely bright spots on the horizon: a finished case called Folio-Slide for iPad Air 2 ($70), and an upcoming $100 version called Folio-Slide with Slide-Lid Keyboard, both of which I’ve been testing for the past week.

The basic version of Folio-Slide is the iPad Air 2-compatible sequel to the very best case I’ve tested for the original iPad Air – one I highly recommended in an iPad case and stand roundup last year. But this year’s version regrettably took a couple of design shortcuts in order to quickly reach the market, the details of which may or may not matter to you. On the other hand, ZeroChroma’s Slide-Lid Keyboard is a truly interesting new add-on that will really appeal to iPad Air and iPad Air 2 owners. Read on for all the details.

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October 22, 2014

The early reviews are out for the iMac with Retina 5K display, and the tl;dr version is: if you can afford it, buy it.

Everyone of course agrees that the key market for the machine is video professionals (beating even the base-model Mac Pro in benchmarks), the 5K resolution offering the ability to display full-size 4K video while still leaving enough room for editing tools.

But while the new iMac may be overkill for more mundane tasks, reviewers also agreed that the display is so good that even if you don’t need one, you’ll still want one …  expand full story

October 4, 2014

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Previously, I discussed how to have your iOS device read text for you in iOS 7, and in iOS 8 it works pretty much the same way – but with some little differences. It is now easier to set up and make text speakable on an iOS device. Before we discuss how to do it, let’s first set up our iOS device so we can do it:

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August 27, 2014

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