Review: Scrivener, the must-have software for would-be novelists everywhere

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‘Writing a novel’ seems to be one of the default items on most people’s wish-lists. Most never start it, and most of those who start it never finish it, but if you want to make a serious attempt, using Scrivener would definitely be the biggest favor you could do yourself.

I must admit that the idea of specific software for creative writing stuck me as on odd one when I first encountered it. What’s wrong with Pages or Word? It was only once I tried it for myself that I understood.

What Scrivener does is bring together in one place all the resources you are likely to need to plan, research, write and either submit or self-publish a novel. Outlines, pen-portraits of characters, web pages, photos, notes, PDFs … absolute anything and everything that might help you create your opus magnum is right there all within a single app …  Read more

Paper by FiftyThree app now lets you create & order customized Moleskine books

Paper by FiftyThree, the popular sketching and illustration app, today announced that it has teamed up with Moleskine to offer its users the ability to create and order customized 15-page Moleskin books directly from the app. The partnership with Moleskine means you’ll get a quality, hand-assembled 15-page foldout book on sustainable matte paper, but it also means you’ll have to hand over $40 USD in the process: Read more

Review: TwelveSouth’s BookBook case for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed a number of TwelveSouth products over the years. We were intrigued by the hollowed out book idea with the company’s original BookBook case for the MacBook Air and since it has brought out similar hand distressed leather BookBook cases for other Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad mini. While maybe not the ideal option for Apple’s anti-skeuomorphic cheerleaders, I found the stark contrast to Apple’s sometimes cold industrial design a nice juxtaposition.

I tend to not use any skins, covers or cases when using my MacBook on a day to day basis. I slide my MacBook into a laptop pouch built-into my backpack or use a standard laptop case when on the go, and rarely do I actually leave the MacBook in the case when in use. A case was necessary for protection when traveling, but for me the average soft or hard plastic laptop case never quite does the pricey, Jony Ive designed Apple hardware inside justice. BookBook is different… Read more

iBooks 1.3 helps your kids learn to read

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Apple updated iBooks to 1.3 today for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  Most notable is the read-aloud feature included in select children’s books from the iBookstore.

The read-aloud feature uses a real narrator to read the book to you, and in some books, it will even highlight the words as you read along.

Initially, it isn’t certain whether or not the narrator will be a (Nuance?) Text to speech voice or if the audio is included by the developers.

The new functionality isn’t just for children’s books. Enhanced books can now automatically play audio or video included with the book.

Apple is now going beyond the other eBookstores offering innovation and functionality that differentiates books into the realm of apps.  Apple now offers Books directly in iTunes as part of the 10.3 update yesterday as well.

The 1.3 update also offers some bugfixes and enhancements from previous versions. More below: Read more