I just downloaded my first Vook - Sherlock Holmes. A Vook is an electronic, interactive book. As you begin each chapter, you can play the video to learn something more about the characters, setting, and places. Then, as you read the chapter, you can view illustrations and click on web links to access the Internet for word definitions. This all works seamlessly and provides a unique reading experience, one which I believe is the future of all E-books and magazines.
This interesting article in TidBITs talks about Amazon's plans for its Kindle app for the iPad and links to this page on Amazon which gives some info. And best of all, the article points out that the Kindle Store has quite a few books available at no cost so that you can test the software. And it gives this link that shows all Kindle books costing $0.
Although Apple has stated that its ebooks will sell for $14.99, there is rumor that bestsellers will sell at $9.99. At what price are you willing to purchase an eBook? Does it matter whether it is fiction or nonfiction? Best seller?
Coinciding with CES, Beckett Media announced the availability of Guide to Phone Apps magazine, which covers three platforms: iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. The press release describes it as, "the #1 source for all your iPhone and BlackBerry app news and reviews." I beg to differ, of course. The first issue is 100 pages, like our own magazine, and covers apps in a variety of categories, including games, travel, social networking, utilities, and more.
I am a ferocious reader and I absolutely love books. That said, hacking down billions of trees just to make paper seems increasingly irresponsible, and a gradual migration to eBooks is probably inevitable. I've had the Kindle app on my iPhone ever since it came out, and have downloaded and read dozens of books on it. Unfortunately, the shorter battery life of the 3GS compared to my original iPhone means I am using the iPhone less often as a book reader (especially on long flights), but I haven't given up on the concept just yet. So if you like reading books on your iPhone, what's the best way? As is, while I like Amazon and the Kindle app, Barnes & Noble remains a formidable force in the book market and so I decided to check out the Barnes & Noble eReader as well.
Oceanhouse Media is going all out on the Grinch stuff this Christmas, and now you can get an e-book of this children's classic for your iPhone/iPod as well. You can check out all their Grinchy offerings here.
The App Store has a series of 5 Wallace & Gromit digital comics, and they're quite popular, especially in the UK App Store. You can now download the first one in the series for free: Wallace & Gromit 1: The W Files. The subsequent comics in the series are $0.99 each. Here's the description: "When strange shapes and flashing lights are seen in the night sky, there are only two paranormal investigators that can solve the problem. Sadly they aren’t available, Wallace and Gromit might as well have a crack at it. After all, what could possibly go wrong?" Not familiar with Wallace & Gromit?
If you've been paying close attention, as most developers do, to the App Store, you may have noticed some changes.
- New Releases only show BRAND NEW apps, i.e. version 1.0
- Updates are not included in the New Releases
This is potentially a good thing for users but there are some downsides.
The good news is, you won't have to search through old apps to find new gems. It might also discourage developers from submitting minor updates just to be featured on the New Releases page. That will also cut down on approval time as fewer apps need to be reviewed.
Oceanhouse Media was kind enough to send me a few complimentary apps to review (and my apologies Karen for the tardiness of this review). If you are not familiar with Oceanhouse Media they are "dedicated to building high-quality products that educate, uplift, enlighten and heal the planet." The company was founded by Michel Kripalani.
The graphics on Book Reader are stunning when you first turn it on. The sample book included on the app beautifully displays on a wooden shelf and appears to have a gilt-edge, leather cover. Tap to select the book and it opens to an antique white page with easy-to-read text. It’s very pleasant on the eyes. The pages turn in a way that simulates page turning in a print book. There are even some black and white illustrations included in the sample, which adds to the reading pleasure.