Today Good e-Reader is proud to introduce the latest update to our seminal Android App Store! We currently have over 350,000 loyal heroes who use it on a daily basis and we have a special treat for old and new users alike. A new home screen!
The brand new Good e-Reader Home Screen is a huge update and brings a slew of new features into our existing store. The first thing you will notice is a series of featured images, that will give you a visual indication of some of the best new apps that just came out. We have also created three new sections – Editors Choice, Trending Apps and another that will change on a weekly basis. Finally, we have changed the color of the search bar, to fall in-line with our new design and cleaned up app descriptions to look better on phones.
The Good e-Reader Android App Store has been going strong for two years and currently we are the largest in Canada. We are proud to be among the top 5 global app stores, by market share and daily users. There are over 100 new apps uploaded every single day for both Blackberry and Android. This latest update shows our commitment to innovation and new features.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted Infinite Comic #1 is the first in a series of digital-first comics that Marvel is putting out over the next year. The plan is to do four weekly series of 13 comics each about iconic Marvel characters. The comics are set within the current continuity but are supposed to be accessible to new readers as well as longtime fans, and I doubt it’s a coincidence that the comic debuted around the time that the latest Wolverine movie was released.
I’m going to say right up front that I’m not a regular reader of Wolverine, but that should make me the ideal audience for a comic designed to draw in new readers. And indeed, I don’t think my unfamiliarity with Wolverine’s backstory was a huge obstacle to my understanding this comic, but the storytelling certainly was. Simply put, this is one of those comics that starts in the middle of the action and goes straight to the ninja attacks without pausing to really explain what’s going on. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Here’s how it looks to a new reader: We start out with Wolverine on a roof in Tokyo. The ninjas attack. Some guy called Creed is commanding them. Wolverine swings through the air to another building and winds up in an elevator shaft. Creed appears, dumps gasoline on Wolverine, and tosses down a lit match. He then, in what has to be the stupidest of stupid super-villain moves, jumps into the flaming elevator shaft to beat Wolverine up. Because dying in a fire wasn’t bad enough? They fight in the flames for a while (shouldn’t they both be screaming in pain?) and then Wolverine escapes up the shaft. There’s some business with a Japanese official of some sort too. He’s being attacked by ninjas, but Wolverine comes in and vaporizes them, then strangles him.
It does make more sense if you have been reading the comic, because, as writer Jason Latour explained earlier this year, this story comes out of a recent arc of the monthly comic. Regular readers will have seen these characters before, and Creed has been around for a long, long time. (I sometimes think that the editors at the Big Two are so immersed in their fictional universes that they don’t understand that a new reader won’t know things like that; I had the same feeling about DC’s New 52, which were supposedly for new readers but weren’t really.) Still, Latour says, the comic is new-reader-friendly, because the backstory will be recapped: “All of this is revealed over the course of the story and your only requirement for entry is a desire to read about WOLVERINE VS. THE FUTURE NINJAS. If you're still reading this, I doubt we've lost you there.”
OK, Wolverine vs. ninjas. Cool. But I’m one of those people who likes to know why things are happening, and by the end of the first issue, the creators have not offered me a single shred of a clue. Even worse, the characters talk in deliberately abstract language, being careful never to actually say what they’re talking about. Here’s Creed, in the beginning, watching the ninjas corner Wolverine: “What’s in that tower is mine. Which means Logan won’t stop ’til he takes it away.” What is this thing that everyone is fighting over? I dunno, and it’s kind of irksome that in a comic that is supposed to be accessible to newcomers, nobody is going to tell us.*
Here’s why I picked this one up, though: Aside from the possibility of being able to step into a Wolverine comic (a possibility that has now been dashed, as I’m not going to pay another $2.99 for more unexplained beatings), I picked up this comic because I was interested in Marvel’s use of the digital comics format. In the limited sample size I have looked at (about two of each), Marvel has done a better job than DC of really using the digital storytelling toolkit. It’s certainly true here, where digital comics pioneer Yves Bigerel is a part of the team. The creators use the standard tools, such as dropping in panels and word balloons, and they use blackouts and focus changes as well. Most interesting is when they shift the picture from right to left, which they do twice—once to shift from Wolverine’s profile to show the arrows sticking out of his back, the other time to follow his movement across space. This is an unexpected move—you expect the panels to follow your finger, not jump away. Sadly, while the art is clear and hard-lined, the coloring and composition get in the way. In the opening sequence, Wolverine is standing in front of a garish billboard—yes, it’s Tokyo, but the high-chroma areas pull the eye away and make it hard to see Wolverine and the ninjas, who are colored with a darker palette. And some of the pages in which panels are superimposed over action scenes are way too busy. Like this one:
Superhero comics are not my cup of tea, but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying some of DC’s digital-first offerings. Marvel’s new line is more sophisticated in terms of digital techniques and it’s probably great for seasoned superhero readers and those who don’t mind being dropped in in the middle of the action. But for me, not knowing anything about what was going on by the end of the issue was a deal-breaker.
*For more on this point, see the piece I wrote a couple of years ago on the Zuda Test. To be clear, this is just my opinion, and while a lot of people agreed with me, there are others who like to be tossed into the action with no orientation. To them, I would say: Buy this comic.
Having shed the initial reluctance to explore other display size options apart from the standard 9.7 inch iPad, Apple is now believed to be toying with the idea of an iPad variant having a 12.9 inch sized display. Rumor mills have been quick to dub the device as the iPad Maxi, though expert opinion differs as to why Apple will come up with an iPad as big as 12.9 inch. Such a size also brings the iPad range to within the realm of the Macbook Air family of ultra portables, which starts off at 11 inch. So why would Apple want an iPad model that is bigger than the entry level Macbook range?
To begin with, an iPad as big as 12.9 inch belies the very notion of portability that tablet computers have come to be known for. Handling a device as big as that will be an issue, and so will be its build as well. It won't be the usual tablet device that can be tucked away into a handbag, and it will require careful handling. The basic design of the device is something to consider as it has to be strong enough to be able to withstand the stress that a tablet is expected to be subjected to. The vast expanse of the display itself has to suitably supported to ensure it does not sink in along the middle, more so for a device that is primarily touch oriented. At that size, Apple will have to ensure the device does not end up being too heavy as well.
Further, given Apple's penchant for pixel rich retina display, a similar sort of thing for the iPad Maxi could translate to a pixel count of 2712 x 2048 to make for a pixel density of 264 per inch. Perhaps the least we can expect here is a pixel density of 132 ppi, which means there should be at least 1366 x 1024 pixels lighting up the 12.9 inch display. Supporting that many pixels will again call for a far bigger battery than seen on the current 9.7 inch iPad; if not, Apple is ready to sacrifice some serious battery time that the iPad tablets have come to be known for, and a bigger battery will also mean a heavier device. Also, a 12.9 inch display for a tablet calls for suitable means of protecting the screen, which is another area that could add some more weight to the overall device.
Macrumor has even gone on to create some renderings of how an iPad with a 12.9 inch display might look, which does make for an interesting size comparison vis-à-vis the 9.7 inch regular iPad and the 7.9 inch iPad Mini. However, given the current rumors of Apple having adopted a similar design cue as the iPad Mini with thinner bezels along the sides, it doesn’t seem feasible for the bigger iPad’s necessary handheld operation. Instead, the contemporary thick bezel design seems more suitable to support the enlarged display and additional weight.
However, no matter how inconceivable the design of the bigger iPad might seem, a source as trusted as The Wall Street Journal has mentioned Apple having asked its suppliers to develop displays measuring 12.9 inch. Even before this, it was the Korean news site ETNews that first carried the news of Apple testing 12.9 inch iPad variants. What remains to be seen is if the particular variant with a 12.9 inch display will ever become a market reality. If it does, it will certainly cater to a niche market.
eBook pioneer Baen Books have ironed out a new agreement with Sony, to have their digital titles on the Reader Store. Starting today, you will be able to purchase titles by authors such as; David Weber, David Drake and Larry Correia.
Baen Books built a tremendous following by offering their eBooks in a fully unlocked format. This meant that they did not contact DRM and could be loaded on any of your reading devices. They have been selling science fiction and fantasy books through their website for over 13 years.
The move to third-party distribution is relatively new territory for Baen, which has built a name for itself in the ebook arena with an innovative e-Advanced Reading Copy program and limited time monthly discount bundles. They recently started doing business with Apple iBooks earlier this year and Amazon at the tail end of 2012.
"We are excited for the chance to work with Sony. Now it will be easier than ever to download your favorite Weber, Ringo, or Correia ebook to your eBook reader," says Toni Weisskopf, Baen Publisher. "The DRM-free model will not change, and you can be sure we will always maintain our famous eBook pioneering spirit and customer-first orientation."