Friday, August 30, 2013

Kobo Aura HD and Kobo Aura Comparison

kobo aura and kobo aura hd

Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video. Today we take a look at the Kobo Aura HD and the recently announced Kobo Aura. Obviously they both have the same name and could be a bit confusing on what these devices bring to the table. The essence of this comparison is to dispel the myths and rumors and give you a solid indication on the core differences and put them head to head.

The Kobo Aura maintains the standard six-inch approach that the company made famous with their entire product line. It currently has a super high resolution e-Ink "Clarity Screen" with 212 DPI and sixteen levels of grey. Really, the resolution is the exact same on the Glo, and has not broken any barriers on using a next generation e-Ink display. This e-Reader has the exact same front-lite technology that was found on the original Kobo Aura HD. This will allow readers to adjust the brightness settings to suit their environment. Currently, Kobo has the best front-lit screen in the business and has surpassed Amazon in terms of quality. To turn the screen light on, there is a button at the very top and then a virtual slider bar to control the brightness. You can also take advantage of the capacitive multi-touch display and use two fingers to change the brightness.

It is powered by the quintessential Freescale i.MX507 1 GHZ processor and has 1 GB of RAM. There are 4 GB of internal memory, which can be enhanced via the Micro SD Card. It seems that Kobo e-Readers still have expandable memory, which makes adding books to your collection fairly easy and painless. It also has over two months of battery life, which is ideal.

The Kobo Aura HD features a 6.8 inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 DPI. This e-reader is seriously the best in the business with its high-definition display. The Kindle Fire HD 7 has 1280×800 and the Nook HD has 1440×900. What this means is that as an e-reader, it actually has better image quality than the majority of mainstream tablets on the market. The Aura HD also has a built in comfort light, which allows you to read in the dark with a front-lit display.

The Kobo Aura HD is using a 1GHZ CPU processor and has 4 GB of internal memory. This is 2 GB more than what the Glo offers, and you can expand the memory up to 32 GB via the Micro SD card. Battery life is fairly respectable at a solid month of normal use.

Aside from the marginal hardware differences the software is also quite different. The six inch Aura has some useful enhancements with Pocket – Formally Read it Later and Beyond the Book. Pocket is sort of like Instapaper and allows you send articles to your account from Flipboard, Pulse and social media networks. Beyond the book is really neat, it hyperlinks specific words throughout a novel and gives you a greater insight on people, places, and things. Instead of just your standard dictionary you can pull up biographies and related eBooks. The video below documents fairly extensively all of the core differences.

Kobo Aura HD and Kobo Aura Comparison is a post from: E-Reader News

Nook For Android App Updated to Version


Barnes & Noble has just announced a new update for its Nook app for Android. The latest iteration, version, introduces some cool new features apart from the usual bug fixes that are integral to every updates.

Among the new features to look forward to, the Nook app includes larger book tiles for a better visual experience, along with availability of the Time, Inc. magazines, which are more in demand. Time will join other popular titles such as SELF, WIRED, Glamor, Vanity Fair, GQ, and others that are already available. Better accessibility features for the visually impaired or for those with low visibility is also part of the upgrade package. Elaborating on the latter, the app makes use of Android assistive technology, such as higher screen magnification, which is applicable for Android version 4.2 and higher and TalkBack that has Android 4.1 as the minimum requirement.

Also, the update will mark the return of Black as the Night Theme color, something that users have been clamoring for. Apart from these, the My Files filter is now better equipped to deal with duplicate contents that might have been sideloaded.

Overall, the latest upgrade to the Nook app for Android is nothing too significant over the version 3.4 it had launched just a few weeks ago, though upgrades are always welcome.

Nook For Android App Updated to Version is a post from: E-Reader News

Kobo Aura and Kobo Glo Comparison Video


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video! Today we take a look at the brand new Kobo Aura, the six inch e-Reader that was unveiled in New York a few days ago. We compare it directly to the flagship Kobo Glo, which has been available for a number of years, and is the most commonly owned device. Over the course of this video we look at the key differences with hardware and software. If you are thinking of upgrading from the Glo to the Aura, this is a must watch video.

The Glo and Aura are fairly similar in terms of the overall hardware. They have the same resolution and processor, but the Aura has 2 additional GB of internal memory. The big draw about the Aura is the capacitive multi-touch display, which is a first in e-Readers. This new screen is totally flush with the bezel and allows you to easily pinch and zoom PDF files, but also control the front-lit display with gestures.

There are also some dramatic software upgrades found on the Aura, that are not available on the Glo, or any other Kobo e-Reader. Beyond the Book is a great new feature which literary goes beyond the standard dictionary look-up of a word, and gives you more options. For example, the Hobbit has hyperlinks found throughout the book that gives you a full profile on all of the major characters, author and similar books. Check out the full comparison video for a full detailed list of all hardware and software differences.

Kobo Aura and Kobo Glo Comparison Video is a post from: E-Reader News

Hachette eBooks Account for 34% of all US Sales


Hachette has just released a new financial report that documents eBook sales for the first six months of 2013. The publishing company has experienced massive gains in the US sector with 34% of all sales deriving from electronic books. This is a dramatic increase from 27% from the same period in 2012 and it shows that overall eBook sales are only increasing.

Not only has the US experienced strong gains for Hachette, but the United Kingdom is also doing quite well. eBooks now account for 31% of all book sales, which is up significantly from 22% from the same period in 2012. Globally, the publisher stated that 11% of their entire net sales are from digital books, which is an increase of 2.9% from last year.

Many industry experts in the publishing field have consistently stated that the entire ebook market is tapering off and starting to stabilize. Still, we are still seeing consistent growth. Random House just announced today that eBooks account for 20% of their global sales.

Hachette eBooks Account for 34% of all US Sales is a post from: E-Reader News

Digital Comics Bargains for Labor Day Weekend

Star Wars 1

The long weekend is almost here, so it’s time to load up the e-reader with some cheap comics!

ComiXology has you covered this week, with a lot of different options. The first deal ends on Sunday evening: An assortment of Dan Slott Spider-Man comics for 99 cents each.

Not a Spider-Man fan? How about <a href="Next, they have Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted #1 for 99 cents. That’s about the right price, in my opinion, and if you’re already a Wolverine fan, it’s a steal. (I paid full price a couple of weeks ago; here’s my review.)”>vol. 1 of Red Hulk for $3.99. This 127-page volume collects issues #1-6 of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness’s series, and the price is what you’d pay for one new comic. Not bad. This deal is also good through Sunday night.

If you want something a little different, check out Robert Kirkman’s Invincible. It’s a story about a teenage superhero who has to deal with his developing powers and all the hassles of high school besides. The first issue is free, so there’s no risk, and if you like it, the rest of the issues are 99 cents and collected editions are $2.99-$5.99. Or you could just buy the two digital omnibi and get over 1,500 pages of story for $50. This sale runs through September 2.

Next we have Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted #1 for 99 cents. That’s about the right price, in my opinion, and if you’re already a Wolverine fan, it’s a steal. (I paid full price a couple of weeks ago; here’s my review.) That sale also runs through September 2.

If you want to prep for the Trinity War crossover, both comiXology and Amazon have a selection of Justice League, Justice League Dark, and Justice League of America comics for 99 cents each.

Over at Dark Horse Digital, the big weekend sale is on Star Wars comics, including the new Brian Wood-written series that goes back to the original movies. Several of their other Star Wars series are marked down as well.

And finally, if you’re planning on buying some digital manga from Viz, better do it soon: Their 20% off sale ends on September 2, and on October 1, the regular price of a volume of manga will go from $4.99 to $6.99. The higher-priced manga on the site, such as the VizBig omnibus volumes, will also go up in price. That’s a big jump, so stock up now.

Digital Comics Bargains for Labor Day Weekend is a post from: E-Reader News

Jamie Oliver Cookbook Offered as Value-Added Content to UK Libraries

Graphic courtesy of

Graphic courtesy of

Thanks to initiatives like the joint Sourcebooks and OverDrive project earlier this year, The Big Library Read, publishers are finally receiving concrete data on how library lending impacts their book sales. In what appeared on paper to be a bold move that cost the publisher and the author a great deal of money, Sourcebooks made one of its titles available to all of OverDrive’s partner libraries for free for a limited time. The results of the initiative demonstrated exactly how library patrons respond to lending opportunities with an increase in book sales.

Now, Penguin Random House is working on an effort of its own, with the support of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. The well-known chef, who has spear-headed nutritional programs and endorsed a return to homemade cooking over processed, packaged foods, has released a new title, Save with Jamie, which the publisher is donating to every library in the UK.

Oliver is quoted as saying, “We know from the fabulous work that libraries do every day that everyone deserves a chance to learn basic skills that can improve everyday lives. Reading and cooking are two of those skills for sure. I'll admit I've been a late developer with the first, but I can definitely help with the second.”

The response to this program has been tremendous, especially from the library communities who have seen an influx of patrons looking for the book, which makes perfect sense given that the book is about creating a budget, living within one’s means, and stretching one’s income in order to be able to pay bills while still saving money. Libraries have long been known as the source of free information and entertainment, so what better venue for the publisher to experiment with value-added content for patrons in need of financial support.

Several commenters on an article for The Boookseller announcing the program asked whether the initiative would include school libraries, as all too often students are left without any form of financial planning instruction. It would also make sense as Oliver’s widely publicized and somewhat controversial school nutrition program in the US targeted schools that served expensive meals that were not well-received by their student bodies.

Jamie Oliver Cookbook Offered as Value-Added Content to UK Libraries is a post from: E-Reader News

More Steampunk eBooks and Audiobooks!

IDC Lowers Tablet Shipment Figures For 2013, Demand For Phablets Growing


Tablets are all the rage these days, something that several market research firms have tried to quantify with lofty figures from time to time. IDC, though, decided to walk a different path by actually lowering the tablet shipment figures for 2013 to 227.2 million units. That is still an impressive figure by any means, while it is admittedly lower than the originally estimated 229.3 million devices expected to be shipped in 2013.

As for reasons, IDC attributed the emergence of phablets, or big screen smartphones, along with smart watches that led them to lower their shipment figures. While it's clear that consumers have always been looking for mobile devices to get along with their everyday computational needs, the rising popularity of phablets shows there are many who'd prefer even smaller devices. The slightly lower shipping estimates could also be the early sign of a market that is settling down from the initial euphoria it generated.

The lack of any exciting tablet launches during Q2 is another reason when there might be less tablets shipped this year. However, these are only estimates, and things could quickly turn around, especially when there are quite a few exciting tablet launches expected this fall. Apple is slated to launch the new iPad 5 and likely the new iPad Mini 2, and Amazon is reportedly readying its third gen Kindle Fire devices for a launch during roughly the same time frame.

IDC further pointed out that it is countries like China that would be seen fueling the next wave of tablet sales and not North America, western Europe and Japan who have been the early adopters. Also, while manufacturers will continue to explore ways to bring down tablet prices further, its unlikely to be lower by any substantial margin than those prevalent right now.

Meanwhile, there has been a shift in consumer preference towards big screen smartphones that has earned the tag of phablets. Manufacturers too have woken up to the segment, something that is exemplified by the several high profile phablets that has either been launched or is waiting in the wings. These include the HTC One Max, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the Nokia Lumia Bandit (still in rumor stages unlike the other) along with of course the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that has been the sole player in this segment for two years. Apple too has been rumored to enter the phablet with an enlarged iPhone version.

As for advantages of phablets via-a-vis the tablets, the former makes for a more handy device that does all that a tablet does, which includes playing games, watching movies, and reading ebooks. Plus, phablets offer calling options and include a stylus which in turn adds to the functionality of the device. However, phablets seem to enjoy a loyal fan base that is also growing. What remains to be seen is if they can actually usurp the small tablet segment in the long run. The price advantage, though, seems to be there but that could change later.

IDC Lowers Tablet Shipment Figures For 2013, Demand For Phablets Growing is a post from: E-Reader News

Index Award, and Rob’s talk from Science City in Kansas

First up, we’ve got a bit of fantastic news today: we won the Index Award for Education last night here in Denmark. The Index Award is the world’s biggest design award, and it comes with €100,000 for the Foundation, which we’re absolutely overwhelmed to receive. We’ll be using the money to take on two new hires over the next few months (you’ll be hearing more about them when they come on board) to work exclusively on free educational materials and outreach. We’d like to thank the Index Award jury for choosing us from an enormous pool of more than 1000 nominees: we’re enormously grateful, and the prize will help us to make a real difference to the way we work with kids all over the world. I’m hoping to get some pictures from last night’s ceremony at Elsinore for you later in the week.

In other news, Rob Bishop has just returned from his mammoth tour of the USA, where he was speaking at hackspaces across the whole continent. I saw him very briefly in the office on Wednesday, when I was leaving for the airport and he was returning from it. It’s good to have Rob back (although we do notice that any sweeties or baked goods left in the office disappear about 78% faster when he’s around). Here’s the talk he did at Science City in Kansas last week.