Saturday, January 4, 2014

DreamTab Promises to be the Dream Tablet For Kids


There is a new tablet device being developed for kids which promises to be unlike any other so far. The DreamTab, as it is named, will be a joint collaboration between Fuhu and DreamWorks, and does seem to live up to its name as both companies involved have extensive experience in producing content for kids.  Fuhu produces the Nabi line of tablet devices, which has had over 2 million buyers in 2013. DreamWorks is already well known for its animation and is aiming to deliver content tailor made to suit tablet devices.

“We could push out a new character moment every day of the year,” said Jim Mainard, head of digital strategy and new business development for DreamWorks, which goes to show how deeply they wish to infiltrate the kids’ market with the new tablet. Parental control regimes such as playing games only for the stipulated amount of time or switching off the device altogether are aligned with characters; what better way to make them do these then have friendly animation characters such as Shrek perform a skit to make the kids develop a habit of proper tablet usage? This is aimed at the dual purpose of drawing kids to using the tablet which in turn will contain enough of DreamWorks' own technology to promote its content.

Both developers involved in the project have made it clear the device is expected to have an 8 inch display to be just as powerful as the iPad; there are expected the educational features as well. As part of this effort, the DreamTab will also include a stylus based on the same technology that the company's artists use to draw the characters that feature in their movies, meaning the company's top notch animators will be able to teach users to draw characters such as Po the panda or Toothless the dragon.

The DreamTab will also comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a law that mandates the way companies collect information on kids under 13. The kids otherwise will be able to communicate with their parents via email or other messaging options.

The tablet will also include an entire class of DreamWorks themed accessories which includes cases, headphones, and protective bumpers around the device. Expect the DreamTab to make a debut at the CES, though actual availability could still be a few weeks away. As for its price, while nothing substantial is available as yet, what is known for sure is that the tablet will cost below $300.

DreamTab Promises to be the Dream Tablet For Kids is a post from: E-Reader News

New Susbcribers to The Sun Thanks to Digital Paywall

Newspapers have struggled in recent years with the means to stay up-to-the-minute in a world of instant online information. On top of that, newspapers steadily began to lose subscribers in an era where news was not only available instantaneously and timely, but also for free.

A number of newspaper publishers have experimented with putting limitations on their digital material. Some use a model where certain articles are free and easily accessible, while other more newsworthy articles are only available to paid subscribers. Other publishers have taken a different approach, one that was met with instant outcry but that has slowly come to be the norm: the paywall system.

Under a typical paywall, readers can access only so many articles–of their own choosing–per time period, and then must subscribe to read any further news. While some critics saw this as baiting people with astonishing headlines in order to lure new subscribers, it is a model that is growing in popularity with publishers. According to new information on UK’s The Sun, that model has apparently grown popular with subscribes, too: an additional 117,000 subscribers, in fact, since the outlet began using a paywall system on its digital counterpart, The Sun+.

According to information from The Guardian, those subscribers have all come on board since the August 1, 2013, implementation of the system. Unfortunately, some reports indicate that The Sun needs more than 250,000 subscribers in order to keep the cost effectiveness of the move in check.Unfortunately, there are reports that the more than 30 million online fans of the digital paper dropped dramatically once the paywall was rolled out, looking elsewhere for free content.

David Dinsmore, editor, has admitted that there is no really clear social media strategy in place at the UK’s top selling tabloid, and that they are hiring a team to fix that in the immediate future. Having a clearer strategy in that regard can increase subscribership almost immediately.

New Susbcribers to The Sun Thanks to Digital Paywall is a post from: E-Reader News

Acer Launches 2 Budget Android Tablets – Starting at $130

Acer Iconia a1-830

As if there weren't already enough options in the Android budget tablet segment, Acer has just come out with a few more options – 2 to be precise – to entice buyers. Both the tablets form part of the Iconia model line-up and run Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean instead of the latest Android KitKat, which might be a small price to pay considering both are priced well within the affordable range.

The range starts with the Iconia B1-720 and is priced a quite attractive $130. The tablet sports matching specs which includes a dual core 1.3 GHz chip, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage that is complemented with a microSD card slot that can add another 32 GB of storage. The tablet also comes with a front facing camera with none at the rear.

However, the real issue here could be the just 5 hours of battery life that the B1-720 has to offer. With specs that can support ebook reading, playing games, web surfing and so on, the paltry backup time can prove to be the deal breaker here. This since with that much of battery life, the use of the device for just reading ebooks, considered perhaps the most basic of tasks to be accomplished on a tablet can also turn out to be chore.

With the Iconia A1-830, it's a slightly bigger device that we are looking at, one that offers a 7.9 inch 1024 x 768 pixel display. The rest of the specs are similar to its smaller sibling expect that it is powered by an Intel Atom Z2560 Clover trail chip clocked at 1.6GHz. The tablet also sports a micro USB port and comes with front 720p and rear HD webcam. Battery life is a bit more respectable 7.5 hours. All this for a price tag of $149 in the US and $199 in Canada. This makes us wonder why would anyone opt for the cheaper B1-720 when one can have a better and bigger device for just $20 more. Acer originally announced the price to be $180 though clarified it later to be $149.

In any case, the Iconia A1-830 at $149 can be considered to have been priced just right as it comes across as an affordable option for the ultra-low cost tablet segment that is comprised mainly of products from tier-two companies while also coming across as an affordable option against better placed tablet offering such as the Galaxy Tab 3 or even the Nexus 7. True the A1-830 may lack the oomph factor of the Nexus 7 tablet that starts at $230 but comes across as an affordable option for those who are ready to sacrifice performance for a few bucks.

Acer Launches 2 Budget Android Tablets – Starting at $130 is a post from: E-Reader News