Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Load Android Apps on the Blackberry Z10 and Z30


Blackberry has released a firmware update for their current generation line of touchscreen smartphones. The Z10 and Z30 now has the ability to load and install APK Files, which makes life easier, compared to the old methodology. Today, Good e-Reader will show you exactly what you need to do on your phone to install apps.

If you wanted to load in your own apps on the Blackberry Z10 or Z30 until today, there was some extensive work to be done. You first had to find an Android file you wanted and then use the APK to BAR Convertor to bring it over to a Blackberry compatible format. Next, you needed DDPB or the Google Chrome plugin to install and test the app on your device. Most apps did not work and the entire process was an exercise in patience.

The new method to install Android apps does not involve development mode or plugging your phone into the computer. From now on, you can simply use your phones internet browser to find and load in apps. In the video below, we walk you through the entire process.

I recommend the first app you should install is the Good e-Reader Android App Store. We currently have over 100,000 apps and you can install everything in one button click. There is no registration or any kind of barriers to prevent you from discovering content and installing it.

The very fact that Blackberry has added the ability to load in APK files is a game changer. It suddenly makes their phones relevant and you can easily play Simpsons Tapped Out, Flappy Birds and thousands of other games that never made it into Blackberry World.

How to Load Android Apps on the Blackberry Z10 and Z30 is a post from: E-Reader News

Video: Facebook Paper Review


Facebook Paper is a USA only app and was released last week. It has two main components, part a total revision of the core Facebook experience and a news app. Today, Good e-Reader checks out what this app is all about and gives you a sense on whether or not it is a good install.

Every time Facebook initiates a design change on their main website, it often polarises the community. Some herald each change with advancement in the platform, but the vast majority just complains about it. Facebook Paper gives a 2014 upgrade to the core experience and is exclusively optimized for the iPhone.

Status updates, pictures, video are the core aspects that makes Facebook stand out in the crowd. The company has revised their approach into the popular “cards” interface. Each card is the same size and all of your friends activity are listed there. If you click on one, you get the full screen view, such as an article they posted. You can then gesture to the right to automatically scroll to the next story.

The interface takes a bit getting used to. There is seldom any pinching and zooming features, and no navigation keys. Instead, if you long-press the top of the screen and drag your finger down, you will get some options, such as Create Post, Edit Sections, and Settings.

The main draw of Paper is the news functionality. It follows the popular curated aspect of news, with Facebook selecting popular news outlets and featuring their top stories. Other news journalists draw parallels with Flipboard or Pulse, but really Facebook is more akin to the new Yahoo News App. The curation aspect gives you simple, yet essential stories. If you like technology, they tend to give you Verge, Engadget, or Re/Code. There is no way to add in a custom feed or input your own list of websites.

One of the big problems with Facebook Paper is when you don’t use it for a day or two. When you fire up the app the cards initially load up the old data, but then scroll super fast from where you were, to the latest updates. It is a very jarring experience and one of the current downfalls of the app, but it should hopefully be fixed soon.

I have no problem with news curation, giving you a fixed list of stories from various genres. The main problem, is most of the news outlets are owned by various interests. Engadget is owned by AOL, Re/Code partnered with CNBC. You will seldom get a pure independent news outlet giving you riveting or compelling opinions.

Video: Facebook Paper Review is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Begins Selling Kindle e-Readers in Brazil

kindle brazil

Amazon has been selling eBooks in Brazil since 2012 and the only way you can buy the e-readers is if you purchased them through a 3rd party. Today, Amazon has announced they will begin selling their entire line of Kindle readers in Brazil.

The Brazilian Kindle division is being run by Alex Szapiro, a former Apple executive who is charge of deployment. According to industry figures, Brazilians bought 435 million books in 2012 worth $2 billion. Szapiro said ebooks were about 3% of total book sales.

Amazon is foregoing their massive warehouse distribution network that they own and operate in the USA, with their foray into Brazil. Instead, the physical distribution from online orders will be shipped from external partners, which currently are unknown.

Often, high import fees make e-readers inaccessible for your average reader. This is the main drawback of selling phones, tablets or e-readers in Brazil. We have word that the basic Kindle model will cost BRL 299, while the most expensive one, the PaperWhite 3G, costs BRL 699.

Amazon Begins Selling Kindle e-Readers in Brazil is a post from: E-Reader News

Canada Institutes Its Own eBook Terms with Publishers

A total of seven self-published ebooks will make the New York Times bestseller list this weekend
Following the court drama of the Department of Justice investigation of five of the Big Six publishers, attorneys then lined up to file their own class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers who overpaid by millions of dollars for ebooks as a result of a conspiracy to arrange the prices on titles. While the battle is still not fully finalized in the US in terms of how much Apple will pay in damages for its role, four of the five publishers settled out of court at the onset of the proceedings.

Now, Canada has reached its determination on what end result will befall for Simon and Schuster, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Hachette, at least in terms of operating in book sales in the country.

Per the agreement, the publishers will not work to limit or restrict any prices that ebook retailers choose to set on titles for at least eighteen months, as well as eliminates the Most Favored Nation clause that caused such a stir in the US legal proceedings. And much like in the US, Penguin was not a part of this agreement; Penguin was not offered a settlement at the onset of the Department of Justice investigation, with many parties stating that Penguin was part of the initiation of the collusion. The resulting merger that created Penguin Random House left Penguin bound by the settlement and agreement that Random House made in the case.

The committee that oversaw the investigation into the matter in Canada estimates that ebook prices have fallen in the US following the settlements by as much as twenty percent, a trend that they hope will continue in the north.

Canada Institutes Its Own eBook Terms with Publishers is a post from: E-Reader News

Librarians Demand More Notice for Overdrive Big Library Read


Overdrive Read is an innovative program that sees a single eBook become available for libraries to loan out an infinite amount of times. This is a stark contrast to the normal practice to the one title, one loan mentality. Obviously there is some very compelling aspects of the Reader program, but librarians are beginning to feel ambushed to the short notice of titles becoming available.

Starting February 17th, until March 5th, Food Network and Cooking Channel star Aida Mollenkamp has provided her culinary guide Keys to the Kitchen to libraries that do business with Overdrive. Overdrive gave libraries one week notice via email on the logistics of digitally distributing it to their patrons.

Overdrive has always gave the libraries one single week notice before the start of the program. A fair number are becoming quite vocal about the short notice and their inability to develop internal marketing material to properly promote it. Many librarians all over the USA talked to Good e-Reader at various American Library Association events. Most of them liked the spirit of the program, but were not actively participating due to the one week notice. It simply was not enough time to make flyers or posters, or educate the public on what it is all about.

Kristin Schultz commented “Is there ANY way you can give us more notice than 2 weeks? This is the third time for the Big Library Read and every time it's like I’m ambushed. Why cannot we have more advance notice for promotion?” Meanwhile, Julie Bauer weighed in “I'd like to echo what Kristin is saying – there is very little time for us to plan anything around Big Library Read (even with that extra week). A couple of months' notice would be more like it.”

Overdrive should be giving libraries over a months notice before the advent of any Read program. One week, is way too short and going forward, my recommendation is distribute a content calendar of titles coming out later in the year and forwarding them to libraries.

Librarians Demand More Notice for Overdrive Big Library Read is a post from: E-Reader News

UK Residents to get a 1 Year Spotify Premium Subscription for Free


Spotify has teamed up for the first time with a major media outlet to give customers in the UK a free one year subscription to their Premium Service. The offer will be available to new and existing subscribers to the 12-month Times and Sunday Times digital pack, charged at £6 a week, and the Ultimate Pack of seven days of newspapers, as well as digital access (£8 a week).

The Times and Sunday Times has a solid digital subscription base of 153,000 users and they are seeking to increase it with the Spotify deal. “Music is one of the top passions of readers of the Times and the Sunday Times and it is our aim to provide new services to our membership base to add value to their subscription,” said Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief marketing officer at parent company News UK. “It is great to be working with a like-minded brand that also offers premium paid-for content.”

UK Residents to get a 1 Year Spotify Premium Subscription for Free is a post from: E-Reader News

50th Anniversary of the Beatles in America

Beatles50thFifty years ago today, on Friday, February 7, 1964, four young men from Liverpool landed in New York's JFK Airport, greeted by thousands of screaming fans. Despite being unknown in the United States just a few months prior, they were booked to perform on one of the country's  most popular television programs.

Two days later, my dad (then 10 years old) was eating dinner with his family at my great-grandparents' house. Although they stayed for supper there from time to time, that night was special. His older sister, my aunt Carol, had heard from excited girlfriends at school about a British band called "The Beatles" that was going to be on The Ed Sullivan Show live that night.

Since my great-grandparents had a bigger television set (and, when broadcasts allowed it, was actually in color), they and my grandparents agreed to let the kids stay up late on a school night to watch these four moptops from England drive the teenage audience crazy.

"They need a haircut!" complained my grandpa, who much preferred the likes of Johnny Cash and Mantovani. "And they're wearin' GIRLY BOOTS!"

"Irv," my grandma scolded him. "Let Carol watch this."

They were just a handful of the record-breaking 73 million Americans who watched John, Paul, George, and Ringo take the country by storm. I'm sure my grandpa hoped Newsweek's prediction following the broadcast would come true: "The odds are they will fade away, as most adults confidently predict."

Fifty years later, nothing could be further from the truth. OverDrive has plenty of eBooks commemorating the Beatles' (and Ed Sullivan's) impact on history now available in Marketplace.


The Beatles in America: The 50th Anniversary by Chris Hutchins

The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was only 77 days after President Kennedy was assassinated. The country was ready for something happier, and took to the Fab Four's music, humor, fashion sense, and charisma immediately (at least most Americans did). Instead of being just a flash-in-the-pan teenage fad, the Beatles continued to influence not only the arts, but also culture for more than half a century. This eBook, presented by the Smithsonian and the Grammy Museum, celebrates their legacy.

The Beatles Are Here! 50 Years After the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians, and Other Fans Remember by Penelope Rowlands

My aunt's girlfriends were hardly the only screaming fans bitten by Beatlemania. In fact, the author of this eBook was captured on film doing just that. Rowlands collected memories from the likes of Lisa See, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many other devotees explaining how the Beatles changed their lives forever.

The Beatles: The Authorised Biography by Hunter Davies

"Jungle music," my grandpa grumbled, in both the 1960s and in the 1990s, when I came over to my grandparents' house to listen to my Beatles albums on their record player. (This was a little odd, since by then, CDs were well-entrenched). I carried with me a dog-eared library copy of this 1969 biography, the first of many Beatles books I would read in years to come. Hunter Davies spent over a year with the band while they were still together, and this 40th anniversary edition contains even more behind-the-scenes exclusives.

Sundays with Sullivan: How the Ed Sullivan Show Brought Elvis, The Beatles, and Culture to America by Bernie Ilson

Ed Sullivan was a shrewd and savvy businessman who knew he was on to something big when he saw British teenagers screaming for the Beatles. He strived to make his Sunday night variety show appeal to every member of the family, and judging by Sullivan's chart-topping ratings, he certainly did. However, the shrieks of his Beatlemania-infected teenage audience members threatened to drown out the more "cultural" acts that night. Sullivan playfully warned them, "If you don't keep quiet, I'm going to send for a barber!" For more on the man himself, check out Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan by James Maguire.

Sing Like The Beatles, ProSound Karaoke Band

Did you know that OverDrive has karaoke tracks? Patrons may not be able to sing them at the library, but they certainly can let out their inner Beatle at home!

"She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah! She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!" my dad sang in the car ride home that Sunday night.

I'm sure my grandpa just loved that.


These titles may have geographical or other restrictions, so if you're having a "Hard Day's Night," just say "Please Please Me" to your OverDrive Collection Development Specialist for "Help" getting these eBooks from OverDrive.

Did you see the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show? Please leave a comment to tell us about your experience!


Jenny Norton is a Support Services Specialist at OverDrive.


Collection Team Column – Bailey Hotujac: The art of it all

baileyBioPicAn AP art history course my senior year of high school changed things for me. I'd always enjoyed history class, but couldn't tolerate memorizing dates of battles and who fought whom in which war. Art history allowed me to focus on the social aspects of history – not to mention, the pictures!

One of the things I love most about art history was its universal appeal. No matter what other course I took in college, it connected in some way. From math (trust me, it was math – not aliens – that helped the Egyptians build the pyramids) to geology (crushed rocks = main ingredient in paint), it all applied to art in some way.

It shouldn't be a bit surprising that I also love to read about art. I love the nonfiction – artist biographies, narratives of stolen/looted art, and forgers – and the fiction – kids running away to spend the night in the Met? Sign me up!

One topic that has continually drawn me is the topic of lost/stolen art and forgeries. And maybe that's why Robert Edsel's The Monuments Men is one of my favorite books of all time. You can imagine, I'm pretty excited that the film adaptation opens tonight! (Anyone want to guess my plans after work?)

With an all-star cast and Oscar buzz, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not the only one at the theater tonight. With the spotlight on art, I'd like to share some of my favorite art-related books and my ever expanding wish list: Fun with art history (one copy/one user) and Fun with art history (metered access).


Bailey Hotujac is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.


Code Club Pro: a training programme to support primary school teachers

From September 2014 Computing will be a subject in its own right in UK schools. Of course at Raspberry Pi Towers we are delighted (and I mean dancing around like a drunk uncle at a wedding reception delighted) that young people will now have the opportunity to study one of the most creative, exciting and challenging subjects in the curriculum. But who will teach them? Computing is effectively a brand new subject and there are relatively few specialist teachers to deliver it. The problem is worse for primary school teachers who have to teach a range of different subjects and who typically have fewer IT resources than secondary schools.

So, of course, we need to train teachers, especially primary teachers. And training works wonders—teachers arrive at my courses full of trepidation and weird rumours (you need to be a maths genius; it’s all about programming; coding gives you hairy palms). They walk out of the end of the day confident and buzzing with excitement and ideas. That’s all it takes. Of course no one will be an expert after day, but the point is that you but don’t have to be. Computing at this level is about problem solving and puzzles and creative fun—things that human beings are naturally drawn to and enjoy. And it’s definitely not about “coding”. Whatever that is.

So hurrah for training! Let’s all sign up for a course at our local school! Except … there isn’t any to speak of. What there is is typically dispersed and expensive and of variable content. What teachers and schools need is widely available, low-cost, high quality, curriculum-centred training.

Which is what Code Club thought too. So in true Code Club fashion they decided to just do it. We love Code Club! Anyway, I’ll let them fill the rest in. I only meant to write a sentence as an intro but as you can tell it’s something I’m passionate about. Plus, I like showboating. And if you are a school or teacher and would like to get involved, pop over to  Code Club Pro’s site for more information.

Code Club, the network of over 1,875 volunteer-led after-school coding clubs, with the support of Google and CAS (Computing at Schools), is launching a nationwide training programme to teach core computing skills to primary school teachers.

The CPD program has been launched in response to widespread teacher demand for training in this area. According to Code Club, which has access to a wide network of schools, the training needs of teachers has so far been overlooked in this process. Its founders said: "Teachers are the key front-line implementers of the curriculum and more needs to be done to support this transition".

Pupils and teachers with George Osborn

Code Club Pro was launched today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, at a special Code Club session in Bexton School in Knutsford, Cheshire.

Launching in April, Code Club Pro will enable primary school teachers to quickly understand the requirements of the new computing curriculum. The mission is to deliver training in computing to over 20,000 primary school teachers by 2016, while reaching many more through the provision of online programmes and resources.

Clare Sutcliffe, Co-Founder and CEO of Code Club, said: "The addition of coding to the new primary school curriculum is a great step forward for the UK education sector. However, to date, there has been a lack of focus on how to equip the primary school teachers to actually teach this new subject. We know first hand that teachers are feeling daunted by the prospect of having to teach a syllabus they don't fully understand themselves. As a result, we decided to create a training programme that would help support them through this period of change.

"As a not-for-profit, Code Club is able to focus on a core objective of supporting as many teachers and children as possible, through the provision of fun, accessible and affordable training, which hands on and experiential. Our goal is to improve access to training, so that teachers can feel confident and excited about delivering the new computing curriculum."

Kotobi, First Arab eBookstore, Launches at Cairo Book Fair

With the Cairo Book Fair wrapping up this week–amidst controversy, as journalists were arrested for possessing cameras and video equipment to cover the event–one exciting launch took place with critical support from Vodafone Egypt. The first dedicated Arab ebookstore,, launched from their stage at the fair, bringing several hundred Arab titles from nearly forty publishers to digital devices.

According to the Kotobi website (translated), “Statistics show that readership levels in the Arab World are significantly lower than those among other world populations. And because we believe that reading is a key ingredient for the development of any nation, we've taken it upon ourselves to play a role in supporting the Arabic reading ecosystem to the benefit of raising readership levels in the Arabic language.”

A number of concerned stakeholders from throughout the Arab nations joined Vodafone Egypt to bring the ebookstore to fruition, with many seeing this initiative as a way to combat the alarming illiteracy rates mentioned on the site. More importantly, Kotobi goes on to hint at a possible self-publishing platform, going so far as to mention the “barriers to publication” that keep authors, publishers, and readers from thriving through book development.

“Kotobi's digital technology removes the barriers to publishing for authors and publishers alike; and creates an innovative avenue for readers to access the biggest variety of Arabic publications at the convenience of their home: no need to travel a distance to find the nearest bookshop; and no need to wait until the next print of a book is out; and best of all, you can buy through your credit card anywhere in the world, or through your mobile phone in Egypt. And as you buy your collection of books, you needn't worry about carrying it around, because Kotobi's mobile app allows you to walk around with your library: all on your mobile phone or tablet.”

So far, Kotobi offers ebooks, periodicals, and a wide variety of free titles, including translations of well-known classics from foreign authors like Aldous Huxley and Charles Dickens.

Kotobi, First Arab eBookstore, Launches at Cairo Book Fair is a post from: E-Reader News

Apple to Begin Requiring “Interest Age” Label on Children’s, Teens’ eBooks

VIZ family shot on iBooks
Apple announced that it will begin requiring a new level of keyword protection on children’s, teens’, and educational titles in the iBookstore beginning in June of this year. The term “interest age” will now have to be stated and labeled on titles from publishers and self-published authors alike.

This requirement of an interest age rating may have stemmed from the recent controversy surrounding explicit titles that were available–some say maliciously so, which a self-policed interest age rating may not prevent–in the children’s book sections of a variety of ebook retail websites, an issue that caused several retailers to make sweeping deletions of book titles until the matter could be resolved. Rather than simply suggesting some keywords or clicking on book categories at the time of upload, this concentrated interest age will mean selecting the appropriate audience for the book.

Additionally, in light of the data that shows a higher-than-ever percentage of crossover fans–adults who purchase young adult titles for their own reading–this will help consumers understand what constitutes appropriate for different individual readers; a parent whose child is thirteen years old may not be at the right maturity level to read a series such as the Divergent titles, for example, while a child as young as ten years old may actually be ready for the thematic elements and violence in The Hunger Games. This labeling system will help consumers select high-action titles for themselves, as well as make informed purchasing decisions for the younger readers in their lives.

Apple has long been known for its educational focus as well, and this interest age system will apply to academic titles, for much the same reason. Simply stating that a book’s difficulty level is only fourth grade does not mean a fourth grader is prepared to tackle some of the concepts in various textbooks. This will help teachers and administrators make sound choices when selecting digital content for classroom use.

Apple to Begin Requiring “Interest Age” Label on Children’s, Teens’ eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Daily Deals & Freebies – February 7

Kindle Daily Deals Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda Secret Daughter, a first novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love through the experiences of two families—one Indian, one American—and the child that binds them together. A masterful work set partially in the Mumbai slums […]

New Hack Boots Android From External SD on Kobo Aura HD, Touch and Glo

Lately I’ve been keeping an eye on the Android on Kobo: “Tips and Apps” thread at MobileRead for interesting tidbits for running Android on Kobo’s ebook readers. A couple days ago a new dual-boot hack has come to light that makes it possible to run Android off an external microSD card instead of having to […]

Google Rumored to Launch Nexus 8 by End-April


Google has been up to some interesting changes in its hardware division. While its decision to sell off the Motorola smartphone segment to Lenovo tops the list, there also are a few rumors that are worth paying attention to. First is the rumor that Google is contemplating killing off the Nexus brand as a whole, to be replaced by Google Play Edition devices.

However, while that isn't expected (if at all it happens) before 2015, there are also some who believe Google might launch an 8 inch Nexus branded tablet. That idea stems from a recent revelation by Taiwan based upstream supply chain makers who claim Google is likely to launch the 8 inch Nexus by late April. Also, as reported in Digitimes, there will be 2 million devices to start off with.

While that is yet to be confirmed officially, what can't be denied is that it makes a lot of sense to have an 8 inch in your tablet portfolio. The 7 inch tablet segment has come under increased competition from the smartphone segment that has been steadily growing in size, so much that we even have a 6.4 inch device in the form of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra that offers calling capabilities; HP has 6 and 7 inch Voice Tablets that allow for voice calling, too. This has made manufacturers of 7 inch tablets to take refuge in 8 inch sized devices. This may have also led to a less than stellar run at the market for the Nexus 7 2013, so the Nexus 8 is believed to be a safe bet in such a scenario.

Google Rumored to Launch Nexus 8 by End-April is a post from: E-Reader News

Plastic Logic and Novaled Announce New Partnership, Promises Mainstream Flexible Display to Arrive Soon


Plastic Logic has long been associated with the development of flexible displays, but we have yet to see a successful commercial application of the technology so far. However, that is likely to change in the not too distant future, as the company has partnered with Novaled, that bills itself among the leaders in development of “organic electronic materials and technology for OLED applications.” The duo has lined up several technology demonstrators throughout 2014, which will start off with the launch of a fully organic and flexible AMOLED display during the Flextech Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

“Flexible electronics is a reality, already proven through the development and manufacture of plastic, bendable displays and sensors. For the first time a fully organic, plastic, flexible AMOLED demonstration has been achieved with a real industrial fabrication process. This marks the start of a revolution in wearable products, the next frontier in consumer electronics – 2014 will be the year that wearable technology starts to go mainstream,” revealed CEO of Plastic Logic, Indro Mukerjee.

What makes the tech demonstrator unique is that it is the first time that a “functional all-plastic AMOLED display” has been mated to “an industrialized turnkey manufacturing process for the backplane electronics.” Plastic Logic has described the “fully industrialized plastic, flexible Organic Thin Film Transistor (OTFT) backplane and know-how enabled the world's first fully organic, flexible display.”

Novaled's contribution to the project is its PIN OLED® technology, that enables the use of “non-standard electrode materials needed for the flexible AMOLED development.”

“Through the OTFT industrialisation process Plastic Logic has created unique IP and a highly transferable process-flow. With an entire supply chain in place, OTFT manufacturing has now reached a tipping point in performance with leading organic semiconductor (OSC) materials suppliers, including Merck whose OSC material was used in the demonstration, now showing mobilities required to drive OLED displays. The process is compatible with existing mainstream display manufacturing operations, underpinning a new technology licensing business model. Plastic Logic has already established a partner program to work with leading global display makers and consumer electronics companies to enable flexible, plastic AMOLED supply chains through licensing and technology transfer to mass volume producers,” the press release revealed.

“Novaled has been developing its leadership in the doping of OLED devices.” says Gildas Sorin, CEO Novaled GmbH. “When applied to the OTFT Novaled technologies and materials will play a driving role in fully organic displays as well as in opening the fields of new organic devices.”

Demand for such flexible displays is expected to see a sharp increase soon with increasing consumer interest in smart wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness bands. Even tablet and smartphones could incorporate flexible displays in future.

Plastic Logic and Novaled Announce New Partnership, Promises Mainstream Flexible Display to Arrive Soon is a post from: E-Reader News