Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Update to Wattpad’s iOS, Android Apps Makes Stories Portable

Wattpad, the global story sharing site that has a user following of more than 20 million readers and titles available in over fifty languages, announced today that it has released a major update to its immensely popular iOS and Android apps. The app, which enables readers to browse and consume stories on the go, originally required internet access for reading, but the new update incorporates offline reading, as well as a host of other features.

"At Wattpad, we're making it easy for people to access millions of free stories on their mobile devices," said Allen Lau, co-founder and CEO of Wattpad, in a press release. "With the latest update, it doesn't matter where you live, what device you use, or even if you're connected to the internet, you can still find a great story to read on Wattpad."

Two other exciting features of the update include the Archive for Android capability and the Inline Commenting option. Archiving allows readers to move older stories to their archives and enjoy faster loading of new content, while the Inline feature lets users actually comment at specific points in the story. This a feature that both authors and readers have sought for some time, as it allows fans to make remarks, point out inconsistencies or errors in a helpful way, and generally interact more fully with the story.

Other options in the update include reading recommendations and the ability to create mobile reading lists, two features that will enhance the portability characteristic of the reading experience. The app update is available now through users’ own app suppliers. A free Wattpad account is needed to take advantage of these features.

New Update to Wattpad’s iOS, Android Apps Makes Stories Portable is a post from: Good e-Reader

New iWatch Concept Video Incorporating Curved Display Appears Online


A new concept video providing us a glimpse of what the rumored Apple iWatch will be like has come online. The first thing that strikes is that the supposed iWatch is unlike any other smartwatch that we have come to see so far. Rather, it's more akin to a wearable band or a bracelet sort of thing with a curved display. Not that it looks any bit odd with the design theme it incorporates. On the contrary, the iWatch looks even more futuristic than any of its peers. Further, a curved display also seems to be more befitting a smartwatch than perhaps a smartphone or a tablet.  Overall, the design looks slick and smart even though it shares quite some similarity with the Nike+ Fuelband.

The concept iWatch as depicted in the video shows the date and time along with a lot of other notifications in a horizontally tiled manner. There is also the likelihood of the Healthbook fitness tracking app that the iWatch can feature, one that could be part of iOS 8. Another purported app that has been making some noise off late is the one that will be able to predict heart attacks, something that could prove to be a game changer if designed well enough.

Overall, we have seen quite a few smartwatch concepts so far though none have made quite the kind of splash that they might have expected. Maybe, that is left to Apple to do, something of the sort that the Cupertino company has done in the past with the iPhone and iPad in the smartphone and tablet segments respectively.

As for the iWatch concept, it has been designed be Fuse Chicken, a startup based in Cleveland 'currently funding a magnetic charging cable and dock for iPhone.'

via techcrunch

New iWatch Concept Video Incorporating Curved Display Appears Online is a post from: Good e-Reader

Nuts and bolts: Merging your lending models in Marketplace


MergeLendingModels2Are you still searching for one copy/ one user and metered access titles separately? As a collection development analyst, I try to give little tips and tricks to accounts to help them more efficiently navigate their Marketplace account. Some of OverDrive's most popular content is metered for user checkouts. What does this mean for your collection? Adding metered access content into your digital collection gives your patrons access to two of our most popular publishers, Harper Collins and Macmillan (for non-consortium accounts), not to mention the time you will save when searching both lending models at the same time.

There is the option of taking the time to shop lending models separately, but Marketplace makes it easy for you to search within specific lending models with the improved Basic Search function. So in essence, you can select which lending model you would like to search under and merge your lending model preferences.

If you have more questions about metered access titles or merging your lending model preferences please contact your Collection Development Specialist or contact us at collectionteam@overdrive.com.


Laura Guldeman is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.



New Whitepaper Advises Academic Publishers to Think Outside the Book

Photo courtesy of velositor,com

Photo courtesy of velositor,com

A new report, issued today by global publishing adviser Ixxus, aims to help academic publishers organize their move to a more digitally focused landscape. The sixteen-page whitepaper, called “Thinking Outside the Books: Reinventing Educational Publishing for the Digital Age” and accessible HERE, stems from ongoing relationships with some of the largest names in academic publishing, such as Pearson, Cambridge University Press, and Cengage Learning.

According to a statement by Steve Odart, CEO and co-founder of Ixxus, in a press release announcing the publication of the report, “This whitepaper visualizes some of the obstacles and challenges which educational publishers may find themselves facing in the transition towards digital. We’re seeing more and more companies moving towards digital-first strategies, but often they don’t realize that this means changing their entire organizational mind-set and thinking about content in a completely different way.”

Some of the most important data in the report addresses the speed with which digital publishing is having an impact on educational markets, the transition from creating whole textbooks to smaller content-based “chunks” of material, the impact of MOOCs on the digital textbook market, and more.

“The key factors which we see impacting on the digital textbook market and the educational publishing sector as a whole are the increasing speed of the move to digital as efficacy studies and technological advances enable take-up of suitable devices and solutions,’ said Kate Worlock, Lead Analyst for Education & Training at information analytics firm Outsell.

Academic publishers and educators alike have felt the frustration of having viable technology and device penetration available, but have faced slow adoption from some institutions, especially at the public school level.

New Whitepaper Advises Academic Publishers to Think Outside the Book is a post from: Good e-Reader

The MagPi – Kickstart the Volume 2 Binder for 432 pages of Pi goodness!

The MagPi magazine is the single thing to have come out of the Raspberry Pi community that I’m proudest of, in a sort of godmotherly way – we at the Raspberry Pi Foundation do not have any association with The MagPi besides thinking it’s the best thing since sliced maltloaf.

They’ve got a new Kickstarter running.

The MagPi is a monthly free download, full of projects, tutorials, reviews and interviews about the Raspberry Pi. The magazine is staffed entirely by volunteers, and it’s just entering its third year of publication. Last year, the MagPi team served up a Kickstarter to bring the magazine to print, which proved really successful: print copies go down especially well if you’re using the magazine for reference or working through the tutorials. That Kickstarter meant that you could get hold of all of the first year’s magazine in a print version, with a handsome binder to put everything in. We have a couple of the first year’s binders filled with magazines in the office: the Pi Towers team finds the MagPi a really useful resource.

Many people have asked for another binder for the second year’s print copies, having accumulated a heap of them at home. So Team MagPi are running a short-duration Kickstarter to fund manufacture of a binder for Vol 2 (i.e. every edition of The MagPi that came out in 2013). They’re keeping it to a two-week funding run because financing a binder costs them much less than last year’s bid to pay for printing what had been a virtual magazine. You can pledge at different levels, so you can fund anything from a sticker, an empty Vol 2 binder for yourself, a Vol 2 binder with all of last year’s magazines inside, or both volumes – complete, of course, with binders.

The MagPi team don’t make a penny for themselves out of this: the project has always been run on a strictly voluntary basis, and it amazes us to see how the magazine continues to evolve, given that it’s run on a shoestring. They say:

Any extra funding will be used to fund the ongoing costs of producing The MagPi, plus it will allow us to explore other ways of expanding the availability of the magazine, introduce other types of content, and translations to other languages. Any profits after that will be invested into future print runs and the Raspberry Pi community.

You can back this project by clicking here, or on any of the images in this post. Good luck, MagPi people – it goes without saying, but we think you’re brilliant!


Daily Deals & Freebies – February 18 – Back in Action

Kindle Daily Deals Collateral Damage by H. Terrell Griffin The quiet beauty of Longboat Key is shattered when a young groom is shot to death on the beach the day after his wedding. His father is an old army buddy of Matt Royal, and Matt tries to soften the anguish of his friend by finding […]

Recorded Books and Zinio Double Down on Libraries


Recorded Books started out in 1979, heavily investing themselves into the library space. They currently have a catalog of 13,500 audiobook titles that they market to libraries and retail customers. They also own a UK audiobook company which helps contribute further assets. Recently, the company was sold to Wasserstein & Co to help with the cash flow. Really, what this mean for the future of Zinio and Recorded Books?

Recorded Books helped digital magazine subscription service Zinio enter the library space. Zinio has really just focused on selling magazines directly to customers, but this is often a fickle business proposition. Recorded Books basically leveraged their existing base of library contacts to help market hundreds of magazines, in addition to their audiobooks and 100,000 eBooks, via the OneClickDigital platform.

The deal with Wasserstein was made to tap into a serious cashflow to help the company compete against Overdrive, 3M Cloud Library and Axis360. Recorded Books needed to refinance to expand their reach and help market their services. They sorely need it, as Overdrive has usurped their position in the marketplace by offering everything Recorded Books does, but providing a very slick UI and backend tools for libraries to manage and purchase collections.

In order for Recorded Books to be a viable business proposition going forward they will have to establish more relations with publishers to enhance their eBook catalog. During the last few months they got Random House as a partner and hope to woo the other publishers who deal with the competition. They also need to expand their distribution for movies and streaming video to market to libraries.

Recorded Books and key Zinio executives formed a relationship with IndieFlix, which is a subscription based video streaming service. It basically showcases documentaries and indie films, which is quite different from mainstream catalogs offered by Overdrive. Past and present employees of Zinio and Recorded Books sit on the board of directors at IndieFlix and hope to help their business grow and also get their videos into the Recorded Books platform.

Zinio is a company in a state of flux and the future looks uncertain. They used to do brisk business in the Apple App Store when the iPad originally came out. They remained in the top ten for a number of years until Apple launched their own Newsstand. Within a few years Amazon, Google, Apple, Rogers Media, Magzter and PressReader all started offering competitive digital magazine subscription platforms. Zinio has seen diminished market share because of this and now relies on Recorded Books to distribute their catalog of content to libraries and schools. In 2012, at the height of the downward trend, Zinio explored the option of selling itself, but decided to weather the storm.

Recorded Books in the near future will be able to offer libraries a very compelling package of content, that only Overdrive can match. They have audiobooks, eBooks and magazines. Video is the only thing they are missing, as well as a more intuitive set of tools that ties into libraries ILS systems. The much needed cash injection should keep them going into the near-future, but they really need to do some key things to stay profitable.

Recorded Books and Zinio Double Down on Libraries is a post from: Good e-Reader

Readium for Chrome Receives Major Upgrade


The Readium project originally started in 2012 and was originally billed to be an open source EPUB 3 engine. It is basically a set of reading tools for the development of iOS, Android and Chrome e-Reading apps. There are major players involved in the development of mobile and web-friendly SDK tools, such as Adobe, will be contributing a full-featured EPUB 3 rendering engine optimized for native apps on tablets and other mobile devices.

The IDPF owned Readium Project has released an upgrade for Chrome today, that dramatically enhances the UI. There is new settings that will allow you to change background to such options as “Vancouver Mist.” The scrolling feature to turn the pages have been suspended and now you have to use the left and right arrow keys to flip a page.

One of the big benefits about this reading app is that you can import ePub books from your local computer, from a zip file or from a link in the web. This is very useful for people who have Chromebooks and want to import books into the reader via Google Drive.

This reading app is quasi-ok with no big compelling features. It should only be used if you basically pirate books from the internet or are in development of ePub 3 books. The Kindle Cloud Reader, Kobo Cloud Reader and Overdrive Read are light years better than this app, which is sad, because its developed by the standardization body that is in charge of the evolution of ePub.

Readium for Chrome Receives Major Upgrade is a post from: Good e-Reader