Friday, May 16, 2014

Samsung Readers Hub Disbanded


Samsung is disbanding the Readers Hub that they have owned and operated since they started to seriously focus on Android tablets and smartphones. The South Korean company is suspending their relationship with PressReader and Zinio, two partners they have had since the beginning. Samsung is also closing down their own eBook store that they established in 2012 and relying on Amazon on their custom built Kindle Store, optimized for Samsung devices.

The Samsung Readers Hub was launched at IFA in Berlin Germany back in September of 2010. The essence of the service was to have Kobo, Zinio and PressReader preinstalled on all smartphones and tablets going forward. At the time, these apps were heavily customized to take advantage of specific screen sizes and resolution. It gave customers an all in one ecosystem to buy things right out of the box, instead of relying on Google Play to find the app of their choice.

In 2012 samsung decided to get into the book business themselves and severed ties with Canadian based Kobo. They talked with publishers and small presses and launched their own bookstore towards the end of the year. Their coming out party was at Book Expo America in 2013, where they met with even more publishers and bolstered their catalog to over 2.3 million titles. One of the drawbacks of the Samsung Bookstore is that it wasn’t available in all markets, nor all of Samsung’s devices. It failed to get traction because of poor locationation and mass market appeal.

In early 2014 Samsung made a bold move and partnered with Amazon. The Seattle based company made a custom app for Samsung to distribute on all future phones. In order to get people using the app right away on their new Galaxy S5, Amazon is giving away 15 free eBooks a year, from a predetermined list of 3 titles a month.

The Samsung Books Hub will officially close on July 1st 2014 and all new phones are being bundled with the Kindle app. If you have purchased books from Samsung in the past, you will lose them all. Currently there is no migration plan in the works and that is the price we all pay for licensing digital content, instead of owning it.

Samsung Readers Hub Disbanded is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top New Android Apps of the Week – May 16 2014


Disney, Hasbro and a number of major companies have all released new apps this week. We also have a brand new TitanFall companion app to assist you in your Pilot in dominating any gametype.

Yahoo News Digest – Yahoo News Digest provides a definitive summary of all the important, need-to-know news. Digests are delivered twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. All the top stories are summarized and presented with the key information that you need to stay on top of what's happening.

Transformers:Age Of Extinction – An artificial intelligence made from the spark of a Transformers bot has taken over your device. Discover clues about the upcoming Transformers: Age Of Extinction movie, view exclusive content and compete in a worldwide battle for the future of Earth. Watch movie trailers and interviews for the Transformers: Age Of Extinction movie while checking out character bios and meeting the newest bots. Download the Transformers: AGE OF EXTINCTION Movie app now to complete missions and earn Energon points to help your side claim victory.

Maleficent Free Fall – From the creators of Disney's #1 hit game Frozen Free Fall comes an all-new match 3 puzzle-adventure, Maleficent Free Fall! Inspired by Disney's epic live-action film Maleficent, you'll embark on a spectacular journey with exciting and challenging objectives like you have never seen before!

Titanfall Companion App – Enhance your Titanfall experience with the Titanfall Companion App. Provides you with notifications for all of the latest info and updates to Titanfall. Features rich intel about the history of the Titanfall universe, characters, weapons, maps, modes and controls. Now review your stats from anywhere including total kills, favorite weapons, time spent playing and more. Includes exciting features available when connected with your Xbox One Console. With the second-screen map feature, you have at your fingertips a full screen, real-time interactive mini-map of the game you're playing. See and track your teammates and where the action is happening live and with the ability to zoom in and out to focus on key areas of the map. Use a filter feature to access additional map information that cannot be accessed anywhere else, giving you an advantage in game. View the live scoreboard that updates in real-time as the game progresses. With Titanfall Companion App, you will have the ultimate Titanfall experience.

EasilyDo Smart Assistant – EasilyDo is an app that organizes and notifies you of what matters so that you can stay on top of things. Less work, less worry, and more time for you. Recommended on the Katie Couric Show, NBC's Today Show by Randi Zuckerberg, and featured by Apple on the iTunes home page! Critically acclaimed by Time, WSJ, Good Housekeeping, Lifehacker, TechCrunch, PC Magazine, Forbes, Reuters, AllThingsD, Fast Company, GigaOM, Computerworld, The Next Web, TMCnet, PandoDaily and more.

Duck Dynasty Slots – Relive your favorite Duck Dynasty moments: hunt with Willie, cook with Miss Kay, fight back against the beavers, join a redneck wedding, and travel to Hawaii with the Robertson clan!

Creatures of Olympus – Game will help you imagine yourself in Ancient Greece. Build habitats and raise legendary creatures, breed new hybrids with cross-type breeding. Grow food in farms and feed your creatures. Decorate your town with great fountains, flowers and buildings. Optimize your economy to maximize your earnings.

LandGrabbers – GET YOUR WARFARE ON AND PASS YOUR WAY THROUGH 36 LEVELS IN 4 DISTINCTIVE LOCATIONS. Travel through Middle Ages, take part in the Crusades, conquer castles and towers, upgrade your army and become a legendary military leader as you advance your troops in medieval warfare.

Ace Tales – Embark on an epic Atlantic adventure with hero dog Ace and Doc O'Hare. This game will surprise you with stunning graphics, great game play and action moments.

Yahoo Mail – Not a new app, but one with a huge update. Has Yahoo Weather, Sports and a number of other critical Yahoo services built into their seminal mail app.

Top New Android Apps of the Week – May 16 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

PressReader iOS App Updated with New Interface and Top Stories


The largest digital newspaper distributor PressReader has just updated their flagship app for the iPad and iPhone. The new update brings hundreds of top stories that you can read for free without having to to subscribe. The interface has also been redesigned with a swipeable carousel filled with popular titles based on your country and easy access to digital magazines.

PressReader used to be known as NewsPaperDirect and recently underwent a dramatic rebranding process. The company has been investing a copious amount of time and energy on their web-presence and now we are starting to see their line of apps getting new functionality. PressReader have always put an emphasis on newspapers, but with their app update they have magazines right on the home screen now. They currently have over 600 domestic and international editions to subscribe to and over 2000 newspapers from every major country in the world.

The new app is very intuitive and gives users three full downloads of any newspaper they want to checkout. Unlike most newspapers you find online in the Amazon App Store or the Apple Newsstand, PressReader gives you a full replica edition. This insures that you will have local advertisements, classifieds and a preserved layout that is true to the physical copy. When you open a title you can click on the headlines and get a very e-reader friendly version of the story. You can enhance the size of the font or change it entirely, which appeals to people who have vision problems.


The new Home Feed allows readers to select the country they want to pull major news stories from and customize their own experience. It automatically detect your geographic location but you can manually select most countries. The content is pulled from important publications such as the New York Times, Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, The Telegraph and many more. One of the things I like about it, is the international flavor in the featured news items.

By default, the news service pulls all sorts of stories from the thousands of newspapers in which the articles derive. You can refine your tastes and just look at Business, Entertainment, Sports, Editorial, and Readers Choice.

I think this app update has been a longtime in the making. Seldom when you download an update on iOS do you expect a totally new unique experience. Every aspect of the UI has been tweaked and there are a ton of free content now to check out.

PressReader iOS App Updated with New Interface and Top Stories is a post from: Good e-Reader

Chipotle Cups and Takeout Bags Adorned with Quality Litterature


Chipotle is one of the best chain restaurants in the US that focuses on gourmet Mexican food, such as burritos. The company has taken the unusual step to distinguish themselves from the competition by adorning their disposable cups and takeout bags with short stories by Jonathan Safran Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Lewis.

Jonathan Safran Foer came up with the idea of having something interesting to read on his cup or bag when he was hanging out in a Chipotle restaurant and had nothing to read. He neglected to bring in a magazine and did not own a smartphone. He had met Steve Ells, the CEO of the foodchain a few years ago and pinged him on an email. He mentioned that “I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text,'" Foer recalled. "And unlike McDonald's, it's not like they’re selling their surfaces to the highest bidder. They had nothing on their bags. So I said, 'Wouldn’t it be cool to just put some interesting stuff on it? Get really high-quality writers of different kinds, creating texts of different kinds that you just give to your customers as a service."

Steve liked the idea and went all in, commissioning a series of short stories, accompanied by pictures. Everything on the cup was done by the author and took a few days to get the story out there and something visually arresting.  Jon said in an interview with Vanity Fair that ” 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds now have access to good writing. A lot of those people don't have access to libraries, or bookstores. Something felt very democratic and good about this."

Chipotle Cups and Takeout Bags Adorned with Quality Litterature is a post from: Good e-Reader

Publisher Terms: Amazon Behaving Badly, or Business As Usual?

News came out last week that Amazon is butting heads with one of the Big Five publishers, Hachette Book Group, over contract terms. In true “I’m bigger than you, so I can” fashion, Amazon has imposed lengthy delays on the shipment of some of Hachette’s titles, almost amounting to refusing to sell them at all. In an even more nefarious approach, Amazon is even suggesting alternate purchases that its customers can enjoy while they wait for Hachette titles to suddenly become available again.

Of course, public perception within the book industry is one of pure outrage as shouts of, “The evil empire strikes again,” circulate through social media and articles. But what many people fail to associate is the connection that Amazon’s current practices in this matter not only have a long-standing history within bookselling, but also closely mirror the exact scenario that has taken place between major book retailers or small independent shops and publishers in the recent past.

Amazon didn’t become the dominant force in international bookselling and publishing by playing nice, a fact that seems to continue to surprise people who have cried foul. What does continue to be shocking is that a better system has not been implemented; for as long as publishers and a small core group of authors have been complaining about Amazon’s practices (while selling their books quite happily through the retailer, of course), it should be logical that someone would have instituted something new. But efforts to build publisher-branded online bookshops fizzled out as most customers don’t think in terms of who published the book, they instead rely on a powerful search algorithm to often even tell them who wrote the book or what its exact title was.

Of course, the authors whose books are impacted are being pulled in two as the grown-ups fight. Some have taken to their own social media to rant or plead, while critics fear that Hachette will cave to Amazon’s terms simply because their authors beg them to. What actually stands to happen is these authors may take a serious look at their future publishing plans; if this kind of contract brawl interferes too greatly with their livelihoods, authors–especially those with a strong enough fan base that they don’t fear a loss in discovery or sales–may decide that their publishers have outlived their usefulness.

Publisher Terms: Amazon Behaving Badly, or Business As Usual? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Time for summer reading!

It’s that time of the year again. The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and yet there is still so much to do!

Is picking out some summer reading titles for your students on your to-do list? If so, we're here to help. Below you will find two lists that will hopefully aid you in selecting your summer reading titles:


Summer Reading – New Titles

Summer Reading – Classic Titles


If you would like more suggestions, your Collection Development Specialist is always available to help create custom lists. Email for more information today.

*Some titles may have limited regional or platform availability.


OTTO: A hackable camera powered by Raspberry Pi

One of our goals in launching the Raspberry Pi Compute Module was to provide people with a way to take products they’ve prototyped with the Raspberry Pi and bring them to market quickly and easily. We know that historically there have been a lot of people out there with great ideas for electronic products that they can’t afford to produce economically, even with the help of crowdfunding, so we were very pleased to hear from Dave Rauchwerk and friends about their Kickstarter campaign for a hackable point-and-shoot camera based on the Compute Module.

OTTO and compute module

OTTO and compute module

We can’t wait to see how this one turns out, and hope it’s the first of many appearances of the Compute Module on Kickstarter.

Apple Unveils Promo Codes for in-app Purchases


Apple has unveiled new functionality for all apps in their App Store. Developers now have the option to offer promo codes to unlock all fremnium content within their apps. This is a boon for game testers or the media to give an accurate review of all the ingame content.

Promotional codes have been available for quite awhile. In the past, they were only relevant to downloading a paid app for free. This prevented companies like Zinio or PressReader from giving away free digital magazines or newspapers as part of a promotion.

This new feature is not available yet to all developers and Apple has not updated their main portal yet with all of the latest information. The big app developers have been the first ones to get early access, as evident in the Electronic Arts game Real Racing 3. The company is currently offering a promotion to get 10 gold, worth $1.99, for free.

Games that offer microtransactions like Simpsons Tapped Out or Clash of Clans stand the most to gain. They constantly run television commercials that would allow them to give in-game currency away for free and evaluate if their campaign was successful. I think eBook, newspaper and magazine companies stand to gain the most. Being able to give a few things away for free is a compelling value proposition. For example, there is a ton of companies out there that do the whole Netflix for eBooks or Netflix for magazines, a good way to distinguish yourself is to give away free content. These new promotional codes are a boon for the publishing industry.

Apple Unveils Promo Codes for in-app Purchases is a post from: Good e-Reader

Where to Buy the Sony 13.3 inch Digital Paper e-Reader


The Sony Digital Paper is a masterful product by Sony and in traditional fashion the best gadgets out there are hard to find.  One of the downsides about Sonys North American distribution strategy is to not sell the product themselves, but relying on very specialist companies to peddle it for them.

There are only two official companies in the entire US that sells the Sony Digital Paper e-reader. The best one is Ease Entertainment, a company that works in the film and production industry. There is no online shopping cart to add the product, instead you have to fill out an entry form to get them to call you back. A number of friends purchased from them for $1,216.13, which included shipping. Word has it, they only have 20 left in stock, so I would order one post haste.

The second company to offer the Digital Paper is Worldox, whom is specialized at software aimed at legal professionals. This company is a nightmare to deal with, as they will not sell individual units to customers and won’t sell bulk units to businesses unless you subscribe to their FileCloud service at $150 a year.

If you don’t want to deal with any of these companies Amazon has just started selling it a few days ago. The price is $1348.71 and is not eligible for Amazon Prime discounted shipping.

The Sony Digital Paper is the best PDF Reader in existence. It uses e-Paper technology developed by Sony and e Ink directly, the main selling point is the lightweight nature. It doesn’t do much other than read PDF files, but it has tremendous functionality to make highlights, annotations and save your edited PDF files as autonomous documents.

Where to Buy the Sony 13.3 inch Digital Paper e-Reader is a post from: Good e-Reader