Friday, August 22, 2014

Boyue T61 e-reader Now Available in China


We have seen a massive new movement in e-reader operating systems in 2014, with the advent of open Android. This is a concept where instead of locking you down to a specific ecosystem and custom UI, we are now seeing the equivalent of a pure vanilla Android experience. Onyx and Icarus have both released numerous models and now Boyue is entering the fray with their Boyue T61 e-reader.

The Boyue T61 features a six inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024×758. It has a sunken screen, instead of one flush with the bezel, which provides the illusion it is using Neonode IR technology. This e-reader uses a fairly solid front-lit display, which will allow readers to easily view eBooks while in the dark.

Underneath the hood is a A9 1Ghz Dual Core processor with 512MB of RAM. There is 4GB of internal storage with the option to increase it up to 32GB via the MicroSD card.

Android 4.2.2 Jellybean is the main attraction and users can load in their own apps. There is no built in app store, so you will need some sort of technical knowledge in order to sideload in your own.

The T61 is basically the exact same as the Icarus Illumina T68, they both use the same hardware shell and internal components. The software is quite different though, as Icarus has a slew of reading apps right out of the box and will be adopting a e-ink based app store soon.

This is an e-reader that is primarily available in China, international users might be able to buy them from eBay, or 3rd party markets.

Boyue T61 e-reader Now Available in China is a post from: Good e-Reader

How PDF Editing Works on the Microsoft Surface 3 and Sony DPT-S1

dpt-s1 and microsoft surrface 3

Consumers and business customers often find themselves relying on PDF files in order to view and edit documents. We live in a world of Kindle Books, Nook Books and proprietary formats, but PDF’s have been the longest lived format in the digital space. Sony made the Digital Paper (DPT-S1) with the sole intention of reading and editing PDF files, while Microsoft baked the functionality into Onenote and Microsoft Reader. Today, we look at the core PDF viewing and editing experience on these two devices.

These devices have a fair amount in common, such as screen size and cost. When it comes down to it, the Surface is reliant on 3rd party apps to get the job done, and this tablet was not designed just to view or edit documents. Instead, it is a multipurpose gadget, fully capable of being your replacement PC. You will find your battery life being drained the more programs you install and the number of background processes that are running.

The Sony Digital Paper is using e-Ink Mobius, which does not draw power if you have a static image on the screen, which you are not interacting with. This gives you a solid month or TWO of battery life, which will certainly not make you a wallhugger.

The video below documents the different ways these two devices get the job done in viewing and editing PDF files. We show you the pressure sensitive pen with the Surface and the Stylus with the Sony. Onenote, Adobe Acrobat X and Microsoft Reader are the three programs on the Surface we pit head to head against the DPT-S1

How PDF Editing Works on the Microsoft Surface 3 and Sony DPT-S1 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Have e-Readers been Superseded by Multifunction Tablets and Smartphones?


In the last four years we have seen the entire publishing industry embrace eBooks. In 2013, Nielsen's Books & Consumers survey shows that among U.S. buyers of adult fiction and nonfiction, 25% of book buyers bought an eBook and 31% of new books purchased in adult fiction and nonfiction were eBooks. e-Readers have traditionally been the best way to read these titles, because of the long battery life they provide and the lack of eyestrain due to e-paper. Sadly, it seems that the general public does not seem as enamoured anymore with these core benefits and new research points to the mass adoption of multifunctional tablets and smartphones.

Forrester’s World eReader and eBook Forecast reported in June that just five years after Amazon released the original Kindle, more than 25 million people in the US owned e-readers in 2012. But that figure is set to decline to seven million users by the end of 2017.

The seismic shift from e-readers to smartphones and tablets are seen by some to be a natural evolution of the technology cycle. Like the PDA, the digital camera and the iPod, it was once the hottest gadget around, but have now been given way to large screen tablets and high powered smartphones.

Amazon currently leads the charge in the eBook space and sells the most e-readers globally. Modern research points to them controlling 75% of the US eBook market and 79% in the UK. It did the smart thing in the companies transition from selling print books, to selling eBooks. The Kindle managed to appeal to the voracious reader, who saw the transition of book to e-book as a progression.

The most recent data from IDC shows that for Q3 of 2013 Android made up 81% of devices shipped. You read that right—four out of every five smartphones shipped in Q3 were built on Android. Meanwhile, Apple's iOS scraped by with a sad and distant second place figure of only 12.9 percent. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo are starting to all see more users employ their apps to buy and read books, than the dedicated readers. All of these companies apps are normally much easier to navigate than their hardware.

Amazon saw the writing on the wall early on and have successfully marketed their line of Kindle Fire tablets to younger users. These are the type that casually read, but normally use the device for music, movies, social media and playing games.  In 2014 the Seattle based company tapped into two new verticals, with the advent of the Fire TV and Fire Phone.  The problem the company faces is how do you transition the older readers to embrace the new technology?

Barnes and Noble and Kobo are two major players in the digital book space and in recent years have been slowly producing more tablets than dedicated e-readers. B&N recently unveiled the brand new Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook, and they continue to market the Nook HD and HD+. The only e-reader in their modern portfolio is the Nook Glowlight, released last year. Kobo primarily markets their e-readers via international markets and has created a huge demand for their legacy e-readers, such as the Kobo WIFI, Kobo Glo and  Kobo Touch. They still sell the Kobo Aura and Aura HD, but their latest offerings are 3 tablets, all released last year.

Forrester may be proclaiming that the age of e-readers is nearly over and more users have been embracing tablets, but other research is not completely counting them out. Pew Research reported that during the 2013 holiday season the rate of tablet ownership rose to 42% of American adults, up 8%  from September. Ownership of e-book reading devices like Kindles or Nooks similarly increased to 32% as of January 2014. Some 50% of adults now own at least one of these devices.

Wrap up

At Good e-Reader we have been chronicling the e-reader industry since 2008 and often talk with e-Ink, Freescale, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and a host of European companies, both on and off the record. It is quite evident that the race to the bottom, in terms of price, is still generating strong sales with e-readers. The main problem, is that the core e-reading technology is fairly static and has not really offered a compelling enough reason for people to upgrade their units. Every year, processing power, resolution and app ecosystems get stronger in tablets and phones. It is quite normal to see someone with a three year old e-reader, but seeing someone with an old Nokia flip phone or  Blackberry Bold will incur scorn.

Have e-Readers been Superseded by Multifunction Tablets and Smartphones? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Streaming video must-haves

streamingvideomusthavesHas your library opted in to the wonderful world of OverDrive streaming video yet? If not, now is the time! Our catalog of titles is expanding rapidly with new feature films, TV Series, documentaries, educational programming and much more.

Already have streaming video at your site? We are adding great new content on a daily basis so be sure to check Marketplace often.

To keep up with demand and to help make your Marketplace shopping effortless, we have created a curated a list of our favorite streaming video titles that feature the fresh, popular, in-demand titles that your patrons are sure to love. When you click the link below, they will show up as a Marketplace search result and you'll be able to easily add them to a cart.

Streaming Video Must Haves


Have questions about streaming video content? Please let us know and we'll be happy to help!

*Geographical rights may vary by title.


Rachel Kray is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.

Layer Cam: the lensless tourist camera in a lunchbox

Have you ever noticed the way that everybody takes the same photo when doing the tourist thing? Just look at Google: there are a million pictures of people punting past King’s College Chapel in Cambridge out there, all taken at the same angle, from the same position – and they’re all online. So why do we (and I’m just as guilty of this as everybody else) spend precious time taking pictures of something that somebody’s almost certainly taken a better photo of already?

SaladeTomateOignon in Paris, another photogenic city, has noticed the same thing.

He says:

28 million people visit Paris every year, taking dozens of pictures each. Every building, every statue has been captured, under every sky and every light.

Because billions of pictures of the Eiffel tower have been taken, I am sure that you can find matching cloud patterns in dozen of them, even if taken years apart.

Pictures have been taken with simple pin-hole camera, smartphones or with the most complex and expensive large format silver film camera or DSLR, and lots of them are now online.

On the Internet, those photographies are sprinkled over the city, with some areas densely covered, and other more sparsely. Each website is like a stratum of pictures of every kind: postcards, paintings, photos, satellite images…

Layer cam is a project to tap into those layers, like a drill extracting a core sample of images.

Based on a Raspberry Pi, connected to the Internet through wifi and geolocalized by a GPS chip, Layer cam runs with Python code (mostly made from bits of code I found here (Martin O'Hanlon) and there (disasterjs) and taps into Panoramio API. The 'Layer cam' logo has been designed by Alice.

We love this project. It’s just the right amount of pointless, it’s in a Tupperware box, Paris is beautiful, and it made us smile. You can find out how to build your own at saladtomateoignon, with code and physical build instructions (which involve rubber bands and duct tape, like the very best of projects).

Microsoft Surface PRO 3 vs Sony Digital Paper (DPT-S1)


The Microsoft Surface PRO 3 and the Sony Digital Paper were designed to be interacted with via a stylus. These two companies employ very different technologies to get users creating and editing PDF documents. Today, we compare the drawing feature and see exactly what makes these two devices unique.

Microsoft Surface PRO 3 vs Sony Digital Paper (DPT-S1) is a post from: Good e-Reader