Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is the Kobo Glo HD Worth the Upgrade?

Kobo Glo HD - Hardware

E-Readers are for the most part, immune to the same sort of upgrade cycle we see with smartphones and tablets. The amount of RAM, processor and internal storage are fairly consistent and not much innovation is happening in the e-reader world. This leaves software and resolution as the main reasons why upgrading is worth it. Today, we ask the question, is the upcoming Kobo Glo HD a must buy?

The brand new Kobo Glo HD features a six inch e-ink Carta screen with a resolution of 1448×1072 and 300 PPI. The screen is powered by infrared touch, which means you cannot pinch and zoom, it only registers single presses. This is very much akin to the same technology found on the Kobo H2O, whereas the Kobo Aura has a capacitive multitouch display.

Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ processor and 4 GB of internal storage. When you take the e-reader out of the box for the first time you only have 3.1 GB of memory, primarily because the OS  takes up a fair amount of space.   In the past, the lack of memory could be offset by inserting an SD card, but for some reason Kobo decided to forgo it in this model.

Most people who own Kobo e-readers have older models, such as the 1st generation Glo which came out in 2012, or maybe even the Kobo Touch that was issued in 2011. Both of these devices only have a resolution of 1024 x 758 and an older e-paper screen.  They both employ E Ink Pearl, which is  more susceptible to ghosting and slower page turns.  The new Kobo Glo HD, uses an e-ink Carta screen, which is what the Kindle Voyage employs.

Is the Glo HD worth upgrading if you have an H2O or Kobo Aura? This becomes a bit trickier to answer because the Glo HD is considered an entry level device. The H2O is waterproof and can be relied on to read anywhere, at anytime. The Aura is better with PDF files, because you can pinch and zoom. This also is useful if you are browsing the internet.

The Glo HD is worth upgrading to if you own any model issued before 2012. It simply has a better user experience and is amazing with its high-definition screen. This is tremendously useful if you are reading like crazy and staring at the screen for hours at a time.

Do you like to watch videos? Below is our comparison of the Kobo Glo HD vs the Kobo Aura, Kobo H2O, Kindle Voyage and our review/unboxing.

Is the Kobo Glo HD Worth the Upgrade? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Gillian Anderson to Pen New Title, WE

Fans of the old X-Files television show got a much-needed surprise when Fox announced it was bringing back the series. Not only that, instead of a reboot or some futuristic attempt at relaunching the series with younger, hipper actors, the original stars are back and by all accounts, the show will simply pick up where it left off.

In the meantime, actress Gillian Anderson, who played Agent Dana Scully on the show, has kept busy with other projects. One particular project is a forthcoming book, WE, penned with co-author Jennifer Nadel, a Green Party candidate, activist, and journalist. WE will focus on women’s issues, but unlike other books in the feminist self-help genre, this one will be inclusive of anyone who even identifies as a woman and speak to a broad range of high-interest topics.

This isn’t Anderson’s first effort at publishing; she has a previously c0-written title with Jeff Rovin, A Vision of Fire (The Earthend Saga Book #1), that was met with mediocre consumer reviews. The most common gripe is that the book is basically a revamping of the same investigative and relationship angst that Anderson portrayed in X-Files. Much like the character she portrayed on the screen, the main character of the book is a constant skeptic when it comes to the very strange things happening right in front of her, though nothing as unfortunate as Scully actually being impregnated by an alien and then still somehow refusing to believe in the crazy theories her partner Mulder laid out.

Not much else is known about WE at this stage, other than the fortuitous timing of the publication date, March 8, 2016, a day which coincides each year with International Women’s Day.

Gillian Anderson to Pen New Title, WE is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle Writeon is Destined to Fail


Amazon Kindle Writeon is a community where writers share their works in progress and solicit feedback from people on story direction, editing and fact checking. The service publicly launched at the beginning of March and was in beta for numerous months. How is Writeon doing? Sadly, its failing in the marketplace because its trying to compete against Wattpad and that’s where all of the readers are.

When Writeon was in beta last year, Amazon tried to kickstart the community by trying to leverage the Kindle forums to get the party started. The unilateral consensus amount the users was overwhelming negative. They saw Amazon as tried to get people to be unpaid editors for shabby indie e-books.

Kindle Writeon is a barren wasteland full of books with little to no comments or feedback. On the very frontpage the average title has six people actively participating in a conversation, most of them is from the author themselves.

Amazon originally launched Writeon to compete with Wattpad, who is the undisputed market leader. Readers spend 9 billion minutes on Wattpad every month and more than 500 writers have published pieces that have been read more than a million times. There are over 70 million stories, in 50 languages, on the site. They have offical apps for Android, iOS and any major internet browser. The Toronto-based company has received over $67 million in funding from Khosla Ventures, Union Square Ventures, OMERS Ventures, W Media Ventures, and Golden Venture Partners, and has attracted such famous authors as Margaret Atwood.

I think the big problem Amazon is facing is trying to compete against all of companies that they do not own and they are doing it poorly. An example of Amazons flawed attack strategy is summed up with Kindle Worlds. This was their attempt at sanctioned fan-fiction, that had publisher support and major intellectual properties attached, such as HASBRO and properties such as Pretty Little Liars. The problem is, hardly any books are being posted and not many users are buying in. posts 100 new stories every hour across all categories. And Amazon? Its entire output for all 24 "Worlds" of content, which also includes franchises like Gossip Girland Vampire Diaries, was just 538 stories over the course of more than a year.

What other doomed service was Amazon Kindle Unlimited. No publisher in their right mind would throw their support behind Amazon, who they already view as too powerful. Instead, they are throwing down with Entitle, Oyster and Scribd. Not only can you borrow e-books, but in some cases you can borrow audiobooks. Amazon has not announced any specific figures, but they never hype the service to the media anymore or issue press releases. This is very telling because the Seattle company loves to be in the limelight with the most mundane of stories they try and feed journalists.

How can Writeon be saved? I have some ideas. Since most of the e-books that are featured on the site are in progress and not completed yet, they do not have an ASIN number, which is the equilivant of an ISBN. I would automatically have this number assigned to all books in progress and tie it into GoodReads. This way Amazon could leverage their large social book community to draw hype to these titles. You can get the buzz going and build synergy between Goodreads and Writeon. I would also make a dedicated Writeon app for Android and iOS in order to have the service to get featured on the App Store or Google Play. Just having the Writeon number interjected against the competition would give mobile users a chance to contribute on the go.

Sadly, I don’t think Amazon will do any of these things. I have heard from internal sources that Writeon does not have much support within the company and is treated like the runt of a puppy litter.

Kindle Writeon is Destined to Fail is a post from: Good e-Reader