Friday, May 1, 2015

Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 Brings Toys to Life on Android


Digital toys are everywhere now, not the least of which belong to Disney Infinity and their collection of RFID-enabled figurines from many of their famed franchises (including the Avengers, Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Brave, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Monsters Inc). Nearly every gaming platform is supported by Disney Infinity, with Android finally present and accounted for on that list!

The more statues you collect (which unfortunately have to be added to your account using your PC or gaming console), the more you can do within the app –but even if you haven’t picked up any of the toys, you can still have some fun with the mobile app (Disney starts you off with three in-app characters for free, which rotate often as you play).

Want to get started creating your own customized Disney experience (based on your own imagination –some describe it as a commercialized version of Minecraft)? If you have a hefty 3.4GB of space free on your Android device, you should download Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 now –the game itself is free, but be warned there are plenty of ways to spend money in-app.

Watch the official Disney Infinity Android game trailer below:

Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 Brings Toys to Life on Android is a post from: Good e-Reader

Apple Gives Developers Early Access to App Analytics Service


It’s nearing conference season for the biggest players in the mobile game, not the least of which is Apple and the WWDC coming up in June. Ahead of that event, Apple has sent a notice to developers that invites them to join a beta program for their new App Analytics service.

This news is not entirely surprising: free analytics for developers were hinted at during the last WWDC in 2014. That said, it may be somewhat of a concern for leading competitors in this field (think Flurry and App Annie), but it seems likely there will still be a place for non-bias, third-party options –though Apple will be able to factor mobile download and engagement data into their statistics, the details of which are not currently available to others outside the fold.

The invitation included all of the details currently known about the new service:

You're invited to sign up for the beta of App Analytics.

Be among the first to get insight into how your app is performing. You won't need any additional code or app updates, and there's no extra cost.

You'll be able to:

See how often customers visit your app's page on the App Store
Find out how many of your users open your app over time
Check your app and In-App Purchase sales
Create custom campaign links and follow the success of your marketing campaigns
Understand which websites refer the most users
We're offering access to the App Analytics beta on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up below and we'll send you an email as soon as it's ready for you.

If you qualify and happened to miss out on the notice, you can still sign up through the iTunes Connect developer portal using the direct link:

Apple Gives Developers Early Access to App Analytics Service is a post from: Good e-Reader

US Government Plan to Give Away Free e-Books to Low Income Kids is Flawed


The US government is planning on implementing a program that will see $250 million to give kids access to over 10,000 e-book titles. The New York Public library is creating a dedicated app that will allow disadvantaged children to have unfettered access. The program sounds good on paper, but is deeply flawed.

There is currently some large riots happening in Baltimore and President Obama spoke at a library in a poor neighborhood.  He said “If we think that we’re just going to send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there without, as a nation and as a society, saying, ‘What can we do to change those communities, to help lift up those communities and give those kids opportunity,’ then we’re not going to solve this problem.”

On paper, giving poor kids access to e-books from major publishers and technical documents sounds great. The truth of the matter is that census data indicates that many lower-income households don’t have mobile devices or access to broadband internet. This will result in the vast majority of kids not even getting access or even knowing the program exists.

The winners of the $250 million dollars will be the New York Public Library, which is receiving a large chunk of cash to make the low-income reading app. Publishers who commit to having their titles in the system will likely get large payouts too. Ditto with Firstbook who will do the distribution.

I think this program could have more success if they invested in a hundred thousand older e-readers and loaded fiction, non-fiction and technical documents to help foster a viable career. There is a stark contrast in making content available and actually putting hardware in peoples hands.

US Government Plan to Give Away Free e-Books to Low Income Kids is Flawed is a post from: Good e-Reader

Get Ready to Celebrate Bookstores this Weekend

In all of the attention given to Amazon and its fights with various companies, ebooks and their digital benefits, publishing and the revolution of indies, it’s easy to forget to take notice of some of the most important and dynamic players in the industry: the local bookstores.

These bookshops, mostly independently owned as a labor of love and not a retirement investment, are often single-handedly fighting the war against lack of book access, barriers to publication, and the breakdown of communities. Whether it’s through local author events, story hours for children, summer reading incentives, publishing how-to classes, or even just being that source of regional history and community awareness, bookstores are vital to the overall health of our communities.

And May 2nd is the day to show your appreciation!

Ideally, you’re shopping in indie bookstores throughout the year, not just one commemorative day, but it’s fun to think of May 2nd–Independent Bookstore Day–as the Black Friday of books and booksellers, the day when the traffic to their stores can let them rest a little easier financially, at least for the rest of the month. And never fear if you’ve become a die-hard digital fan since the day your first Kindle arrived…many indie bookstores have affiliate agreements to sell ebooks and e-readers, as well as ways you can take advantage of other in-store offers.

This event was actually begun last year in California, and focused on the shops in that state. The rousing success, though, has led to a nationwide movement to celebrate all the good that indie bookstores do. Booksellers have been able to order specially priced editions to sell in their shops tomorrow, and publishers were invited to put together unique items from their stables of authors to show customers how important they are to the process.

For a look at some specific stores and the events and offers they’ll host, click HERE.

Get Ready to Celebrate Bookstores this Weekend is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle Voyage Finally Arrives in Australia

You wouldn’t know it by visiting Amazon’s Australian Kindle Store, but the Kindle Voyage is now available in Australia. Amazon’s authorized Kindle retailer in Australia, Dick Smith, is now selling the Kindle Voyage for $299. They also have Amazon’s official Origami cover/stand for $74.95. Currently only the Wi-Fi model is being offered; the model with […]

MagPi issue 33 – out now!

I can’t believe we’re on our third issue of the new MagPi already. Your free Raspberry Pi magazine is ready to download here. This month’s magazine is a doozy, with 70 pages of tutorials, some incredible projects to build, reviews, and much, much more.


One feature in this month’s magazine has me jumping up and down like a schoolgirl (bear with me here; we did trampolining at school).  Mike Cook is an electronics wizard extraordinaire and an absolute childhood hero of mine thanks to his regular Body Building column in Micro User Magazine. Mike has joined the MagPi team to start a new column called Mike’s Pi Bakery, where, just like in the good old days, he’ll be creating little electronic projects which will be well within the grasp of beginners. This month he’ll show you how to make an interactive PiGlow reaction game, for which you’ll be building your own controller. I had the good fortune to get to hog a lot of Mike’s time at our 3rd birthday party in February, where he taught me a great deal about why specific blues are less easy to recall than specific reds; about different generations of LEGO motors; and that I have a pathetically limp wrist when it comes to dealing with ketchup bottles with attached accelerometers.

There are more amazing Minecraft tips and tricks from Martin O’Hanlon; an interview with one of my favourite people in UK computing (who? You’ll have to download the magazine to find out); a super-test of four popular Raspberry Pi desktops; a competition to win £200 of PiBorg goodies; and much, much more – like this magic retro gaming glove.


As always, the magazine is completely free to download. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it!

6th Season of Hetalia Available this July


The sixth season of Hetalia is coming this July, after not having a new episode since February of 2014.

Fans of the anime will be delighted to hear the same voice cast returning, along with the same gorgeous new art style used by the fifth season, The Beautiful World. Following along the style of naming, the sixth season is titled The World Twinkle. Along with a teaser, Hetalia has also teased us with the new theme song, Hetalia Jet.

Although we won't know what all the episodes will be about just yet, the anime will be adapting from volumes 5 and 6 of the manga. Some of the comics involved include the Micronations, the Nordics, and Nekotalia – the gender-inverted alternate universe not unlike Adventure Time's 'Fionna & Cake.'

Hetalia began as a webmanga by Hidekaz Himaruya, and has grown into something of a phenomenon. There's not much of a story to it – the countries of the world are anthropomorphized hot guys (and occasionally hot girls) who interact with each other in little snippets throughout the course of history. Although serious every once in a while, the series is a comedy and chooses to portray subject matter in the most light-hearted manner possible. The human countries are made to possess as many stereotypes as they can, from the cowardly Italy to 'heroic' America, to the lecherous wine-drinking France.

All previous seasons of Hetalia have been available on Funimation, so it only goes to assume that The World Twinkle will be as well. If you've not yet seen what all the fuss is about, check it out here! And take some advice: Funimation's English dub of Hetalia is spot on. The accents, the dark humour, the great slogans like 'Make Pasta, Not War' makes it all worth a watch.

Have a look at the teaser below!

6th Season of Hetalia Available this July is a post from: Good e-Reader