Thursday, May 28, 2015

Onyx Boox i86 with Frontlight Pre-Orders

The Onyx Boox i86 is an 8-inch ebook reader with a high resolution E Ink screen that runs open Android and includes a boatload of features. The Boox i86 has been encumbered by a number of delays. An early model without a frontlight recently became available, and now finally the i86 with frontlight is officially […]

Amazon Starts Marketing a Kindle e-Reader Bundle for Kids


Amazon is experimenting with bundling by offering the Kindle Basic Touch with a kid friendly case and two year warranty against spills and drops. It is currently available for $99, which is a $39 savings from the normal price.

Designed to help kids get excited about reading, the Bundle allows kids to easily take all of their books with them, wherever they might go this summer, on a compact device. Unlike the Fire tablet that is aimed at kids, this device is purely designed for reading and lacks the multimedia based distractions of a tablet.

The Kids Bundle has a really slick listing on the Amazon store, that really hypes all of the virtues of an e-reader. If you are interested in this, here are some of the main details. The two year warranty is not from Amazon, but a company called Squaretrade. Once your Kindle ships, you will receive an email with instructions to activate your coverage. The Kindle also comes with the ability to get a free colored case, your options are black, blue, green, red and purple.

Should you buy this kids bundle? Well, I approve of the free two year warranty so parents can rest assured they will be protected from the rigors of a five year old. Also, I have always endorsed single use e-readers, because they are a gateway to stories and expanding the imagination. It is important to note that this $99 package is only available in the US, so international residents won’t be able to purchase it.

Amazon Starts Marketing a Kindle e-Reader Bundle for Kids is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Kindle for Kids Bundle Available for $99

Amazon has just introduced a new Kindle for Kids Bundle that sells for $99. The bundle includes the latest entry-level Kindle (the $99 one without advertisements), a kid-friendly cover, and a 2 year SquareTrade warranty. The bundle is a good deal considering that it costs the same as a regular non-ad Kindle, so you’re basically […]

Should e-Reader Companies Focus on Android?


There are many statistics that iOS users tend to spend more money on in-app purchases than their Android counterparts. One of the drawbacks in the e-reader industry is that no major online retailer actually sells digital books on any Apple products. This is primary because Apple takes a cut out of each e-book that is sold. Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Google all sell e-books on Android though, but should other companies focus on this OS?

In 2014, 8 out of every 10 phones that were shipped ran Android, and there are currently 4,000 distinct Android devices. Android has grown substantially over the years. These are staggering figures considering 600 million users have adopted smartphones over the past year.

Developing a comprehensive solution for Android is actually fairly difficult. There are so many screen sizes and different resolutions to consider, it makes delivering content very challenging. This is often why the mainstream e-book companies tend to focus on iOS first to deliver new features and enhancements and then port it over to Android at a later date.

Many e-book sellers are actually not aware that Google takes a flat 30% out of each in-app transaction like Apple does. Many bypass this by redirecting the user to their own website, within the app. This way you can sell e-books and deliver them seamlessly to the app.

If you sell e-books on Android, certainly you are not exclusively locked into dealing with Google Play Merchant Services. The Amazon App Store, Nook App Store and the Good e-Reader App Store are viable alternatives. Amazon and B&N both have their own billing API services and take 30% of each app sale and in-app purchase. Good e-Reader on the other hand does not take anything from in-app purchases, which makes monetizing e-books financially viable. You can check out our Developer FAQ to find out more!

In the end, Android certainly has a very high adoption rate, but the amount of development time it takes to make a viable solution can be quite daunting. Additionally, if you choose to distribute it outside of Google Play you have to make separate editions using their API for in-app purchases. I think Android makes sense for free e-reading apps that have royalty free books or e-book subscription systems that give you thousands of books for a low monthly fee. Selling them one by one, is not financially viable unless you are a large company. If you are just getting started I would recommend trying iOS first.

Should e-Reader Companies Focus on Android? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Final Fantasy Agito Coming to Windows 10


Square Enix, manufacturers of the popular video game franchise Final Fantasy, have recently announced that their smartphone game "Final Fantasy Agito" will be available on Windows 10.

The original mobile game allows players, acting as cadets trying to become an Agito, going through their school life. Players interact with a variety of NPCs, non-player characters, fighting alongside them and enjoying school life. The game is meant to act as an alternate storyline to the original Final Fantasy game, playing as a background character in a main setting and featuring the main characters of the original game in background roles.

The game is coming to Windows 10 screens sometime in 2015, under the name Final Fantasy Agito+." If all goes well, this could mean more smartphone games adapted for computer screens. For those of us who prefer larger screens, the comfort of our own homes, and more freedom of hands to reach for those tasty chips, this might just be exactly what we're looking for.

Final Fantasy Agito Coming to Windows 10 is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Typesetting and Layout Engine Coming to Kindle eReaders and Apps

Yesterday Amazon introduced a new layout engine for Kindle ebooks with the latest update for the Kindle iOS app. Later in the day when Amazon officially announced the news, it was noted that the new layout engine is also now available on Kindle Fire tablets, and that it will be coming to other Kindle ereaders […]

SamplerBox – drop-and-play sampler

Massive thanks to Clive for babysitting this blog (he’s been both writing and editing) while I was away. Any relaxation I was still feeling from the vacation evaporated the moment I saw my inbox. It was good while it lasted.

Regular readers will know that my favourite Raspberry Pi projects are often the musical ones. So I was really pleased to find a message from Joseph Ernest at SamplerBox bobbing up among the top few hundred emails of that inbox this morning. SamplerBox is an open-source, sub-€99 sampler in a box (hence the name), and it’s beautifully simple: drop samples onto the SD card, hook up a MIDI keyboard, and you’ll end up with something like this:

SamplerBox has more than 128 voices of polyphony (which sounds like way too much until you consider things like sustain pedals on pianos), and can load sample sets up to 1GB. Plus, it comes in a really cute laser-cut wooden box.

Setup’s as easy as…Pi.


This isn’t a project to buy: it’s open source, and made for you to build. Which is something I’ll be doing as soon as Joseph’s finished his instructions – I’m already scoping out boxes. Thanks Joseph!



The post SamplerBox – drop-and-play sampler appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

How OverDrive Streaming Video improves the value of your digital library


Recently we spoke with Katie Hotard, the Virtual Branch Manager at Marion County Public Library, about her library’s recent adoption of OverDrive Streaming Video. Below is her story of how the library has

We here at the Marion County Public Library System love Overdrive's streaming video service! We are a small library in the hills of north central West Virginia, but are part of a consortium of West Virginia libraries who subscribe to the West Virginia Digital Entertainment Library Initiative otherwise known as WVDELI.

Capture1The streaming video service offered through WVDELI and Overdrive meets a need within our community for variety as well as quality entertainment. We continually hear positive things about our streaming service from patrons. They enjoy the myriad of videos Overdrive has to offer, from non-fiction and educational titles, to music videos. There is a little something for everyone to be found on WVDELI and Overdrive!

We have promoted this service through the library website and our various social media accounts as well as on the WVDELI site itself. Many of our patrons have reported finding and accessing the streaming services while browsing the collection at WVDELI. While we are still exploring titles and ways to promote this service, we are absolutely thrilled at the possibilities Overdrive has to offer in this arena.