‘E-lit’ uses interactivity to enhance storytelling

By Chris Meadows
August 28, 2015 // 1 Comment

In the foreword to an annotated edition of A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge stated that he believed hypertext was the future of literature. While I was dubious at the time and remain dubious now, an article on BookRiot covers a few experimental “e-lit” works which are using hypertext and [...]

Phabulous for e-books! 84 percent growth expected for 5.5”-to-6” phones in 2015

By David Rothman
August 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

My sister has switched from an iPad to her 5.5” iPhone Plus when she e-reads on the go, and a new study from the International Data Corporation suggests that Dorothy has lots of company. While smartphone growth on the whole is slowing, big-screened “phablets” are a different story. The iPhone [...]

Pocket-sized screens are in again: The rise of smartphone e-reading

By Chris Meadows
August 13, 2015 // 1 Comment

Everything old is new again. Jennifer Maloney at the Wall Street Journal has just noticed that more and more people seem to like reading on little tiny pocket-sized devices. Of course, those devices are now smartphones rather than Palm Pilots or iPod Touches, but the principle remains the same. A [...]

What does new Apple hardware portend for e-books? Probably not much

By Chris Meadows
August 12, 2015 // 2 Comments

Apple is holding one of its traditional show-off-the-new-hardware events next month, which means it’s time for everyone to prognosticate or scrabble whatever leaks they can find. Tech Insider is carrying a report suggesting that the new iPad Mini will be as thin as the iPad Air 2. The Digital [...]

A speedier iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch in two minutes—and longer battery life, too

By David Rothman
August 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

The trick is to get rid of the system animations, which hog resources. I own an iPad Air 2, so I’m not sure it will matter as much as with older machines. But I’ve given this a try anyway. Steps: 1. Tap on your Setup icon. 2. Move down to General and tap on it. 3. Then choose Accessibility. 4. [...]

Voice Dream text-to-speech reader to appear for Android in August

By David Rothman
June 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

I’ve praised the Voice Dream e-reader as a stellar way to enjoy text to speech of files in ePub, HTML, plain text, Word and other formats. Other apps offer TTS. But Voice Dream Reader also comes with wonderful navigational and annotative capabilities as well as a rich assortment of voices. It’s [...]

Interactive graphic novel Midnight Rises by John Scalzi interacts with new mobile shooter game

By Chris Meadows
February 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Interactive book apps may not yet have set the world on fire, but there is at least one place for them—as an adjunct to video games. On January 28, 2015, Industrial Toys LLC released Midnight Rises, an interactive graphic novel application for iOS. The e-comic serves as a prelude to Midnight [...]

Smartphone size no obstacle to long reading

By Chris Meadows
August 5, 2014 // 4 Comments

Hey, guess what? People read on their smartphones. That’s the thrust of a piece in Wired that talks about how the smartphone has been a godsend for long-form written journalism. Where people used to read their newspapers on the subway, now they read their smartphones—and despite the predictions [...]

iBooks to be included with every iOS 8 device; will the DoJ take notice?

By Chris Meadows
June 5, 2014 // 4 Comments

Apart from all the little features it’s swiping from Android (finally, widgets, custom keyboards, and cross-app sharing APIs!), the new iPhone OS 8 includes one little feature that Mark Coker of Smashwords believes will be a “game changer.” For the first time, iBooks will be bundled directly [...]

Facial recognition for random strangers, coming soon to Google Glass and your smartphone

By Chris Meadows
January 8, 2014 // 0 Comments

Smartphones might be good for e-reading, but soon they’ll be able to read your face, too. Remember the uproar when Facebook announced plans to add face recognition identity tagging to its photos? It turned out only to be meant to tag people who you’d friended already, but to hear most people [...]

Blackberry files suit over Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo keyboard case

By Chris Meadows
January 3, 2014 // 3 Comments

Remember that “Typo” Bluetooth iPhone keyboard case backed by Hollywood’s Ryan Seacrest? It essentially grafts a BlackBerry style keyboard onto an iPhone. Well, it turns out that BlackBerry is not amused that the Typo is effectively a rip-off of the iconic keyboard design from their [...]

Smartphones are growing into small tablets

By Chris Meadows
January 3, 2014 // 2 Comments

Here’s a GigaOm article by Kevin C. Tofel looking at why smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, in seeming reversal of the trend of technology making things constantly smaller. It used to be that the iPhone’s 3.5” screen was considered the ideal size for smartphones. The iPhone was made [...]

Review: Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

By libertyc
December 22, 2013 // 1 Comment

I finished reading Fred Vogelstein’s book Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, which I mentioned in my post yesterday. I quite enjoyed it. Even though I read the news reports of the events it describes as they happened, you don’t get the big picture until you [...]

The iPhone made Google rethink Android

By libertyc
December 21, 2013 // 2 Comments

The Atlantic is carrying an excerpt from Fred Vogelstein’s book Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution. I found it interesting enough that I actually bought the book and have been reading through it, and will probably have more to say on that in a day or so. This [...]

Borderlands 2 bar code reader app is a clever new use for smartphones

By libertyc
December 13, 2013 // 0 Comments

Here’s an example of a game company doing something pretty clever with mobile technology to increase engagement on its PC game. Gearbox, the wildly creative company behind Borderlands 2, has released a free mobile app for iOS and Android that scans UPC or QR bar codes and associates them with a [...]

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