Kindle

Are eInk Holding’s Earnings a Sign of a Non-Tablet Reader Slowdown?

Here’s some news to file under the “maybe a concern” category. It looks like eInk Holdings, the company that makes those beautiful eInk screens for NOOKs and Kindles, had a bad quarter. According to DigiTimes, this was their first set of poor earnings in over two years, and the company is saying it was due to “inventory adjustments”, aka they had fewer orders for new screens. This isn’t good news, but I wouldn’t hold a funeral for eInk just yet. Yes, we are coming off a holiday season where the hot items were the NOOK Color and Tablet and the…


Tor Goes DRM-Free, but Does It Change Anything for eBooks?

The big news in ebooks this week is that Tor, a division of Macmillan, is going DRM-free on their whole catalog (including books sold at Amazon and B&N). Needless to say, everyone who follows ebooks is very excited, and for good reason. This is a big step in chipping away at the “walled garden” style eBookstores we have now, where B&N books have different DRM than Kindle books, etc. But who really benefits here? Obviously, we as consumers win here. If this succeeds, ebook libraries will become portable. You won’t need to stress about picking a Kindle and missing out…


What’s Next for eBooks after the DoJ Settlement?

Today was a big, big day for eBook fans! The Department of Justice agreed with everyone who has been screaming for three years that the “agency model” was unfair, anti-competitive and anti-consumer. They settled with several publishers, though Apple and Macmillan are still fighting the DoJ in court. So, what did the settlement today do? And how will it impact the future of ebooks? Read on for my thoughts! The Settlement: I am going to defer to Wired here, as they quickly had an excellent breakdown of what the settlement states: Terminate its current contracts with Apple within seven days…


Mahjongg Artifacts Chapter 2 for the Kindle Fire Review

Not long ago I reviewed the Kindle Fire version of Mahjongg Artifacts. Now we get a look at the sequel, which had found tremendous success as one of the most popular PSP Minis. Ironically the sequel was released before the original game on that platform, but on the Kindle Fire both were released together. The original game was excellent on the Fire, let’s see how the sequel plays! The Hype: Mahjongg Artifacts: Chapter 2 is highly addictive tile-matching game with millions of players on PC and other platforms. It takes tile-matching games in an exciting new direction! Pair up tiles…


Youda Survivor Kindle Fire Game Review

Youda Survivor joins games like Civilization Revolution, Jack of All Tribes and Tiny Token Empires and other casual strategy games that have journeyed to handheld tablets. These games all work well with the touchscreen interface, present more than a trivial experience, and are still playable in small time increments. All of those games are available on the iPad … but Youda Survivor is the first one to venture to the Kindle Fire! Let’s take a look! The Hype: For all real fans of time management games – the most frenzied adventure yet! Can you survive on a mysterious island as…


Amazon Kindle Newsstand Versus Zinio on iPad

I took the plunge recently and bought a new iPad! One of the first things I looked into was Zinio, based on the exuberant reviews of the other Gear Diary editors. Then I realized I hardly read magazines. So while I peeked at a few prices and poked around, I didn’t really give digital magazines much thought. Today I was doing my usual Amazon Kindle browsing to find some new reading materials, and I stumbled on the price for “Running Times”, one of the magazines I had considered on Zinio. The price was $20/year on Zinio, but only $0.83 an…


Mahjongg Artifacts for the Kindle Fire Review

The Hype: Escape from the rush of modern life into immersive ancient atmosphere of Mahjongg Artifacts®! The prequel to Mahjongg Artifacts: Chapter 2 and a new fan-favorite comes with three gameplay modes which take you through five exotic cultures. It also comes with innovative gameplay twists, like Special Tiles that allow you to use new strategies to clear layouts, Bonuses for skillful play and Trophies for special accomplishments. Story Mode features epic quest for lost relics, in Classic mode you can choose the layout you want to play, and in the breathtaking Endless mode you remove tiles from an ever-rising…


The Magician’s Handbook: Cursed Valley for Kindle Fire Review

Hidden object adventures continue to evolve on smartphones and tablets, with PC games being ported that are more complex, more interesting and have better stories. The success of games from folks like G5 Entertainment has resulted in an explosion in the category. The latest one to try to capture the Kindle Fire gamer’s interest is the Magician’s Handbook, which I already reviewed for the iPad. Let’s see how it does! The Hype: Remove the evil curse in this captivating adventure by finding hidden objects in the dark and mysterious Cursed Valley! The fabled “Magician’s Handbook” has fallen into your hands….


Hey Amazon, Can You PLEASE Let Me Change the Paragraph Justification in Your Apps?

Image courtesy of (believe it or not!) furnitureconsignment.com So as you’ve probably heard–Michael posted about it, for example–J.K. Rowling’s latest cash cow, the Pottermore web site, finally went live today (a mere 6-9 months after it was originally promised, but that’s a whole different ranty post).  For me what this meant was that, finally, I would be able to actually buy the eBook version of the Potter books.   Yay! There was a catch, though:  the books aren’t available via iBooks, but only through the Pottermore web site for Kindle, Nook, or straight ePub format.  Which is okay, I guess…


Staples Asks, ‘How Fast Can You Read?’

It’s no secret that I love to read. Even as a kid I was an avid reader, and my parents had trouble finding books to keep me occupied for long periods of time. When I was in 5th grade my mom gave me “Gone With the Wind”, and I finished it in three days. Basically, I read a lot, and very quickly. Still, when Staples sent their “Speed Reading” test, I was surprised to see my results:


How To Replace a Kindle Keyboard Battery

On a recent game day, I charged up my Kindle in anticipation for the long trip since it was not my turn to drive. I planned on staying relaxed before we played while following the adventures of Katniss Everdeen fighting to survive in the arena, but when I laid back with my neck pillow, the Kindle refused to let me into the depths of the Hunger Games. It would be another long, boring ride without the comforts of the Kindle Keyboard. Upon arriving at home, I plugged it back in and once again charged overnight only to discover it would…


Virtual City Playground for Kindle Fire Delivers City Builder Goodness!

Recently I reviewed Virtual City for the Kindle Fire, finding it the first mis-step in the franchise for me – while the content was there, the performance was laggy on my Kindle Fire even compared to the normal Android version. Since I had loved the Android version of Virtual City Playground, my big concern was that Virtual City playground would suffer the same fate – so let me assure you that it does NOT. Virtual City Playground brings the full Virtual City experience, and is a pleasure to play! Let’s take a look! The Hype: Virtual City Playground allows you…


Penguin Books Rips the Carpet out from eBook Library Patrons

It’s no secret that publishers hate library ebooks. Essentially they are everything publishers hate about ebooks in one place; the cost is zero (once you have an ebook reader), and libraries don’t have to replace them due to wear and tear. According to The Verge, Penguin previously pulled all their support for Overdrive-powered library lending, and it looks like any books they are making available have an extra requirement-you must download them to a computer, then sideload them to a Kindle (or NOOK, or Kobo, etc.) It doesn’t sound too terrible until you read this email from a Gear Diary…


The Southern Foodie is a Must-Read Kindle Book

My parents were born and raised in New York. I was born in Summit, New Jersey. I grew up in a little place called Berkeley Heights, NJ. In other words, I am a North Easterner through and through. (Some would use the word “Yankee” to describe me.) Yes, I’m a northerner through and through and am happy to be back living in the Garden State. There was, however, a time when this Yankee lived in the South. Yes, I went to college in North Carolina and I even joined a southern fraternity that was founded on “December 21, 1865, at…


Amazon’s Ban Hammer Gets Itchy

Despite my spirited defense of Amazon a few days ago, I go back and forth about supporting them sometimes. It’s not that I feel guilty, it’s just that they tend to lean on the same tactics to get what they want, mainly their leverage based on market share. That’s what’s happened this week with Independent Publishers Group. Amazon and IPG had a contract dispute, and Amazon pulled their ebooks from the Kindle Store. There are two sides to every story, and Amazon is being typically tight-lipped, so all we have to go on is the IPG account (via Teleread and…


Is Amazon Evil, or Is It Just Business?

With all the upheaval in bookselling, there seems to be a growing distrust and backlash towards Amazon. Borders imploded, B&N is struggling with their physical stores, independent bookstores are disappearing, and Amazon is waiting with open arms for any lost consumers. The anti-Amazon discussions boil down to two main arguments; the idea that as convenient as Amazon is, buying “local” is worth the higher costs, and the idea that Amazon is just plain evil. I understand the “buy local” argument, but the “Amazon as an evil entity sent to suck the life from the competition” argument is, to put it…


Virtual City for the Kindle Fire Review

A while agoI reviewed the iPhone and iPad versions of Virtual City, noting that my only real complaint was the lack of a sandbox mode – and the high initial price of the iPad version (which has been lowered). The game already took advantage of the high resolution Retina display which made it shine on the iPad, so my assumption was that there would be a minimal difference in the move to the Kindle Fire. Turns out I was right … and wrong. Read on to find out what I mean. The Hype: Build a city of your dream –…


Special Enquity Detail – The Hand that Feeds for Kindle Fire Review

Mix together a crime-drama mystery, puzzles, hidden objects, and tons of twists and turns and intrigue … and you have the makings of one of the most compelling casual games made this year. The name of that game is “Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand that Feeds” from G5 Entertainment, and I reviewed the iPad release earlier this year. Now it is available for Android! Let’s take a look and see how the port stands up to the original release!


Supermarket Mania 2 for the Kindle Fire Review

I loved the PC version of SuperMarket Mania 2, and now that it is available for iPhone and iPad I wanted to take another look and see how it would work as a port! Read on and find out how they did! The Hype: Nikki and her friends are back in Supermarket Mania 2! Help her uncle Ross manage and run his chain of grocery stores on the other side of the country. Keep the supermarket shelves stocked up, floors clean and customers coming as you work on improving the stores and increasing profits. It’s not all peachy though, as…


Mystery of the Crystal Portal for the Kindle Fire Review

I had bought and enjoyed Mystery of the Crystal Portal for my iPad and also loved the PSP version in spite of some issues with having to pan around the scene, so I was excited to try out the Kindle Fire version. It had been a while since I played, so it felt fresh as I had forgotten most of the game. Let’s take a loot at hwo the experience translates to the Kindle Fire!


Amazon Makes Good On Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

In my review of the ebook version of Fahrenheit 451 I was sharply critical of the massive amount of typos and mistakes in the text. It was suggested that I take my complaint to Amazon, which I did … but honestly never expected anything. It wasn’t the first time I had complained, but I had never heard anything back in the past. But last night I got a happy surprise – an email from Amazon’s Kindle Store that an update had been made to Fahrenheit 451, and I could download it from my account. So I headed to the link,…