Kindle

Zinio’s on Fire with $25 Shopping Perks and Availability on Amazon Fire

  Zinio isn’t about to let Apple and Amazon slow down their momentum. No way, no how. And to help make sure they remain the eMag service of choice they are introducing a shopping perk program that puts a $25 credit into the accounts of all new Zinio registrants from now until March 2012. Better still, this credit can be used to purchase magazines across the company’s entire global newsstand. In addition, the Zinio app is now available in the Amazon Appstore. The timing is key since many of us will be getting our net Kindle fire’s today. As Chris Wilkes, vice…


I’m Sticking with Zinio

  One of the features that iOS 5.0 brought to the table was their new Newsstand application. Newsstand is to magazines and newspapers what iBooks is to books. It collects your magazine and newspaper subscriptions purchased through the iTunes App Store and puts them into one simple place where all are accessible. It has a nice feature in that most of the periodicals can be set to automatically download when a new addition becomes available. That means that, for example, each day my New York Times is ready and waiting for me as soon as I open my iPad’s cover…


Amazon Introduces the Kindle Lending Library

Just wanted to get this out to let everyone know of something cool from Amazon overnight – as if Carly’s note about Amazon and Fancy Widget wasn’t cool enough! Bottom line – Amazon has unveiled the ‘lending library’ that was rumored before the Kindle Fire launch. Basically, if you own a Kindle, and are a member of Amazon Prime, you have access to a reasonable size library of works you can borrow one at a time. Here is the description: Today we’re announcing a new benefit for Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership: the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Kindle…


Can You Guess the Kindle Fire’s Achilles Heel?

The Kindle Fire is ready to take the world by storm when it is released next month. It is already SO popular that Amazon has reportedly upped the production numbers significantly. The interface looks great. The combination of 8GB of storage (with about 6GB available to the user) is enough for 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books. That isn’t anything to sneeze at, but it is not a tremendous amount of storage, and the Fire doesn’t have an expansion slot. [I’m comparing it to the iPad, whose capacity STARTS at 16GB and goes up to…


Results of the “What’s Your Primary eBookstore” Poll

The votes are in, and I know you’re all thrilled to learn the results of our “What’s your primary ebookstore” poll. As it turns out, Gear Diary readers break down fairly similar to what’s widely assumed about ebook demographics. Amazon’s Kindle was overwhelmingly first, with B&N pulling a solid second place, but far behind Kindle’s numbers. Meanwhile, iBooks and Kobo duked it out for the remaining share, with one vote for “Other”. So what does this mean? As I said, this was highly unscientific, and you could argue there’s a lot of factors skewing the results: our readers may be…


What’s Your Primary eBookstore?

Kobo is like the Rodney Dangerfield of eBookstores — they get no respect! Here they are, pumping out app after app for every smartphone platform, pushing the social envelope with “Reading Life”, created a touch-based ebook reader…yet they’re still an also-ran. As Nate over at The Digital Reader notes, Kobo never gets mentioned alongside B&N and Amazon, and his sources indicate Kobo has, at most, 5% of the ebook market. Still, for a tiny presence Kobo has a big voice. They promote themselves heavily, so they often get coverage on blogs, but in my conversations with everyday people I’ve only…


B&N Pulls 100 DC Comics Titles in Protest of Kindle Fire

I want to root for B&N. They’re fighting for survival, and facing off against a seriously tough market. But their behavior this week makes me think the wheels are coming off a bit at B&N HQ, and that fear and stress, not strategy, are running the show right now. They’ve pulled 100 DC Comics titles from their physical stores (the titles are still available online), all over anger regarding DC’s exclusive deal with Amazon to bring the same 100 titles to the Kindle (Fire and tablet apps). Teleread picked up this report from Bleeding Cool about Amazon’s exclusivity: Well now…


Amazon Lets You Buy Out Your Special Orders Kindle; What’s Next?

(image courtesy The Digital Reader) There’s a fair amount of debate over the “Special Orders” Kindles. Most people find the ads unobtrusive, and even take advantage of the offers! On the other hand, if they’re driving you nuts, or if you bought an S.O. Kindle and didn’t realize it, Amazon does allow you to change your Kindle to a non-subsidized one. The only catch? You’ll need to pay up for the $30 subsidy difference. This is a pretty clever way to handle potentially upset customers. Maybe someone gets annoyed with the special offers or they don’t like targeted ads, so…


Why Amazon Cares More About Content Than Apple

If you’re looking for proof that Amazon and Apple are very different in their approaches to hardware/software, look no further than how they handle library books. Or, more specifically, how Amazon handles ebooks and Apple handles audiobooks. Let’s look at the process to download an ebook to my Kindle from my local library. I head to the library website, select the book I want, check out, choose “Get for Kindle”, and then Amazon handles sending the book over WiFi to my Kindle. If I’m not near WiFi, I can download the title and use USB to transfer it to my…


State of the eBook: It’s a Post-Kindle Fire World!

In case you missed it, Amazon debuted not one (or even two) but FOUR new Kindle models this week. Even more shocking, only one of them was rumored! Apparently, Amazon has hired Apple’s rumor crackdown team; either that or everyone was so excited for an Amazon tablet we didn’t see the signs of new Kindles right under our noses. So here’s the new Kindle family: -Kindle: $79 [eInk] -Kindle Touch Wifi: $99 [eInk] -Kindle Touch Wifi+3G: $149 [eInk] -Kindle Fire (Android tablet: $199 [color] Note that the three eInk Kindle prices are the “special offers” versions. Non-subsidized Kindles are available…


When Is an Android Device Not an Android Device?

When the Grid 10 was announced by the ever-reliable Chandra Rathakrishnan last month, it was said to run Android apps but not be an Android device. This was later clarified to mean that it is actually an Android kernel running the show, but thoroughly skinned and possibly even forked to a version of Android incompatible with future Google-backed updates. We’ll see someday, maybe. Now TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon’s long-rumored tablet will be hitting the market in a couple months, running a completely forked Android kernel. This one is apparently pre-2.2 (how far pre is undefined) and has been so modified…


Designing a Good eBook Reader

Winnie the Pooh iBook on the iPad–not bad, but could be soooo much better With the explosive growth of the eBook market, one would think that the design of eBook reader apps would, by now, be well-advanced.  Lots of cool options, good readability, and all kinds of thought put into their design. One would be wrong. Initial background info:  I have been writing information to be distributed online for nearly 20 years now–since 1992, to be exact.  This is my life, my work, my calling–it is more than an avocation.  I think about the best way to deliver information online all…


Class Action suit filed against Apple, 5 other eBook Publishers

  As reported on Macrumors.com, Hagens Berman, a Seattle-based law firm that specializes in  class-action suits involving antitrust and intellectual property, has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple and 5 other Publishers of eBooks alleging collusion of Apple and the 5 other named defendants to defeat Amazon’s attempt to sell eBooks at discount prices.  Here is an excerpt from the Hagens Berman website: According to the suit, publishers believed that Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle e-reader device and the company’s discounted pricing for e-books would increase the adoption of e-books, and feared Amazon’s discounted pricing structure would permanently set consumer…


Kindle Cloud Reader iPad Review: Simple to Use, Awesome to Behold!

Carly highlighted the new Amazon Cloud Reader a couple of days ago, which provided a web-based solution for reading – and purchasing – Kindle books from Amazon.com on pretty much any device regardless of native app support (except for the BlackBerry Playbook, which is just in a woeful state at this point). While many companies, Amazon included, have discussed moving more apps to platform-independent HTML5, the timing of this release seems to good to be true, as Carly indicated with her ‘Don’t Tread on Kindle’ tagline. We have just seen a rash of changes, starting with Kobo, then Amazon, and…


When Is an eReader an Impulse Buy?

Amazon started selling the Kindle 3G With Special Offers (“Kindeal 3G) in May, for $164 – a drop of 25 from the full non-ad-supported version. Two weeks ago, they dropped that price further, to $139. This week, they have started selling the refurbished Kindle WiFi for $100 and the refurb Kindle 3G for $130. These are not ad-supported versions of the device, but the full versions that sell for $139 and $189 respectively, in their non-refurb models. This sure looks like the typical inventory-clearing moves of a manufacturer about to introduce a new model. The current generation was introduced right around one year ago, and speculation…


Kids and eBook Readers — Perfect Together?

Not long after our nephew was born, Sarah and our sister-in-law had a conversation about how different life will be for the baby than it was for them. He’ll grow up in a world of computers and cell phones as completely normal, and not something that was a novelty or luxury until college. They also discussed how he would read on ebook readers, and might not have textbooks in printed form by the time he goes to college. Yes, I am clearly influencing my family with my eBook-loving ways. It’s not just idle chit-chat though. According to Boston.com, kid and…


Kindle App Removes Store Links from iOS

A picture is worth 1,000 words… Amazon has updated the Kindle app to reflect Apple’s new rules, namely that you cannot link to an external store in an iOS application. Will this impact buying habits? Only time will tell, but one thing is clear: we, as consumers, are losing. Spotify, Netflix, Rhapsody, NOOK, Kobo, Google Books and now the Kindle have all undergone dramatic changes that will require major adjustments to how we shop on an iOS device. Will this change how you shop for books? Will you be holding off on updating your Kindle app? Sound off in the…


How Can Apple Improve iBooks without Ruining Other eBook Stores?

Something very fishy is going on at Apple. It looks like they’re taking in-app purchasing very seriously, and are enforcing what has been rumored for months: eBookstores can no longer link to their respective stores in Safari in any way, even for account sign-ups. Kobo was forced to change over, as did NOOKkids; Google Books has gone entirely MIA from iOS. Plus, the Wall Street Journal has removed all links and in-app sales options. If book sales are not through Apple, they can’t offer anything in-app. Obviously this has negative implications for consumers, annoys developers and content partners, and for…


Google Takes First Steps Towards Attacking Amazon

Looks like Google Books is taking some tentative steps towards being more than just a hobby. The folks at Google have fired a shot across the bow of Amazon, B&N, and Kobo by partnering with iRiver to offer an ebook reader with integrated Google Books access. According to the Google Blog: We built the Google eBooks platform to be open to all publishers, retailers and manufacturers. Manufacturers like iRiver can use Google Books APIs and services to connect their devices to the full Google eBooks catalog for out-of-the-box access to a complete ebookstore. You can also store your personal ebooks…


The Circle of Technological Life, or, RIP Kindle 1

(while not actually our bedroom, a pretty close approximation) This is the conversation that used to go on in my house a few years ago: Me: Hey Sarah, would you like me to buy you a Kindle? Sarah: No, I don’t need one, look, I have all these books piled up on my nightstand. This is the conversation that went on earlier this year: Me: Hey Sarah, would you like me to buy you a Kindle? Sarah: No, I don’t need one, but can I borrow your old Kindle once in a while? This was the conversation a few weeks…


How to Spot an eBook Scam, or, How to Avoid MyPadMedia, TheReadingSite, and Their Friends

Around this time last year, the Gear Diary team tussled with the folks at MyPadMedia. They were less than thrilled with us blowing open their scam of $50 for “unlimited” eBooks that turned out to be free eBooks from Feedbooks and other sites. Unfortunately, either MyPadMedia or their cohorts have managed to spawn again, this time with “The Reading Site”, which sounds and looks suspiciously similar. Pay us up front, we promise you unlimited eBooks, and if you’re a website who wants to be an affiliate there’s a super fat paycheck for you. However, without even paying for the site…