Holiday Roundup - Novel Technology
I know it’s a little early to be talking about that shiny new e-reader, tablet or smartphone that you are getting for Christmas this year, but knowing how to get the most out of that device is #1 in my book. In this month’s article I want to focus on some of the apps that will make your device your new best friend.
For those interested in e-books, there are a multitude of e-reading apps available for your reading pleasure. Most of the major e-book retailers offer their own branded e-reading app. These apps are usually available for the Apple Devices, the Android OS based tablets and smartphones, as well as the stand alone desktops and laptops. There are also some third party apps that let you checkout the latest in e-books and audiobooks, read insightful reviews and satisfy ones cravings to contribute book opinions socially. By and by most of these types of apps are free of charge to download. It is the purchase of e-books and audiobooks that may give you pause. But I am getting ahead of myself. Some of the popular apps that are surely to make your download list include:
• Kindle app (Amazon’s e-reading app)
• Nook app (Barnes and Nobles e-reading app)
• Overdrive (Library Digital Content Manager)
• iBooks app (Apple e-retailer
• Adobe app (Adobe PDF reader)
• Bluefire app (Adobe PDF/Epub reader)
• BAM app (Books a Million e-retailer)
• Desiel app (Desiel Books e-retailer)
• Kobo app (Kobo Books e-retailer)
So I have outlined the available apps that will help you on your journey into the e-book world. Now let’s talk about purchasing e-books. From my list above you can see that there are a number of e-retailers willing to sell you an e-book. Most of these have expanded their selection of available formats to include Amazon’s the proprietary AZW format for the Kindle. Remember only a Kindle device or a Kindle app can open and display a Kindle formatted e-book.
E-books have come of age! The bestsellers and movers and shakers of the industry are available in e-book format. There are hundreds of free e-books available at e-retailers and libraries. Without re-hashing old news (Agency 5/Publisher sets the price/Anti-trust case), let’s assume that e-book prices are re-aligning themselves and a paperback/mass-market copy will be around $7.99 or less per e-book. Depending on the e-retailer the cost may be higher or lower as the anti-trust case settlement takes effect. So shop around a bit, you may come across a bargain.
For those looking to expand or enter the social frenzy there are some really great apps that will plunge you into the world of the connected. These apps include Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Pintreset and Goodreads.
To help you manage all those new social outlets, check out Flipboard, Pulse and Hootsuite. These apps are an essential for getting a handle on the thousands of feeds generated via Facebook and Twitter. Never miss a post. Featuring a magazine style layout these apps make sure you stay abreast of the latest news.
Not to be left out for those of you looking to enjoy some quality entertainment via your new device, might I suggest the following apps for download. Topping my list of must have entertainment apps are Netflix, Hulu Plus, Fandango, Angry Birds (any edition), Audible.com, Harlequin and Words with Friends.
Switching gears a bit, I want to point out that there is a must have program called Calibre. Calibre lets you manage your e-books outside of iTunes for Apple Devices and as a supplement to those Android based devices. Calibre is a powerful piece software developed to help us manage all those e-books. It’s free of charge so there is no risk should you decide that it’s not for you. The software is designed to allow a user to edit e-book meta-data (genre, cover-art, ratings, etc), convert non-DRM (Digital Rights Managed) e-books to alternative e-reading formats and connect/transfer e-books to selected devices. This versatile software is my staple choice for e-book conversion.
Well that’s it for this month’s article, so grab that e-reader/tablet/laptop/smartphone and take the plunge into the digital age.
Article by Victoria Mays: Victoria currently owns a classic nook wifi-3G, an iPod Touch 4th Gen and an iPad wifi-3G. You would probably ask why so many, the nook is more for indoor reading, while the iPod touch is that on the go reading in line at the bank and waiting for a movie to start device. The iPad is used for long term review reading and annotating. She still purchases many of her favorite authors in print, but her library has grown exponentially since she has embraced eBook technology.