"ereader" entries

Where are the apps for ereaders?

Developers and ereader vendors are missing an app opportunity

I read on my GlowLight NOOK much more frequently than I read on my Asus Transformer tablet. I’d say there’s at least a 10:1 differential, so for every hour I read on my tablet I read at least 10 hours on my Glowlight Nook. I’ll bet I’m not alone and people who own both an E Ink device and a tablet probably do much more reading on the former. So why is the apps ecosystem limited to tablets? Why are there no add-on apps for E Ink devices in general?

In a recent TOC newsletter we asked readers “What do you wish your ereader could do?” We received quite a few replies, but one of the more interesting ones came from a person who said they’d like to have apps like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse on their E Ink device. I found that interesting because those are the apps (along with News360) I use almost every day on my tablet. If there were Nook E Ink versions, that 10:1 ratio noted earlier would probably become 50:1 as there would be less reason for me to switch to my tablet for reading.

So why aren’t there apps like this on E Ink devices? One reason is tied to E Ink’s capabilities. Apps like Flipboard, Zite, et al, offer nice graphics and even a bit of animation. E Ink is limited to grayscale and no animation, of course. So why not create those apps without the animation and just show the images in black and white? That leads to reason No. 2: Amazon, B&N and the other E Ink device vendors aren’t encouraging third-party app development. That’s probably because they want those devices to have the highest walled gardens of all, which is a shame and a loss for consumers.

Is it too late for these vendors to reconsider and encourage third-party app development? Maybe. After all, the momentum has already swung toward tablets and away from E Ink readers. Nevertheless, as long as tablets weigh more than E Ink readers, their displays aren’t as easy on the eyes and they don’t offer significantly longer battery life, I’ll remain a two-device reading consumer. I suspect I’m not alone, so I hope an E Ink app ecosystem takes root at some point.

This post originally appeared on Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog (“Why Are Apps Only on Tablets?“). This version has been lightly edited.

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Why I can't shake my ereader

Battery life and device weight keep E Ink devices on wish lists.

Ereaders are now commodities — improvements are incremental at best — but the fundamental qualities of these devices still make them compelling.

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B&N and Microsoft: The potential beyond digital

Thoughts on how Microsoft could play a role in Barnes & Noble's stores.

Joe Wikert: Microsoft should use its investment in B&N's digital business to create an end-to-end consumer experience that rivals Apple's.

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ValoBox wants to reward content creators and consumers

ValoBox wants to reward content creators and consumers

ValoBox looks to combine access to content, analytics and conversion.

ValoBox, a publishing startup we covered earlier this year, has launched. In this interview, co-founder Oliver Brooks describes the platform, its development, and how its social retail system works.

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Kindle Fire: Three pros, five cons

Kindle Fire: Three pros, five cons

The good: Form factor and content. The bad: Lock in, auto updates and the Silk browser.

Joe Wikert says the Kindle Fire gets good marks for form factor and meeting basic consumer needs, but its lock in, auto updates and lack of a killer app are detriments.

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Kindle 2012: Wish-list features for the next model

Kindle 2012: Wish-list features for the next model

Here's a handful of ways Amazon could revolutionize the Kindle.

Amazon is positioned to advance the Kindle platform much faster and further than they have in any 6-12 month period. Joe Wikert outlines new features he'd like to see.

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Device Update: New companies enter the ereader market

Device Update: New companies enter the ereader market

E FUn, bModo and BenQ are jumping on the tablet bandwagon.

In this edition of Device Update: New manufacturers enter the ereader market in time for the holidays; shifting perspectives on the breadth of ebook piracy.

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TOC's Wednesday devices, gadgets and ereaders update

With IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited just days away, this week brings plenty of buzz about new ereaders, tablets and more.

The IFA traditionally offers an early indication of what gadgets will sell well through Christmas. It's no wonder so much attention is focused on the show with order volume stemming from last year's show reaching nearly $3.8 billion.

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800 Newspapers Coming to Iliad E-Reader

iRex Technologies scores scores of newspapers for its new iLiad e-reader. From E-Reads: Digitally delivered news is gaining momentum and as we turn the corner to 2009 it's gotten a rocket boost from the Dutch firm iRex Technologies, which announced it has made a deal with NewspaperDirect to deliver 800 newspapers on iRex's Digital Reader 1000 … The iRex/NewspaperDirect…

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