Tag Archives | E-books

Are Apple's iPhone E-Reader Rules Changing? Tough to Tell

Back in November, Sony said it would have an iPhone app that would provide access to e-books from its Reader store out by December. That month came and went. So has January. And now Sony is saying that Apple rejected its iPhone app (an Android version did make it onto the Market):

Unfortunately, with little notice, Apple changed the way it enforces its rules and this will prevent the current version of the Reader™ for iPhone® from being available in the app store. We opened a dialog with Apple to see if we can come up with an equitable resolution but reached an impasse at this time. We’re exploring other avenues to bring the Reader experience to Apple mobile devices. We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting the application and we appreciate your continued patience.

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E-Readers: They're All Selling Like an Unspecified Number of Hotcakes!

Back in August, I wrote about Amazon.com’s odd habit of frequently bragging about sales of its Kindle e-reader without ever providing explicit numbers. It continues to do so–and it’s inspired its competitors to do some similarly evasive crowing of their own.

Barnes & Noble issued a press release today that it had sold “millions” of Nooks since the first version’s release in December of 2009. But it mostly bragged about Nook sales without disclosing them, by saying that Nooks are the company’s best-selling products ever, and that the Nookcolor is its best-selling gift this holiday season.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today announced that with millions of NOOK eReading devices sold, the line has become the company’s biggest bestseller ever in its nearly 40-year history.  The new NOOKcolor Reader’s Tablet, introduced just eight weeks before Christmas, is the company’s number one selling gift of the holiday season. Barnes & Noble also announced that it now sells more digital books than its large and growing physical book business on BN.com, the world’s second largest online bookstore.


Demand for the critically acclaimed NOOKcolor remained high following the product’s introduction in late October through the holidays. Sales have continued to exceed the company’s high expectations.

The only hard number in the release is the “millions” of Nooks sold; we can apparently assume that B&N has sold at least two million devices. (A few weeks ago, it was a minor news story when an Amazon staffer said that “millions” of third-generation Kindles had been sold in 73 days; I wonder if B&N would have been even this specific if Amazon hadn’t made the leap first?)

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Call It the Un-Kindle

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Barnes & Noble Nookcolor

Price: $249

The simplest way to describe 2009’s first-generation Nook e-reader was to say it was a lot like an Amazon Kindle. The easiest way to describe the new Nookcolor is that it’s several things that a Kindle is not. This Android-based gizmo has a color touchscreen, giving it a richer interface and the ability to handle magazines and kids’ books much better than the Kindle. And the backlit screen is perfectly legible in dim lighting which renders the Kindle’s display invisible. (Of course, it also saps the Nook’s battery far more rapidly: The Nook gets eight hours on a charge, while the Kindle can run for weeks.)

The Nookcolor isn’t a full-blown Android tablet–B&N calls it a “reader’s tablet,” and hasn’t given it access to the Android Market app store. But the company is launching a third-party app store of its own early next year. And if it catches on, the Nookcolor could be an intriguing alternative to much pricier Android tablets such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.


Yes, Google is Doing e-Books

It hasn’t been exactly a well-guarded secret, but now it’s official: Google is launching an e-book store to compete with Amazon’s Kindle store and its rivals. The company isn’t selling an e-reading device of its own–instead, it’s focusing on selling digital books and making them widely available for existing hardware. I haven’t tried its new offerings yet, but it gave me a sneak peek at the news last week.

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Google Releases an E-Book About the Internet (But Still No Book Store)

The nature of the Internet doesn’t exactly make for an exciting bedtime story, but that’s how Google is presenting “20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web.”

Google’s Chrome team wrote the e-book in HTML5, presented as interactive pages that you can fold and flip by clicking and dragging the mouse. The book is fun to read, at least for a little while, and educational if you’re not a know-it-all. It advocates for updating to a modern Web browser (i.e., not IE6) and argues that plug-ins are relics (unless they’re integrated into the browser itself, as Chrome does with Adobe Flash).

But above all, it got me wondering, what’s up with Google Editions, the cloud e-book service that was supposed to launch over the summer?

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Kindle Finally Gets the Gift of Giving

When Amazon shipped its first Kindle three years ago, among the most common gripes from reviewers (including me) was that there was no way to give a Kindle e-book to a Kindle e-reader as a gift. Now there is, just in time for the holidays. You don’t need to own a Kindle to give Kindle books, and they can be read on Amazon’s hardware or any of its apps. And if your recipient is an unappreciative jerk (or already owns the book in question) he or she can “return” your thoughtful present to Amazon in exchange for a gift card.

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E-Ink Goes Color

E-Ink has announced its first color electronic-display technology. I love color as much as the next human being, but when I’ve used the Kindle and other E-Ink devices, I’ve only missed two colors: a really white white for the “paper,” and a really black black for the “ink.” It’s unclear to me whether the new Triton technology will help with either of these.

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