Ereader

Google Play Books catches up with the times and allows PDF files and ePUB books

Amid the extravaganza that is Google I/O, the folks from Mountain View quietly pushed out an update to one of their applications that finally catches up with the times. Google Play Books has never quite matched iBooks or Amazon's Kindle, but the latest update to their iOS app finally adds support for PDF files and ePUB books bought from other sources.

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Tablet (read: iPad and Kindle) ownership almost doubled over the holidays

According to Pew Research, tablet ownership among U.S. consumers nearly doubled from 10 percent to 19 percent over the holiday season.

The Pew project conducted three surveys, one in mid-December and two at the beginning of 2012. The results show a marked increase in ownership of tablets, e-readers, and the hybrids that exist somewhere between those two categories.

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Apple releases iBooks 1.1 for iPhone and iPad

Apple has released iBooks 1.1 for iPhone (iOS 4 required) and iPad. Shown off during WWDC 2010, it adds some oft-demanded features such as notes, bookmarks, and the syncing of both of those and highlights -- including between devices.

We'll be back with a review later, but here's the boilerplate for now:

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BN eReader for iPad - app review

Barnes & Noble has released BN eReader for iPad as an alternative to Apple's iBooks and Amazon's Kindle app. It is an excellent ebook reader and offers many customizations as well as the ability to share books with friends and family.

Reading on BN eReader is a pleasant experience. You can read either in landscape in portrait. In portrait, eReader displays the book as one page. However, in landscape, reading in a two column or one column format depends on what your font settings are (both style and size). If this is not a bug, it is very annoying. I'd much rather see a toggle to turn two columns on or off. You can enhance your reading experience by choosing between one of Barnes & Nobel's five professionally designed themes, or create your own theme by editing the page, text, highlights, and links colors.

One of the big features BN eReader offers that iBooks does not, is the ability to add notes. Just highlight a block of text by dragging with your finger and select "add note". After you've created the note, you can quickly get back to it at any time. In addition, you can highlight text and look up words in the dictionary.

The other huge feature of BN eReader is the ability to share books with friends and family. Barnes & Noble refers to the technology as LendMe. With supported books, you can access your iPad's address book and select which contact you wish to share the book with. Upon accepting the offer, your friend will be able to enjoy the eBook for 14 days. If someone lends you a book, BN eReader will add the book to your library and display the message from your friend.

If you have BN eReader on your Mac, PC, iPhone, and Nook, the last page read will sync across all devices. All notes and highlights will also sync to your PC and iPhone (coming soon).

To purchase a book, BN eReader will launch the Barnes & Nobel eBookstore in Safari. After purchasing a book, you much exit safari and reopen BN eReader; you will see your book automatically add to your library and begin to download. The process is simple, but not completely painless. I'd much rather see BN eReader open an in-app browser because switching between apps isn't very elegant.

Barnes and Noble did an excellent job with their eReader and offers many things that iBooks does not. Having the world's largest bookstore in your hands is definitely a welcomed addition to the iPad.

Video and screenshots after the break!

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Barnes & Noble introduces BN eReader for iPad

The iPad eBooks war just got a bit more interesting with Barnes & Noble releasing their BN eReader for iPad into the App Store today. With the following features we are curious to see what adjustments Apple makes to iBooks, and Amazon with the Kindle in the near future.

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Amazon, Barnes & Noble Readying Book Stores for iPad

Confirming that it won't just be Apple's iBookstore (and your own free ePubs) on the iPad, the New York Times today mentions that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are both working on book stores of their own. While both market their own hardware devices, the Kindle and the Nook respectively, the iPad is expected to throw a huge spotlight on eBooks in general, and they want to benefit:

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TiPb Discounts -- 25% off FictionWise eBooks!

The fine folks at Fictionwise.com (aka eReader.com, or m.ereader.com if you're on your iPhone) are giving TiPb readers 25% off on any eBook purchase until February 28. (Their eReader app for the iPhone is already free -- iTunes link).

Here's the code you need to get your discount:

theiphoneblog25

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