Amazon unleashed a bunch of new Kindle hardware this morning, and we're starting with the one that's available right now. The new Kindle costs just $79, and is the first model to be available for under $100, as the last model (now known as Kindle Keyboard) started at $114. It's 30% lighter and 18% smaller than its predecessor (probably due to dropping the keyboard,) but retains the same 6-inch display. This Kindle has special offers built-in, used as screensavers when you aren't reading. If you'd prefer not to have that "feature," then the price jumps up to $109. Again, this new Kindle is available now, so you can head right on over to Amazon to grab one, and you'll have it in your hands as soon as tomorrow.
Is Barnes & Noble preparing to launch another tablet under the Nook name? Rumor has it the company will launch a new, pricier Nook Colors this year.
According to a tip obtained by the Digital Reader, B&N will launch a $349 tablet that could be named Acclaim. The Nook Simple Touch Reader will still be offered at $139 and the Nook Color will stay at $249. The tipster didn't offer any information on the specs of the device, but said the tablet would launch in the next quarter, likely in some time in October.
The Digital Reader also pointed to a tablet it saw on a slide from a Barnes & Noble company presentation with the codename Encore, but speculated that this is an updated version of the current 7-inch Nook Color.
If you've got an Amazon account and use a Kindle (or a Kindle app,) you're gonna wanna go pick up a library card if you don't already have one, and it's now possible to check out Kindle eBooks from over 11,000 library Web sites. All you need is a valid library card, and you are good. eBooks work similar to library books--in other words, they are free to borrow, but they expire after a certain amount of time, and the libraries only have a limited number of each eBook available, so you may have to wait until it's "returned" by another user before you can check out that title. Once you decide what you want to borrow, you download the copies over Wi-Fi or USB.
When you borrow a Kindle public library book, you’ll have access to all the unique features of Kindle books, including real page numbers and Whispersync technology that synchronizes your notes, highlights, and last page read. After a public library book expires, if you check it out again or choose to purchase it from the Kindle store, all of your annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.
Once your expiration date hits, you can just borrow the book again, or purchase it from the Amazon Kindle store, and any notes, highlights, last pages read, etc. will all be saved and synched.
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The increase in U.S. adults who own e-readers is outpacing the growth of tablet owners, according to a new phone survey by the Pew Internet Project.
Adults who owned ereaders like Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook doubled from 6 percent of the U.S. adult population in November 2010 to 12 percent in May 2011, according to the survey of 2,277 respondents aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish.
Over the same period, the share of adults who said they owned a tablet such as Apple's iPad grew as well, but by just 3 percentage points. About 5 percent of respondents in an earlier Pew survey from November of last year said they owned a tablet, while 8 percent said they did in the most recent one, conducted between April 26 and May 22.
Today, Barnes & Noble unveiled their revamped Nook e-reader, which they are calling the Simple Touch Reader.
The $139 device is available for pre-order immediately and will be in stores on or around June 10 at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples.
The Android-based, e-reader measures 5 x 6.5 inches and weighs less than 7.5 ounces, which is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook. During a New York launch event, B&N CEO William Lynch promised the "longest battery life of any e-reader," or up to two months on a single charge, and 80 percent less flashing on the 6-inch touch screen; the white-out that occurs when flipping pages. There is 50 percent less contrast than the first-edition Nook.
The device has built-in Wi-Fi and will feature 2GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 32GB with microSDHC. It runs Android 2.1 and a 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor.
Read More | Nook Simple Touch Reader
Barnes & Noble has not indicated what the event will cover, with PR firm Fleishman refusing to take a page from Apple's playbook and tease audiences with what the announcement could include.
However, in a May 4 10K filing, Barnes & Noble disclosed that the May 24 announcement would indeed be an e-reader. "In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble, Inc. (the "Company") indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device," the company said, without elaborating.
Barnes & Noble now represents more than 25 percent of all of the U.S. market for e-books, more than the company's share of physical books, and it sells twice the number of e-books as physical books, at least online. The company exceeded its sales plans for e-book sales during the company's most recent quarter.It is the fourth straight quarter of topline growth exceeding 50 percent since selling the Nook in 2009.
As an e-reader with tablet functionality, the Nook wouldn't seem to have many features that it lacks compares to other e-readers. The Nook is available in color, and in both Wi-Fi, and in 3G, although speculation is that version is dying.
"It remains early in the development of the digital reading market," said William Lynch, the chief executive of Barnes & Noble, in a conference call on Feb. 22.
What could Barnes & Noble offer, perhaps in a Nook 2?
Barnes & Noble is readying an updated e-reader, the company revealed in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
"In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble ... indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device," the notice said.
The company provided no other details about what the updated e-reader might entail. The last major Nook upgrade was the Nook Color (pictured above,) which started shipping in November. The Android-based device includes a 7-inch touch screen and access to more than 2 million titles, as well as an extra-wide viewing angle intended for sharing. The screen boasts 1,024-by-600 resolution and 169 pixels per inch. It comes with 8GB of storage, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card.
In late April, Barnes & Noble pushed out a major software update to the Nook Color, which included its own app store, an email client, the ability to play Flash video, and enhanced books. It also added support for Android 2.2 "Froyo" and Adobe Flash video.
Famous authors won't lose the ability to autograph their books in the digital age if Barnes & Noble has anything to say about it. With a firmware upgrade, the Nook Color will reportedly allow authors to sign their books with a stylus. The first "e-book signing" is scheduled for next week.
Authors will need to put their Sharpies down, and instead use a stylus to sign a book directly on the Nook Color's touchscreen, and the e-reader will store the signature on that digital copy of the book. Presumably, the signature would be visible to anyone who reads it, even friends who borrow the book on the Nook platform, essentially converting bragging rights to digital form.
Yesterday the Nook Color received a major software upgrade—adding apps, an email client, and Adobe Flash compatibility—but the new autograph feature appears to be separate from that. A company called Autography has patented software for writing autographs on e-books, but it's not known whether the Nook feature uses that technique or something different.
Workbridge, a job recruiting organization, has the details for a job on Los Angeles' west side: an unnamed arts/entertainment/media company is looking for Front End Developer.
If you're familiar with West L.A. you might think that phrase has something to do with plastic surgery. Well, it doesn't.
This unnamed company specializes in online comics and ebooks.
And if you have design experience that's a plus. So is experience with Python or other Back End technologies, and that's not a plastic surgeon's phrase either.
Good luck, job seekers!
[Artwork: Mr. iPad]
Research firm Forrester has released some numbers on E-book sales for the year, and they're betting that this is the first year where e-book sales will reach close to $1 billion. They also say that by 2015, that amount will pass the $3 billion mark. The survey questioned 4,000 people and indicated that more and more people get their books in digital form. While only 7% read books in e-book format now, they spend a lot of money on them, and that figure will continue to grow. It seems the most popular device to read e-books on is the desktop computer, followed by the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPhone and Sony eReader.
Read More | CNet