According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal Google Editions—Google’s attempt to elbow its way into the ebook market—will launch sometime this summer. When it does become available, Google Editions will launch with some 400,000 to 600,000 titles available. When you compare this to the 330,000 titles available on Amazon.com for Kindle supporting devices, it is clear that Google means to be a major player in the ebook market right from jumpstreet. With Google Editions, not only will people be able to buy books via multiple devices—including the iPad—using Google’s book search service, but independent shops will also be able to sell Google Editions copies of books via their own personal websites. With the availability of titles coming directly from their search engine, and not from a typical store-based website, Google is betting heavily on its massive web-presence to make Google Editions the standard of the ebook market. Cry ‘havoc’ and let slip the (ebook) dogs of war!
Barnes & Noble has finally releases nook update 1.3, which brings a couple of welcome upgrades and features to the ereader. One notable change is the presence of a web browser, which in turn, makes Wi-Fi a bit more useful. How so? Well, if a Wi-Fi hotspot requires a login, you can now use the browser to do that and hop onto the network, whereas before, you were just out of luck with the nook. Pages will now turn faster, which is always nice, and they’ve also got some apps and games available for your enjoyment as well. If you want to take advantage of the in-store nook perks, you can now read any ebook for free for an hour when connected to a Barnes & Noble hotspot, and later, you’ll be able to read newspapers and magazines for 20 minutes per day. If you wanna get your nook updates immediately, you can download the update and manually install it over USB, or if you’re in no rush, it should auto-update over Wi-Fi sometime over the next few days.
Read More | nook Update
One of the more exciting iPad apps that shows off what may be the future of literature and reading is the Marvel Comics app. Setting aside the whole problem where you can’t share the comics, and can’t sell or give away the old comics you’ve purchased and build community around it, we must say, it looks pretty slick. If you are a fan of Marvel, this will obviously be an app you’ll want to add to your iPad. The app is essentially a no-cost storefront that let’s you preview and purchase comics to read.
A quick clip from CNN as they go over the upcoming launch of the iPad, and the fact that Apple has just made deals with publishers Perseus and Workman to distribute books on the iPad. They also look at the pressure that Amazon is feeling as it pertains to the Kindle, as publishers want Amazon to mimic the Apple agreement method of selling eBooks.
You can pre-order an iPad now.
Just like the Barnes & Noble iPad app that we talked about previously, an Amazon Kindle app that is specifically made and formatted for the iPad is also on the way. The folks over at the New York Times were able to get a look at it, and it sounds fairly similar to what we saw from Apple with their iBooks app. You can control the speed of a page turn with your finger, and it has a couple of new ways for people to view their entire eBook library. One of those, above, shows books covers with a background of someone reading a book under a tree. The position of the sun in the background changes depending on the time of day, which is fairly cool.
We find the whole things with both B&N and Amazon rushing to get their eBook reader apps ready for the iPad to be very interesting. In a nutshell, the iPad is now the only mobile device that will let you read eBooks purchased from Apple, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. All the other devices are tied to one store. Between the eBook stores, and apps like Instapaper, the iPad is prepped to be the most feature-rich eBook reader on the planet, and that doesn’t even take any of its other features into account.
Read More | NYT
Looks like Apple isn’t the only company looking to capitalize on the iPad hype in order to sell eBooks. Barnes & Noble has just made it public knowledge that they plan on releasing an iPad-optimized version of the B&N reader app, with the goal being to have it ready in the App Store on day one. We must say, we like it. In fact, this may cement the iPad as the best reader device around, because you’ve got the B&N app, the Kindle app, and of course, the Apple iBooks app as well (among others.) This means that you can purchase a book in any of those three ebook marketplaces, and read them all on your iPad. That’s something you just can’t do with a Kindle or nook. Let’s just hope that Apple doesn’t give these apps the same treatment that they’ve given to others, like Google Voice.
If you’re an aspiring author who’s been wanting to publish a book, or if you’ve got a blog that you think would be fantastic as a printed work, pay attention. FastPencil has hooked us up with 10 giveaway packages that will let you take your work and put it into a physical, published form, for free. In case you aren’t aware, FastPencil is a super-simple way for anyone to write, organize, sell, and distribute physical books, as well as ebooks. Ten of you will win:
- A free printed book
- A free eBook
- Free shipping and handling
In order to redeem, you’d just put in your original work in the FastPencil system, or if you have a blog, it can be automatically imported. Seriously, it’s very cool, and we’re gonna hook up 10 of you with the prize package. How do you enter? Simple. Just leave a comment here on this post, or over on the Gear Live Facebook page. We will choose ten people randomly a week from today!
We’ve been anticipating the nook for about a month-and-a-half now, even since Barnes & Noble announced the nook back in October. Seeing a potential, real competitor to the Amazon Kindle sporting both an e-ink screen alongside a capacitive color LCD touchscreen just about made us drool. Oh, and it runs Google Android too, so, there’s that whole thing. Well, we’ve finally got the Barnes & Noble nook into our hands, and we’ve done some testing, some reading, and some playing, all in the spirit of letting you know how the nook stands on its own, and how it compares to the Amazon Kindle. We think we’ve done that, and we invite you to continue reading for the full Gear Live nook review.
The nook e-reader, Barnes and Noble’s supposed Kindle killer, just hit it’s first speed bump with the delay of the ship date. Originally, the nook was set to ship to customers on November 30th. However, B&N says that because sales were higher than expected, they are pushing the ship date to December 11th—a full 11 days later. Luckily, if you got your pre-order in early, yours should still ship on November 30th. However, if you are placing a pre-order at this point, don’t expect to see your device until mid-December. If you were thinking about picking up a nook for someone for the holidays, your best bet might be to buy one sight unseen.
Read More | Brighthand
Someone over on the Barnes & Noble web team seems to have jumped the gun, because the official Nook site was up for a few minutes, before quickly being pulled down. Luckily, we were able to get in, and even pre-order a unit, before things got pulled. The B&N Nook e-reader runs Android, and looks like it’ll give the Amazon Kindle a run for its money.
The device features a 6-inch screen, with a 3.5-inch color touchscreen beneath it. This gives you a quick method to browse your library, the store, and input text into the device. Definitely much easier than the Kindle’s hard keyboard. The device measures in at 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.5-inches, and weighs 11.2 ounces. You get 10 days of battery life if you turn off wireless, and the battery takes 3.5 hours to go from empty to full when plugged into a wall outlet. Speaking of wireless, the Nook actually sports both a 3G connection from AT&T, as well as built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g. Definitely an advantage over the Kindle, because even if you have poor cell reception, you can just connect to Wi-Fi to download a book. The Nook also includes 2GB of internal storage (enough to hold 1500 books,) a microSD slot for adding even more storage, MP3 playback, built-in speaker, headphone jack, and micro USB port for charging and syncing.
So, aside from the above, what sets this thing apart from the Kindle? For starters, you can lend books to friends for up to two weeks at a time, and they don’t even need a Nook of their own. They can access the Nook book content on an iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, PC, or Mac. The lending of literature is one thing that went away with the Kindle, and we are happy to see it return with Nook. The Barnes & Noble store also has over a million titles available for download, with more than 500,000 of those being free ebooks. The Nook can also read PDFs, something the Kindle 2 can’t do.
The Barnes & Noble Nook is available now for pre-order.
Read More | Nook