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!
We’ve really gotta hand it to Apple. Just 28 days into the availability of the iPad, and they’ve already sold over one million units. That’s 300,000 on day one, 450,000 within five days, and then another deluge with the launch of the iPad 3G model this past Friday. According to Apple, iPad users have downloaded over 12 million apps, and over 1.5 million ebooks from the iBookstore. Yup, the iPad has become another money printing machine for the company. Oh, and in case you were wondering, it took the iPhone 74 days to sell a million.
When Apple finally revealed the iPad to the world back at their January 27th event, it was a long time coming for many an Apple fan. After almost three years with the iPhone around, everyone figured it was time for Apple to unleash a full-sized, proper tablet. However, time and time again the rumor mill was incorrect, as Apple Event after Apple Event came and went with nary a mention of a tablet device. So when the announcement finally came, and when pre-orders finally were being taken, many prepped to grab the iPad on day one. That day came on April 3 with the launch of the Wi-Fi iPad in the United States, which you can now purchase at the Apple Online Store.
The hype has been off the charts, so let’s step back for a minute and examine this thing. The iPad sits somewhere between the iPhone juggernaut and the ridiculously popular MacBook. Many have said that it is simply a “big iPod touch” and nothing more. Apple has called it “magical and revolutionary.” Who’s right?
We bring you the answers in our review, so hit that read link and follow along as we delve into the iPad.
Apple has just unleashed iTunes 9.1 into the wild, and with it comes the ability to sync your iPad, as well as the ability to start managing ebooks. Interestingly enough, it looks like the iBooks store will only be accessible on the iPad itself, and not within iTunes, if we are understanding this correctly:
- Sync with iPad to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on the go
- Organize and sync books you’ve downloaded from iBooks on iPad or added to your iTunes library
- Rename, rearrange, or remove Genius Mixes
Remember, iTunes does support DRM-free ePub ebooks also, so if you have any, feel free to add them to your iTunes library after installing 9.1!
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
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Wanna get a look at the iPad right now, before Apple get’s today’s event video posted? Well, you can, as Apple has put up a video that tours you through the iPad hardware and unique software features, including the new email app, keyboard, iBooks ebook store, pixel-doubled apps, and more. Hit the video above for a look at Apple’s largest multitouch device.
It’s been a long, rumor-filled road, but today Apple has finally revealed a tablet, called the iPad. Steve Jobs seemed genuinely thrilled to demo the iPad, which weighs just 1.5 pounds, is a half-inch thin, and has a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS display. More interesting, Apple has built their own custom 1GHz processor, called the Apple A4 chip, to power the iPad. According to Jobs, the A4 chip “just screams,” and as a result, the iPad boasts a 10-hour battery life, with a full one month of standby time. You’ll be able to get one in 16, 32, or 64GB sizes,
prices listed below. Bluetoth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, speaker, microphone, and dock connector round out the offerings.
One of the big draws of the iPad is that all current iPhone apps will run just fine on it, and you can choose to run them at the original resolution, or in a pixel-doubled mode for fullscreen on the iPad. Apps can also be optimized for iPad to take advantage of the full screen resolution, as well as enhanced gestures. A new iPhone SDK, which includes iPad support, will be released later today.
The goal with the iPad is to do the tasks like web browsing, email, photo viewing, video watching, and e-book reading (Apple is including a new ereader app called iBooks) better than a netbook ever could, but also better than a smartphone ever could. The iPad has a “gorgeous” keyboard that actually looks very easy to use, and the actual built-in applications look more like the full version of OS X than what you’d find on the iPhone or iPod touch. In fact, you even get full-featured applications like iPhoto, iTunes, iBooks, and even Pages, Keynote, and Numbers in iWork for the iPad.
As far as 3G data plans, the iPad has two plans available from AT&T in the US. $14.99 per month for up to 250MB of data, or $29.99 per month for unlimited data. The best part? There are no contracts. You pay on a pre-paid month-to-month basis, so there are no cancellation fees. You activate your plan directly from the iPad, with no reason to hit an AT&T Store. All iPad 3G models are unlocked and use GSM micro SIMs, so in theory, you could get a better plan of your own elsewhere and just use that.
Let’s talk pricing - each model of the iPad is available as a Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + 3G configuration. 16GB is $499 / $629, 32GB costs $499 / $729, and the 64GB model will be $699 / $829. As far as availability, iPad without 3G will start shipping at the end of March, while the 3G models will start shipping at the end of April. Choose wisely!