During his WWDC 2010 keynote, Steve Jobs announced some upcoming enhancements to the iBooks app. The biggest, by our estimation, is the addition of native PDF support. You’ll be able to drag PDFs into iTunes to have them sync up with iBooks. In order to keep things nice and tidy, PDFs will even have their own bookshelf. Other enhancements include one-touch bookmarking of a page, as well as the ability to add notes. The notes appear as post-it notes on a page. These are in addition to the currently available highlighting. Very nice.
In what we are guessing is an attempt to make the Kindle a bit more attractive when compared to the B&N nook, Amazon announced today that the Kindle 2 now ships with PDF support and a battery that lasts almost twice as long as previous Kindle 2s. The battery bump, in particular, gives you 7 days of use with wireless on as opposed to 4.
Even cooler, though, is the fact that if you already own a Kindle 2, there will be a firmware update released over-the-air that will give you the same functionality, including the 85% increase in battery life! No date has been announced for the release of that update, but we’d be surprised if it didn’t arrive any day now. Gotta love competition. You can pick up the Kindle 2 on Amazon.
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Tidy up all those loose papers with NeatDesk. It is a high-speed desktop scanner and filing system that was obviously meant for businesses and those with way too much paper on their desk. The digital “inbox” can scan both sides of up to 10 business cards or receipts at a time or an entire 50 page document at once and convert to PDF. Available for both PC and Mac, you must really have the need for neat at a price of $449.95.
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Another ebook has hit the market named the COOL-ER that uses E-InkR. This new technology produces a paperlike display that is meant to make you feel more like you are reading a book. Power is only used for “page turning,” so a single charge is good for up to 8,000 pages. The COOL-ER lets you change the text size, has PDF support and an SD card reader, all at a price of $249.00. Less expensive initially, downloads may cost you more than those for the Kindle.
Read More | Coolreader
If you don’t have access to software that can convert documents to PDFs and you do have IE and Windows XP SP2/Vista, then Softland’s doPDF converter is for you. There are simple step-by-step instructions to install it as a printer driver. After selecting “print,” you can convert Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel sheets, company reports, AutoCad drawings and many other documents. Best of all, it is free to download.
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Plustek’s BookReader has optical character recognition and auto-document orientation that converts Text to Speech in what they say is “high quality speech with a lifelike voice.” You simply push a button and the device converts printed text with high-speed scanning, which can be saved in MP3 format for later access. Other features include magnifying and bookmark functions, volume and speech controls, font control and PDF reading. What a great gift for lazy parents, visually impaired, or anyone who has neither the time nor inclination to pick up a book. The BookReader can be yours for $700.00.
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Foxit has introduced its first e-book reader that they have dubbed the eSlick. With a mere 0.4-inch thickness and a weight of 6.4 oz., you can view PDF files or convert any printable document to PDF. The device also has a built-in MP3 Player. It comes with software, a 2GB SD card and earphones. Foxit says it will be arriving “very soon.” You can pre-order now for $229.99 and you will save $30.00.
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Thanks to an agreement between Yahoo and Adobe, PDFs will no longer be advertisement-free. Legally termed “Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo,” it is currently in its beta phase. The ads will be located on an adjacent panel and if clicked will open a new window. So far the service is only being used for pay-per-click text and is free for publishers, who can also block up to 200 urls if they don’t want it on selected files. On the upside, readers may now be able to obtain files that were formerly available for a charge or not provided online.
Read More | Daily Tech
Is there no end to Googlemania? Google Book Search service allows free downloading and printing of classic novels, as well as many obscure books that are in public domain. You can download them to PDF for reading at your leisure, or print them for instantaneous gratification. Formerly, this service only allowed access to out-of copy books online.
Book Search is part of Google’s Books Library Project, which digitizes books from major libraries and is partnered with the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, the University of California and the New York Public Library. Way to go Google! Even we will use this service and think that the keyword generated text ads we have to put up with are worth the price (or in this case, “non-price”).
Read More | Google Book Search