Amazon is changing definitions: Kindle eBook and Kindle Edition become Digital Book or eBook. Removing the word Kindle from e-books informs users that they do not need an e-reader to read e-books, but there are now many different mediums Amazon employs for people to read or have books read aloud. For example you can now have e-books read aloud to you with the Amazon Echo and Alexa.
Sony revamps its Digital Paper tablet
Sony’s mammoth 13-inch Digital Paper tablet gets significant improvements with a new model. The screen itself, built with E Ink’s Mobius display tech, has been upped from 1200×1600 to 1650×2200, which should make text considerably clearer (206 DPI — pretty good). The increased resolution doesn’t seem to have affected the battery life, though: like other e-paper displays, it’s super-long, at least a week or two. The touchscreen layer has been improved, as well, and the texture of the surface; e-paper displays aren’t very responsive, so anything that can be done to improve that experience is welcome. This has presumably enabled the new note taking and annotation features the device has.
Pocketbook unveiled their second generation waterproof $141 e-reader, the Aqua 2. This device features a six inch E-Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1024×768 with 212 PPI. It can carry a massive library of e-books with its 8GB of internal storage and you can listen to audiobooks with the built in 3.5mm headphone jack. It has a built in front-light so you can read in the dark and it is also waterproof and dustproof (IP57 standard). The Aqua 2 connects to the Internet via WIFI. E-Books can also be sent directly to the device via the Dropbox connection and the Send-to-PocketBook service . For reading foreign-language e-Books, a number of Abbyy-Lingvo dictionaries are preinstalled.
Onyx showed it's new product for authors - Boox Typewriter, which is a two-in-one laptop with an E Ink display. It has a detachable keyboard and has support for a stylus, so you can make notes and highlights when it is in tablet mode. The Onyx Typewriter might not see the light of day, the company is trying to see if there is any interest in this type of product. It has a 9.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display,runs Android, has Bluetooth and wireless internet access. It has 25 days of battery life when in use and around 50 days in standby mode. It looks like Onyx is trying to compete against the Freewrite and other e Ink enabled typewriters.
Microsoft eBookstore launches in US
Microsoft has launched its own digital bookstore that is sepatared from the Windows App Store. For now you can cannot download paid or free content unless you live in the United States but you can access it once you download the Windows Creators Update. The bookstore is populated with thousands of bestsellers from all of the major publishers. Microsoft is betting big that people will be more likely to pay for a title if it is from a well known author. Most of the most popular books range in price from $9.99 to $13.99, some are even cheaper than Amazon. Microsoft is betting that anyone who is using a Surface or Windows 10 tablet will start doing business with them. Buying books in the App Store and reading them on the Edge Browser is much more intuitive than downloading Kindle for PC or the dreaded Kobo Desktop Manager. Many of the leading booksellers rely on Android or iOS apps, whereas Microsoft is the only game in town for an optimized Windows 10 experience.
Barnes and Noble updated their Nook for Android e-reading and added a host of new features. The new version brings a number of notable enhancements such as search by voice, which searches your e-reader and the store for e-books. Just tap the microphone in the search bar, and tell NOOK what you’re looking to read. Besides, now you can create custom Quote Cards from your favorite highlights, choose a background and share via social media, email, or text message.
Onyx has just announced their second generation 13.3 inch e-reader Boox Max Carta and instead of using an E Ink Mobius screen, it is employing Carta. It continues to rely on the stylus and does not have a touchscreen layer. The e-reader features a 13.3 inch E Ink Carta display with resolution of 2200 x 1650. It is using a 1GHz CPU and has 1GB of RAM. There is 16GB of internal storage and if this is not enough you can expand it up to 32GB via the SD. You can connect up to the internet via WIFI and it also has Bluetooth, but I am not sure it has a USB host controller for a keyboard. It ships with Android 4.0, but Onyx says it will support 4.4 sometimes in the future. There is also a speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack to listen to music or audiobooks and it also has a tiny microphone. The Onyx Boox Carta costs $853.
Kobo launched a new unlimited subscription program for e-books, called Kobo Plus. The first two countries where it will be available is the Netherlands and Belgium. Readers can pay € 9,99 per month to have access to 40,000 titles and 16,000 of those are in the Dutch language. This new e-book subscription platform is a byproduct of Bol and Kobo. Bol.com introduced digital reading in the Netherlands and Belgium five years ago, and since then has experienced amazing growth. In addition to the 1.2 million eReaders sold in the Netherlands, customers can also read their eBooks digitally via tablets and smartphones. The selection of eBooks has grown enormously over the past few years. One in seven non-fiction books sold in the Netherlands is digital.
Audiobooks.com that offers streaming capabilities on tvOS, Sonos, CarPlay, Android Auto, and select infotainment systems in GM, Land Rover and Jaguar, has just introduced full support for the Apple iWatch and Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches. Smartwatch users can now launch the Audiobooks.com app from their smartwatch, browse and listen to any audiobook in their My Books library, access controls for play, pause, forward, rewind and volume. This announcement follows the recent Wear 2.0 version update for Android, with which Audiobooks.com is fully compatible. Audiobooks.com users who own wearable technology can start listening immediately, no action required.
Many GoodReads users set a book goal for the calendar year. Sometimes you simply want to reread the Harry Potter saga or one of the Divergent books, but in the past they would not count towards your goal. This has all changed with a new BETA ReRead feature that will be rolled out globally in the coming months. Next time you decide to reread a book that you’ve already marked as Read on Goodreads, simply mark it as Currently Reading. When you are done, just mark it as Read. You can do this from the Goodreads iOS and Android apps and on Goodreads.com, as well as in the About the Book feature on Kindle.