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Book Apps to Watch, Volume 3

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 3rd, 2011

Books, we love them. So, apparently, do iOS users, bringing the Books category up to the second most popular category in the App Store (the first being Games, of course). Each week, we dip our toes into the book app waters so you don't have to. Here are our four picks of the week.

March of the Dinosaurs looks to be a glorious nonfiction look into the world of our saurian ancestors, by the makers of The Elements and Solar System for iPad, TouchPress. This book features realistic 3D dinosaurs that can be rotated and zoomed, video sequences and an optional narration, and over 65 pages of glorious Dino info across 12 chapters. Sign us up!

Classicly HD ~ 26,416 books and audiobooks. The ultimate library. Spreadsong, Inc. may have named this app, but we choose it for the content, not the unwieldy title. Classicly HD puts together 23,469 classic books in ebook format, which alone is cause for celebration. What makes this app stand out is the almost 3,000 audiobooks and 61 handpicked collections of books included as well. If you want to carry around a library the size of which would astonish most of the authors of these classic books, this is the app for you.

We're constantly on the lookout for free ebooks, and Kindle eBooks purports to do alot of the legwork for us. The app gives users streamlined access to lists of Kindle free or inexpensive books, in either a top ten list or a list of ALL of them. Users can then send links to these books via email, so they or their friends can download to their actual Kindle or Kindle app. This seems pretty useful!

Science Fiction fans rejoice, as our next pick has 100 stories from this popular genre to share with them. Users can thrill to the 100 SciFi Stories by the likes of HG Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Murray Leinster, and Jules Verne - classic authors in the genre. The app developers promise more of the short stories, novelettes and full length novels in the days to come, all from the SF field.

On almost the opposite end of the genre continuum sits the Jane Austen - Fan Kit, $0.99 app that includes a daily Jane Austen quote, almost every published work by this famous author, a "movie of the week" feature to suggest an adaptation of one of her works, and even a trivia game with questions about Jane Austen's life, books, quotes and movie adaptations.


Book Apps To Watch

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 19th, 2011

The Books category on the App Store is second only to Games, by application count. For real! In other words, besides games, books are the most numerous type of apps in Apple's marketplace for iOS apps. That's stunning for a device whose creator once famously said, "people don't read any more." Here are our choices for the best of the category this week.

Storyville, by Fatty Apps, Inc, brings users one story each week to this universal app. They publish stories from new collections in bookstores from indie publishing presses, like Graywolf Press, Soft Skull Press, and Archipelago Books. Writers and stories are from the past and the present - and the future, if we think about it.

Dark Eden, by PC Studio, Inc., is a multi-episode teaser/enrichment app for a book due to be released in November of this year. This app will have 14 episodes, each at $0.99, or $9.99 for the whole run. The first episode, The Arrival, is free. Check out this multimedia experience with notes, maps, videos and audio diaries in the app store now.

Book readers can always use a way to organize those large piles of dead tree, right? Book Crawler, by Jaime Stokes, aims to do just that. Adding books with the ISBN barcode scanner and search/organize by title, author, publisher, copyright, cover art, summaries, Goodreads reviews, and local library locations. Seems like a one stop collector's paradise!

What would a list of recommended book apps be without a children's book in it? We suspect a large number of book apps are bought by parents who want to bring the iPad into their family's story time ritual. Harold and the Purple Crayon, published for iOS by Trilogy Studios, continues to be one of our favorite books for kids, and the universal version is available in the App Store for a good price. Keep on drawin', Harold!