Posts Tagged book
This week at 148Apps.com, everything was about – what else? – the iPhone 5. Site founder and all-around iPhone guru Jeff Scott provided some much-needed advice for anyone interested in switching carriers when upgrading: “So you, like many, have decided to switch carriers with the iPhone 5? You could go data only but perhaps you still need the phone part of the iPhone. Let’s say for instance you are tired of the customer-hostile management at AT&T and want to move to Verizon. Just, you know, as an example.
Let’s rundown what you will need to make the switch and any pitfalls you might hit. It’s a fairly simple process, but there are some things you should know first, before starting.”
Meanwhile, GiggleApps headed to the Great White Way, courtesy of Amy Solomon’s review of Broadway Barks: “Broadway Barks is a lovely interactive story, written, narrated and sung by Tony-winning actress Bernadette Peters, based on the previously published children’s book with CD of the same name. Versions for both iPhone as well as iPad are available.
This is a cute and charming story of a dog who no longer has a home and is all alone in the park until he is discovered and given a chance to be seen at Broadway Barks – a charity event in New York City to promote the adoption of animal, ultimately finding a new home.”
Finally, 148Apps.biz featured a how-to for creating a better mobile app from Prince Arora: “You just came up with a great idea for a mobile app or you are working on a new feature to add in your existing app. You have laid out all the screens, primary & secondary actions, and interaction flow in your head and you get down to write the code.
Great! However, this scenario is the same as starting to build a house without a blueprint. Wireframes are like blueprints and visual design is like interior decoration for an app.
So before you start writing code, work on a blueprint — this includes writing down the features/user stories, designing the flow charts, defining the primary & secondary action and designing the wireframes. These sounds like a lot but I’ll walk you through each step to show you how simple it can be.”
And that, my friends, brings us to the end of a very busy and exciting week. Stay abreast of the latest news, reviews and contests by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook, and be sure to meet me back here next weekend for a rundown of what you might have missed. See you next week!
“I’m sick of desktops, laptops, and netbooks. The iPad is lightweight, has great battery life, and I don’t have to take it out of my bag when I’m flying. Most of the work that I do is writing, covering iOS and Android, so it seems appropriate to primarily do this work from mobile devices, right? That’s what I want, but there’s still just so many shortcomings that keep it from being a regular reality.
“What I find is that for basic tasks, the iPad is great. I like the focus that the iPad’s limitation of running a single app on screen at a time provides, especially for writing. I use a portable Bluetooth keyboard, and while it’s not full-size, the benefits I get from being forced to focus on what I’m writing is a huge benefit. As well, with the customer support job I work with that uses Zendesk, I discovered that it’s actually quite easy to do it efficiently through Safari and the Zendesk mobile app. I didn’t feel like I was any less productive in working from the iPad than I do when I work from my Mac in this case. But it’s the exception to the rule.”
Meanwhile, Amy Solomon at GiggleApps.com took a trip to the zoo via ABC ZooBorns: “My son, a fan of these other apps, was excited to hear about ABC ZooBorns, asking me about a list of his favorite animals, all of which are included – much to my son’s excitement. I too enjoy the list of animals included – be it more traditional zoo animals, such as tigers or zebras, but also including some unique choices such as Ural owl, wombat or quokka. We do love to look at these animals as babies, especially those are simply precious to look at such as baby Gorillas or Elephants.”
Released: 2012-07-24 :: Category: Education
Finally, AndroidRundown.com featured a story about a fascinating new KickStarter project named InstaCube. Joseph Bertolini writes, “It streams photos directly from any user’s Instagram account and displays them on a large 6.5″ LCD touchscreen. Display those photos from the park yesterday or randomly check in on some friends, because what good are those photos if they are stuck on a tiny phone screen all the time. Probably the greatest element of InstaCube is its ability to stay away from being one dimensional by including full access to Instagram. Doing this allows for photo browsing, ‘liking’ of photos, and InstaCube will even display live photos of sunrises and sunsets from around the world.”
Summer’s heading to a close, but we still have so much more to offer across the 148Apps network. Keep track of all the latest happenings, as well as reviews and contests, by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook. You’ll be glad you did.
There’s a new children’s book available on the App Store in the form of Aesop for Children and it’s rather beautiful to look at. Most interesting of all, however, is where it came from: the US Library of Congress.
The US Library of Congress has previously released an app about the Congressional Record, understandably so, but it’s the first time we’ve seen any books given the app treatment by the Library of Congress.
Aesop for Children is based on a 1919 book of the same name, meaning it’s now public domain and open to being turned into an app, inexpensively.
The app itself is quite delightful with the original illustrations improved with some modern animations. It sticks closely to the book’s original roots though, rather than adding a huge amount of interactivity.
It’ll be interesting to see what future app ideas the Library of Congress have planned as the potential is great.
Aesop for Children is out now and it’s free to download.
Once upon a Friday evening, as I sat here, email reading,
Over a many quaint and curious letter of reviews implored,
While I perused, nearly napping, all the while my fingers clacking,
Pausing not their steady tapping, tapping on my old keyboard.
“ ‘Tis a slow night,” I muttered, “little use for my keyboard;
Only spam, and nothing more.”
Deep into my malaise drifting, long I sat there, fading, staring
Doubting, seeking apps few mortals ever dared download before;
Then my boredom was disbanded, by the news of an app branded,
A collection handed to a more than willing App Store.
I noticed when I checked the store. And I found, it offered more.
Not content with mere wording, these three stories feature moving,
Not just moving but reacting, with a touch we’ve seen before.
“The Tell-Tale Heart,” said I, “has piqued my interest.
“As has The Oval Portrait and The Masque of the Red Death.
Let’s see if interaction makes them better, better than they were before.”
iPoe, with interactive stories, still is sitting, still is sitting
Lurking in the category for books found on the App Store;
And we all can start the reading of this dark and twisted dreaming.
And the price is of a number that in dollars orbits four ($3.99);
And my goal for this here story has been met with much fervor
Download it from—The App Store!
Released: 2012-03-26 :: Category: Books
LazyTown, the popular children’s show about health and well-being, now has an iPad storybook filled with interactive features. LazyTown’s Friends Forever BooClip is a digital book app that not only narrates a story but includes animations, video clips, music, and more interactive features all about the LazyTown TV series.
This particular LazyTown adventure follows Stephanie and the new play park she’s created for her friends. Stephanie competes with her rival Robbie, who entices the friends away from Stephanie’s park to an attraction of his own with the promise of fake prizes.
In addition to the interactive features that the kid’s will enjoy, parents will also feel good about this app. The development of the LazyTown’s Friends Forever BooClip app was supervised by psychologists, teachers, consultants, and linguists. So parents can be assured that their child’s experience is safe and educational.
Other BooClips include Garfield’s BooClips and The Bible BooClips. BooClips are “edutainment” apps that enhance the reading experience for children with interactive features, word for word narration, and more.
This week at 148Apps.com, everything was hopping in celebration of Easter weekend. We started with Jennifer Allen’s Five for Friday feature, showcasing an array of Easter-themed apps. Allen writes, “Happy Easter folks. No matter how you may celebrate it, and whether you do or not, we’ve got some fun Easter themed apps and games to cover in this week’s Five For Friday. Much like the event itself, the apps are a little geared towards families but there’s still fun to be had for all.”
Released: 2011-03-04 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, Amy Solomon from GiggleApps reviewed a new interactive children’s book – Nedi the Yeti. Solomon says, “Nedi the Yeti would make a great first app for babies and toddlers as the animals are friendly looking and engaging as well as not so well hidden that children of all ages could not find these creatures with ease, as a drag of a finger will coax these animals from their hiding places and a tap will trigger a speech bubble and a fun animal sound, be it either cartoony or realistic as is the case of the included bird or owl sounds found within.”
Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Kevin Stout explored ways for developers to acquire new users for their apps. Stout says, “Getting recognition and acquiring new users for mobile apps has gotten harder and harder as the app ecosystem has grown. This week, at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit 2012, strategy was discussed about the rising cost of user acquisition by three people close to the issue: Gabriel Leydon, chief executive of Machine Zone (free MMO developer of iMob and Original Gangstaz), Maria Alegre, CEO of Chartboost (app promotion solution), and Chris Akhavan, VP and GM of Strategic Partnerships at Tapjoy (app discovery and sharing platform).”
Thanks for another great week! If you want to keep track of the latest reviews, news and contests, there’s a great way to do it – just follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook. It’s just that easy – promise! See you next week, law-abiding citizen!
PipeDream Labs, an app development company based out of India, has released its first interactive children’s book, The Perfect Shape. The book is a 30-page story with unique art, music, and interactivity.
The app mixes some traditional story-telling with animations (both subtle and flamboyant) to make for an interesting experience for children. The book describes the tale of Curiosity, the youngest son of the creator, and his goal to “redesign the world to make it a better place and rid it of all wrongs.” Curiosity is accompanied by his pet Bunny. The Perfect Shape follows Curiosity and his pet as they adventure to create the perfect world.
The Perfect Shape was released on March 23th and is available for $2.99. The Perfect Shape is an iPad-only app.
PipeDream Labs also creates digital comics, games, and designs toys. Check them out here.
Today marks the arrival of over 60 Marvel graphic novels on the Apple iBookstore. Fans of the popular comic books can now find their favorite Marvel heros including the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Captain America, the Hulk, and others. These graphic novels (compilations of several comic book issues) range in price from $8.99 to $24.99 and free previews are available for each title.
After purchase, these titles will be optimized for and viewable through Apple’s iBooks app on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad in full, vibrant color. Marvel has announced that it will be releasing new titles every week, and an extended preview of the New Avengers Vol. 1 is currently available for free.
To view all of the Marvel graphic novels currently available for download in the iBookstore, go here. Marvel fans can now add iBooks to their favorite ways to read and reread the stories of their favorite mutant heros.
Having spent a decent portion of my retail career involved in the children’s section of a bookstore, I think I have a solid grasp of what makes for popular literature among parents and their children. There’s always one or two “flavors of the week,” but there are also those that always sell. Where the Wild Things Are. The Velveteen Rabbit. Virtually anything written by Mo Willems or Sandra Boynton. Sitting proudly at the top of this list are the works of the undisputed monarch of children’s literature, Dr. Seuss.
Theodor Seuss Geisel‘s stories have been adapted for all manner of medium, not surprisingly including iOS. Oceanhouse Media has been offering special adaptations, referred to as “omBooks” for portable Apple devices for quite a while now. These special not-quite-ebooks allow users to flip through their virtual pages normally, have the stories read to them at a set pace (not unlike a movie) or a hybrid of the two that narrates while emphasizing key words.
While individual Seuss classics have been available in this form for quite some time, Oceanhouse has released their first-even multi-title collection. The Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1 features five of (arguably) his most well-known works: The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The FOOT Book, Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You? and Fox in Socks. Five classics, no waiting. Well, depending on one’s WiFi speed, anyway.
This collection is on the App Store right now for $11.99. I know it may seem like a lot, but buying each of these omBooks individually would cost around $15 or so. And that’s after the price drops in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Anyone with an appreciation for all things Seuss should certainly check this out.
Buttonless: Incredible iPhone and iPad Games and the Stories Behind Them is coming out December 21 (and available for pre-order now) to bookstores and online retailers everywhere. It’s a book about iOS games and their stories by Ryan Rigney, a freelance journalist who has covered the video-game industry from every angle for publications and sites including Gamasutra, PC Gamer and GamePro. We managed to talk with him for a bit about the inspirations for the book, among other things. Click through to the post for the interview AND an exclusive chapter from the upcoming book, all about Fruit Ninja.
Harold and the Purple Crayon is a wondrous and thoughtful adaptation of the classic 1955 children’s book of the same name that had been developed into an interactive storybook, now a universal application.
I remember Harold and the Purple Crayon from my childhood and have shared this story with my son as well. Few children’s books that I can think of beg to be turned into an interactive storybook as much as this one does, and I have been eagerly waiting for this to be developed into a universal app, knowing that at some point this was bound to happen.
I am very eager to introduce this app to readers who may not know of its existence. It is the perfect experience that I expected with every element thoughtfully conceived, making this book a joy to share with my son.
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Book Crawler aims to put a virtual card catalog in your pocket -- whether it’s for books you own, books you’ve read, books you lent out, or all three – and does so with some mighty powerful tagging and sorting features.
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The Our Choice app is Al Gore’s book on global warming converted to an interactive app. The book examines causes of global warming and solutions in the works to stop it. Gore touches on subjects like solar power, nuclear power, wind power, biomass energy, deforestation, and more. The physical book itself is #1 in books on climatology on Amazon.com and #10 in public policy.
The app is packed with features. Al Gore’s commentary, read by Gore himself, is available throughout the app. Pictures and videos pop out and are occasionally accompanied by commentary. Info-graphics are sprinkled throughout the app with various data about global warming and related topics. The app also includes over an hour of documentary footage.
Basically anything in the app can be “picked up” and uses multi-touch in some way: pictures can flip over or fold out, one can zoom out to the visual table of contents, finding the location of a picture can be done by tapping a globe, etc. Push Pop Press, the developers of the app, call it “the next generation of digital books.”
On the Push Pop Press website, names, information, and pictures of each chapter are available. Take a quick scan through what the app consists of before taking the plunge to buy it. The app is selling for $4.99 and is available for both the iPhone and iPad. With the paperback on sale for about $15, it seems a steal to get the book plus all of these extra features for only $5. Al Gore describes the app in the video below.
Loris and the Runaway Ball is a simple and lovely universal storybook app about the dangers of running into the street after a run-away ball.
As a parent, one of my biggest concerns is that my fearless child will run into the street to collect a stray ball or other toy and get hit by an oncoming car. As much as we talk about this in order to reinforce this important lesson, I worry that it is never enough for this utterly crucial message to sink in.
This is a sweet story, told from the point-of-view of a loving older brother Lincoln, about how one day he is playing with his little sister Loris and their ball rolls into the street, and now lincoln needs to save his sister from her horrible decision to go after the ball. Luckily the older brother does get to his sister just in time, something I have not yet had to do, and hope I never have to.
Most people who have seen my new iPad react with the same question, “should I get this or the Kindle?” Apple, obviously, intended its iPad to be perceived as much more than an eBook reader. Yet the much publicized launch of the iBookstore, along with the iPad’s slim form factor, have led many consumers to perceive the iPad as an expensive eBook reader.
The Kindle is the Premier eBook ReaderThe Kindle was launched solely as an eBook reader and is marketed as such. Jeff Bezos, on introducing the device, said of the Kindle that “it’s so ambitious to take something as highly evolved as the book and improve on it. And maybe even change the way people read.” Amazon has definitely done much of the legwork in improving the acceptability of the eBook as a new medium for written material. Amazon’s true innovation was bringing E-Ink technology to the consumer market, along with doing the technical legwork to simplify the reading experience. At its core, the Kindle is a delivery device – a user purchases a book as they would online and finds it available for reading seconds later.
The reading experience does everything it can to mimic the experience of paper, all of which is aided by E-Ink. The screen is technology’s response to those who complained that they would never be able to read a book on a traditional LCD screen or a laptop. The Kindle itself is merely the size of a large paperback and is lighter than most printed books. The Kindle is Bezos’ effort to translate the book for the digital age, and he has largely succeeded in providing a popular and widely accepted new platform.
The iPad as an eBook ReaderThe iPad has benefited from terrific interest from both book publishers and book retailers. As a consequence we’ve seen innovative new packages like the Vook and traditional books from retailers like B&N, Amazon, and more. While the Kindle has a terrific – and probably the largest – bookstore, the iPad offers more choices for where you get your ebooks.
There’s Apple’s iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle reading app, B&N’s new iPad reader, and more. The three largest players each offer different solutions to the eBook problem. iBooks tries to mimic the feel of a physical book, utilizing a color UI with beautifully rendered page turns. The Kindle’s UI is black and white and encourages the same type of user interaction as the physical Kindle – a simple tap on the side of the screen changes pages in a fluid transition not as visually distracting as that of iBooks. B&N’s app allows users to choose from dozens of different visual settings but maintains the same fluid page transitions as Amazon’s Kindle app. Only the iBooks app has a store in-app; the others force the reader to go to Safari to purchase books. This is a definite snag in the clear workflow Bezos presented with the original Kindle, but one that I’m sure both B&N and Amazon will surmount in future applications.
The iPad’s reflective LCD screen probably isn’t the best for simply reading a book. It’s a pain in the sun, where it’s nearly impossible to see the text on a page. E-Ink mainly solves this problem with its screen. People who have issues reading for long periods of time on their laptops may wish to reconsider an iPad purchase if it’s intended solely as an eBook reader. While the reading experience is cleaner and more enjoyable, it’s the same experience as the backlit screens most notebooks include. In addition, the iPad’s battery life is rated at 10 hours, enough for most commuters but nowhere near the weeks the Kindle can last for.
The iPad as a Platform: Bigger Than BooksThe key differentiator between the two comes when we move beyond the simple eBook reading features. The Kindle includes a browser, but not one that functions nearly as well as the iPad’s. It’s black and white and renders incredibly slowly due to the E-Ink screen technology. The iPad’s Safari browser is widely regarded as one of the best on a mobile platform.
I’ve always seen the iPad as more than a traditional book reader as well. The Kindle simply translates the book reading experience into the digital age but strives not to completely alter the way we experience books. New features like Amazon’s Popular Highlights add subtle suggestions about the importance of a passage but do not redefine the reading workflow. Cool ideas like the aforementioned Vook change the reading experience by adding videos, multimedia, more information about certain topics (with links) and more. Could the iPad help the form of the written word change? Only time, and developers, will tell.
Those of you struggling with the decision to purchase an iPad or a Kindle might want to do some soul searching. What do you want from your portable device? Just books and nothing more? Buy a Kindle – that’s what it’s meant for. But if you’re looking for a small computer, with thousands of different and innovative new applications that could redefine reading, the iPad is for you.
Beyond the unusual name, Mongoliad is an exciting new project that could play a part in changing the landscape for modern-day literature and the way it’s published. While everybody is busy talking about how the iPad could revolutionize the magazine market, this new serial novel collaboration is breaking new ground for both writers and consumers of traditional books.
Looking beyond the simple eBook reader mentality, Mongoliad harnesses the writing skills of Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and others who will all contribute to the developing narrative. While a traditional story exists, Mongoliad’s aim is to create a world of interactivity between writers, readers and other non-literary members who can contribute to and enhance the story.
Mongoliad is due for launch this year and will be available on the iPhone and iPad.
Demoing just a few of Mongoliad’s promised features, Jeremy Bornstein of Subutai told us: “We think that devices like this really change publishing in a pretty fundamental way. Not just moving books into eBooks but really allowing for a lot more creative possibilities for engaging audiences”.
Set in around 1241 with the Mongol hoards threatening to destroy Europe, the novel will pull from a number of sources to ensure authenticity and from what we’ve heard so far, this includes experts in sword fighting to provide a healthy dose of swashbuckling knowledge.
The ins and outs of Mongoliad are still sketchy right now but we’re excited to see how the project progresses and, with such big names on board, how many others attempt to produce their own “novel within an app within an online service”. Most will likely be waiting to see the kind of buzz Mongoliad generates before taking the plunge but, from what we’ve seen so far, it’ll only be a matter of time.
[ as seen at the SF App Show ]