Posts Tagged ereader

New iPhone? New apps? You Need Our Know-How!

 

Each week brings with it a wealth of new apps, but, we’ll admit, some weeks are just more exciting than others. Such is the case with this week, with its iPhone 5s and 5c announcements coupled with the long-awaited release of iOS 7. Be sure to catch up on our continuous coverage by checking in at our iOS 7 hub. And if you want more app reviews than you can shake a stick at, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.

Diptic PDQ

 
diptic

Conveniently fitting into the iOS 7 aesthetic that we’re all growing to quite like, Diptic PDQ lives up to its name by being a Pretty Dang Quick photo collage creation app. It’ll prove immensely useful to those who want to create a collage out of their photos and don’t have much time to do so. Distinctly speedy to use, Diptic PDQ dispenses with any bells and whistles that really aren’t needed; immediately requesting the photos that the user wants to import (as well as offering options to take images directly through the iOS device’s camera). Users are then able to drag and drop the photos into their respective places on the layout. There are 35 layouts in all, and each are the kind of template that one would actually use rather than the kind that are too wacky to be practical. –Jennifer Allen

Angry Birds Star Wars II

 
IMG_0536

There once was a man named George Lucas who decided he wasn’t prosperous enough. In search of never-ending wealth, he released three new films in his storied Star Wars franchise. After eventually completing his quest for riches and fortune, Lucas licensed out the rights for his films to Rovio, the brains behind the Angry Birds franchise. And thus a glorious gaming baby was born in the form of Angry Birds Star Wars II. Can this entry make just as big of a splash as the first installment, or have the days of Force-wielding fowl long since passed? Marketing professionals go an entire lifetime dreaming of working with a single brand that even remotely has the clout of a singular Star Wars or Angry Birds. Melding these two juggernauts together is a cross-promotional fantasy that has probably sold an iOS game or two… million. Taking a whack at the more recent trilogy is the aim of the sequel and this time around Rovio has ambitions of pulling out all of the stops. –Blake Grundman

Marvin

 
marvin

Previously quite the hit for iPad-owning reading fans, Marvin has made its way to the iPhone ably demonstrating just what a great eBook reader the device can be. For those who enjoy reading on the move, Marvin should be a firm choice for a while to come. The app is immediately simple to use. Relying upon DRM-free EPUB books, it comes with a selection of great classics such as “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “Crime and Punishment,” and many more. Importing others is just as simple, done via iTunes, Dropbox, or a Calibre plugin. Tutorials for doing such things are located via Safari rather than built into the app, but fortunately it’s all quite straightforward. –Jennifer Allen

Double Dragon

 
image

Double Dragon celebrated its 25th anniversary with an updated iPhone version, but has it managed to hold on to everything that has made it such a legendary franchise in the process? I was happy to see that the classic visuals, 80′s soundtrack, and damsel-in-distress story were all still present and cheesier than ever before. In terms of the game screen, the amount of buttons is deceptively simple. Although there may only be one directional button and four attack buttons there is an impressive array of moves available as laid out in the command list. Uppercuts, flying knees, head-butts, and special attacks all go towards keeping gameplay varied and particularly challenging to master (especially when it comes to initiating juggling). Let’s not forget the infamous weapons either. Barrels, whips, and steel pipes are all available to pick up and wield against the never-ending parade of thugs. –Lee Hamlet

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Monster Match

 
monster

A lot of games find it hard to stick to one ‘type’ nowadays. It seems that every game is of type X though has Y components. It’s not enough to find one solid game mechanic, it seems the trick is to mix several together. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m happy to say that Monster Match‘s attempt at mixing Pokemon and Connect 4 has worked a charm. The premise, as with most good games, is simple. You have a board which is full of coloured gems. You need to swipe at these gems connecting 2 or more of the same color. The more you connect, the better. Better how? Let me explain. –Matt Parker

Quad Drawer

 
quad

The past few renditions of the Android devices have had a lot more memory to store apps. The problem is, we can add more stuff to the phone because we have more space, so we do. When we have a hundred or more apps on our devices, it can take some time to find the right app to open. Quad Drawer is a great solution for most people to help find apps faster. After it’s downloaded, Quad Drawer will run a check to find all of the apps on the device. Once it does, finding an app is super easy. The apps are found by simply typing in the name of the application. While this may sound pretty simple, the majority of phones and other Android devices out there do not have a feature like this. –Trevor Dobrygoski

Infectonator Hot Chase

 
infectonator

Infectonator Hot Chase has a tough legacy to follow. The original Infectonator was an insane stew with zombies, tactics, humor and originality. This game only has zombies. Being worse than Infectonator still counts as a praise, although I’d much rather have original gameplay extended. But oh, well, maybe we’ll see that later. Infectonator Hot Chase is still fun, though. If you played Dead Ahead, then it’s easy to understand the concept of this game: it’s the same as Dead Ahead, but the heroes are zombies, not the survivals. The main zombie is running constantly to the right, just as the still-surviving humans do. He is also steering automatically to the bottom of the road, while pressing at the screen makes him strafe to the top. The player’s task is to “catch” the humans as the main zombie runs past them, and infect them. The freshly-infected start running alongside the main zombie, and help infect more people, or pick up gold and power-ups. The zombie slows and loses health over time, both of which can be replenished by eating people, or picking power-ups. When the main zombie dies, the gold he picked up is added to the bank, and can be spent to upgrade himself, or special mutations that temporarily imbue him with new powers. –Tony Kuzmin

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviews Infinity Blade III and Angry Birds Star Wars II, charts the history of Grand Theft Auto on handhelds, goes hands-on with Pokemon X & Y, investigates FIFA 14‘s in-app purchases, and celebrates iOS 7’s best and hidden features. Check out the Pocket Gamer Weekly Wrap-Up for all of this and more.

YACReader Review

YACReader Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Simplicity meets functionality in this clever little comic book reading app.

Read The Full Review »

Amazon is introducing an updated version of the Kindle app, which is supposed to be optimized for the new iPad. The app has been a huge success, with Amazon claiming it is the #5 best-selling free app of all time. Users can expect new features and a better look.

The main appeal for the new app is that it was designed with the new iPad’s high-resolution display in mind. Amazon claims that fonts and images will look better and clearer.

The redesigned interface will also give users the options to read “in the cloud”, so they can easily switch between devices with the Kindle app installed and have their books stay in sync. This feature was previously only available for platforms other than the iPad.

The Amazon Kindle store has also been redesigned for the Safari web browser on devices running iOS. Users who wish to buy books on their iPad will still need to access the Kindle store through Safari.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-03-04 :: Category: Books

Dedicated devices like the Kindle remain popular among book lovers—but did you know that you can get your eBook fix on your iPhone or iPod, too? There are a ton of great apps out there, most of them free, which put all that eReading power right at your fingertips.

Which one to use, however? In this roundup, we take a look at some of the top eReader contenders on the App Store. Scroll to the bottom to see which app we like best! Please note that this roundup focuses on the iPhone and iPod, not the iPad, though many of these apps are universal.

Kindle
Amazon’s Kindle app has a lot going for it. First and foremost is the Kindle Store, which is probably the most robust of all eBook stores and has relatively good prices. Kindle owners should be happy to know that you can transfer any Kindle eBooks attached to your account straight to your iPhone with this app! Reading ebooks in the Kindle app is also a breeze—the app’s interface is clean and simple, with some customizability and quick response times. I particularly like the free sample chapters. Keep in mind that Kindle books have their own DRM, so you can’t transfer them to other eReaders.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-03-04 :: Category: Books

Stanza
Stanza was arguably the first successful eReader in the App Store, and it remains a contender. Stanza allows you to import your own eBooks from a variety of formats and offers the most customization options out of all the eReaders. (It was the App Store pioneer of the reversed black-screen-white-text option, which is beloved by those reading at night.) Additionally, Stanza makes it easy to access Project Gutenberg’s archives of free classics as well as integrating with a number of partner stores. Alas, Stanza lacks the coherency of the Kindle or Nook book stores (and their lower prices!). But if you want total control over your eBook library, Stanza remains the way to go. Note that Amazon now owns Stanza, giving them two strong contenders in the eReader ring!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-07-13 :: Category: Books

NOOK
Formerly the B&N eReader, Barnes and Nobles’ NOOK eBook app is similar to the Kindle app in that it comes tied to B&N’s preexisting eBook store. So, if you own a NOOK, you can access your full B&N library from your iPhone. Barnes and Nobles’ store seems to be somewhat smaller than Amazon’s Kindle store, but still boasts an impressive selection and low prices. The iPhone app itself is gorgeous, featuring colorful book covers and the usual bevy of customization options for the reader. The reader responds snappily. One unique feature to Barnes and Nobles’ eBook approach is the “LendMe” feature, which lets you share books with other users. Nice!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-08-17 :: Category: Books

Kobo
Kobo is relatively new, and focuses on new and best-selling books. The glossy interface focuses on being pretty, but there’s a fair amount of functionality here, too. The store section of the app works wonderfully, with a number of handy categories. One new book is offered as a free download each week, and the prices are fair. Unfortunately, some trouble comes with the reader aspect. While the interface mostly stays out of your way and feels quite natural, it also suffers from the occasional crash. Ah, well; Kobo remains a nice contender, and it does support Instapaper integration.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-02-26 :: Category: Books

iBooks
You’d think that Apple’s own pet bookstore would have shown up earlier, right? Unfortunately, the iBookstore leaves much to be desired in terms of both pricing and selection—I don’t think it’s comparable to Barnes and Nobles’ selection yet, let alone Amazon’s massive Kindle Store. Additionally, iBooks has a nasty habit of crashing right when you’re getting to the exciting part. I complained about many of these issues last June, and yet many of the problems persist half a year later.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-02 :: Category: Books

The Conclusion
There are many strong contenders in the eBook space, and almost all of the popular apps are very, very good. If you own a Kindle or a NOOK, stick with the corresponding app. None of the eReader apps are sufficiently advanced to warrant giving up your existing library.

Otherwise, it’s a much tougher decision. After careful deliberation, I favor Kindle for iPhone. The Kindle app works wonderfully, with few bugs and a consistent history of updates. Additionally, its massive Kindle Store provides more eBooks than you could ever read. It’s a close race, but the Kindle app’s confident competence makes it the winner in my book.

DECISION: Kindle for iPhone

Amazon has just launched the latest update to their Kindle app and this latest edition adds some much-needed new functionality. Update 2.5 enables both side-loading and background downloading of Kindle-compatible material, providing access to a whole range of new content with absolutely minimal extra effort.

Side-loading allows Kindle users to download any compatible materials into the Kindle library. That means mail attachments, files from Project Gutenberg or material from any other compatible source can easily be transported into Kindle. Basically if it’s a .mobi or .prc file you can now import them into the Kindle app without fear of the dreaded incompatible file. In addition, you can now drag compatible files to the Kindle app via iTunes, so files saved on your computer can easily be imported into the app.

The other major new component included in the update is support for background downloading, which takes advantage of one of the signature new features of iOS 4. Now you can start downloading a book or other material and then jump to another app while Kindle continues the download in the background. Great for impatient users or folks who simply prefer to multitask while waiting for something to download and install into the app.

This latest update is truly welcome news, as it flings open the doors of Kindle and provides users with access to millions of books and documents which were previously locked away. As the eReader wars continue to rage on this update puts Kindle near the front of the pack, providing nicely enhanced functionality and some very attractive new features. Though Kindle may not quite be an absolute solution to all your eReading needs quite yet, it’s very quickly moving in that direction.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-03-04 :: Category: Books

[via MacWorld]

Just in case you needed another eReader option for your iOS device, Google has officially launched its virtual bookstore. Called simply Google eBooks, the cloud-based service is promising to be a more open-source offering than the offerings from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or even Apple’s own iBooks.

“We designed Google eBooks to be open,” said Google in a statement. “Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks—everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa—using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.

“In addition to a full-featured web reader, free apps for Android and Apple devices will make it possible to shop and read on the go. For many books you can select which font, font size, day/night reading mode and line spacing suits you—and pick up on the page where you left off when switching devices.”

Those interested in purchasing new reading material can grab a book from the official Google eBooks store, or buy them from independent retailers such as Powell’s, Alibris or any store listed in the American Bookseller’s Association. In total, Google eBooks claims to provide access to over 15 million books from 35,000 different publishers. Not a bad library at all.

It seems like Google is setting out to do to e-reading what it did to search engines, basically kill all the competition and drive everyone into the massive Google tent. It’s not a bad thing by any stretch, but it’s sure to annoy the other online booksellers and potentially change the way we consume digital reading material. Furthermore, this new model could well be a threat to the traditional brick and mortar booksellers and even libraries. If you can read any book on any device at any time, why ever go to Borders again? Put another way, why buy a standalone eReader from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Sony when you can get these books on every device you can possibly imaging, including these very same eReaders? It’s an interesting time in eBook history, and you’re right here with us.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-12-06 :: Category: Books

[via Google]

MegaReader Review

MegaReader Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
MegaReader is competing in a crowded and highly competitive corner of the App Store, and while it isn't a bad app, it doesn't have the weapons to win the war. It simply isn't offering enough to entice most users away from the likes of iBooks or Kindle.

Read The Full Review »
B&N eReader

B&N eReader

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
The B&N eReader is a fantastic piece of software that is far superior to Amazon's Kindle for iPhone app. But without a killer piece of e-ink hardware, B&N's app might not be widely adopted...yet. Regardless, I'm ecstatic that there's a new player in the ebook field, especially since this is the best eReader app I've seen so far!

Read The Full Review »
Kindle for iPhone

Kindle for iPhone

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
While not the most robust ebook reader around, Amazon has just laid down the gauntlet in the iPhone / iPod Touch ebook war. Get instant access to over 240,000 books, even ones you've previously purchased for your Kindle!

Read The Full Review »
iPhone: The Missing Manual

iPhone: The Missing Manual

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
iPhone - The Missing Manual is a Stanza ereader based book that thoroughly explains every feature of the iPhone, from its cell phone features to its iPod features, and its vast array of apps, those built-in and available from the iTunes app store. It covers the 3G version of the hardware but also makes references to the first gen version.

Read The Full Review »
eReader Pro

eReader Pro

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
eReader is a electronic book reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch. While there are other alternatives, some free and some not, eReader works well, is reliable, and makes reading a joy on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Read The Full Review »
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