Book apps

30 06 2010

Do you use your iPhone or iPad to read books as well as listen to them? I have been trying out several of the readers, here are my thoughts.

iBooks – I like the look and feel of the app. I like that it actually looks like an open book, and that it is a double screen. I also love the page turning effect, how the edges curl up. I guess I’m a pretty visual person.

Borders ebooks – I like the opening animation. But, the reading screen is a bit bland. It is really bright white, and it didn’t feel as much like reading a book, which I suppose you are not, but I thought it could use some work.

Amazon kindle – same look and feel as the borders app, but I like the page transitions better. The dissolve was a bit odd looking, the pan to the left makes it look more like the page is changing.

Stanza – single page white background like the previous 2. But, swiping up and down changed the brightness, which I liked. The white seemed too bright to me, so I liked toning it down a bit.

B&N – was a bit cumbersome to sign up and start. Also, it seemed there were a lot more words per page, and they were closer together than the other apps, which made it a bit harder to read.

Overall, I liked iBooks because it had the look and feel of an actual book. My second fa orate was stanza.

What is your favorite?





Winner

29 06 2010

Congrats to CC for winning a copy of the iPad My Recipe Book App.  I will contact you via email regarding your free copy of the app.





How do you keep track of your books?

29 06 2010

Do you use any way to keep track of the books you’ve read or listened to?

I’ve seen Library Thing before – where you can track all your books, what you’ve read, and what you want to read in the future.  Plus, it’s free.

If you want an app to help you keep track – you can check out Book Lover.

I have only ever used a spreadsheet (just switched it to a google spreadsheet so I could access it away from my computer).  But, I think these 2 options look interesting.  I don’t really keep notes about my books in my spreadsheet, just when/if I read it.

So, what do you use?  Or, do you not track what you have read, listened to, or want to?





Classic Bookshelf for iPad

26 06 2010

Classic Bookshelf for iPad is now in the app store.  It features a beautiful wooden bookshelf and a unique library view that allows you to browse your books the way you normally do.  Select a book and begin enjoying Huck’s adventures along the Mississippi or be swept away in the clever exchanges between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, in extremely readable text.  Tap or swipe to turn the page or use the table of contents navigator to jump between chapters.

With Classic Bookshelf, your experience is focused on one thing: reading.  Don’t bother with bookmarks, Classic Bookshelf will remember all the places you leave off in any of the eleven classics available including:

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- Anne of Green Gables

- A Christmas Carol

- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

- Gulliver’s Travel

- The Invisible Man

- Jane Eyre

- Pride and Prejudice

- Sleepy Hollow

- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

- Treasure Island

- ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas





New Books in the Store!

24 06 2010

We have some great new professional titles in the store.  They are also available as in-app purcahses in Audiobooks and Audiobooks (Ad Free).

- Blood Trail – Critically acclaimed, award-winning author C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett mysteries are a mainstay on the best-seller lists. Former game warden Pickett is now a special agent reporting directly to the governor. With someone targeting elk hunters, Pickett must head off a potentiall y deadly showdown when a flamboyant anti-hunting activist rolls in to town.

- Brothers – Acclaimed novelist Yu Hua became the first Chinese author to win the distinguished James Joyce Foundation Award. Controversial in his own country for his biting satire, he creates insightful portraits of Chinese society. Step-brothers Baldy Li and Song Gang couldn’t be more different. While Baldy is a girl-chasing teen, Song is quiet and studious. The two come of age in a vibrant Chinese culture struggling with constant change.

- Change of Heart – Known for tackling hot-button issues in her timely fiction, Jodi Picoult has sold millions of books. Change of Heart explores capital punishment and organized religion through the tale of death row inmate Shay Bourne. Bourne’s last request is to donate his heart to his victim’s ailing sister. The situation gets more complicated when Bourne begins performing miracles in full view of witnesses—including his Catholic spiritual advisor.

- From Dead to Worse – The eighth entry in Charlaine Harris’ New York Times best-selling, Anthony Award-winning series finds Sookie reeling from an explosive attack on the previous month’s vampire summit. Many vampires were killed, including several of Sookie’s friends. But most pressing for Sookie is the unknown status of her weretiger boyfriend Quinn. Like it or not, everything is changing in the supernatural world—and Sookie is caught in the middle.

- Living Dead in Dallas -This is the second book in Charlaine Harris’ popular Southern Vampire Mysteries series. Telepathic vampire maven (and cocktail waitress) Sookie Stackhouse has been tasked with locating an abducted vampire and suppressing an upstart anti-undead religious cult.

“This is one terrific read.”—Kliatt

This is the second book in Charlaine Harris’ popular Southern Vampire Mysteries series. Telepathic vampire maven (and cocktail waitress) Sookie Stackhouse has been tasked with locating an abducted vampire and suppressing an upstart anti-undead religious cult.“This is one terrific read.”—Kliatt

- Miracle at Speedy Motors – Alexander McCall Smith’s internationally best-selling, award-winning No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series continues in this captivating novel. It’s business as usual for Botswana’s only female detective, as Precious Ramotswe applies her characteristic wit to a set of perplexing difficulties. Precious’ latest case involves helping a woman find her family. But there are extenuating circumstances. Namely, the woman doesn’t know her real name, and she’s not even sure any of her family members are still living.Meanwhile, as Precious’ husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni frets over his ailing daughter, his attention is captured by a doctor promising miracles. And when Mma Makutsi receives a new bed from Phuti Radiphuti, the result is unexpected sleepless nights. Fueled by steaming mugs of bush tea, Precious and company tackle their concerns with irrepressible logic and unwavering determination. As she has done with the whole series—available in its entirety from Recorded Books—African native Lisette Lecat delivers a narration perfectly tuned to the rhythms of Precious’ unique world.

“Utterly charming and compulsively readable.”—Newsweek

- Winter Study – Nevada Barr’s New York Times best-selling Anna Pigeon mysteries continue to break new ground in the genre. This time the roving park ranger and amateur detective investigates a case on Isle Royale. Amidst its barren landscape, a group of researchers observe a group of ravenous wolves. But a killer is on the loose as well, and only Anna can halt his murderous designs.

- The Crocodile in the Sandbank – Amelia Peabody inherited two things from her father: a considerable fortune and an unbendable will. The first allowed her to indulge in her life’s passion. Without the second, the mummy’s curse would have made corpses of them all.

- Blind Descent – Award-winning author Nevada Barr fills the pages of “Blind Descent” with heart-stopping suspense, plots that twist around every corner, and spectacular wilderness settings. When park ranger Anna Pigeon embarks on a thrilling subterranean rescue mission, she confronts personal demons and a multitude of life-threatening dangers—not all of them from the hostile terrain.  A fellow ranger is injured in a suspicious accident while exploring the mostly unmapped Lechuguilla Cavern in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns. During a fleeting moment of consciousness, the victim calls for Anna. Battling her paralyzing fear of small spaces, Anna descends into the lifeless underworld to uncover what really happened. As Anna wriggles through cramped tunnels and climbs rocky precipices, she discovers treachery and destruction lurking in the inky black just beyond her headlamp. Veteran narrator Barbara Rosenblat provides the perfect voice for the courageous, but very human, park ranger and her colleagues.

- Drums of Autumn – Diana Gabaldon’s fans will be delighted to find Jamie and Claire as spirited and endearing as ever in this fourth installment of this magnificent saga. Romance, history, and time travel blend once again as the couple builds a new life together in the wilderness of pre-Revolutionary America. Twice Claire has used an ancient stone circle to travel back to the 18th century. The first time she found love with a Scottish warrior but had to return to the 1940s to save their unborn child. The second time, twenty years later, she reunited with her lost love but had to leave behind the daughter that he would never see. Now Brianna, from her 1960s vantage point, has found a disturbing obituary and will risk everything in an attempt to change history. Davina Porter’s narrative talent adds a special vibrance and resonance to Gabaldon’s complex, colorful characters. If you’ve experienced Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, or Voyager), you already know the length of the book is deceptive. None of them is nearly long enough.





iPhone Tips and Tricks

23 06 2010

Here are a few tricks to use your iPhone more efficiently:

Did you know there are special characters hidden under each of the letter buttons?  Tap and hold the “e” for example, and you can see 7 different options for accents, etc.

Do you like the .com button in safari – but wish it were in mail, too?  It’s there – tap and hold the period button for 2 seconds, and up pop several options including .com, .org, .edu, and .net.

If you upgrade to the new iOS 4 – you can use folders – which I love!  To create a new folder, it’s simple – you just hold down an icon until they all jiggle, and then drag one icon on top of another icon you want to be in the same folder, and voila, you have a folder – you can rename it to whatever you want.  Click the home button to stop the jiggling, and you have a folder for all your cooking apps, or all your audiobook apps, or whatever your heart desires.  I have all my apps in folders now, and I really like it better than swiping through screens to find what I’m looking for.

iOS 4 also adds multitasking, which is great for Audiobooks.  And, you can have one unified inbox, which is really nice.

Do you have any tips or shortcuts that could make it easier for everyone else?





** GIVEAWAY ** Where and how do you use your iPad?

22 06 2010

We’ve been thinking a lot about how and where we are using our iPads around here while developing My Recipe books – particularly in the kitchen.  There’s this great video about a guy who put his iPad directly into his cabinet in his kitchen – that definitely eliminates the need for a stand in the kitchen!  You could pull up your favorite recipe from My Recipe Book and set it up in your kitchen and cook away.

Let us know where you usually use your iPad: in the kitchen, curled up on the sofa, or in bed? or what you usually use it for: web browsing, reading, cooking, or something else? in a comment on this post by 5PM on Monday, June 28 and you’ll be entered to win a free copy of My Recipe Book.  This is only open to US residents, and you need an iPad to use this great app!

One great resource to really get the most out of your iPad is the Rough Guide to the iPad, which is available in the iBookstore on the iPad.  They highlight our tabbed browser on page 206 if you want to check it out.





Background play now available!

21 06 2010

We are really excited about background play for Audiobooks.  Here are some tips for using it:

Double click the home button and the task bar will appear. It is shown in the screen shot to the right. It will show all the apps you have open.  The example shown has the App store, Audiobooks, and Mail open.

If you click on Audiobooks from here, it will take you back to wherever you left off in the app.  However, you can control what you’re listening to without going back into the app.

The first way to do this is by swiping the task bar to the right.  It will then show the audio controls that are displayed in the screen shot on the left so you can keep whatever you have open and still pause your audiobook.

If you get a call, or another audio app starts playing, the audiobook will stop playing.  Otherwise, it will continue playing in the background as you check your email, play a game, or use any of the other great apps you have on your iPhone, or iPod Touch.

If your iPhone is locked, you can still double tap the home button – this will display the screen on the bottom right which shows the same audio control buttons right on the main screen without needing to unlock your phone.

We also have hands free kit support now.

We hope you enjoy the newest features in Audiobooks!  Happy Listening.





10 books meme

21 06 2010

I’ve seen the 10 books meme floating around a few different places – you’re supposed to tell the 10 books that have most influenced you in your life.  So, I thought I would join in and tell the top 10 books that have influenced my life.

1. The Bible - this is the number one book that has influenced my life for sure.  As a Christian, I try to read some of God’s word every day.

2. Matilda by Roald Dahl – this was my favorite book, by far, growing up.  I was always a book-worm, and I really loved Matilda, even though my parents were more than supportive, I just thought it was great that Matilda could use her brainpower to get back with Miss Trunchbull!

3. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder – well the whole series, really – but I loved them all, and thought it would have been such fun to be a part of the Ingalls family.

4. The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein – this book made me cry the first time I really understood it – I read the words many times as a child without ever really understanding how much the tree gave the boy.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – I looked in the back of the large wardrobe at my grandmother’s house trying to find Narnia on more than one occasion.  I couldn’t get enough of the adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy.  Edmund’s betrayal and Aslan’s sacrifice such a wonderful mirror of Christ’s story.

6. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern.  Not really because I was overwhelmed by clutter, or terribly unorganized.  I am very organized by nature and this book helped me see that the majority of people didn’t naturally label their spices and put them away alphabetically, and that I could probably help others a little with my natural gifts.

7. Mothers of Influence was given to me at my baby shower – and I think it helped me see how influential a mother can be in their child’s life, and made me want to be the primary caretaker of my daughter.

8. Tightwad Gazette mostly because I’m pretty frugal, and it was reassuring to see that there were others out there who were WAY more frugal than I am, and also there are some great $ saving ideas in there!

9. Hot, Flat and Crowded by Tom Friedman was a very interesting read on where we are, and where we need to be with our energy consumption.  It inspired me to sign up for the green option, though it costs more through our power company, and to wait just a *little* longer to turn on the AC when it’s warm out.

10. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which I actually only read a month or two ago, but I couldn’t put it down.  I already loved buying produce at the farmer’s market, tomatoes from the grocery store really just don’t compare to the amazing bright red juicy beauties you can buy from a local farmer, and the local asparagus has been out of this world the past few weeks.  I think this book made me want to buy even more from local, sustainable choices and support the small farmers in my area so they can continue to be a part of our community!





Reader Review for Art of War

18 06 2010

If you want to learn more about Sun Tzu, who wrote the Art of War, you can look here or here.

If you want to hear more librivox recordings by Moira Fogarty, you can look here.

Happy Listening!








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers