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?


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.


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