We've recently told you about Rivet, a free reading-practice app for kids developed by Area 120, Google's experimental product division. Since the software is still in beta phase, it's continuously improving with better features and interface tweaks. The app was initially designed for tablets because they offer a better experience, and couldn't be installed on phones through the Play Store. The APK could still be sideloaded on handsets, though, but the interface didn't look pleasing compared to larger screens. However, the application has just been updated and now officially supports smartphones as well. Read More
There are many ways you can get your words published online these days, but if you're an aspiring author who takes themselves and their writing seriously, choices are more limited. I hadn't heard of Inkitt before, but from checking the site and reading the impressive editing and vetting process described in its guidelines, it looks like a good contender for indie authors who want to reach readers quickly, get feedback, and publish their writing without too much formalities and hassle.
Inkitt launched on iOS in November and is now available on Android. The app brings over 80k titles to Inkitt's more than 700k readers, in different genres ranging from sci-fi to romance, YA, thrillers, erotica, and more. Read More
Do you read comic books from the Play Store? If not, you might want to start. Google just announced a great new feature at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 that changes the experience of reading comic books. It's called Bubble Zoom and it quite literally makes speech bubbles leap off the page. Each blob of text is identified and sequentially pops up with the press of a volume button or a tap at the bottom-right of the screen. Check out Google's introduction video: Read More
For better or worse, Amazon dominates the e-book lanscape. After buying Audible, it commands audiobooks as well. In 2011, the retailer introduced a way to attract readers with content from magazines and periodicals. Alongside digital magazine subscriptions, the company began selling articles and other long-form content between 5,000 and 30,000 words.
Amazon called these stories and essays Kindle Singles. Now it's expanding on the category with timeless well-known stories. Read More
A good eBook reading experience isn't defined solely by what you're reading, the device you're reading it on, or a couple of settings – it's defined by all of those things; and as one of those things changes, the others may have to change along with it. If you're popping open a copy of Hitchhikers Guide for the third time, you might have to tinker with the background color and font so a full page of text is comfortable to read. On the other hand, those options don't make sense when you're looking at graphic panels from the latest issue of The Walking Dead. Read More
The News & Weather app is a bit of a dark horse among Google's lineup. It's also not as talked about as Google+, or as vital as Gmail; and it doesn't fit in with the Play-branded apps like Newsstand, which it is effectively a direct competitor to. For many people, News & Weather is just another widget that came pre-installed on a Nexus device, at least until it was made available on the Play Store, in late August. Since then, a few really big updates have drastically improved the once stale app. Read More
There's a surprising lack of options when it comes to Android audiobooks. Sure, there's Audible, but its metered subscription service isn't an ideal solution for a lot of people, and other services tend to be light on content. Audiobook enthusiasts now have another alternative: Barnes & Noble. NOOK (ALL CAPS) Audiobooks is available as a free download on any Android 4.0+ device, though I'm betting that only those in the US can actually buy books.
Nook Audiobooks is fairly straightforward. Search for books or browse via the featured titles on the opening page. Select one. Pay for it via a credit card (sorry, no Play Store or PayPal options here). Read More
Amazon has pushed out an update to its Kindle app for Android that might pique your interest if you're into audiobooks, speak Dutch, or like to highlight things. Yes, that's an admittedly eclectic mix of traits and interests, but that's the way these updates work. Developers aren't particularly invested in making sure we bloggers have a theme to categorize each new version under.
- Start playing narration before audiobook download is complete
- Localized support for Dutch
- Tap on highlight to edit
- Several bug fixes
So let's just tackle this list of changes in order. Audiobook listeners can now begin listening to stories before they fully finish downloading. Read More
If you have an affinity for vintage cameras, you may find yourself toting around a light meter to make sure every exposure comes out just right. If you happen to also be a Glass explorer, David Young has a solution for that - Google Glass Light Meter, a piece of Glassware that entered Google's official collection just a few days ago.
As you may guess from the name, Light Meter turns your Glass unit into... a light meter. Users need only set their film speed and desired aperture, and Light Meter will show optimal shutter speed at that aperture (as well as a stop above and below) in a helpful, glance-able card. Read More
Let's be honest, busy people don't have time to trudge through long books made of mostly filler. Unfortunately, publishers know they can't put a high price on a 40-page book. In the end, authors are stuck building a lavish sea of meaningless words around the simple concepts they want to convey. That's where Blinkist comes in. It's a service that boils popular non-fiction books down to their most formative and salient points. Think of it like Cliffs Notes, but even shorter and not funded entirely by high school students. Blinkist has been around for about a year with a website and iOS app, but now its making a debut on Android. Read More