The history of Android has been told in many small parts; but to get the whole story you would have to scour thousands of blog posts, hundreds of podcasts, and the minds of a few dozen people that would probably ask you to leave them be — until now, that is. Androids: The Team That Built the Android Operating System is set to release tomorrow, bearing the tale of how the world's most widely used operating system came into existence. If you're curious about the backstory of the OS that you spend half your day staring at when you should really be working, you can buy the book now on Google Play and Amazon Kindle.
Pocket is all about spotting something interesting and saving it for later, when you have time to really dig into that article. But exactly how much time you have is crucial: are we talking a thirty minute bus ride, or a five minute, um, personal break? A new addition to the app allows you to sort your saved sites and articles based on how long it will take to read them.
Back in 2018, Area 120, Google's experimental product division, introduced Rivet, a free reading-practice app for kids. It has since dropped the beta label and gained smartphone support, making it more accessible to a higher number of parents and children. As Rivet is a Google product, it was safe to assume the app could be axed unexpectedly, which is precisely what the company just announced.
Today Google has announced that Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have access to a small pile of new "Lexend" family of fonts meant to make reading a bit easier. Based on a bit of research which claims that character size, spacing, and stretch can enhance understanding if customized to reading speed, the new fonts come in eight different widths from "Zetta" to "Deca."
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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. This trend continues as a bump to v2.3 adds notifications for important stories, an easier interface to configure the weather card, and a 'Suggested For You' section that allows users to fine-tune their topics of interest.