TouchMyApps » Books http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Listen to unlimited audiobooks on your iDevice for $24.95/month with Audiobooks.com http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/09/05/listen-to-unlimited-audiobooks-on-your-idevice-for-24-95month-with-audiobooks-com/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/09/05/listen-to-unlimited-audiobooks-on-your-idevice-for-24-95month-with-audiobooks-com/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 17:36:15 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=69700 Listening to audiobooks is sort of an acquired taste for some folks. I know it was for me, and it wasn’t until after experiencing several did I really begin to enjoy them. In fact, I listen to books way more than I read them nowadays, as I find it to be a great companion when … Read more]]>

Listening to audiobooks is sort of an acquired taste for some folks. I know it was for me, and it wasn’t until after experiencing several did I really begin to enjoy them. In fact, I listen to books way more than I read them nowadays, as I find it to be a great companion when I’m driving or in bed while getting my daily fix of Drop7. There are several ways of buying audiobooks for your iPhone (iTunes and Audible), though they can be expensive and do add up in cost. Enter Audiobooks.com, a site that offers unlimited audiobooks for $24.95/month. And with their recently released iOS app, you can stream or download unlimited books from over 10,000 of best sellers and new releases (Stephen King, Hunger Games Trilogy, Steve Jobs Autobiography…sorry, no 50 Shades of Grey). Their selection pales in comparison to Audible, but if you can find enough authors/books in their library that you like, the price of admission may be worth it. If this sounds intriguing, you can sign up for a free 7 day free trial to test out their service on your iDevice.

As for the Audiobooks.com app, you can stream books instantly via 3G or WiFi for your listening pleasure, or download them for offline use (up to 2 at a time). A handy automatic bookmarking feature makes sure that you won’t lose your place when a call comes through or when the app is closed. This extents across devices, so you can jump from your iPhone to your iPad and not have to scrub your way and manually find your last position in the book.

You can head over to Audiobooks.com and browse through their catalog, as well as featured sections.

Audiobooks Audiobooks.com, Audiobooks - Free

Press Release

Audiobooks.com Rolls Out Free Apple and Android Apps

Unique Audio Books Service Delivers Unlimited Downloads for Just $24.95 a Month

TORONTO, CANADA – August 29, 2012 – Audiobooks.com, the only audio books service that gives customers unlimited access to downloadable content for just $24.95 per month, today announced that free Apple and Android apps are now available to Audiobooks.com members. Customers can now download or stream audio books that they can enjoy anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices with a free app at Apple’s App Store for iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads or at Google Play for Android devices.

Members who want to enjoy audio books on the go can download up to two audio books at a time on their mobile device. The new apps are designed to give members maximum flexibility, providing custom settings so users can automatically stream or download books via wi-fi or cellular networks and save books to their personal reading list so they’ll always have an audio book to enjoy. The Audiobooks.com library contains 10,000-plus best sellers and new releases, including popular titles like The Hunger Games trilogy, and the library is constantly adding new titles.

“Audiobooks.com is committed to providing members with access to unlimited audio books instantly, anywhere,” said Ian Small, General Manager of Audiobooks.com. “Members can use the apps to download audio books and listen to them wherever they are with their mobile devices.”

One unique Audiobooks.com innovation is an automatic bookmarking feature that ensures users never lose their place; users can always pick up wherever they left off – across all devices. Always responsive to customer needs, Audiobooks.com has also added a sleep timer to meet member demand. This allows users to set a time when they want to enjoy an audio book after they turn in for the night and ensure that the audio book won’t continue playing indefinitely if they fall asleep.

Unlike competitor audio book apps, the Audiobooks.com apps for Apple and Android products enable both downloads and streaming content, and members have access to all the audio books they want for just $24.95 per month: There are no restrictions on the number of audio books users can download or stream.

Another unique Audiobooks.com feature is the apps’ integration with user device native operating system functionality, which gives Audiobooks.com apps the ability to automatically pause listening when the user receives a phone call. The apps let users browse and play book previews without logging in, and the apps are designed to optimize 3G/cellular usage.

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Dr. Seuss Apps On SALE To Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/02/dr-seuss-apps-on-sale-to-celebrate-dr-seusss-birthday/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/03/02/dr-seuss-apps-on-sale-to-celebrate-dr-seusss-birthday/#comments Fri, 02 Mar 2012 16:45:28 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=66894 Today, March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday (as well as Read Across America Day) and to celebrate Oceanhouse Media is launching a sale for 25 Dr. Seuss digital books on iOS and Android, with prices ranging from $0.99 to $2.99. Some of the more notable apps include Horton Hears a Who! ($2.99), The Cat in the Hat ($1.99) and The … Read more]]>

Today, March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday (as well as Read Across America Day) and to celebrate Oceanhouse Media is launching a sale for 25 Dr. Seuss digital books on iOS and Android, with prices ranging from $0.99 to $2.99. Some of the more notable apps include Horton Hears a Who! ($2.99), The Cat in the Hat ($1.99) and The Lorax ($0.99). In addition, the virtual tree growing game Lorax Garden is now available to download for free. This of course, also coincides with the theatrical release of the animated The Lorax movie today.

For the complete listing of Dr. Seuss apps on sale, which runs thru March 8th, head on over to Oceanhouse Media’s webpage for more info. Video trailer highlighting the Dr. Seuss apps and press release after the gap.

Press Release

Oceanhouse Media, Inc. today announced that it will drop the price of The Lorax omBook (Oceanhouse Media digital book) to 99 cents and offer the Lorax Garden game for free from March 2nd through 8th in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day. In addition, 25 Dr. Seuss omBooks will be on sale ranging in price from 99 cents to $2.99 on iOS and Android markets.

The National Education Association’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

“This is a great time to stock up on classic titles such as The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Dr. Seuss’s ABC for your mobile devices,” said Michel Kripalani, President of Oceanhouse Media. “All Dr. Seuss omBooks include the original content and illustrations by Dr. Seuss and are enhanced with professional narration, background audio and features that promote reading and word recognition.”

The omBooks feature three options: Auto Play (geared toward younger readers), which plays like a movie by automatically reading and turning pages; Read To Me, which allows users to listen to the narrated story with words highlighted as they are read; and Read It Myself, which lets users read the book in its traditional format.

Dr. Seuss omBooks are consistently ranked at the top of the app charts, with nine reaching the number one spot in the Books category on Apple’s App Store. Recent releases include If I Ran the Zoo and And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book.

For a list of Dr. Seuss omBooks on sale for the birthday celebration, visit the Oceanhouse Media website starting March 2 at http://www.oceanhousemedia.com/products/type/sale/drseuss/. In addition to Lorax Garden, Dr. Seuss Band, the Dr. Seuss musical instrument game, is also available for free.

About Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Creators of the award-winning Dr. Seuss book apps, Oceanhouse Media, Inc. is a leading publisher of more than 300 mobile apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Android, NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, Kindle Fire and HP TouchPad devices. The company was founded in early 2009 by Michel Kripalani, a veteran of the video gaming industry. Seventeen of the company’s apps have reached the number one spot within their categories on Apple’s App Store. In addition, Google has selected the company as one of its Top Developers, a designation granted to only 150 groups worldwide.

Oceanhouse Media’s corporate focus is to uplift, educate and inspire through technology. For more information, visithttp://www.oceanhousemedia.com. Follow the company at http://www.facebook.com/OceanhouseMedia andhttp://twitter.com/OceanhouseMedia.

About Dr. Seuss Enterprise, L.P.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises was founded in 1993 following the death of Theodor S. Geisel, Dr. Seuss, to conserve and nurture the works of Dr. Seuss by protecting the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into licensed merchandise. The licensing effort is a strategic part of the overall effort to strengthen and protect the relationship consumers have with Dr. Seuss characters. Theodor Geisel said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would “round out the edges”. That is one of the guiding philosophies of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

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iBooks updates to 1.5, adds night mode, new fonts and more http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/07/ibooks-updates-to-1-5-adds-night-mode-new-fonts-and-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/07/ibooks-updates-to-1-5-adds-night-mode-new-fonts-and-more/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 13:02:46 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61931 Apple’s iBooks app has just been updated to version 1.5 and one of the most requested features is finally here – night reading mode. With it, bookworms can now comfortably use iBooks in the dark thanks to the black background and white text. Here’s the complete list of what’s new: Nighttime reading theme makes reading … Read more]]>

Apple’s iBooks app has just been updated to version 1.5 and one of the most requested features is finally here – night reading mode. With it, bookworms can now comfortably use iBooks in the dark thanks to the black background and white text. Here’s the complete list of what’s new:

  • Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.
  • Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.
  • iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowan, and Seravek.
  • Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.
  • A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.

If iBooks is your go-to e-reader on the iDevice, be sure to grab this free update and check out the new goodies. And if you missed it earlier, see how you can use Dropbox to store and transfer your ebooks to apps like iBooks and Stanza in our recent tutorial.

iBooks Apple, iBooks, – Free

App Description

iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBookstore, where you can download the latest best-selling books or your favorite classics – day or night. Browse your library on a beautiful bookshelf, tap a book to open it, flip through pages with a swipe or a tap, and bookmark or add notes to your favorite passages.

Features:

• Download many of your favorite books from the included iBookstore.
• Read a free sample of any book on the iBookstore before making it a part of your collection.
• Reorder your books on your bookshelf or browse them in a list sorted by title, author, or category.
• Organize your books and PDFs into personal Collections. Swipe left or right to jump between Collections.
• Easily adjust your screen brightness to find the perfect lighting for any environment.
• Change the font size and pick from six included type faces to make your books more comfortable to read.
• Find a word, character, or phrase anywhere in your book with the built-in search feature.
• Keep your bookmarks, notes, and your current page wirelessly in sync between iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with the new automatic bookmark syncing feature.
• Quickly find a specific page using the page navigator at the bottom of every page.
• Read your books on white or sepia colored pages.
• Choose left or fully justified text layout from Settings.
• Highlight your favorite passages and add notes with the built-in bookmarking features.
• Add books in the industry-standard ePub electronic book format to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
• Add PDF documents to iBooks from Mail, or add them to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
• Print PDF documents and notes you’ve written in iBooks using AirPrint.
• Use iBooks with the amazing accessibility features in iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch – such as speaking the words on a given page.

Requirements:

• iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch (2nd generation), iPod touch (3rd generation), or iPod touch (4th generation) is required.
• iPhone or iPod touch must have iOS 4 or later.
• The iBookstore is available in many countries. The selection of books in the iBookstore may vary by country.
• An Apple ID is required to download from the iBookstore.
• Automatic bookmark syncing requires an active Wi-Fi or cellular data connection and an Apple ID.
• iBooks only opens books published in the ePub electronic book format or documents in the PDF format.
• To add ePub books from outside the iBookstore to iBooks, they must be DRM-free and synced using iTunes 9.2 or later.
• Some PDF documents may not be compatible with iBooks.

 

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CIA: Operation Ajax now available for the iPad…and It’s Free (for a limited time) http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/16/cia-operation-ajax-now-available-for-the-ipad-and-its-free-for-a-limited-time/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/16/cia-operation-ajax-now-available-for-the-ipad-and-its-free-for-a-limited-time/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 21:05:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60795 After over a year in the making, CIA : Operation Ajax, an ambitious interactive graphic novel brought to you by Cognito Comics, is finally out on the App Store. Designed specifically for the iPad, Operation Ajax tells the story of the Iranian Coup (backed by the CIA) during the early 50′s, and it’s based on … Read more]]>

After over a year in the making, CIA : Operation Ajax, an ambitious interactive graphic novel brought to you by Cognito Comics, is finally out on the App Store. Designed specifically for the iPad, Operation Ajax tells the story of the Iranian Coup (backed by the CIA) during the early 50′s, and it’s based on the book All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer. The graphic novel is 210 pages long and features moving animations, ambient sound effect, bonus content (character dossiers, historial newsreels, authentic declassified docs from the CIA etc) and even its own original musical score. This is certainly not your typical comic book in the form of an app. Best of all, Operation Ajax is currently free for the next two week, after which the $7.99 price tag kicks in. If you have an iPad, this is defintely worth checking out, especially now that it’s a freebie. Video demo after the break.

CIA : Operation Ajax Cognito Comics, CIA : Operation Ajax, – Free

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Library App Reviews: Goodreads, iBookshelf and Book Crawler http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:05:11 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=49893 Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler . We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference. A good list can be a real blessing when … Read more]]>
Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler

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We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference.

A good list can be a real blessing when trying to remember an author or a book we’ve just read, finding the name of the next book in a series, or easily sharing our favorite books with friends.

The three apps reviewed here are excellent candidates for keeping track of all the books we love and all the books we want to read.

To find the best book library (or book list) manager app, you’ll have to figure out how you want to use it. Goodreads is best for those who use the Goodreads web service. If you don’t want to keep your books and personal preferences online or want to to have more flexibility in what you keep on your list, then Book Crawler or iBookshelf may be more in line with your needs.

######### Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler
Backup autosync
to website
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Library Finder no WorldCat WorldCat
Author Info yes no no
Price Compare yes yes no
Goodreads Reviews yes yes yes
ISBN Scanner Red Laser pic2shop, ZBar,
Red Laser
pic2shop, ZBar
Import/Export CSV, others CSV CSV
Track Loans no yes yes
Offline Viewing no yes yes
Sharing Friends &
Followers
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
Universal App no yes yes

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Free versions exist for all these apps, so you can try them out yourself first before selecting one.

Individual books, audiobooks and ebooks may be added manually (author & title) or by scanning the ISBN barcode – the rest of the information is automatically looked up. I did not test any of the apps on an iPod Touch or iPad 2 – though the reliability of their cameras for scanning barcodes could be an issue unless Red Laser is used.

One feature all these apps have in common is that they can import and export their data as CSV (comma separated value) files which can be opened in word processors and spreadsheets. For bulk updates, like when you want to copy your books from a paper list or external book database (or move it from one app to another), you’ll probably have to do a little CSV editing to make the transfer, but it does work without too much effort (I’ve done it).

Once you’ve added your books, these apps let you organize, track (ownership, loans, want-to-buy, etc.), and share your books with others. Plus you’ll have searchable list whenever you need them.

Warning: Any time you store lots of information on your iDevice, it is essential that it gets backed up regularly. The device backup that occurs when you do a sync to your computer does not save 3rd party app data. One glitch or a bad update and all your work can be lost. Both iBookshelf and Book Crawler have excellent backup and restore database features, but they are manual – you must remember to do it. Goodreads auto-syncs to the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about it.

 


Goodreads v1.2.1

If you’re a book lover and haven’t taken a look at the Goodreads web site yet, I highly encourage you to do so. One might call it a “Facebook for Book Lovers” (but without all the craziness and noise). On Goodreads you’ll find over 4 million members who have created an astounding collection of books, reviews and recommendations far larger than anything else you’re likely to find – and it’s free! You can meet new friends there (or invite your existing friends) to share reviews and recommendations for the books you’ve read and/or want to read.

The Goodreads app (it’s also free!) has the most polished user interface of the three apps reviewed here for the iPhone, but it does require an active data connection to display more than just a simple list of books.This app allows you to add books to your personal on-line collection (scan in the ISBN or enter title/author), find out what your friends are reading, and build your wishlist by perusing lists of books others love.

My all time favorite: Dandelion Wine!

Goodreads has a vast pool of information such as author pictures and bios, lots of detailed user reviews and info any bibliophile would love. Since it’s maintained by volunteer librarians, it isn’t always perfect, but there are plenty of people (librarians) who will make corrections if you alert them on the forums – or become a librarian yourself.

I was disappointed that the series number of a book is not displayed in the app (like it is on the web) unless the number is included in the title. This may not be an issue for everyone, but I like to follow author’s characters chronologically.

Summary

For anyone with a Goodreads account, this app is a must-have. It provides a good clean interface, book scanning capability (device camera required) and auto-syncs to your web account. Note that a data connection (cellular or WiFi) is required to use the app. The app has not (yet?) been enhanced for the iPad.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Goodreads Developer: Goodreads
Reviewed Ver: 1.2.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 9.5 MB
  • Ties into your Goodreads account
  • Instantly syncs all updates to Goodreads cloud (this is goodness)
  • Lots of information about books including details of many editions
  • Must-have for Goodreads users
  • Requires an online connection to display more than a simple book list
  • No series info displayed in-app unless included in title (which many are)
  • Can’t add additional information about books other than comments and tags

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iBookshelf v2.10.1

This app is part of a group of similar media database apps for books (iBookshelf), movies (MyBoxOffice) and music (Disk Tracker) which are also available in an all-in-one app called My Library that contains all their features. If you’re interested in tracking more than just your books, take a look at My Library. Free Lite versions also exist for all these apps.

iBookshelf is an easy app to use with a broad feature set. Books can be sorted 8 ways and a collections feature exists to group books together into named subsets for separate sorting and viewing. You can also customize the app’s look and feel through its settings in the Settings app. The iPad and iPhone user interfaces are fairly similar.

This app is unable to fill out book information from online sources once a book is saved in its database. So after importing CSV files or manually adding a book without doing an online search for data, you can’t make the app look it up later. If books are entered one at a time, however, this usually shouldn’t be a problem.

Local libraries containing the books you wish to read can be listed and Dropbox backup/restore are available as in Book Crawler (backup/restore is essential in any app that saves data on your iDevice). If you own the QuickReader or MegaReader apps, iBookshelf has a custom interface that connects to them from the app itself. Like Goodreads, it has a Red Laser scanning camera interface which works well with lower resolution cameras, plus it can autoselect the best camera based on the device being used. If you want to get book recommendations, it also contains an interface to the iRecommends app.

Summary

While perhaps not as polished as the other two apps, iBookshelf does a good job with collecting data. It has a very motivated developer who is open to feature requests and who makes frequent updates. I tested a soon to be released version that is focused on stability improvements (something each of these 3 apps under review could use).

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: iBookshelf
iBookshelf Lite (free)
Developer: Josh Pressnell
Reviewed Ver: 2.10.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Scans up to 16 data sources for book information
  • Interface to QuickReader and MegaReader for e-books
  • Connects to iRecommend app to get book recommendations
  • Universal app
  • Can’t autofill additional information about a book once it has been saved
  • User interface is functional but occasionally awkward to use
  • Documentation is only on web site
  • Backup is manual

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Book Crawler v3.1

Of the three apps reviewed, Book Crawler has the most pleasing user interface (especially on the iPad) and provides the most flexiblity to customize your library. More information is collected and displayed by this app than the others. If your goal is to include a lot of information about your books, then this app will give you the best experience.

Book Crawler has a dedicated Author section where you can view and rate individual authors and look for other books they’ve published. Besides the standard book data fields, Book Crawler includes several custom fields that can be labeled and used to add additional information about your books, like who recommended a book, the date added to your database, etc. Additional authors (or narrators for audiobooks) can be added as well to any book.

Book Crawler has the most flexible interface for adding new books individually or in batch. Most data fields can be given default values from the app settings panel and CSV data can be input in almost any order. Like iBookShelf, the number in a book series is either automatically added or easily entered later and books can be sorted based on your choice of 18 data fields.

Book Crawler can tag books with multiple labels and you can build smart collections (groups of books) based on complex rule sets. For example, you could create a collection of books marked with the tag “Female Protagonist” that were published after the year 2005 with a 4 star or better rating and are owned by you. Any book matching this criteria is automatically added to the collection.

Summary

From a feature standpoint, this app is hard to beat plus it looks great. I ran into some intermittent stability problems, but nothing serious and overall it delivers all one would want. Good documentation exists throughout the app to help one learn how to use it. The app has a very motivated developer who makes frequent improvements and gives quick responses to questions.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Book Crawler
Book Crawler Lite (free)
Developer: Jaime Stokes
Reviewed Ver: 3.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Attractive and functional user interface (especially on the iPad)
  • List and rate authors
  • Lookup additional books by author
  • Several custom data fields
  • Good in-app documentation
  • Smart Collections
  • Universal app
  • Correcting misspelled author names is best done by delete/replace
  • A few features (e.g., collections, adding multiple editions) are awkward to use
  • Backup is manual

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Related Articles:

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Apple refuse to sell DRM-free eBooks http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/08/30/apple-refuse-to-sell-drm-free-ebooks/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/08/30/apple-refuse-to-sell-drm-free-ebooks/#comments Mon, 30 Aug 2010 07:18:36 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=38530 Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital … Read more]]>

Image courtesy of funny-potato.com/blog

Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital content. As a content creator, his is a unique and important viewpoint that clashes directly with antiquated pro-Bono business models. Doctorow’s body of science fiction is captivatingly modern and so too are his finger-to-the-man opinions that hopefully, will help change the way digital books are circulated.

Surprise, surprise: Apple and Sony rejected Cory’s idea of circulating DRM-free paid versions of his books with the following note below, while Kindle, Nook, and Kobo stores embraced the idea. This is the note that Cory wants added to his books (from Craphound):

“If the seller of this electronic version has imposed contractual or technical restrictions on it such that you have difficulty reformatting or converting this book for use on another device or in another program, please visit http://craphound.com for alternate, open format versions, authorized by the copyright holder for this work, Cory Doctorow. While Cory Doctorow cannot release you from any contractual or other legal obligations to anyone else that you may have agreed to when purchasing this version, you have his blessing to do anything that is consistent with applicable copyright laws in your jurisdiction.”

If an author, whose livelihood is supported by his work, can support DRM-free and even FREE content, why can’t Apple and Sony? It is simple Gorden Gekko-esque greed, based in stodgy economic models, that gets in the way. Apple may have abandoned DRM in music files in 2007′s big digital-brouhaha, but they’ve hardly left the backwards business model that trusts no one. Their stitch against the suggestion, of course, points to Craphound where all of Cory’s novels are freely downloadable. His works not only come in every format under the sun, but they come Braveheart free.

Whether or not Apple allow content creators to SELL DRM-free books isn’t the issue here; it’s why they don’t allow the above addendum to be included in the iBooks Store.

You can read more from Cory Doctorow all over the net, but his most famous haunts are his personal blog: Craphound, and BoingBoing, a popular geek site he and a few mates pioneered.

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Kindle for iOS gets audio and video http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/kindle-for-ios-gets-audio-and-video/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/28/kindle-for-ios-gets-audio-and-video/#comments Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:01:20 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=35239 God bless Amazon and God bless books. Having conquered one-click home shopping and set the stage for quality eBook readers, Amazon have augmented Kindle for iOS with audio and video features despite Apple’s attacks. AppleInsider note that many old titles such as “Les Miserables” have received loving digital audio/video shots in the arm. Augmented titles can … Read more]]>

Amazon's audio/video eBook selection

God bless Amazon and God bless books. Having conquered one-click home shopping and set the stage for quality eBook readers, Amazon have augmented Kindle for iOS with audio and video features despite Apple’s attacksAppleInsider note that many old titles such as “Les Miserables” have received loving digital audio/video shots in the arm. Augmented titles can be licensed starting at 9.99$ and are ‘yours’ to keep an eye on and never lend, loan, or show anyone else, ever.

You can get started at Amazon’s audio/video book selection.

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"Beginning Mac Programming" for iPhone/Mac OS X now in print http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/18/beginning-mac-programming-for-iphonemac-os-x-now-in-print/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/18/beginning-mac-programming-for-iphonemac-os-x-now-in-print/#comments Thu, 18 Mar 2010 14:45:47 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29711 Developing apps for the Mac, iPhone and iPad isn't easy for beginners - they need a guide to show the way. In his new book, "Beginning Mac Programming: Develop with Objective-C and Cocoa", author Tim Isted shows that the path from user to software developer is within reach. Step by gentle step, Isted shows non-programmers how to move from idea to application. Mac users can finally go from insight to application - without a computer science degree. … Read more]]>

Raleigh, North Carolina – In January, Steve Jobs announced that Apple had more than 140,000 applications in its App Store. That’s a lot of apps, and the number grows every day. Everyone to create their own software programs, to join in the action. But developing on the Mac, iPhone and iPad isn’t easy for beginners – they need a guide to show the way.

In his new book, “Beginning Mac Programming: Develop with Objective-C and Cocoa” (Pragmatic Bookshelf, $34.95), author Tim Isted shows that the path from user to software developer is within reach. Step by gentle step, Isted shows non-programmers how to move from idea to application. They’ll learn how to:

  • Code in Objective-C, the programming language behind Apple applications
  • Program within the Cocoa framework Apple provides for developers
  • Find and use free tools for developers, including Xcode and Interface Builder
  • Connect with Apple’s thriving developer community and expanding base of users

By the second chapter of the book, readers start coding their first program.

“We’ll be jumping headfirst into creating applications on the Mac that look and behave like the other Mac applications you’re used to,” Isted tells readers. “We’ll certainly be learning general programming principles, but we will be putting them into practice in real-world situations, right from the start. Over the course of the book, you’ll learn enough that you can fend for yourself, with enough knowledge of how the Mac programming world works that you know where to go to fill gaps in your knowledge with information from the right sources.”

He adds: “This book is designed for those of us who don’t have a degree in computer science. It’s intended to be read by people who’ve spent time working with the Mac, perhaps as power users of their applications, or at least people with the confidence that they know enough to explain the difference between, say, a menu and a window. Most importantly, the book is intended for people who have little or no previous programming knowledge.”

It’s easy to learn by doing – with guidance from a gifted author. By making it easy for the rest of us, Isted has produced what may be the book that gives birth to a thousand apps! Mac users can finally go from insight to application – without a computer science degree.

About the Author

Tim Isted has been writing software for Macintosh computers since 1995. He blogs on Core Data and is currently co-organizing NSConference, for Mac developers.

What People Are Saying

“An absolute must for anyone considering taking up programming on the Mac platform.” – Danny Greg, Cocoa Developer, Realmac Software

“This book is great; it thankfully eschews the ‘traditional’ dry format of teaching programming and takes you on a journey that will leave you itching to get on and write your own programs.” – Robert McGovern

“If you want to get into Mac programming quickly, at your own pace, this is your book.” – Uli Kusterer, Software Engineer, The Void Software

Beginning Mac Programming paperback+eBook
Introduction (pdf)
Cover Image

The Pragmatic Bookshelf features books written by developers for developers. The titles continue the well-known Pragmatic Programmer style, and continue to garner awards and rave reviews. As development gets more and more difficult, the Pragmatic Programmers will be there with more titles and products to help programmers stay on top of their game. Pragmatic Bookshelf books are available in paperback in bookstores worldwide, and available in paperback and eBook formats direct from our website. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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One of the scariest apps ever – now updated http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/18/one-of-the-scariest-apps-ever-now-updated/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/18/one-of-the-scariest-apps-ever-now-updated/#comments Thu, 18 Mar 2010 10:20:40 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29681 288 Vroom LLC today released 100 Horror Stories And Sounds 2.0 for iPhone and iPod touch. Read 100 of the greatest horror stories of all time and immerse yourself in the terror with 20 disturbing sounds and animations, and a few extra surprises that would be no fun to mention here. And now Version 2.0 has a new haunting feature called Auto-Scare. Excellent for Halloween or any time of year. … Read more]]>

Bridgewater, New Jersey – 288 Vroom LLC today released 100 Horror Stories And Sounds 2.0 for iPhone and iPod touch. 100 Horror Stories, Sounds, And Scares – one of the scariest book apps ever – now updated! It’s been called “the scariest book app on the iPhone” by iPhoneFootPrint, but ’100 Horror Stories, Sounds, And Scares’ is more than just a book app … it is an experience. Read 100 of the greatest horror stories of all time including such authors as Dickens, Doyle, Irving, James, Poe, Shelley, Stevenson, Stoker, Wells, Wilde, and lots more. With classic scary stories like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll and Hyde, The Canterville Ghost, A Christmas Carol, and many more all in one frighteningly cool app.

Features:

  • 100 Classic Horror Novels, Novellas, and Short Stories
  • 20 Haunting Sounds (not kiddy sound effects)
  • 1 Creepy Design
  • A Couple of Terrifying Animations
  • Version 2.0 added Auto-Scare(randomly play sounds and scares)
  • Plus, a few surprises that would be no fun to mention here
  • Equals one scary and fun app

Immerse yourself in the terror with 20 haunting sounds and animations that will make you want to sleep with the lights on. Version 2.0 added more ‘scares’ and the new ‘Auto-Scare’ feature which randomly plays the app’s sounds and scares, perfect to keep the element of surprise fresh. And of we also added a few more hidden surprises that would be no fun to mention here. Excellent for Halloween or anytime of the year. This app is not for the weak at heart, don’t say you weren’t warned.

“After creating our first #1 Paid Book App, the multi-genre 301 Short Stories, we realized that there was a desire for an app that featured a large collection of great horror stories. While watching a horror movie late one night, I realized the sounds of the movie were sometimes the scariest parts…100 Horror Stories And Sounds came to life. Plus, I love Halloween and wanted to do an app that was cool for Halloween. I hope users enjoy it as much as I do.” said Gregg Levine, founder of 288 Vroom LLC.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone and iPod touch
* Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later
* 29.9 MB

Pricing and Availability:
100 Horror Stories And Sounds 2.0 is only $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Books category. Review copies are available upon request. All future updates, including story and sound additions, are included with initial purchase.

288 Vroom
100 Horror Stories, Sounds, And Scares 2.0
Purchase and Download
Screenshot
App Icon
Prank Videos

Based in Bridgewater, New Jersey, 288 Vroom LLC is a privately held corporation founded in 2009 by Gregg Levine. With over ten years working for major pharmaceutical and wireless communication companies, Gregg’s aim is developing unique and useful software for the iPhone platform, complemented by first-class customer support. An aspiring fiction writer, Gregg Levine felt that with his development and business experience and love of literature, creating great book apps for the iPhone/iPod touch was a perfect place to start. 288 Vroom’s first app, 301 Short Stories, was featured in ‘What’s Hot’ on iTunes and became the #1 Top Paid Book app. Their new app, 100 Horror Stories, Sounds, And Scares, is quickly climbing the AppStore charts. Copyright (C) 2009 288 Vroom LLC. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Goodreads in Review – Be A Bookworm, Any Time, Any Place! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/16/goodreads-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/16/goodreads-in-review/#comments Tue, 16 Mar 2010 23:07:20 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29614 For book lovers reading this, chances are you already know what Goodreads is. If not, it’s basically a social network for readers. According to their website, it’s the largest of its kind in the world, with in excess of 3 million members. The website allows you to become friends with people, recommend books, get recommendations, … Read more]]>

For book lovers reading this, chances are you already know what Goodreads is. If not, it’s basically a social network for readers. According to their website, it’s the largest of its kind in the world, with in excess of 3 million members.

The website allows you to become friends with people, recommend books, get recommendations, see reviews and scores and add books to your ‘shelves.’ Your virtual shelves are read, currently reading and to-read. It’s free to join, and the iPhone/iPod Touch App is also free to download and use. Feel free to discuss this review of Goodreads in our forums.

The Goodreads App basically allows you to administer your account on the go. If you don’t have a Goodreads account, the only features you’ll be able to use in the App are searching for book reviews and browsing popular titles. So, if you do have an account it’s well worth signing in so you have full functionality. If you don’t have an account but you’re a keen reader – I’d recommend signing up.

The great thing about this App is its portability. How many times have you stood in a bookstore, seen a book you’d like to read, then got home and forgotten all about it? Not any more! You can add the book to your to-read list so you can come back and grab it at a later date. If you’re anything like me, you might also use it to find out if you’ve already read a certain book!

Alternatively, you could be in the book shop umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether to part with your hard-earned cash on a certain book. The marketing blurb may have convinced you, but you want to hear it from the consumers! No problem; just open the Goodreads App, search for reviews and get other people’s thoughts before whipping out your wallet or purse. You could save yourself a considerable amount of money on rubbish reads!

Other features in the App include the ability, like many other social networks, to update your status. It’s completely up to you whether this is book related or not, but I guess it’s what your friends will be expecting. You can also post your own book reviews from your iDevice, ideal if you’re away from your computer but want to post your review whilst the book is fresh in your mind. You can also check out your friends and see what statuses, reviews and recommendations they’re posting; not to mention having a browse of their virtual bookshelves.

If you’re looking to pass some time, or want to look for something new, but you’re not sure what, then the Explore function is for you. Check out Listopia lists, which range from The Book Was Better Than The Movie to Great Vampire Books That Aren’t Twilight. You can also browse books by Genre, and Popular Books.

The Events Near Me function didn’t work – but I’m not sure if this is because I’m in the UK. I used the in-built GPS function to find my location, but given the nearest event was in Southlake, TX, I think something went wrong!

The layout of the App is nothing flashy, but then it doesn’t need to be. It’s functional and easy to use – in my opinion, there’s nothing more you could really want.

In a nutshell, the Goodreads App allows you to keep your friends updated on what you’re reading and how far you’ve progressed, and they can do the same to you. Find new books, rate old ones and check out what’s hot right now!

Goodreads is free, and more functionality has been promised in later releases, so really you’ve got nothing to lose! And if you’re on there, feel free to search for me!

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App Summary
Title: Goodreads Developer: Goodreads
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 1.2 MB
  • Free
  • Huge membership, so it’s easier to hook up with people
  • Easy to use
  • Not a flashy interface – but it doesn’t need to be
  • Useful App to have when out and about
  • Events Near Me function didn’t work, I suspect because I’m in the UK

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eBooks by Kobo in Review – sold! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/10/ebooks-by-kobo-in-review-%e2%80%93-sold/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/10/ebooks-by-kobo-in-review-%e2%80%93-sold/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2010 07:06:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=27801 For a long time, I was unconvinced when it came to ebooks. Having downloaded a couple, I found that trying to read them on my laptop screen was just a waste of time. I’d look at the words and my eyes would travel down the page, but I wouldn’t take a word of it in. … Read more]]>

For a long time, I was unconvinced when it came to ebooks. Having downloaded a couple, I found that trying to read them on my laptop screen was just a waste of time. I’d look at the words and my eyes would travel down the page, but I wouldn’t take a word of it in. So I gave up on ebooks and went back to my beloved physical ones. That is, until eBooks by Kobo came along. As you may have guessed from my previous comments, I don’t own an eBook reader, and previous experience was doing nothing to convince me I should part with my hard-earned cash in order to get one. This has all changed. This free app simply installs onto your device and makes it into your very own ereader! Granted, it’s considerably smaller than most available on the market, but it does the job. Feel free to discuss eBooks by Kobo in our forums.

It’s difficult to know where to start with this app because there’s so much to it. Firstly, and most importantly of course, there’s the interface. It’s light, clean and modern, and very easy to navigate. You have your ‘I’m Reading’ menu, which includes all the books you’ve added to your list, so you can find them easily when you fire up the programme. You can display these in list or shelf format, dependent on how you prefer to see your reads.

Then you have the ‘Discover’ tab, which is where Kobo really shines. There are endless options for you to choose from here in order to find your perfect book. These include Featured, NYT Bestsellers in Fiction and Non-Fiction, Staff Picks, Under 5 Bucks (always a good choice), Prize Winners and Vampire Fiction. So if you’re not entirely sure what you want to read next, there are tonnes of ways you can find something. The ‘Browse’ menu is much more a standard way you’d expect to pick up your next book – this is sectioned by Genre and Sub-Genre. Me being me, I navigated straight to Romance>Adult, where interestingly I found 151 books to sink my fangs into. Not many you may think, but it’s fairly niche. Looking at the Romance section as a whole, you have a whopping 4,215 books to choose from – and it’s being added to all the time. Naturally, if you know what you’re looking for, you can search for it.

When you’ve chosen from the zillions of books available what you want to read, you still have lots of options available to you to give the best experience possible. The default view is black text on a white background, but a function called ‘Night Reading’ reverses this, which would make things easier on the eye if you were reading in low light, or possibly didn’t want to have the light on for fear of keeping a partner awake or something. You can also put on Rotation Lock, which is invaluable because if like me, you like to get right into bed to read, you’ll find your iPhone screen wanting to flip round if you move your hand just a little too much. Other options include changing your page and text colour, how your page behaves when you ‘turn’ it, font size, font type, line spacing and more. Basically, you’re able to tweak every aspect of your reading experience until it’s perfect for you. Which is fantastic, particularly for a free app.

Once you’ve read a book or story, you can choose to Read Related, Email to Friends, Rate This and Tweet This – all of which are excellent additions to an already clever app. The prices aren’t too bad either. I actually compared a couple of prices to Amazon’s Kindle and found them cheaper. So if this was true across the board, then I think Amazon have a serious competitor on their hands.

In summary, Kobo has helped convert me to ebooks. I’ll never abandon real books, but this app has shown me that there is a comfortable way to read ebooks that isn’t a laptop screen. I will definitely continue to use this app and hopefully as the platform gains popularity there will become more and more content available for you to read. As it stands, you can get quite a lot of free content, so if you’re not sold on this concept, download the free app and a couple of free books and stories and give it a try for yourself. You can even read sample chapters of books you’re unsure about. I didn’t think I’d ever be convinced on the ebook concept – but I am now.

App Summary
Title: eBooks by Kobo Developer: Indigo Books and Music Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 2.4 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 1.1 MB
  • Plenty of books to choose from
  • Competitively priced
  • Lots of options to enhance your experience
  • Text easy to read and absorb
  • Excellent categorisation of books
  • Easy to find and browse titles
  • Nice layout
  • You can’t import any ebooks you already have in other formats
  • No option to post to Facebook
  • Heavily catered to American audience

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Disney at Work: Epcot in Review – an inspirational app! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/29/disney-at-work-epcot-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/29/disney-at-work-epcot-in-review/#comments Sun, 29 Nov 2009 14:02:13 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=23104 Disney at Work: Epcot is well outside most of the reviews I’ve done for TMA. It’s not a game, but in fact a learning tool. The goal of the app is to teach, and it succeeds pretty well in doing just that. What you get out of it really has more to do with what … Read more]]>

Disney at Work 1

Disney at Work: Epcot is well outside most of the reviews I’ve done for TMA. It’s not a game, but in fact a learning tool. The goal of the app is to teach, and it succeeds pretty well in doing just that. What you get out of it really has more to do with what you’re looking for in it. Disney at Work teaches two things: a history of Epcot, and how you can use the lessons learned from that in your own life/career/business.

It app is broken up into chapters, like a book. Each chapter offers an intriguing look into the making of the Disney theme park Epcot. It’ll take you through each section of the park, giving stories about each ride and the challenges Disney Imagineers faced to make this park a reality. There are nice photos at the beginning of each chapter to illustrate the text. You can skip all around to different stories within the app if you’re looking for information about one particular favorite area. But the entire thing is worth reading. You’ll learn all kinds of trivia about the building of Epcot, and many useful lessons as well.

Disney at Work 2 Disney at Work 3

That’s really the second purpose behind the app – the lessons you can learn from the stories being told. Disney has lots of these, they’ve had a lot of practice over the years in finding innovative ways to accomplish goals and ultimately provide a unique customer experience that has placed them at the very top of the service game. If you don’t think there’s anything you can learn from Disney that could be applied to your own life in some way, think again. At the end of each chapter, you are presented with questions and ideas to think about – and I found myself just as taken with those as I was with the history of the park itself.

Which is why, at least for me, this app is a success. It does exactly what it sets out to do -to provide an insightful learning experience. If you’re a Disney fan, the history alone is worth the price of the app. If you’re looking for some motivational material to use at work, again Disney at Work has you covered. It isn’t a chore to read through, nor is it feel preachy; this multimedia book is a compilation of real-world experiences that provide valuable lessons. For fans, it’s definitely worth Grabbing.

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App Summary
Title: Disney at Work: Epcot Developer: TimeStream Software
Price: $4.99 App Size: 43.5 MB
  • Informative application that provides wonderful insight into the making of Epcot
  • Lessons learned can be applied to life, businesses and careers
  • Probably limited appeal to those who either have an interest in Disney trivia or are looking for a inspirational type application

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