Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BPN 1167 iPhone and iPod as e-readers

Several times writing about e-Books, I have posed the question why Apple would not get into the fray. With so many iPods around and more recently the iPhones, the Apple products have a perfect point of departure of becoming text iPods. Well it is happening now. Fictionwise and, both e-Book web shops, have announced the availability of its free eReader application for eBooks on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The users of these Apple devices get immediately access to almost 50.000 eBooks, including bestsellers of Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Crichton, Ann Rice, James Patterson, and Harlequin Romance.

The eReader application is immediately downloadable on the Apple iPhone 3G. The older iPhomes and the iPod Toch need to upgrade to the 2.0 operating system through iTunes 7.7. The eReader application is available as a free download. The Apple devices have three advantages as e-reader. Uploading of e-Books can be done wirelessly. They have large screens compared to most PDAs besides the screens are sharp and clear. And last, but not least they have 6 to 8 solid hours of battery life.

The eReader application is not just limited to the Apple devices. Multiformat versions are also available for more than 300 different handheld devices, ranging from special e-Reader devices to mobile phones and PDAs. The eReader program can read encrypted or unencrypted eBooks from Fictionwise and

The eReader is a first version for the Apple devices. It means that it will not be possible to transfer eReader content downloaded from other websites onto eReader for iPhone and iPod touch. Version 1.1 will have the ability to browse other sites and directly download from them, as well as ways of moving eReader format eBooks from your personal computer to the iPhone and iPod touch. This includes both encrypted and unencrypted eReader files. Version 1.1 will contain features like reverse video, the ability to lock the page orientation, the option to tap rather than swipe to turn pages, options to sort your on-device Bookshelf by author or title or most recently purchased, the ability to browse the web right from the application and download eReader PDB files from any website, and several other improvements.

Looking at the attempts of these web site e-book shops, it is very laudable what they are doing for the distribtion of e-books. But promotion by Apple would help the promotion of e-book. Of course integrating the e-reader software and offering access to the iTunes e-Bookshop would defeat the Kindle in one strike.

Blog Posting Number: 1167

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