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Google Books Handhelds Technology

Google eBooks-Integrated E-reader Out On Sunday 56

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ereader-burnings-considerably-more-toxic dept.
minutetraders sends word of an announcement from Google. Quoting: "Starting this coming Sunday, July 17, the iriver Story HD e-reader will be available for sale in Target stores nationwide and on Target.com. The iriver Story HD is the first e-reader integrated with the open Google eBooks platform." It appears iriver has released source for the GPL components on the device, unlike the last time around.
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Google eBooks-Integrated E-reader Out On Sunday

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  • Since when is WiFi considered "OTA"? Wi-Fi is a fine feature but it is a lame marketing tactic to use it in a context where it suggests that you have cell coverage when you don't.

    • Besides, isn't WiFi transferred by electromagnetic waves and thus need to air? Or they transfer data using ultrasound?
      (For dense, that is a joke)

  • It's going to be hard to beat swiping across a touch-screen to change pages.
    • As someone who also mostly reads books in bed, it's hard to beat physical "next/previous page" buttons conveniently located on the edge of the device (as in Kindle). Swiping the screen requires moving the thumb, whereas with buttons you can hold your fingers on "next" and just push as you need.

      ("too lazy?" hell yes, that's why I read books in bed in the first place!)

      • by Flector (1702640)
        As I think about it,e- readers should have microphones so you can whistle or make other sounds to change pages.
        • I think that would get tiresome real quick.

          Nah, what I'd want is some kind of wireless switch, conveniently shaped such that it can be clutched in a fist, with a single button for "next page". That way you can keep your hand under the pillow (or wherever is most convenient) while reading, without having to reach out to the device to flip pages.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Naw, it should be an eye motion detector. when you look at the bottom of the page, it automatically changes

      • I can't say I've tried other readers, but the iPad doesn't require you to swipe either. Just touch the side. Both in the iBook and Kindle app. You can, but you don't need to

        Honestly I'd be surprised if any other touch screen tablet would require you to swipe to turn the page.

        • Yes, normally you tap the side. Unfortunately, due to the nature of capacitive touchscreens, you can't just rest the finger at that spot and push harder to press, since even the slightest touch is registered. With hardware buttons, you can do that, though how convenient that is depends on where the buttons are located; my favorite still remains Sony PRS-505 [skylarknetworks.com], where you had three (!) sets of forward/back buttons in different locations, so you could always find one that's convenient for your pose, whether lyin

          • I'm almost surprised at how Sony managed to go from being among the most interesting players in the dedicated e-reader business to a pathetic, overpriced, also-ran in such a relatively short span of time. They were practically the only people making e-ink readers of any size and quality, back when 'ebook' still usually meant "Project Gutenberg on my Palm Pilot"(not that there's anything wrong with that, weasel reader 4 lyfe!). Now the market has all kinds of exploded and I haven't even seen a Sony display m
            • Well, Sony readers are featured pretty prominently in all Best Buys I've seen in the last few years, so it's not all that bad... but ultimately, I think it boils down to the fact that stores for Kindle and Nook are that much better (in both amount of content, and convenience of use).

              For Kindle, in particular, it's tough to beat its 3G OTA shopping, and the convenience of having it synchronize across all your devices - I read with DX at home for that large screen convenience, but I also have a v3 for when I

            • I kinda feel sorry for Sony, because they have been doing some things right with their latest batch of e-readers. They got Pearl e-ink devices to market at around the same time as Amazon did, and they came with those infra-red based touchscreens long before the latest Nook.

              Ultimately what I think has hurt them is the lack of wireless, and hence a lack of integration between their devices and their store. Kindles and Nooks are sold as an entire package (iPads too to some extent), whereas a Sony Reader is o

          • by jgoemat (565882)

            Yes, normally you tap the side. Unfortunately, due to the nature of capacitive touchscreens, you can't just rest the finger at that spot and push harder to press

            Dear God, how did you survive when you had to actually turn a page?

      • I have both a kindle2 and regular touchscreen tablets/phones/etc.

        the finger swipe is 'cool' but you know, its tiring and not all that efficient.

        kindle got it right. I hate giving amazon credit but they got it right.

        • the finger swipe is 'cool' but you know, its tiring and not all that efficient.

          On iOS at least you don't have to swipe at all, you can tap the edge of the page - so you could easily navigate without moving your hands from the edge of the device.

      • by ncc74656 (45571) *

        As someone who also mostly reads books in bed, it's hard to beat physical "next/previous page" buttons conveniently located on the edge of the device (as in Kindle).

        Tapping the left or right edge of the screen is sufficient to change pages with the iBooks app. I think that also works with Stanza...not so sure if the Kindle app supports it, or if it only knows swipe-left/right. With an iPhone at least, tapping either side with the thumb of the hand that's holding it is easy enough.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      More movement means being brought out of the story more.

      Swiping is horrible vs a convienant button.

  • I had a chance to check out the iRiver Story HD (at CES 2011 and recently) and it is a good product, on par with other e-readers today (though I think I still prefer the Kindle and the side buttons, even if the screen was a little better). I just wish it and Google eBooks were available in Canada so we would have some good competition in the e-books realm. I'm looking at publishing my first novel (Rawmesh, http://www.rawmesh.net/ [rawmesh.net] [rawmesh.net]) soon and want to have it primarily as an e-book (and print on

    • by e3m4n (947977)

      so what was battery life like on it? One thing that I absolutely love about my kindle3 is that I can turn off the wifi and 3g after charging it up and read for damn near 6wks straight @ 2hrs / night without having to charge up. And thats while using the built in LED reading light integrated in the cover 30% of the time. Having to keep the ipad charged on a damn-near daily basis just doesnt compare. When you factor in eye strain vs e-ink's no-strain reading I've been very happy with my kindle3. Granted some

      • by Hadean (32319)

        Exactly a reason why I still like my Kindle. Unfortunately, I never got to play with it long enough to see how the long the battery would last, though I was promised it would be equivalent to other e-ink readers (in the weeks with regular use and wi-fi turned off). The original iRiver Story lasts about 9000 page turns, so I'm guessing this would be similar.

  • $140 isn't all that much, plus its open-source. I've been wondering if these e-book readers are any good, and this seems like a pretty good deal, not to mention the Google books integration. If it turns out that its hacker friendly, I'm definitely getting one.

  • by Rashkae (59673) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @11:02PM (#36744266) Homepage

    Unfortunately for Google E-books, Kobo has already released the Touch. It took the compnay 3 tries, but they finally got it right. You can tap the side of the page to turn page (Sony requires a swipe if you use the touch screen, which does becomes tiresome by comparison.)

    You probably won't see it on display models, (unfortunately), but with the new firmware update, it also allows you to install your own fonts, (as well as a built in selectoin of 5), as well as the ability to adjust page margins and line height to your comfort. And it sells for less.... so yeah, this device is too little too late.

  • by The_Laughing_God (253693) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @11:24PM (#36744426)

    After a year of increasing interest, I'll be buying a reader or tablet this week. I almost pulled the trigger 3x this weekend, but each time found a better deal on a better model -- though ultimately, *any* of the the three, in hand by the end of next week, will be adequate

    I was excited to read about this release. It felt like a serendipitous alignment until I realized that I wouldn't have actual possession of ANY file, just a 'service' feeding me a page at a time -- and Google is quite clear that it logs each page I read and when (it touts this as a feature, saying they record it so I can pick up on the same page of each of my ebooks on any other device).

    Do I want to be cut off from all my eBooks in wifi or wireless outage? No. That's when I'll want a book or manual most --- during an outage, in a plane, in the woods, in a lab or shielded room... Do I want anyone monitoring and recording exactly what pages I read or re-read and how often, tech or fiction? Nope.

    I'm amazed /.ers take this so lightly

    So much for serendipitous fortune. This reader is off my list, until it's hacked to keep Google OUT unless invited

    • by dargaud (518470)

      Do I want to be cut off from all my eBooks in wifi or wireless outage?

      Without even looking at the specs, it's a safe bet to assume that there's gonna be a cache for offline reading on that thing.

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @12:52AM (#36744946) Homepage

    Features I'm waiting for before I buy an e-book reader:

    1. I'm not touching anything with DRM, because any book I buy with DRM is virtually guaranteed to be unreadable in four years.

    2. A decent selection of books.

    3. Good support for books with equations in them.

    Iriver apparently fails #1. The WP article on google ebooks [wikipedia.org] says it's touted as open, but actually uses DRM.

    A quick search [google.com] for books by an author I like shows that only a small fraction of his books are available, so fail on #2 as well.

    All epub-based formats basically fail #3. Dunno about the formats supported by google ebooks.

    • Ya know, I dislike DRM as much as the next guy (actually way more than most next guys since I know what it is and what it represents) but, at some point, you're just going to have to get over it and remove the DRM from whatever you decide to purchase. Once a DRM scheme is standardized, The Man is locked into a specific method of protection which can be easily bypassed.

      1) DRM exists and it's not going away any time soon. What the smart consumer wants is fast adoption within the industry so hackers can get

  • It will be a hit! Just like the Nexus One was...
  • Although I can't comment on the iRiver Story, I do have the Cover Story. For anyone interested, these are my thoughts on it:

    The technical specs were (for me) pretty much perfect. It was most definitely a purchase made on specs, rather than having the product in my hand prior to buying it. But I have a lot of niggles - which renders the device somewhat less than perfect...

    First, the good stuff. DRM is not an issue - for me, at least. That is an Adobe thing, and I don't have any DRM'd PDFs. The device should

  • No audio, so it can't double as an MP3 player like Kindle. You can't use it to read audio books, which is a great thing to do while driving the car. Amazon downloads Audible.com books directly via Wifi into Kindle.

    I like the better display, and the Wifi download, and the SD card slot.

    I'd like it more if I could be sure it's running Android, like the Nook, so I can maintain the OS after they stop doing so. I see some GPL, but can it be built and installed on the device?

    Sorry, but it's missing some of the key

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