Posts Tagged ‘Digital Revolution’

I recently acquired a Kindle 4 for Christmas and am eager to avoid it ending up scratched and bashed like everything else (phone, mp3 player, etc all blighted by unsightly dents and blemishes) because i live by my personal mantra: “if it ain’t tough, it won’t survive”! So clearly it is very important to find a case which both protects my new gadget but is also not boring!

I have looked around and found some frankly rather boring Kindle cases provided by Amazon itself and a few others. Although i think they’re supposed to be more like a book cover, I’m concerned that cases like the one below will not protect the edges of my Kindle and will accidently open in a bag:

Kindle Leather Cover, Wine Purple (via Amazon)

This case style isn’t one i’m willing to waste my money on, even if it is my favourite colour purple! Amazon seems to charge a stupid amount of money for these cases, nearly half what the Kindle costs! There is also this one which isn’t too bad colourwise and has a nice clippy thing to keep the case closed, but i’m still not sure about it:

New Kindle Purple SD Folio Case – SD Tabletwear (via Amazon)

I did find some nice, less boring versions of that style, such as this Kate Spade one which is quite funky:

Kate Spade New York Kindle Cover (via Amazon)

There are the quite nice but extremely pricey designer ones, as shown on Pretty Shiny Sparkly’s blog:

Reader Chic: Designer Kindle Cases

Even though i’m not sure on this style, i do actually LOVE the pattern on this one:

Wild Rose Kindle 4 Cover – Oberon Design

It’s really beautiful, and they have many more different designs on their website for all Kindle models and also cases for other devices too, see Oberondesign.com.

And maybe this one is quite nice too:

Flower Kindle case – Lente Designs (via Amazon)

And then there are the sleeves for Kindle, such as this amusing one inspired by “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mixalot! (and that song got stuck in my head when i saw this!):

I LIke Big Books Kindle Sleeve – Cafepress.co.uk

Or maybe this simple one:

Belkin Knit sleeve for Kindle (via Tesco)

I would rather have a slip-on case which covers the whole thing and keeps it all safe and bash-free, maybe one like this:

SD TabletWear Leather Style Amazon Kindle Slip Pouch – Purple (via Gearzap.com)

Or there is this nifty reversible black and red one:

Forefront Cases NEW KINDLE 4 Black / Red Reversible Neoprene Case (via Amazon)

I am still undecided as to what to buy as i haven’t found anything that i like enough to buy. If there is nothing i can find that i like then i may have to design my own, either through one of these websites, medgestore.com, or bagsoflove.co.uk. Or i might just sew my own (looking like the easiest and cheapest option to get something personal and more attractive!

I will keep looking for now though, you never know when someone will bring something nice out!

The hottest news of the week in the publishing world was the announcement by Apple that they were launching the iBooks 2 app.

This app allows anyone to create their own ebook. It is mainly for authors wanting to create textbook ebooks for studying, with the app allowing them to upload content such as videos, images, Word docs etc into the app, which then works out how best to lay out the content.

This app will potentially lower the amount of huge heavy print books which students have to lug around campus and makes it easier to find what you are looking for. Although i guess you’d need to have an iPad in the first place which isn’t cheap, although if these ebook textbooks are cheaper than the paper versions then maybe you could afford one (or possibly not with the recent hiking up of tuition fees).

Publishers have already made use of the iPad for children’s books, and there are some beautiful ebooks out there for the iPad which i’ve seen and tried out for myself, although i still would be a little reluctant to give my expensive iPad to a small child to use, wouldn’t you? The pictures and animations are really lovely, colourful and appealing, which makes a children’s book more special.

Textbooks seemed like the next obvious target by publishers to try to digitise, as they contain far more content than other books and have always seemed rather dull. I guess with the iPad app we can now create beautiful ebook versions of these textbooks which we can interact with and make learning more enjoyable. We already have seen what can be done with textbook content in apps, the most famous being The Elements app:

Textbook ebooks look like they could be pretty big if done well, and it will be interesting to see how this works.
Here is a video explaining about the iBooks 2 app:

The video points out some interesting points about the old print textbook: They are outdated almost as soon as they are published, as new discoveries are made all the time, and the time-consuming process of publishing a book means that a textbook can be up-to-date upon its induction but by the time it reaches the shop it can be several months out of date. The ability to update the content of an ebook as new information is discovered would allow students to keep on top of developments. It may make it a bit harder to keep track of quotes a student may take from a book if new content is added, making referencing a little bit harder, but we’ll see how this works. Another point is that print textbooks are static, so if you are studying science, then ebooks make it possible to show images as animations so they look more like the real thing they are describing.

However, according to the Guardian, the textbooks will only be available in the US for now, which means the rest of us will have to wait! My main concern is that with tuition fees going up by massive amounts, students will be unable to afford to buy these textbooks, whether or not they have an iPad (and i can’t imagine many will do, i rarely saw them when i was at uni not long ago), so one hopes that libraries will buy them in so students can borrow them, but i guess that in itself will conjure up a load of trouble with lending, as we’ve already witnessed with other ebooks.

These textbooks can open a whole new way of learning, which is an exciting prospect. They look more interesting than print books, and the ability to interact with the content within the book makes it a more compelling reading experience, and if i was learning a subject as heavy and information-packed as medicine or something, i would want a more exciting way of learning about it! And it also makes it easier to take notes by simply highlighting text with your fingers and pasting it into your notes, which seems a lot easier than writing it all down by hand! I only wish i’d had this when i was at school/university, would have made life a lot easier, even though i was only studying literature and language and not science or anything!

I wonder what you think of iBooks 2? Feel free to comment!

Articles consulted:
Telegraph.co.uk: Apple iBooks 2 app lets authors make their own books

Engadget.com: Apple ibooks 2

Guardian.co.uk: Apple unveils ibooks 2 textbooks ipad

Behold the iPad in All Its Glory

Image via Wikipedia

I was in a restaurant a few nights ago (celebrating my graduation from university, might i add!) with my parents, and my mum spotted a woman on a table behind us who had brought her Ipad with her to dinner.

Now we thought this to be quite an interesting, but odd sight, particularly as it was only the second time i had been in a room with someone who actually owns one of these devices. For some reason she kept wandering round the restaurant with her Ipad, maybe she was showing it off, i don’t know! We thought it was a bit strange to bring such a huge device into a restaurant,  as it barely fitted into her handbag!

My mum pointed out that anyone could see what she was doing on it, what with her waving it around for the whole restaurant to see and the fact the screen was quite bright and therefore stood out in the dimly-lit restaurant.

I wonder how practical these Ipads really are, as they are quite large and cumbersome…. its not like an Iphone which is smaller and more practical.

To be fair, anyone who can afford to buy an Ipad while they are still uncommon in everyday life is bound to show it off, even at the risk of showing everyone what they are doing on this stupidly expensive and large device. And showing off is exactly what this woman was doing, parading it around the restaurant. She was with a fairly big  group of people, so why she had brought it with her i don’t know. I would have thought a restaurant was hardly the sort of place where you need to check on stuff like emails and so on, its more a place where you want to relax and enjoy your dinner without worrying about stuff.

No-one else seemed to need gadgets at the dinner table (there was the odd person on their mobile but that’s fairly common these days), and it seemed like the woman was distracted and a bit distant from her group because of this device which made her stand out. This doesnt seem like a good thing, and i for one would be annoyed if someone i was dining with decided to bring their Ipad and fiddle with it all through the meal, when i want to talk to them with their full attention focused on our conversation.

I really hope that Ipads don’t start to invade our lives too much, as they are only isolating people from real life, and at the moment they are so expensive that very few can afford one comfortably, and once people have got used to them, i’m sure the novelty will wear off.

I am quite divided because Ipads do seem more practical and less cumbersome than a laptop, but less practical than a mobile phone. I think its ok if you want to use it purely for working or whatever while travelling, but they shouldnt really be used in restaurants and other places where you don’t really need them.

What does everyone else think of this?