Posts Tagged ‘Digital’

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!

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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

I found this strange contraption today while surfing the internet, the Wallee.

It is a hardback case for the Ipad, which can be mounted on the wall with a special bracket.

Now, i find this a bit odd, as the point of the Ipad is that it is a portable computer, and attaching it to a wall kind of defies the point. Still, i guess it could be useful if you are using your Ipad for recipes and have nowhere to put it while cooking, or if you don’t want it lying around on your desk or something… but this wouldnt really work if you’re watching films on your Ipad…. its still too small to be a good viewing from a distance! There are photos on the their website of it being attached to the dashboard of a car, but i think that just adds danger to the product, as it wouldn’t be any safer than using a mobile phone in the car while driving.

I have to say, it looks kind of tacky in the colours available!

You decide what you think! See this product for yourself at The Wallee website.

Or watch the Youtube video manual: