First look: 'Classics' aims to kindle iPhone reading surge

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 32
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    I don't see the 'another device' argument as a major problem. Most people I know read at home or on holiday so they don't need a device small enough to carry around all the time.



    I read a lot of books and have been eagerly awaiting the release of ebook readers in the UK. The Kindle is not available here yet but the Sony Reader was launched recently and it looks really good. They also have a tie in with one of the UK's largest booksellers (Waterstones) which means there is a good selection of ebooks to buy.



    I can understand that many people prefer the look and feel of a real book which is why I don't think ebooks will ever dominate the market but personally I would be happy to do away with my bookshelf and have them all on an ebook reader.



    I was hoping that Steve Jobs was bluffing when he dismissed ebooks in January and that Apple would release something with a larger screen (say a 5" or 6" iPod Touch) at MacWorld but if not I guess I will buy the Sony Reader.
  • Reply 22 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kbsbeme View Post


    I'm a publisher ( iPulpFiction.com ) who chose the AppEngines eReader concept to publish our stories. Here's why:



    Although we gave away one public domain title to introduce readers to pulp fiction, iPulp publishes original fiction by active, award-winning writers. (13 titles so far.) We aren't drawing on Project Gutenberg for our material like Stanza and the others. This means I need to pay royalties and protect our intellectual property rights. By packaging each volume as a separate easy-to-use application, AppEngines protects our product better than an eReader that pulls in any old external file that that can be easily pirated. The only improvement I would like to see in the appEngines reader is full text justification and a limited selection of font choices.



    Also, the original article complained about the number of icons this requires. That is true, but those icons - your library - sit on the shelf in iTunes. think of your iPhone/iPod as your book bag. Do you keep the entire library in your book bag? Simply "check out' the book you are currently reading to your iPhone/iPod book bag and remove it when you're done.



    The high resolution iPhone/iPod screen actually presents remarkably clear type and reading is rather enjoyable. I am on the iPod/iPhone now to be in a better position when these apps can be delivered to the larger touch-screen mobile devices that are on the horizon.



    Thank you. As an upcoming author (business book although some would say communication via conference call and virtual meetings really is fiction! ) I appreciate your input. e-books are an important part of my business plan and your insight helped me to refine my strategy.



    I like the feel of a book and that just comes with being a baby boomer. That said, I'm finding that reading via my iPhone (blogs, websites) is acceptable, especially when I have that extra 15 minutes. Perhaps the iPhone will be what attracts more and more people used to reading physical books to the digital format.
  • Reply 23 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by andrewkaz View Post


    E-ink is nice, but for what it's worth, the iPhone's screen actually comes quite close to the Kindle in DPI -- it weighs in at 163 dpi versus Kindle's just slightly better 167.



    Well if that's true, that's definitely a step in the right direction. However, it's still missing the quality advantage eInk has, unless there's something comparable on the iPhone or it can somehow generate an eInk lookalike in the future.



    The other big thing is just physical size - while certain texts are ok to read on the go or have a lot of value hanging around as a mobile reference, reading a really great and long novel on a screen barely larger than a coaster is not really going to fly with a lot of people. I would say this is the second biggest stumbling block for etexts in general, and why it's been so hard to get people to even try them before the kindle and ereader arrived. Since functional compactness is a goal for most phones/pda-type devices, it naturally goes at odds with what feels comfortable for reading, and something that will be difficult to reconcile.
  • Reply 24 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lidofido View Post


    Uh, yeah. Readers love 1) the text and 2) the feel of a good book. This fails on all sides as the length of text available before you have to scroll / turn a page is miniscule, it has a touch gimmick that does nothing to enhance the actual tactile sensation, and it burns through battery life like no tomorrow (backlight always on) meaning you can't actually USE it for very long.



    I'm not sure where you're coming from, but a lack of options is exactly what most people want - they want a book, which gives you practically none! The optimal device would have the dpi of print, be as comfortable to use as a book, and as simple to use as a book. While I'm not really a kindle fan (the lack of kindle available books is what deters me), it does much better than this thing in terms of dpi, battery life, and comfort level. The only thing missing is the tactile nature of a book...



    My main point was the ridiculousness of people posting one line retorts that claim to know the mind of all book readers (as if we were all the same).



    I agree with your criticism of the size of the pages, but to me that's the main problem with the other text based readers as well. The real solution for digital "books" is a device of the same form factor as a real-world book. The pocket book or mass market paperback is arguably the smallest size that the average human wants to deal with or is comfortable with and that is bigger than the iPhone.



    If Apple, (or anyone really, but only Apple would do it well), comes out with a device that has a form-factor somewhere between the iPhone and the Kindle, ebooks will take off like a rocket and this application, running on such a device would be the one I would pick.
  • Reply 25 of 32
    I love reading on my iPhone, just finished a novel last night using Stanza and on to my second one. Very handy as I can read when I'm waiting for the bus or whatever. I've never been bothered by reading off a screen, but it might not be for everyone. As for the Kindle, there's no way I'm going to carry one of those when an iPhone is a perfectly good e-reader.
  • Reply 26 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nonstopdesign View Post


    I love reading on my iPhone, just finished a novel last night using Stanza and on to my second one. Very handy as I can read when I'm waiting for the bus or whatever. I've never been bothered by reading off a screen, but it might not be for everyone. As for the Kindle, there's no way I'm going to carry one of those when an iPhone is a perfectly good e-reader.



    Ah, but there's the rub - a 'perfectly good e-reader' is different to everyone. However, I would venture to say that the majority of people that read regularly prefer certain basics mentioned above. The top three complaints about reading off PDA-ike devices I hear are the quality (this is the DPI thing), the size, and the strain. DPI was already touched on previously. Moving on, the size is just too small; you're scrolling/turning through the text at such a rapid rate that it's distracting. Increasing the font size has you flipping thorugh text even faster. Secondly, while backlighting can help in situations for reading, it's better to actually NOT use any kind of backlight in general. This is a leading cause of eye strain, compounded by, again, the size.



    The kindle is really hitting a sweet spot in terms of size - it's just about the size (surface area) of an appointment book / day planner. It could stand to be a little thinner, but that'll happen eventually anyway... and the thing is, you don't want it to be TOO thin; if it is, they better design a way to make it fit comfortably in your hand (which it does right now).



    Love my iPhone. I love the idea of convergence. But the proverbial "When the only tool you have is a hammer..." is very appropriate here. Let us not kill usability and replace it with something inferior. issues need to be worked out accordingly so that when pieces of technology DO converge, the result is better than the previous iteration, not a mediocre compromise.
  • Reply 27 of 32
    Twelve titles from Project Gutenberg? I have about 3800 titles from PG, manybooks.net, Baen Free Library, Blackmask, PSUECS, Internet Archive, etc., etc. on my computer. They're in HTML, PDF, and DjVu formats. This is why the Kindle, or any proprietary e-book reader is a non-starter for me: I can't transfer these books to them, and couldn't read them if I did. The iPhone or something like it could someday deliver this kind of functionality, proprietary platforms: never.
  • Reply 28 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kbsbeme View Post


    I'm a publisher ( iPulpFiction.com ) who chose the AppEngines eReader concept to publish our stories. Here's why:



    Although we gave away one public domain title to introduce readers to pulp fiction, iPulp publishes original fiction by active, award-winning writers. (13 titles so far.) We aren't drawing on Project Gutenberg for our material like Stanza and the others. This means I need to pay royalties and protect our intellectual property rights. By packaging each volume as a separate easy-to-use application, AppEngines protects our product better than an eReader that pulls in any old external file that that can be easily pirated. The only improvement I would like to see in the appEngines reader is full text justification and a limited selection of font choices.



    Also, the original article complained about the number of icons this requires. That is true, but those icons - your library - sit on the shelf in iTunes. think of your iPhone/iPod as your book bag. Do you keep the entire library in your book bag? Simply "check out' the book you are currently reading to your iPhone/iPod book bag and remove it when you're done.



    The high resolution iPhone/iPod screen actually presents remarkably clear type and reading is rather enjoyable. I am on the iPod/iPhone now to be in a better position when these apps can be delivered to the larger touch-screen mobile devices that are on the horizon.



    Something about this post makes me feel good. Maybe it's the lack of claims to know what every other reader wants. Maybe it's my lack of exposure to Kindle and its bretheren so that this is first thought I've given to business model of eBooks. Maybe I'm drunk? I don't know, but I'm rooting for you.



    But the book bag makes sense to me. I can't fit all my movies or music or tv on my Touch, so why would care if all my books were there?
  • Reply 30 of 32
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,042member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lidofido View Post


    Uh, yeah. Readers love...





    <sigh>



    AGAIN, somebody claims to speak for me with Universal Truth. What crap.



    I like reading books; I like reading ebooks. My Tungsten T|3 has served up several books. But the iPhone is far superior. It's always close, and very handy during down time. No more shopping airport book stores, or carrying around a paperback.



    When I'm home, a physical book is *usually* my choice. But there are a lot of times when it's just not practical, and my iPhone is.



    So please don't tell me what I want. I know better than you.



    And then there's the fact that a lot of kids are growing up in the digital age and a physical book will have far less prominence in their life. They will be far more comfortable with digital devices than you are.



    If one prefers the physical over the digital exclusively, fine. There are those who won't buy CD's because they want "the vinyl experience". Again, fine. But they don't know what I want as a music listener any more then you know my reading circumstances/preferences/tastes.
  • Reply 31 of 32
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,042member
    I like the visual metaphor.



    Given the great screen of the iPhone, I don't want dowdy, plain Jane apps. The iPhone is a superior product, and I want apps that exploit its strengths.



    That said, a developer should take care not to let the medium get in the way of the message. From the screenshots shown here, that doesn't seem to be a problem.



    That this is a Ryu Production does give me pause. First it would be a shame if an app that starts out looking this good to get abandoned. That can happen with any app, but developers accrue track records which can offer some confidence for the purchaser. Or not.



    I'm a fan of Delicious Library and would love to see a portable version for eBooks. Classics resembles DL very closely. So close, DL should jump in with their very own effort.
  • Reply 32 of 32
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacGui View Post


    I'm a fan of Delicious Library and would love to see a portable version for eBooks. Classics resembles DL very closely. So close, DL should jump in with their very own effort.



    The shelf thing is the only similarity, and Delicious Library didn't invent that software metaphor. The real power of this app isn't the shelf, that's the gloss, the real power is the reader itself, when you go into a book, it's truly compelling, and you get how it all works, "instantly ". It's all done with taste, thought, and meticulous attention to detail. The UI was planned out and designed very very well.
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