Thursday Links: Apple’s iPad Underwhelms
The message that I heard from others yesterday is that they were underwhelmed by the iPad. Significantly, it lacks the ability to run applications simultaneously, has no camera, lacks a USB port or external memory slot. Further, there is no innovative input, only a large screen keyboard. I’m not certain how easy it would be to type with that thing in your lap.
For reading, the battery life is a promised 10 hours at half brightness. The screen is 9.7 inches with a backlit IPS LED screen. IPS is also known as “In Plane Switching” and supposedly provides better lateral views of the screen. IPS also is reported to need a stronger backlight so those claims of 10 hour battery life might be overhyped.
Steve Jobs talked briefly about books on the iPad. First, it looks as if the bookshelf is based on the Classics application. Second, the platform is ePub but we don’t know if iBooks can be read on other devices. Likely not.
For me, the design is very unlike Apple. It looks dated. Further, the only feature that Steve showed during the keynote was that you could change the font. Whoop de freaking do. One concern expressed by readers like author Shannon Stacey was whether the iBook application would spell the end of the existing applications like Stanza, Kindle, BN’s eReader. Kobo books is working feverishly to get iPad ready.
Kirk Biglione, from Media Loper, pointed out that “Apple has typically restricted apps that duplicate built-in functionality. That’s why there are no third-party web browsers or media players in the App Store.” Upon further examination, he noted, “It’s clear that users will have to download the iBookstore application through the App Store. After they’ve done that they can buy books from within the app, read, and manage their libraries. I’m guessing this means books won’t be added to the device’s main media library as a new type of media.”
The pricing appears high for ebooks: $12.99 and $14.99 for hardcovers and some lower price for trade and paperbacks. I would expect this to trend downward if Kindle remains in the App Store. To kick Kindle out, along with other booksellers, would trigger a DOJ investigation, in my opinion.
The take away for me is that this is a giant and, very fast, iTouch and at the price of $499 for the entry level version, that’s enough for me. I’ll be ordering the mid level (32 GB) wifi enabled version as soon as I am allowed to do so. I’ll review it here, of course, for your consumption. The iPads are expected to ship in 60 days.
A new ebook store was launched called ebook pie. It is selling MS Lit, eReader, and Adobe DRM’ed formats. Interestingly, it doesn’t designate which Adobe DRM platform it is selling, either PDF or ePUB which signals a rather stunning lack of understanding of the technology for an ebookstore.
The Millions has an interview with a book pirate. He buys a lot of books, uploads a lot of books, and downloads a lot of books. He knows its wrong but I don’t get the sense that is stopping him.
Mother Jones features an essay wherein the editor of a journal asks for literary writers to do less navel gazing and start writing things we want to read. Ted Genoways argues graduate literary programs have been churning out writers but few of them are generating consumable material.
India company, Mehta, is going to release an ebook reader. India is projected to be the largest English speaking country in the world. Currently it sits as second only to the U.S. The U.S. has 251,388,301 English speakers and India has 232,000,000.
On Thursday, Mehta will announce the Infibeam Pi, an e-book reader that looks like the Amazon Kindle, has the same e-Ink screen that the Kindle sports, and has a rights architecture than is more open than the Kindle. The Infibeam Pi, which can now be ordered online and will start shipping in February, is priced at Rs 10,000. The Amazon Kindle, when shipped to India, costs about Rs 18,000.
Kindle has released a book light (non affiliate link) which clips on to the top of the device. It has two LCD bulbs which will provide a bright, bright light. I like the design of it and how it is kind of hooded but those lights will be very bright.