Thursday News: Bookstore, iPhone 7, Pokémon Go for Apple Watch, and Queen Sugar
The Reading Room, Renamed Bookstr, Debuts New Website – So anyone a fan of this service? Apparently they’re looking to attract millennials, so I don’t know how that skews their content, but I don’t know a lot of readers who are using it. Although I’m still looking for a solid alternative to Goodreads.
Bookstr has about 1.2 million registered members, according to Noonan, and 60% of them are classified as millennials (between the ages of 18-34). In terms of staff, Bookstr has 21 full-time employees (with six being staffers, and about 15 being full-time contract workers). . . .
Bookstr creates about 50 book and author-related articles a week and the site can be used as a discovery platform. Using the Bookstr app, consumers can organize online book clubs. Bookstrs operations remain focused on, as Noonan put it, “social book discovery.” All of these activities, Noonan stressed, will be expanded when the new website and app launch. (The new site is live now with the app rolling out later in September.) – Publishers Weekly
IPhone 7 and Wireless Headphones: Analyzing Apple’s Announcements – So the biggest news about the new iPhone I heard this morning was the leaked Twitter pics prior to Tim Cook’s public announcement. And in the same way the company pulled the CD drive from its laptops, it’s ditching the headphone jack in favor of wireless headphones and stereo speakers. And, of course, the news that Super Mario is going to be available for iOS. The New York Times has done a somewhat in-depth review of the new features.
Here’s what Apple announced:
- New iPhones, called the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
- The new iPhones lack a headphone jack.
- The new iPhones have a revised home button with force sensitivity, which will vibrate to give feedback.
- The iPhones are water-resistant.
- The Plus model of the new iPhone includes a dual-lens camera to take professional-grade photos.
- A new Apple Watch, called Apple Watch Series 2, which includes GPS.
- Pokémon Go is available for Apple Watch.
- An update on how Apple Music is performing.
- Tweaks to its iWork suite of productivity apps. – New York Times
Pokémon Go coming to Apple Watch – I decided to highlight this new innovation because I have so many friends who now play Pokémon Go with their iPhones (question: has anyone adapted the game for those of us who are mobility challenged?). It sounds more like the Apple Watch is more about convenience than anything else, especially when carrying one’s phone in plain sight might not be viable or recommended.
This version of Pokémon Go won’t allow players to check a live map and throw Pokéballs; instead, it will alert walking players that certain Pokémon characters are nearby, at which point players can choose to turn their phones on and load the default app to try to catch the creature in question. The presentation didn’t confirm whether or not players will be able to disable those alerts for lower-level creatures, so there’s no telling whether players’ wrists will buzz endlessly with alerts about piddly Pidgins. – Ars Technica
Queen Sugar Author Natalie Baszile on Watching Her Book Get Adapted for Television – A wonderful interview with Natalie Baszile on the experience of having her book, Queen Sugar, made into a television series on OWN. The story takes place in Louisiana and focuses on three siblings who take over a sugar-cane farm they inherited from their recently deceased father. It has already been renewed for a second season, even though it premiered only yesterday. The book has been adapted by Ava DuVernay, who previously directed Selma. You can watch the first episode through options provided here.
When you wrote Queen Sugar, what did you hope to be the main takeaway for readers?
Toni Morrison has a quote: If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. Part of what drove me was that I was not seeing books by African-American authors that reflected my experience. Part of my desire in writing Queen Sugar was to say, we are a rich people, a complicated people, and a diverse people, and a whole people. We have families and relationships and trials and struggles but we also have triumphs. We are working-class people and middle-class people and upper-middle-class people. It was so important for me to put a book out there that said we are not all one thing, but we are human and complicated and nuanced. – Vulture