21c Digital Is keeping with the future of the printed word in a digital age, 21st Century Publishing Group has formed 21c Digital. There are many questions regarding the printed word in a digital age. The publishing world is facing the biggest change in its history that dates back to the Gutenburg Press and book readers of all kinds are looking for answers.
In asking experts in their field about the future of the printed word, the overwhelming response was that there will always be people who love the look and feel of a printed book, magazine or newspaper. These are people who like the design of the printed book and look of the photographs or illustrations that are included in the printed book. The digital age part of it is all the other things that you can put around the printed matter to enhance the reading experience. I tend to think the ultimate future book will be a hybrid that is digital and print all rolled up in one device or book. The digital book allows us to pull apart the bundle and offer it in different formats, text, video, animation etc. One thing is sure, the word, whether it is in a print format or digital format has a great future in story telling, and a lot of that future will be in print.
21c Digital Books
At 21c Digital we will convert your book into the format needed to be able to read your book on the four major tablets…those being the Apple ipad, the Amazon Kindle, and the Barnes and Noble Nook and the many Android Tablets. The smart phone is an important piece of real estate for your book. We are converting books into apps that can be purchased on the itunes store and the Android Apps store.
NEW YORK —- Barnes & Noble is rolling out two new versions of its Nook tablet with sleek new hardware and a sharper high-definition screen.
Barnes & Noble’s new Nook HD will come in two sizes, one with a 7-inch screen (measured diagonally), starting at $199, and one with a new 9-inch diagonal screen, called the Nook HD+, starting at $269.
In addition to the new HD screen and a lighter body, Barnes & Noble is also increasing the services the Nook offers, adding a video purchase and rental service, allowing users to maintain different “profiles” and making it easier to browse titles in its book and magazine stores.
New York-based Barnes & Noble, the largest traditional U.S. bookseller, has invested heavily in its Nook e-reader and e-books. In its most recent fiscal quarter, sales of digital content surged 46 percent, but revenue from devices dropped partly due to lower prices. Nook prices in the May-July period were about 23 percent lower than a year ago.
The company is seeking to offset tough competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com, as consumers increasingly move away from traditional books and DVDs to electronic books and streaming video.
The Nook HD is an upgrade to the hardware and services offered by its previous tablets, the Nook Tablet and Nook Color, which Barnes & Noble is phasing out. The company will continue to sell its smaller black-and-white e-reader, called the Nook Simple Touch, for $99, and a backlit Nook Simple Touch for $139. The Nook HD runs on Google’s Android 4.0 system and includes Barnes & Noble’s own app store and browser.
The new Nooks come on the heels of Amazon.com’s four new varieties of its Kindle, including a high definition version of its Kindle Fire tablet with an 8.9-inch diagonal screen, which starts at $299. That compares with Apple Inc.’s iPad with a 9.7-inch diagonal screen and $499 starting price.
Apple’s iPad is the most popular tablet, and that is not expected to change. Seven out of every 10 tablets sold in the second quarter were iPads, according to IHS iSuppli. Meanwhile Amazon.comhas a 4.2 percent share of the tablet market, while Barnes & Noble has a 1.9 percent share, according to iSuppli.
Even so, the category is growing rapidly. An estimated 112.5 million Americans, one-third of U.S. adults, are expected to have tablets by 2016, according to Forrester Research.
And tablet makers are jockeying to gain share on Apple. On specs alone, the new Nook presents a tough choice for consumers seeking a cheap option to the iPad, analysts say. The 7-inch Nook HD is slightly lighter and narrower, with a sharper display than the similarly priced 7-inch Kindle Fire.
“If the decision the consumer is making is whether to buy based on hardware, these new Nooks will beat out Amazon,” said Forrester analyst James McQuivey. “But that’s not the decision every consumer is going to make — hardware is only as good as the services the hardware enables.”
So far, Amazon offers more services, McQuivey said, with a bigger app store, and more extensive video library, not to mention Amazon’s vast product offerings and its Amazon Prime free-shipping service.
In an attempt to measure up, Barnes & Noble is launching a video service this fall that lets users buy and watch movies and TV shows on their mobile devices and televisions. The offerings will come from major studios including HBO, Sony Pictures, Viacom and Warner Brothers. Scrapbook and catalog browsing features have also been added.
“This is going to be a lot of fun to watch over the next year,” McQuivey said.
The new Kindle Fire HD is faster and larger than Amazon’s previous tablet offering. It comes with 5 GHz Wi-Fi, HDMI out, Dolby-powered stereo speakers, a multi-touch display that promises less glare than its competitors, and starts with 16 GB of storage.
On the software front, it supports Audible-powered audiobooks that will play as you read (dubbed “Immersion Reading”), built-in IMDb-powered information for movies, and the ability to sync gameplay information across devices. The Fire HD also includes custom Facebook and email apps, along with support for Skype. It also has time limits, so parents can let their kids use a Kindle Fire HD responsibly.
Amazon’s Carousel interface is still present, but in the demos, looked much smoother and easier to use than the version that shipped with last year’s model.
The 7-inch Fire HD is $199, and the 8.9-inch model selling for $299.
A 32 GB model with 4G LTE will be available for $499. The 4G is just $50/year, with 250 MB a month, 200GB of cloud storage and $10 Amazon credit.
The 3rd generation iPad represents both the best upgrade to the iPad since its release and its most disappointing upgrade. How is can it be both disappointing and the best upgrade? The new iPad holds this contradictory position because its best feature — the 2,048 x 1,536 “Retina Display” — won’t be readily apparent when you initially pick up the new iPad.
In fact, even when holding an “iPad 3” side-by-side with an iPad 2, most people won’t notice the difference. This is because the new iPad requires the app to support Retina Display graphics, otherwise it is still just a 1,024 x 768 display. And because the iPad was just released, most apps don’t support the new display.
But make no mistake: this is the best upgrade to the iPad since its release.
iPad 3 – Major New Features
• 2,048 x 1,536 “Retina Display”
• 4G LTE support with the ability to be a Wi-Fi hotspot
• 5 MP Back-facing iSight 1080p Camera
• Support for 1080p video playback
• Voice dictation
• 1 GB RAM for applications (up from 512 MB)
iPad 3 Review
Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to overcome when reviewing the iPad 3 — or any product that is an upgrade to an exiting product — is how to balance the review between being a review of the product itself and being a review of the upgraded features. Reviewed just by itself, the iPad 3 is an easy 5 stars. After all, the iPad 2 garnered 4 1/2 stars, and the iPad 3 is easily better than the iPad 2. And yet, there is the nagging feeling that more could have been packed into the iPad 3 to blast it into that 5 star space.
The 3rd generation iPad is definitely the best tablet on the market. And the new features make it easy to assume the new iPad won’t be knocked off that perch until Apple releases a 4th generation iPad. The Retina Display, 4G support and voice dictation for the same $499 entry level price tag will be too much for Android and Windows-based tablets to compete with and still maintain some level of profitability.
The iPad 3 Will Grow On You
Perhaps the best feature of the iPad 3 is how much room it has to grow. Not only did Apple increase the screen’s resolution, they also added a quad-core graphics processor to the system-on-a-chip and increased the amount of memory from 512 MB and 1 GB.
However, it will take some time to really see these benefits. Even the initial outpouring of Retina Display upgrades we’ll see with many of the mainstream apps won’t truly hit the potential of the new iPad. In many instances, you won’t even be able to see the difference between an app and it’s Retina Display upgrade. And this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Simply upgrading the resolution of the graphics doesn’t take advantage of the new power of the quad-core graphics processor in the new iPad.
And let’s not ignore the upgraded memory. More memory means bigger, more complicated applications, which really means the best is yet to come for the new iPad.
Voice and Video
The new iPad may not have Siri, but for those who find tapping out words using the on-screen keyboard awkward, voice dictation may be one of the most welcomed additions. It is integrated to go alongside the standard keyboard, which means you can use it beyond just email and word processing. Any time the keyboard is up, you should get the option to use voice dictation, so you can use it with many different apps from setting up a new radio station in Pandora to searching for recipes in Epicurious.
How to Use Voice Dictation on the iPad
And the upgraded back-facing camera not only serves as a pretty good all-purpose camera, but erases one of the worst points of the iPad 2. This should really make apps like iPhoto andiMovie that much more useful on the iPad.
Did I Mention 4G?
Let’s not forget about 4G LTE compatibility. The iPad can be a great home device, which makes the Wi-Fi-only versions so attractive, but the addition of 4G is a big boost for those who use the iPad while on the go. 4G can download at speeds three times faster than 3G, hitting the 10-12 Mbps range. That’s easily enough to stream a high definition video and even act as a hotspot to another device browsing the web.
But there’s one reason why 4G doesn’t take the new iPad over-the-top: it’s just too expensive. Sure, you can stream that high-definition movie from Netflix, but if you want to watch Netflix videos on a regular basis, you’ll either want to plug in to Wi-Fi or expect a rather large bill. Data connections in mobile devices may be getting faster, but they are also getting a lot more expensive thanks to the demise of unlimited bandwidth. In fact, mobile data might be taking text plans place for “biggest ways the major telecom companies rip you off”.
That doesn’t mean you should skip the 4G version of the iPad. It’s great to have the ability to go online even if you mainly use the iPad as a home device, but while you are getting all of the benefits of the extra speeds, you are also a little limited on just how you can use all that speed. Not only is watching video just asking for a high bill, but Apple outright restricts some activities such as using FaceTime on the iPad.
The iPad 3’s Missing Features
So just what keeps the 3rd generation iPad from garnering 5 stars? Siri and the A6 chip.
The new iPad was widely expected to come with Siri, which was one of the big selling features of the iPhone 4S. And the 3rd generation iPad may get Siri with a future iOS upgrade, but for now, the iPad is left with just the voice dictation portion of Apple’s voice recognition software. Luckily, the voice dictation portion also happens to be the most useful for iPad owners.
But its the missing A6 chip that really keeps me from giving the new iPad that extra 1/2 star. The new iPad contains Apple’s A5X chip, which includes a nice boost for graphics, but has the same basic processing power as the A5 used in the iPad 2. The rumored A6 was a quad-core processor, which would have been a very nice boost to overall speed for the iPad. Unfortunately, this is one missing feature that Apple can’t include in an operating system patch. We’ll have to wait for the 4th generation iPad to see what iOS can do with a quad-core processor.
iPad 3: Worth the Upgrade?
If you are still using the original iPad and looking for any excuse to go with the iPad 3, let this review be all the excuse you need. The iPad 3 is light years ahead of the original iPad, with a major boost in graphics, processing power, memory used for apps and data connection speed in addition to those dual-facing cameras.
But if you already own an iPad 2, you can easily skip this generation of the iPad. The upgraded graphics are nice, but 99.995% of all apps will still support the 1,024 x 768 display. It will take a few months for the Retina Display to see any major support in the app store, since games and apps must be made with both the graphics processor and the upgraded resolution in mind. And by the time we’ll really start seeing the benefits of the new iPad, the iPad 4 will be just around the corner.
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