Aims to replace paper with touchscreen e-ink display for note taking
Sony has been working on a device for using e-ink as digital paper in an educational setting. Aimed at universities as a replacement for pen and paper-based notetaking by students, the prototype is a 13.3-inch, 1200x1600-resolution, 16-level gray scale e-ink display-as-tablet with touchscreen capabilities, as well as stylus input for drawing and writing.
Pulls existing Reader plans for later in the year forward
Social news website Digg is intending to build its own RSS reader and API, following Google's announcement that it is shutting Google Reader down. The company will be moving plans to create its own online RSS feed reader forward, starting to build it now instead of in the second half of this year, and has asked for suggestions for potential features from existing Digg readers.
Sony ebook store is now web-based while Android app gets detail update
Sony has just launched a web-based ebook store for its Reader e-book devices. It's accessible from any comptuers and web browser, giving users access to their Reader Store accounts. At the same time, Sony updated its Reader by Sony Android app (free, Google Play), which launched in January.
Adobe Reader now takes digital signatures
Users of Adobe's free Reader apps got a major upgrade Tuesday through the ability to digitally sign PDF files. Both the desktop Reader X, as well as mobile apps for iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play), can now sign either by hand-drawing or typing. Mobile users also now get much-requested support for filling out forms as well as annotating or commenting on documents.
Sony PRS-T1 shown to enter partial refresh mode
Sony's Android-powered PRS-T1 e-reader has been found to enable a fast refresh rate, which makes the screen behave more like a touchscreen rather than a slowly refreshing e-paper screen. The eBook Reader's Nathan found a way to enter the device into a semi-permanent partial page refresh state, which makes scrolling through non-Sony apps like the Dropbox app and root explorer much easier. It's said to make Android apps work more fluidly as well.
Win a Sony e-Reader
For the holidays, MacNN is giving away one Sony e-Reader to one lucky winner. We know you've been busy shopping for everyone else, so now it's time to reward yourself. Read more to find out how you can win.
Sony Reader Wi-Fi price lower to fight with Kindle
Sony has quietly dropped the price of the Reader Wi-Fi to $130. The $20 drop came less than two months after the e-reader went on sale in mid-October. The Starter and Travel bundles keep their earlier $205 prices.
Extends beyond native PDF viewing functions
Adobe has released the first iOS version of Reader, its dedicated PDF viewer. While iOS can already open PDF files, Reader supports some additional features, such as the ability to load portfolios, packages, annotations and drawing markups. Users can open documents protected by passwords or Adobe LiveCycle, and launch files in other apps using an "Open In" command. Likewise, Reader becomes an option in any other iOS title that supports Open In.
Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1 takes Xperia influence
Sony on Wednesday confirmed a long-expected update to its Reader e-book hardware. The Reader Wi-Fi, or PRS-T1, borrows much of its influence from the Xperia smartphone line, down to an 0.35-inch thickness and a lighter six-ounce weight dictated by a switch from aluminum to plastic. The design runs on a much newer, E Ink-made six-inch Pearl screen and now supports multi-touch for zoom as well as page turns through swipes.
Sony Reader PRS-T1 surfaces early
Sony's plans for a new Reader were prematurely confirmed Saturday after Dutch retailer bol posted a listing for the PRS-T1. The look shows a device with a six-inch E Ink Pearl screen and a look deliberately patterned after Sony Ericsson smartphones like the Xperia Play. The touchscreen is being upgraded to support multi-touch and would support pinch-to-zoom.
Sony S2 clamshell becomes Tablet P with new info
Sony's second tablet, the S2, was given some last-minute details Friday in a leak. The Android 3.1 clamshell is now known as the Tablet P, a direct tie back to the VAIO P it effectively replaces, and will support 4G along with Wi-FI. Whether that's LTE or pseudo-4G like AT&T's HSPA+ wasn't gleaned by Engadget tipsters.
Microsoft Reader to shutter August 30 2012
Microsoft on Monday quietly said it would end its Reader app within a year. Stores carrying the LIT format will pull the format on November 8 of this year, while the app would no longer be available to download after August 30, 2012. The app and any downloaded books will continue to work after the cutoff point.
New Sony reader with Wi-Fi spotted at FCC
A new Sony e-book reader, the PRS-T1, has just appeared at the FCC. The documents reveal the device has an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio onboard, and the model number, specifically the T, hints the device will get a touchscreen, though this isn't guaranteed. The listing hints that the device may be out soon.
Sony hints Reader upgrades for August
Sony's digital reading VP Phil Lubell revealed late Wednesday that his company will have new Readers most likely shipping in August. He was silent on additions but promised Bloomberg there would be "hardware and software improvements." The plans were underway in spite of the e-reading as the devices still cost less than tablets, according to the executive.
Nook touch trumps Kindle in Consumer Reports
Barnes & Noble scored a symbolic win on Friday as the new touchscreen Nook topped the Amazon Kindle in Consumer Reports' new e-reader ratings [sub. required]. The new Nook reached 78 points to the Kindle 3G's 77 owing to the simpler, much more focused design. Many features were equal, and the Nook just edge Amazon's reader in format support.
Panasonic, Sony part of e-book alliance
Panasonic and Sony, as well as online shop operator Rakuten, agreed on Monday to work together on interoperable e-books. The step would see a joint system that would let e-books work across their devices as well as share a common platform for their stores. As portrayed by Nikkei, the common service would help keep track of e-book collections and have a web storefront.
Amazon plans ad-sponsored Kindle for 114
Amazon up-ended the e-reader market on Monday with word of an ad-sponsored version of the Kindle. Called just the Kindle with Special Offers, it will have ads both on the bottom of the home page and on its idle screens. The new reader would drop the price by $25 over a Wi-Fi version and should ship both online and through Best Buy and Target on May 3.
Kindle and Netflix clear iOS rules
Apple showed possible leniency on its in-app subscription and in-app purchase rules on Tuesday by allowing through new versions of the Amazon Kindle (free, App Store) and Netflix (free, App Store) iPhone and iPad apps. Despite Apple's rules banning links to outside purchasing systems and requiring the official iTunes in-app system when an outside one exists, the Kindle 2.6.1 app still takes users to the web-based Kindle Store. Netflix' 1.2 update also still hsa its existing set and lets users subscribe to the service on the web without also having an iTunes option.
IDC says iPad had 83pc tablet share in 2010
Steve Jobs' claims of Apple having 90 percent of the tablet market in 2010 weren't far off, IDC found on Thursday. It gave the iPad 83 percent of the tablet market in 2010. Apple's share was down to 73 percent in the fall, but only because of the then-new Galaxy Tab carving out 17 percent during its initial run.
Sony S1 tablet to use Android 3, use Qriocity
A major leak on Wednesday has unearthed Sony's plans to finally join the mobile tablet space. So far only called the S1, the 9.4-inch tablet would run a customized version of Android 3.0. The device spotted by Engadget would be focused heavily on Sony's Qriocity media service and would come with games from the PS1 era likely using PlayStation Suite, the Bravia remote app and some form of PlayStation integration.
Sony Reader for Android now ready
Posting somewhat behind schedule, Sony on Friday put up the Android version of its Reader app on Android Market. The app fits the pattern of other e-reader apps and lets readers buy, download and read ePub or PDF books. It will sync any downloads with Sony's other apps, such as the future iPhone version or with a Reader Daily Edition.
Play the Grinch for second consecutive year
Servers for Barnes & Nobles' popular e-reader, the Nook, crashed on Christmas day. The most likely cause is heavy traffic from new customers. This is the second year in a row the Nook servers have crashed, despite clear indications that demand would be high. Sales of the Nook soared after cutting the price of the Nook Wi-Fi to $149 and Nook 3G to $199. The Nook Color, introduced late last month, has also been a success for the struggling bookseller.
Sony Reader near dry worldwide
Sony in a pair of updates today said that its new Reader line was selling well enough that it was facing sellouts worldwide. The two higher end models, the Touch Edition and Daily Edition, are likely to run dry before Christmas. The company wouldn't give numbers but said to CNET it was selling in the "millions" much like Amazon's sales.
Sony shows 13-inch flexible E Ink
Sony at a green technology expo has shown a 13-inch flexible e-paper display. The panel would use E Ink and, based on the demo, could show textbooks or other large publications. The company wouldn't tell Tech-On what resolution it used but suggested it could replace paper outright.
Sony Reader returns to Japan despite iPad, Kindle
Sony Japan today said it would return to e-readers in Japan by launching the Reader in the country. The recently updated all-touch line will come to the country on December 10, starting at the equivalent of $239 for the five-inch Pocket Edition and moving to $299 for a six-inch Touch Edition. The 3G- and Wi-Fi-capable Daily Edition won't be part of the first round of models.
Sony Reader app due for Android and iOS next month
Sony in a teaser has provided some of the first details of its promised Android and iPhone apps. The mobile Reader app will give users a way to shop from Sony's e-book store, with featured titles getting book covers, and the book browser itself will initially be visual. Reading itself should be as full-featured as on current Reader hardware with bookmarks, highlights and notes.
Sony Reader Daily Edition now online, in stores
Sony has now made its Reader Daily Edition e-book reader available online and in Sony Style retail stores. The seven-inch device uses an e-paper touchscreen and gets Wi-Fi in addition to AT&T's 3G network access. Using either method, users can download e-books and magazines, while at the same time connect to Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook and news sources.
Charges up to 4 devices simultaneously
iHome has launched the iB969 Charging Station, a multi-device docking station and charger. The iB969G can sync one device with iTunes and charges up to four devices simultaneously. It includes dual iPhone/iPod docks and an integrated iPad stand. The iB969 also has a rubberized surface for placing other devices while they charge. The charger works with many popular electronic devices, including BlackBerry smartphones and the Sony Reader, Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.
Annotations include text, drawing, highlighting
PDFs come into focus on the new update to GoodReader and the new Readdle App, PDF Expert for iPad. Good.iWare's GoodReader, available for both iPad and also iPhone -- as a separate app -- offers reading capabilities for PDFs, text files and Office and iWork files. It also focuses on reading extremely large PDF or text files, including those over 1GB in size.
New display, smaller form, longer battery life
As competition amongst e-book readers continues to heat up, Amazon has introduced the third iteration of its best-selling Kindle device. The revision offers a variety of refinements packed into a sleek housing. In our full review, we take a look at how the design tweaks stack up against the Kindle's peers and predecessors.
Amazon Kindle reaches Best Buy in fall
Amazon landed a major retail deal today that will let it sell the third-generation Kindle at Best Buy stores sometime in the fall. Both the Wi-Fi only and 3G versions will arrive at the same $139 and $189 prices as on Amazon's own pages. The costlier and larger DX isn't part of the plans.
Sony Reader refreshes to fight Amazon and Apple
Sony as expected today revamped its entire Reader lineup to hold on to its position in e-books. The five-inch Pocket Edition, six-inch Touch Edition and seven-inch Daily Edition all now use touchscreens and fix a common problem of glare with e-paper touchscreens: the new models have a single touch and display layer that should be easier to read without glare. They also use E Ink Pearl panels that update faster, produce a higher contrast and help extend the battery life.
Retailer EOL hints at Sony Reader Touch update
Sony's plans for new Reader models were backed on Monday after well-known online retailer B&H posted that the Reader Touch Edition is now "discontinued." The label hints that Sony is near having cleared stock and ready to introduce new models. Other models might not yet be ready, as the 3G-aware Daily Edition is only listed as "temporarily out of stock" while the Pocket Edition is still in healthy supply.
Sony Reader 2010 to get much improved touchscreen
Sony's upcoming Reader overhaul has been leaked in a way that reveals a much improved display and a better lifespan. All of Sony's e-readers, including the Pocket Edition, will use touchscreens and, according to the marketing material Engadget obtained, should reduce the visibility problems that often plague touchscreen e-paper. Both the Pocket Edition and Touch Edition will use a new E Ink display which doesn't need an extra layer above the screen for touch, making for a look closer to paper.
Sony Reader Pocket and Touch to get Wi-Fi, thinner
Sony is planning to step up its e-reader efforts today based on details from a new rumor. One of the most "trusted sources" for Sony Insider claimed both the Reader Pocket Edition and Touch Edition would get updates. Touch Edition upgrades would be the most dramatic; the new PRS-650 should add Wi-Fi and possibly 3G for the first time in a Sony device its size, while it and the Pocket Edition PRS-350 would be much more efficient and thinner; one could be less than 1cm (0.4 inches) thick.
Sony recruiting for books on Android devices
Sony may have slipped out plans for Android hardware and software through a job listing discovered on LinkedIn. The post for a Senior Staff Software Engineer focused on Android would have the programmer helping the Digital Reading group create "application software for digital reading and other consumer electronic devices." Specifics aren't mentioned, but the wording would allow both for a touchscreen Reader with Android as well as a stand-alone Android app.
Sony follows Kindle, Nook with own cuts
Sony followed Amazon and Barnes & Noble into price cuts on its e-book readers. The Reader Daily Edition has seen the steepest cut, falling from $350 to $300. Both of the lower-end readers have also seen drops, as the Pocket Edition now matches the Nook Wi-Fi at $150 (down from $170) and the Touch Edition carries a slight premium at $170 versus its earlier $200.
Sony sees digital reading inevitably taking over
E-books will be the dominant form of reading within five years, Sony's digital reading head Steve Haber predicted late Wednesday. He had estimated three years ago that it would take 10 years for e-readers to overtake print but now believes that was pessimistic and would take half as much time. Digital text has already passed a point of mainstream acceptance and can't help but get more important than paper, he said.
Amazon Kindle to come to all Target stores soon
Amazon today said that the Kindle e-reader will be available at all Target retail stores starting June 6. The device has slowly been appearing at Target stores, but this will be an all-encompassing release and makes Target Amazon's full official retail partner. Thus far, Target has mostly been selling the Sony Reader, with prominent displays, accessories and book certificates.
Leak has new Kindle a cautious update
First details of the next-generation Kindle may have been given away in a rumor late Friday. A pair of sources claim it will be a safe update that will be thinner and carry a faster, higher-resolution E Ink display. It should ship in August but won't, however, have color or a touchscreen.
Sony to sell Reader in Japan, other new markets
Sony will bring its Reader to new countries later this year, including its home of Japan, the company announced on Thursday. While specific dates were not revealed, the devices will also arrive in China and Australia, along with Italy and Spain. Whether this expansion includes the 3G-connected Reader Daily Edition is not known.
App works with text PDFs, images, audio, video
MacNN has reviewed GoodReader for the iPad. Supporting text PDFs, images, spreadsheets and audio/video files, the app allows users to load, read and organize numerous data files. It also includes a built-in web browser, allowing easy searches for text. It supports WebDAV for direct downloads over WiFi. Users can also transfer documents between the iPad and a computer via iTunes.
Sony not convinced 1m-plus iPads a real market
Sony is still only contemplating the idea of creating a tablet to challenge the iPad, the company's IT products senior VP Mike Abary said this week. Despite Apple selling over 1 million iPads in a month, the executive said Sony was "not convinced" the market was large enough for tablets. He also admitted that Sony had been thinking about a tablet for "years" but hadn't committed to the idea.
Sony takes 4 years to reach 10m e-book mark
Sony today said it had recorded its 10 millionth e-book download through the Reader Store. The achievement, which is now known to have been reached on May 5th, comes about 3.5 years after the store was opened in September 2006. Sony is marking the occasion by giving out $10 credits to anyone who bought a book through its store on the milestone day.
Pre-order customers receiving notifications
Plastic Logic appears to have narrowed the shipping time-frame for its upcoming QUE proReader e-book reader, which is now expected to ship late in June. A customer who pre-ordered the device early in the year reportedly received an e-mail notification with an updated schedule, according to Engadget. Customers are still presented with an option to opt out of their purchase, as the company initially claimed the devices would be on-track for April
Device offers 6-inch 800x600 display
Booken has announced that its upcoming e-book reader, the Orizon, will support multi-touch input. The device integrates a 6-inch SiPix display with 800x600 resolution, along with 1GB of integrated memory and a microSD slot for further expansion. Other known specs include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an accelerometer, while supported formats include ePub and PDF.
Updates fix exploits, test new auto delivery
As promised, Adobe has posted a series of updates for Reader and Acrobat, bringing the latest versions of both programs up to v9.3. Users of earlier editions can alternately choose v8.2 patches. Intel and PowerPC downloads are available for Reader.
Samsung shows 6-inch E6 e-book reader
Among a plethora of other products and technologies, Samsung on Wednesday demonstrated its upcoming E6 e-book reader. The 6-inch device has a wireless connection, likely Wi-Fi, to share and get content, as well as a handwriting feature that will let users doodle to their heartís content. Samsung announced the first partner to provide content for the device will be Google, which has digitized many popular and classic open-domain literary works.
Company calls voluntary updates inadequate
Adobe will start beta testing automatic updates of Reader and Acrobat on January 12th, in parallel with the release of critical security patches, according to the company's director of product security and privacy, Brad Arkin. The test will use the Acrobat Refresh Manager, which was actually installed on people's systems as far back as October, but until now has not been activated. Automatic updates may be offered as a default option as soon as the next scheduled update, set for April 13th.
Books presented on 5" e-ink display
Owen has introduced a new e-book reader, the E1, featuring rounded lines and a form factor that appears to be slightly smaller than the Kindle. The device integrates a 5-inch e-ink display which supports 20 lines of text and 30 characters per line. Along with e-books, users can also view pictures or play audio tracks in MP3, MWA, and OGG file formats.