Tag - Blio
Apple committed iOS to education in a big way at its event by launching iBooks 2. We've taken a look at Apple's first dip into a full digital textbook platform and come back fairly impressed. Read ahead for more details and what this might mean for Amazon, Kno, and others hoping to get into e-books for schools.
Blio Reader has swung over t for Android devices (free, Android Market). The app is built on video gaming technology and offers the same 3D-aware, full color, complete page-width e-reading. It works on both smartphones and tablets running Android 2.2 or higher.
Developer Quark has formally announced QuarkXPress 9, a long-awaited upgrade of its flagship publishing suite. The software has traditionally been used to create layouts for print and web content, but in version 9 Quark is concentrating on smartphones and tablets, particularly the iPad. For the latter QuarkXPress now includes the App Studio, a component used to produce native iPad apps. Users can repackage existing content or create apps from whole cloth.
Dell's plans for a seven-inch Streak were confirmed today as a leaked treatment for a TV ad has given away some of the details. Now known to be called the Streak 7, the larger tablet will still use Android 2.2 with Dell's custom Stage UI. The primary differences Engadget spotted in the ad copy should be the addition of Blio Reader for e-books and fast graphics for gaming.
Blio today set down a launch schedule for its upcoming e-reader app for both the desktop and mobile. It now plans to post the Windows version of Blio on September 28 and to follow up with Android and iOS versions shortly afterwards. Mac, Linux, Symbian and other versions are expected in the future.
Futurist and Blio founder Ray Kurzweil today criticized Apple for doing nothing to help e-books with the iPad. He insists that most e-reader devices and apps, including Apple's, "destroy" any complex formatting and discourages complex text layouts, such as for children's books or textbooks. ePub books like those in the iBookstore may scare away publishers and may have forced Apple to play with text to get an acceptable look.
Well-known futurist Ray Kurzweil is about to introduce a new e-book format specifically optimized for devices like the iPhone or tablets. Called Blio, the standard is intended to overcome the limitations of digital text by allowing for complex image and text formatting, such as diagrams, without sacrificing the ability to search the text. It would support full color and allow text-to-speech much like most Kindle books.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R