It’s all too surprising these days when books aren’t available in eBook format. J.J. Abrams’ new book S. was most surprising for being a paper-only book — one that, comically enough, was released the same week that the FAA relaxed their rules for using electronic devices (say, an eReader) during aircraft takeoff and landing. It’s an eBook-centric world in publishing these days, enough that it takes something big to break us away from eBooks, and even a plane taking off isn’t a big enough reason.
It’s great, for the most part. You can read books anywhere — Kindle has a great web app, apps like Booki.sh let you read your DRM free eBooks from anywhere with a browser, and there’s online libraries and innovative new services like Safari Flow that make eBooks even more accessible. Apple’s even brought their eBook library to the Mac, and now that they put iWork in the cloud, I’d venture a guess that they’ll make an iBooks web app eventually.
And yet, some people still don’t like eBooks. There’s something to the feel of a paper tome in your hand, the faint ink and aged paper smell in the air, and the beauty of the printed word that makes paper books something that many still love. But it’s still hard to argue with the convenience of eBooks that can go anywhere you do.
I’ve switched my book buying to eBooks almost exclusively, and can’t imagine going back — but how about you? We’d love to hear your book-buying thoughts in the comments below!
There’s been an explosion in new RSS feed readers since Google Reader was shut down, but most of the best are are only designed to help you read your feeds from an app or the web. The brand-new throttle is a brilliantly reinvented RSS reader app that not only makes it simple to read your feeds on any device, but also helps you discover the very best feeds in curated lists and based on your interests.
Throttle starts off with a simple, light-colored UI that makes it easy to read all of your feeds. You can import your feeds from your OPML file or add them directly in the app or with throttle’s bookmarklet, then organize them into groups so you can read feeds about similar topics together. There’s the sharing options you’d expect, as well as an option to save articles for later reading right in the app.
Then, what’s really great in throttle is its Discovery tools. You can browse through popular sites, find stuff you’d be interested in reading, and follow lists of sites curated by throttle readers. We’ve put together a list of all of the AppStorm sites you can follow directly on throttle, as well as lists of some of our favorite Web and Mac app blogs, and you can do the same with your favorite sites.
Go try throttle!
Whether you’ve already found an app to replace Google Reader, or have given up on RSS feeds altogether, you’ve got to try out throttle. It’s a brilliant new RSS reader experience that’ll help you discover great new sites to follow, looks great on every device, and is 100% free. Go try it out, then follow our AppStorm RSS lists to keep up with our articles and the sites we follow right on throttle with one click!
When Apple first released the iWork for iCloud web apps, I noted that the apps included far more features than Google Docs, especially for page layout and formatting. There was just one major thing missing: collaboration. That was rectified this week, when at the Apple announcement they went to great lengths to show off (with, of all things, what’s essentially Word Art) that their office suite now has real-time collaboration.
Google Docs — and smaller apps like Etherpad — pride themselves on letting you collaborate with others in real-time. I’ve used it to great effect in the past to work with others on translating documents, among other things, and we share a number of documents at AppStorm on Google Drive — though we rarely if ever are all editing at once. For the most part, it just seems like real-time editing is too much, an opinion seemingly shared with the newer writing and editing apps Draft and Editorially.
And yet, live collaboration seemed like a big enough need to Apple that they added collaboration to their iWork web apps over what others would consider more-needed poweruser features in Pages, Keynote, and Numbers for Mac.
That made me wonder how important live collaboration is to you. Do you regularly live co-edit documents with others, or do you just share documents with others and each edit them at your own leisure? We’d love to hear your thoughts on live editing documents — and, if you’ve tried them, on Apple’s iWork for iCloud web apps — in the comments below.
When you need to do serious teamwork, simple todo lists aren’t enough. And yet, most project management apps force you to work in one way that likely isn’t the best for your team, either. That’s why the brand-new BamBam! is so exciting.
Built by the Springloops team, BamBam! is a brilliant new project management tool that’s designed to work the way you do. It’s flexible enough that it’ll work great for everyone on the team, since everyone can adjust their workspace to work exactly like they want. You can have your tasks and activity stream show exactly what you want, where you want — and the activity stream is smart enough to highlight the info that’s actually important to you, so you’ll actually want to read through your stream. Then, when you want to find what you need to get your work done, BamBam! has powerful search and filtering tools to help you only find what you really need.
BamBam!’s got every feature your team could need to keep your projects and personal tasks on track without making anything overwhelming or difficult. You’ll find quick search for the stuff you’re most likely to need, custom notifications so you’ll hear about everything that’s most important, back links to old tasks to keep all your info together, milestones, email integration, and more. It’s even got time estimations for tasks to help your team manage your Kanban or Scrum projects, and integrates with Chime to track your time and Springloops to version control your team’s code in one integrated family of apps.
Get Your Team Working Together with BamBam! Today
BamBam! lets you work just like you want, and it also gives you a lot less to worry about with pricing. Your first 10 team members can use BamBam! for free, and then it costs just $7 per user per month for each person after that. No storage limits, no set number of projects or tasks, and no paying for more users than you need. So go signup for a free BamBam! account today, and see how productive your team can be with a project manager that works the way you do.
Passwords dominate our lives these days; they are part and parcel of spending time online. There are now so many applications, service, devices and websites that require us to log into our secure account using a password that the sheer number of passphrases we have to remember has spiralled completely out of control.
For the best level of security it’s advisable to use a completely different password for each website and service — just off the top of my head I can think of 20 websites that I need to log into (there are probably at least double if I were to sit down and list everything properly); how the heck am I supposed to remember 20 completely unique passwords, each of which comprises a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Oh, and don’t forget… you’re meant to change these passwords every few weeks!
Google’s new packaged Chrome web apps are radically different from what we’ve been calling “web apps” all along, since they run 100% offline and their online parts feel no more “online” than a native app that syncs. For all intents and purposes, they’re “real” apps. We’ve been making fake “real” apps from web apps with tools like Fluid for OS X for years, letting web apps run in their own separate windows outside the real browser, but in the back of your head you always know that it’s little more than a trick. Let your internet connection go out, and boom — most web apps will loose your data at best, and totally fail to keep working at worst.
So, let’s say there’s two types of web apps: the normal kind you can visit in any browser, and the ones you have to install like Chrome packaged apps. The latter make perfect sense to run in their own window and launch from the Start Menu or Launchpad — they’re real native apps, really. But how about web apps that require you to be online anyhow, ones you can run from any browser just by visiting their site. Should those live in their own windows, too, like a normal app, or do you prefer to keep them in a browser tab where they feel like just another website and you’re reminded that they’re really virtual apps? We’d love to hear your thoughts on whether or not web and native apps — and the halfway house between the two that is Chrome offline apps — should have a difference, or if we’d all be better off if we treated all apps the same.