Amazon blazed the trail for eBooks with their Kindle platform, starting with the original Kindle device and the Kindle store. Since then, they’ve broaden their scope, and released native reader apps for almost every platform available: Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, and more. Even still, that didn’t cut it. If there wasn’t a native app for your platform, you simply couldn’t read your Kindle books. Linux and Chromebooks, among others, were out of luck.
That’s all over now. Amazon just released their new Kindle Cloud Reader, a full-featured Kindle web app so you can read your Kindle books right in your browser. It’s got all the features you’d expect, lets you save your books for offline reading, and even works great on the iPad. After the break, we’ve got screenshots and more info about the newest Kindle app, the app that just might be the main future of the Kindle platform.
It was not too long ago that Google announced their cloud based music player, Music beta by Google. After using Amazon’s Cloud Player for a while, I was excited to see what Google had to offer. I am after all, an Android user and I border on Google fanboydom. While I think the coup de gras of Music beta is tight Android integration, I decided to take a close look at the web app as a music player, much like I did for Amazon Cloud Player. Here’s what I found.
The web has put traditional journalism into a tailspin, and newspapers of all sizes are scrambling to find a way to monetize their content. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more have created paywalls that require readers to pay to read all of their content each month, either online or in apps on various mobile platforms. Increasingly, though, publishers are turning to mobile apps as the only way to sell digital copies of their articles, cutting the web out of the equation.
Is this the future of digital media? Will we have to purchase specific devices to read the content we want? Or is there hope yet for monetized content on the internet?
For the last couple of years, everyone has been expecting both Apple and Google to officially announce and launch their online music players — music in the “Cloud.” I was particularly excited for Apple to announce an online version of iTunes after the bought up my favorite online service, lala (RIP); however, that day has yet to come. When Amazon announced their Cloud Drive/Cloud Player, I was actually pretty surprised because I hadn’t heard much about it. After trying it out I’m pretty happy, and very surprised that they beat Apple and Google to the punch.
For all the hubbub about native mobile apps, sometimes the web is still better. Case in point: the Readability app. Apple’s new in-app subscription rules made it impossible for the new reading service to add a free app to the iOS App Store without giving 30% of their subscription fees to Apple. So, instead, they turned their focus to creating a HTML5 mobile app that lets readers on all modern mobile devices read their favorite articles on the go. The web let them sidestep Apple’s restrictions and make their app multi-platform at the same time.
So, what is Readability, and why did their service cause such a stir with Apple? Keep reading to learn more about Readability, how it can help your online reading, and how their mobile webapp shows a new future for cross-platform mobile apps.
Those of us who live on the web love technology. We revel in the power it gives us, the control over our environment is exciting and invigorating, isn’t it? Control over our media is a particularly sacred gift. We download, organize, archive and play our massive MP3 collections. We rip, sort, and catalog our favorite DVDs, building a personal library that’s playable across all manner of devices and platforms. But there’s one area of personal entertainment that we lovers of technology can’t quite wrestle down — Television.
See, the thing with television is that it’s the content that matters, not necessarily the technology. We’ve already figured out how to deal with generic video in its digital form, that’s not the issue — gaining access to the particular programming unique to television, that’s the issue. So what’s a geek to do?
How does one get to use all the best techno-tricks — time shifting, social media, an all-you-can-watch catalog — on the content of television? Hulu, that’s how.
Today we’re going to take a look at what Hulu can do, put it through its paces, explore it’s subscription option (Hulu Plus), and decide whether or not it lets us cut the cord on our monthly cable bill.