What device are you reading on?

16 December 2014

From TeleRead:

Our friends at Book Riot have been on fire in the last week or so, posting a ton of great stuff. One of my favourite posts of the week was this participation-required roundup called ‘What Are You Reading On?’

At the time I myself took the poll, 49% of respondents had listed an e-ink Kindle amongst their stable of devices, which surprised me. I was anticipating that more people than not would have abandoned their Kindles for the world of the tablet. So…why haven’t they? Why are e-ink devices still holding their share in the marketplace?

I think that for many serious readers (and Book Riot caters more to that market than to the casual one or two book a year crowd) there is still a desire to have a separate device for reading. e-Ink Kindles have some software features that have not made it into the app version yet (such as the Vocabulary Builder and WordWise features). Others in the comments also cited the more eye-friendly screens, the smaller form factor and the longer battery charge as factors.

Link to the rest at TeleRead

PG uses his tablet for lots of things, but still prefers his e-ink Kindle for long-form reading.

Amazon claims Black Friday e-reader and Fire tablet sales boom

2 December 2014

From VB News:

Amazon has announced something of a Black Friday sales boom for its flagship Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet.

Though the e-commerce giant didn’t divulge specific figures (it never does), it did reveal that it shifted four times as many Kindles and three times as many Fire tablets as on Black Friday 2013.

Link to the rest at VB News and thanks to Nirmala for the tip.

Library Ebook Growth Slowing but Still Substantial

4 November 2014

From The Digital Shift:

Ninety-five percent of public libraries currently offer ebooks to patrons, up from 72 percent in 2010, and 89 percent in both 2012 and 2013. However, money remains the biggest impediment for libraries looking to add ebooks or expand collections, according to Library Journal’s fifth annual Ebook Usage in U.S. Public Librariesreport, sponsored by Freading.

The growth in demand for ebooks has cooled during the past four years, although as the report notes, this “is only because [ebooks] have become less of a novelty and more mainstream.” Survey respondents said they expected to see their library’s ebook circulation grow by 25 percent this fiscal year, compared with 108 percent growth in 2011, 67 percent in 2012, and 39 percent in 2013.

Collections have grown substantially during the past four years as well, and increased options and availability for patrons likely played a role in slowing the growth in demand. In 2010, the median number of ebooks offered by libraries was only 813, compared with a median of 10,484 titles in 2014—an increase of nearly 1,200 percent.

. . . .

Survey respondents reported that their ebook collections are 74 percent fiction and 26 percent nonfiction, while print book collections were split at 57 percent fiction and 43 percent nonfiction. The top five fiction ebook categories reported by respondents are bestsellers, mystery/suspense, romance, general adult fiction, and YA fiction, while the top five nonfiction categories are bestsellers, biographies/memoirs, history, self-help, and cooking.

. . . .

For the first time this year, tablets overtook dedicated e-readers as the device of choice for ebook readers. Eighty-four percent of respondents said that their library’s patrons were using tablets such as iPads, Kindle Fires, or Google Nexus tablets to check out ebooks, while 78 percent said that patrons were using dedicated e-reader devices such as NOOKs or Kindle Paperwhites. This compares to 66 percent who said patrons were using tablets for ebooks in 2012, and 90 percent who said patrons were using dedicated e-readers.

“Tablets will likely continue to take over, as they can access a wider variety of content, from ebooks to streaming video, to music, to audiobooks, to the Internet in general,” the report notes. “The killer app for the earliest dedicated ereaders like the Kindle was the reflective display which was ‘as easy to read as paper.’ Well, these days, people are more used to reading on screens than on paper, and backlit screens have improved so that older eyes can read even smartphone screens with minimal squinting.”

Link to the rest at The Digital Shift

Samsung and Amazon Tied for Second Place in Tablet Market as Apple’s Shares Fall

15 October 2014

From MarketWatch:

In advance of Apple’s event this week, Parks Associates announced new research today showing Amazon and Samsung are locked in a tight race for second place behind Apple in the tablet market, which overall shows signs of cooling even as adoption remains high.

. . . .

“Over 60% of U.S. broadband households now have a tablet, and 52% own both a smartphone and a tablet, up from 25% in 2011,” said Tejas Mehta, research analyst, Parks Associates. “Tablet sales in recent quarters have been hampered by a longer replacement cycle compared to smartphones’, a lack of new features, and the popularity of phablets, which negatively affects sales of smaller-sized tablets.”

Parks Associates analysts noted that these findings point to more price-based competition and potentially less revenue in the tablet market if tablet brands fail to innovate.

Link to the rest at MarketWatch

Are Tablets the Solution for Latin American Education?

28 August 2014

From Publishing Perspectives:

The past few years have seen global surge in tablet adoption not only among professionals but also in schools throughout the world, particularly in Latin America. The surge has been considerable in underdeveloped countries, driven by rising incomes, high-speed internet connections, digital content consumption and the efforts of education NGOs (one of the most popular example being the One Laptop per Child program), plus some specific government initiatives in markets such as Brazil and Colombia.

. . . .

In Latin America, statistics about internet usage reveal growing interest in online content. According to ComScore’s 2013 Latin America Future in Focus report, the region has the fastest-growing Internet user population in the world. Social media consumption is extremely popular (5 of the top 10 most engaged markets with social content worldwide are Latin American) and online advertising is on the rise, with phones and tablets accounting for a considerable percentage of digital traffic.

. . . .

This growing presence in Latin America is not limited to the professional market. According to a report by Ambient Insight, the rate of growth in the mobile device usage is likely to increase over the next four years. The report argues that apart from rising individual purchases, the surge in spending in mobile devices will be driven by major digitization efforts rolled out across the region by public education systems.

In the meantime, research centers are raising public awareness of this growing trend and starting to analyze it in depth. The Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) produced a report on the pros and cons of tablet education in schools, pointing out that the use of digital devices in classrooms is indeed becoming a major trend in current government policies on digital inclusion.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

Our Internal Sleep Clocks Are Out of Sync

16 August 2014

From The Wall Street Journal:

In this season of vacation travel, many of us are happily resigned to jet lag as the price of international adventure. The malaise associated with crossing time zones has been recognized for decades, of course. What’s new is our understanding of the wider phenomenon that scientists call “circadian disruption,” a disorder of our internal timing system. It can have profound health consequences, and its causes extend well beyond the occasional overseas jaunt.

In humans, the circadian rhythm in sleep and wakefulness—that is, our approximately 24-hour biological cycle—is reset each day by the light around us. This adjusts the body’s internal clock to the local time zone. Or, to be more precise, it resets our myriad circadian clocks, because it is now clear that the mechanism operates not just in the brain but also in the cells of most tissues and organs.

This timing system served early humans well. Sleep and wakefulness occurred naturally; seasonal changes in the time of dawn and length of the day and night were predictable and gradual enough to allow us to adjust. When humans migrated great distances on foot, slow changes across “time zones” could be accommodated easily.

Fast-forward to the modern era, when work schedules almost ensure that the day begins for most of us with an alarm clock interrupting our sleep. Add to this substantial and increasing light exposure at night, rapid travel across time zones, rotating shift work, and delayed and irregular meal times, and we have the ingredients for circadian disruption: a state in which the body’s many internal clocks fall out of sync with one another and with the external daylight cycle, and—in some cases—stop functioning entirely.

. . . .

Some of these risks are unavoidable. Many industries and government agencies require round-the-clock operations, so there will always be people engaged in shift work, and there will always be business travelers who frequently cross time zones. In addition, few of us will give up nighttime use of our brilliantly illuminated smartphones, computers and tablets.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)

So paper books will preserve your circadian rhythm better than ebooks?

What are people saying about the new Samsung Galaxy Tab® 4 NOOK®?

15 August 2014

Thanks to Joshua for the tip.

Best Buy CEO Says Tablet Sales Are “Crashing,” Sees Hope for PCs

5 August 2014

From CNBC:

Re/code has landed in Minneapolis to talk to the folks at Best Buy — the last standing nationwide big-box, bricks-and-mortar consumer electronics retailer, with over 1,000 main stores and hundreds of smaller mobile device stores.

. . . .

It’s also battling the trend called “show-rooming” in which consumers try out products in a store like Best Buy but then buy online from e-tailers like Amazon. To fight this, it has expanded its price matching to include online sellers. And it is revamping its website (which was ugly, hard to navigate and hard to search) in the hope that it will become a bigger shopping destination for people who start, or even complete, purchases online.

. . . .

The tablets boomed and now are crashing. The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it’s becoming more versatile. So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that’s appealing to students in particular. So you have an evolution. The boundaries are not as well defined as they used to be.

. . . .

The issue has then been that, once you have a tablet of a certain generation, it’s not clear that you have to move on to the next generation.

Link to the rest at CNBC

Fare Thee Well, My Pen

26 July 2014

From The New York Times:

The pen is dead. It was murdered by the finger.

I first realized this last week when my girlfriend asked to borrow a pen to sign the back of one of those paper check things.

“Sure,” I replied, picking up my laptop bag to rummage inside. I pulled out a succession of rectangular-shaped gadgets, but there was no pen to be found.

“Hmm, maybe we have one upstairs,” I said as we both began a detective-like search for anything that resembled a vessel for ink. We scoured the home office, kitchen drawers, bedrooms, even looking through our cars. But again, no pen.

. . . .

 While my home is filled with multiple laptops, smartphones, tablets and other Internet-connected devices, there isn’t a single pen to be found. No ballpoint, fountain or rollerball. No highlighter, marker or even an itty bitty nub of a pencil.

. . . .

 Unlike pens, fingers don’t run out of ink, they’re free and you always have one with you. I use mine to take notes on my phone, highlight books on my Kindle and draw pictures on my iPad. I don’t have to worry about losing this work because, unlike a piece of paper, my digital notes live in perpetuity online.

. . . .

“There’s that famous quote that the best camera is the one you have with you, and in that respect, the smartphone has won out over time,” said Naveen Selvadurai, a partner at Expa Capital and a co-founder of Foursquare. “In the same sense, the best pen is the one you have with you, and that’s your finger.”

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, he described the finger as “the best pointing device in the world.” And in typical Jobsian fashion, he seemed to know that fingers would be next big thing.

Link to the rest at The New York Times and thanks to Barb for the tip.

Apple’s iPad reaches 78% North American tablet share as Amazon’s Kindle Fire passes Samsung, Google

23 July 2014

From AppleInsider:

iPad is making gains in North American tablet web usage, reaching an 78 percent share in Apple’s “first quarter-over-quarter usage share gain since June 2013,” notes a new report by Chitika.

. . . .

Chitika Insights published its latest figures on tablet web traffic for the U.S. and Canada, noting that Amazon’s Kindle Fire, albeit with just one tenth the share of iPad, has moved into second place ahead of Samsung and Google, both of whom are selling ‘pure Android’ tablets.

“Since April 2014, the share of tablet Web traffic generated by North American Apple iPad and Kindle Fire users has increased by 0.8 and 1.2 percentage points, respectively,” the firm stated.

“These represent the two largest quarter-over-quarter increases for any tablet brand, while Samsung’s user base exhibited the largest share loss over the same timeframe, dropping two full percentage points.”

Link to the rest at AppleInsider

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