Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lightness is important, and a home-made handle

When I pick up my ol’ iPod Touch, I really like the size and weight. It’s only 110 grams. And the newest generation, though taller, is only 90! And it has a sharper screen, so I’m tempted to get one as pocket reader. But it’s perhaps too small, I’d like a 5-inch one with a similar weight.
But what it does tell me: weight is really durn essential in comfort when reading, especially in bed, even when you get down to weights so slight you’d think it shouldn’t matter anymore.
I hope new tech soon gives us materials as strong as, but much lighter than alu and glass. I'd love an iPad Mini weighing under 130 grams. This may seem ungrateful, because the Mini is already at the forefront of lightness (310 grams), but I think that when we get to that point, we will appreciate the difference.

One thing that helps a lot: I have gaffer-taped a loop of strap to the back of my Kindle PaperWhite. I can stick four fingers through it and hold it with zero finger-muscle strain, and having the thumb free to flip pages. It's great. It's not pretty, but heck, a Kindle is almost a disposable device now, certainly a very replaceable one.

Ugly, but effective. The clasp is not necessary, but I
included it in case I wanted to change the length later.

Look Ma, I'm not holding it! 

It can also be held with the fingers curled around the strap. All in all it really takes the strain and clumsiness out of bed-reading.

I hope somebody will make a prettier product like this.

Spread the word; whether home-made or not, I'd like my fellow digital-age readers to read in better comfort.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I've made a Flipboard magazine

The iPad app flipboard, which collects web articles into a nice interface, has added the ability of readers to create their own Magazine. You can add article to it easily both in Flipboard app itself and in a web browser.

I have made this one, for this blog: EReaderJoy FlipbookMag.
It contains some posts from this blog, but also other stuff about tablets/ereaders I find interesting.
I hope to add to it continually.
You find it by opening the Flipboard app on an iPad and searching for eolake or ereaderjoy. Then click Subscribe (it's free).

Spoof of Apple store

"Microsoft Endlessly Disappoints With ‘New’ Windows Phone Apps"

Microsoft Endlessly Disappoints With ‘New’ Windows Phone Apps, Wired article.

...other apps have trickled in. But none have been the kind that make you want to switch to a Windows Phone. Addicted to Instagram? Not going to work for you. Want to try out Vine? You can't. [...] 
That’s the shame of Microsoft. Windows Phone 8 is a stunning operating system. It has matured in functionality since Windows Phone 7, and it is very easy to use. Microsoft has quality hardware partners, too. Nokia’s Lumia 920 is powerful, with a stunning camera, and HTC’s 8X is one of the sleekest, prettiest phones available.

Yes, a pity. Microsoft finally makes something very good in the mobile arena, and then the app developers don't follow. (I won't say I blame them, it costs money and time to make apps, and MS has a miniscule market share yet. It's that chicken and egg again.)
Another thing is: if and when the great developers do start making good, up to date ports of their apps, will these also be optimized for the larger screens of tablets? That will be necessary for me to be interested, I really don't use phones much.

It's pretty stunning really, this deep lack of faith in Microsoft now. When the iPhone came out, people were storming the citadel to be allowed to make apps for it (originally that was not the plan). I guess the tabels have really turned.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

UX Write, word processing for iPad

UX Write is a very impressive word processor for iPad. Amongst the impressive things: instead of the durn fiddly little loupe when selecting things, the developer has made a screen *trackpad area*! You can place or move the cursor, or select text on it. There are even arrow keys, and you can move faster by using two fingers. And this is just one feature.
It works in HTML 5, and exports to text, PDF, or .docx (which I just found out is an open format, *not* a MS format). You can actually go back and forth with the same document between UX on the iPad and Word on your PC or Mac, in .docx format. Nice.

TMO review part one. And Part two.

Above you see UX Write on John M's iPad, itself mounted on his Brydge keyboard. It's pretty new, I got one myself. I haven't used it much, but it's definitely of lovely mechanical quality and look/feel. (Some Amazon reviewers report keys becoming sticky though, I'll keep an eye on that.)