Thursday, May 30, 2013


I've changed from iPhone 4S to HTC One, an Android phone.

It's more beautiful than the iPhone (who'd have thunked that?), and the bigger screen is a current-day necessity. It's a good pocket ereader. The hardware is state of the art, just lovely.*

I must say though, I don't quite understand the enthusiasm with which some people, like Apple connoisseurs Andy Ihnatko and Guy Kawasaki, have taken to Android. They quote many reasons, but they all seem trivial to me. As an OS it still feels a little awkward and buggy to me. (And confusing: not two devices work the same.) A typical example: in the notifications list, two notifications from the very first time I opened it are stuck. They do not disappear like the others when I clear the list.
Another example: I googled for the "best podcast app for Android", and got the clear candidate. But it's not very good. The buttons are too small, and the time line hardly visible.
(Not that the iOS podcast apps are great. It's odd, you'd think that would be an easy interface to make, but instead Apple's own app, for example, has the whole middle of the screen, over 70%, doing nothing, and has the controls crammed together, too small, at the top and the bottom. Just brain-dead decisions. But that's not normal, on the whole I have much more fun with iOS apps.)

*OK, it is more than state of the art, it's overkill. Who has eyes resolving four hundred and seventy pixels per inch?! I can just barely tell the difference between 200 and 300. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The "book" is either dying or flourishing!

Australian publishers say the book is not dead, it is being redefined by new technology, article.
So while the printed page may be less popular than in previous times, publishers are confident that reading will remain a mainstream pleasure - so long as readers keep adapting their definition of the word 'book'.

And thereby hangs a tale.
If a book is by definition on paper, then the Book is in trouble. Paperbook stores are closing in droves. But if it includes ebooks, then we may be on the verge of the Golden Age for books.

I have been chastised by helpful and enthusiastic readers that an ebook is not a book, because a book is a bound bundle of paper sheets.
And indeed from the dictionary it seems this is so.

But what's a book lover to do? My feelings tell me that Two Cities is a book, no matter if I read it in a "book" or on my Kindle, or iPad, or my phone.
A writer says he is writing a "book", and he is not talking about the bound paper, he is talking about the conceptual content.
And people all over the world is talking about books they have read, even though many of those books may never have seen bound paper.

So I think at some point, like has happened with the majority of words, the dictionaries will have to include this new definition of "book".
How you define it precisely is tricky, and for more orderly heads than mine.

My Writing Spot updated

My Writing Spot updated. Online/tablet writing app updated, posted on my other blog.