Archive for the ‘e-books’ Category

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

My Japan Times article on the Sharp Galapagos tablet

by Warren

Can’t believe I forgot to post this earlier, but I wrote an article for the Japan Times last week about Sharp’s Galapagos tablet, a pad device aimed straight at the Japanese market. Sharp claims otherwise, but “Galapagos” has become a term to define the uniqueness and weakness of the Japanese mobile phone market, which created some of the most advanced and esoteric phones on the market, in a sealed environment where innovation was allowed to flourish but never interact with the outside world.

With the onset of the iPhone, that market is crumbling. I personally see many, many iPhones everywhere in Tokyo, and that has to strike fear into the heart of every Japanese cell provider (other than Softbank, presumably making a killing by offering the iPhone exclusively in Japan.)

So I don’t hold out much hope for this Sharp tablet. They may know something I don’t, but I can’t see a device like this competing in any way with the iPad.

Monday, June 28th, 2010

iBooks and Canada aren’t getting along

by Warren

iPhone 4 hasn’t even arrived in Canada yet, but for some reason (likely because the OS isn’t all that country-specific) Apple is allowing Canadians to download iBooks, the Apple branded e-reader currently found on the iPad and on U.S. iPhones.

And as of right now, it’s a complete disaster.

At first iBooks couldn’t even reach the iBookstore. Starting the app resulted in futile warnings, but searching revealed you could find public domain works from Project Gutenberg for download. All well and good, because who DOESN’T want to read Wuthering Heights on their phone….except that your iBookshelf iEats all your iBooks. Keep downloading them, and they’ll simply disappear. SOme people have had luck syncing their books through iTunes, but I haven’t.

More to the point, I’m chompng at the bit to actually BUY some books, but Apple won’t let me. I suspect whenever the phone is introduced in Canada (presumably at the end of July) the store will be populated with bestsellers and other goodies, and it may not even be Apple’s fault. Canadian publishers, like most of the old print guard, aren’t exactly know for forward thinking and bold new strategies.

In other news, getting rid of custom wallpapers dramatically speeds up the performance of my jailbroken iPhone 3G. Weirdly, having a nice bit of background on my home screen seems much more challenging than multitasking several programs at once. Who’da thunk it?