Summer’s here, along with a variety of news for anyone who is a fan of e-readers and e-books. Most of it involves updates or debuts in the area of e-reader devices. But this summer there is also news about how e-books are gaining more readers throughout the world.
What’s Been Making Headlines
There are exciting and fun things happening at Amazon this month for kids. Over at Barnes and Noble, unfortunately, it’s more of the “same old, same old.” That bookseller used to be one of Amazon’s main contenders with the Nook e-reader and a vast inventory of e-books. But lately it just keeps cutting back…without adding new products. The up and coming rival to Amazon, which is still small by comparison but is quickly establishing itself worldwide, is Kobo. That fast-growing company just introduced a new device meant to attract consumers who like features of the Kindle Paperwhite.
The HD Fire 10 Kid’s Edition
Amazon is about to debut a new kid’s version of it’s powerful and popular Fire HD 10 tablet. The Fire HD 10 Kid’s Edition is here right on time for kids to take advantage of summer reading. Until July 11th the device is available for pre-ordering. Starting on July 11th Amazon will start shipping the new 10-inch display e-readers, which are priced at $199.99. They may be for children, but they have grown-up power with a 1.8 Ghz quad core processor and 2 gigs of Ram, plus 32 gigs of internal storage you can upgrade to as much as 256 gigs. They’re kitted-out with Bluetooth, front and rear cameras, and up to 10 hours of battery power. You can fully recharge one is less than five hours with the included USB adapter. These new Fire 10 devices also come with parental controls and a free year of Freetime Unlimited, which is content especially designed for kids. That includes free movies, TV shows, and apps.
Introducing the Kobo Clara
Kobo just introduced its newest e-reader, the Kobo Clara. This one is a handy, very portable and thin lightweight model perfect for summer. While it isn’t waterproof like some other Kobo devices, it does have a 6-inch, 300ppi e-ink Carta screen and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. That’s the same kind of screen on the Kindle Paperwhite (which is also not waterproof). Unlike the Kindle, you can adjust the color on the front light, which some readers find makes it easier on the eyes. The list price is $129.99. Kobo doesn’t offer nearly as many titles as the gigantic megastore Amazon. But for fans of Kobo, the Clara is the ideal alternative to the Kindle Paperwhite.
Meanwhile, Amazon continues to drive forward, full speed ahead…introducing thousands of titles to the Arabic-speaking and reading world. Just days before the official start of summer, Amazon announced that more than 12,000 titles for Kindle will be available in Arabic. As explained in Forbes Magazine, this is a huge step, because there nearly 470 million Arabic speakers in the work, across 60 nations. At least a million of those readers live in the United States. Now you can browse and download Arabic titles on Amazon conveniently and easily. “We are excited to make Arabic language Kindle books available to the hundreds of millions of Arabic speakers around the world,” said David Naggar, Vice President of Kindle.
Bye-Bye 1st Generation Nook, Hello Security Patch
Barnes and Noble isn’t expanding though, and not long ago it officially discontinued the 1st generation Nook. If you own a Nook that is a more recent generation, it will need a new downloaded security patch update. Barnes and Noble upgraded its security to help protect the company and its customers from problems like criminal hacks of its payment processing software. That’s a good thing, because until now the website was vulnerable. But here’s the catch. Unless the patch is installed, your e-reader may stop functioning or it won’t be able to perform many of the internet-based functions you’re used to. For most people, the download will happen automatically. But to learn more and find out how to install the files on your own, visit Barnes and Noble by clicking here.