Everyone likes free stuff! Yeah, don’t deny it, ya do. From now until the end of the year, you can get a free copy of Rolled Up Dimensionality: Short stories from a forgotten life from the Apple iBookstore readable on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch!
This eBook is also available on the Kindle and Nook, but I can’t set the price to free there unless enough readers tell Amazon and Barnes & Noble that the eBook is now free on the iPad. So if you want it free on Kindle and Nook, please let them know!
In the run up to the Christmas holiday, I got the distinct impression that my spouse wanted to get me an Apple iPad as a gift. It’s no secret that I’d love to have one and now that I’m actively developing iPhone applications, it might even become a business necessity. But the lack of Adobe Flash support on the iPad continues to dampen my enthusiasm for the device.
I don’t really have any immediate need for an iPad, but I began to think that my wife might actually make better use of one than I. The way she works with her MacBook around the house makes her more of a candidate for an iPad than an ebook reader like a Nook or Kindle. She’d been asking me which ereader she should get. I lean towards the Nook since I already have one and like the hackability that its Android OS basis provides. But my wife likes being able to do a lot of things at once. She’s a big multitasker and I’m sure I see her lugging about her laptop and the ereader before too long.
So I began to make plans for an iPad for her. An iPad would allow her to do many of the things she does with her MacBook, casually at least. Some light word processing, web browsing, and of course reading ebooks using the Kindle or Nook reader apps. But my plans came to a screeching halt once I remembered that Facebook and Facebook games are a big part of her computing use around the house too. So I started to dig.
It turns out that the iPad Facebook Experience is not too great. Follow the link for more details, but in a nutshell she won’t be able to play Wordscraper on an iPad. That’s a total deal breaker here. And if even a fraction of the 600 million account holders on Facebook play the Flash based games on the site regularly, that’s a lot of lost iPad sales. At this point I think Apple is leaving a giant hole open for Android based tablets that do support Flash to waltz right in and take a big chunk of a market Apple deserves a lot of credit for creating.
I think that 2011 is going to be the year that Apple finally allows Flash support in iOS. Android is catching up and in the tablet market in no small part due to the popularity of Facebook games, I can see the Flash issue being a big market stick to beat Apple with. We’re already starting to see this in ads for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and some of the Android smartphones that support Flash. Whatever the technical merits of Apple’s arguments against Flash, I can’t believe they are willing to leave money on the table.
A couple of days ago, I bought my first ebook. I bought Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.. I bought the Kindle version for my iPhone and so far, I’m pretty happy with it. As a life long book lover, I’m both pleased and surprised at how this came about.
Reading digital books was not the reason I got an iPhone. And while the Kindle, Nook, and other book readers are attractive, they just weren’t a top priority item for me. Digital books are a good idea and long overdue, especially for heavy laden school children, but I was in no rush to get there. But now that I’ve slipped in through the side door, I’m glad I came. The iPhone screen is pretty much perfect for the extremely casual sort of reading I would be doing on such a device and so far at least, I’m not seeing any downsides to this at all. Of course, that’s bad news for anyone trying to sell dedicated book readers, unless they get a lot less expensive.
I ended up buying a book because I was in an adventurous mood and decided to try out the Kindle reader for iPhone. I was hoping there would be some free books available like the Barnes and Noble Reader had. And I wanted to compare the two readers. There weren’t any free books, but there was a sample available of the Japanamerica book. So I downloaded that and started reading, got hooked on it and bought it. Ultimately, the content made the sale, and since I usually buy books from Amazon anyway, it was easy for me to buy one more.
I still like physical books, and have no plans to stop buying them, especially since some, like manga, wouldn’t be good on the iPhone’s screen. But from now one I’ll definitely be looking for a digital version.