5 essential companion apps for summer reading

Summer reading apps iOS

Ah, the summertime. It means something different to nearly everyone, but book fans tend to refer to it as the absolute best time to sit outside, enjoy a drink and finally get caught up on your reading.

If you’re like many modern summer reading fans, then there is a good chance that your iOS device is a constant companion. Phones and tablets have surpassed the traditional physical book as the go-to source for reading material and, in general, offer a variety of conveniences and features designed to enhance your reading experience.

Scribd Announces Digital Book Subscription Service

Scribd has officially announced its multi-platform digital book subscription service. The new e-book platform will allow users to access a library of more than "40 million books and documents, in 100 countries and 80 languages worldwide," according to the press release. HarperCollins has signed on as the first major publisher, and will lend its backlist catalog to the cloud-based service. Users will also be able to buy any title from the full HarperCollins catalog through Scribd's retail store.


Subscribers will be able to read their rented or purchased books on their iPhone, iPad, Android devices and web browsers. The service will also offer readers the ability to access papers analyzing the books, and see what content their friends have read.

Department of Justice to Sue Apple Over Fixed eBook Prices

UPDATE: The U.S. has officially filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple as well as publishers Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. - via Bloomberg

UPDATE 2: The Department of Justice has released a PDF of their complaint. It's a really interesting read!

The Department of Justice plans to launch an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five major publishers for alleged price-fixing. In March the The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department warned Apple and the publishers that it planned to sue them for raising the price of electronic books. The Justice Department believes that Apple violated federal antitrust laws by jointly raising the prices with the five publishers.

Apple iPad iBooks

"The Justice Department is investigating alleged price-fixing by Apple and five major publishers: CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH. A lawsuit against Apple, one of the parties not in negotiations with the Justice Department for a potential settlement, could come as early as Wednesday but no final decision has been made, the people said."

Amazon Releases iPhone Kindle 1.1

Amazon's free iPhone Kindle application has received an update with several improvements to make the app more user-friendly. Many of the features were expected by users in the first release, as they are typical to many iPhone apps.

Here are the changes:

Users can read in portrait or landscape mode.
Gesture (pinch) to zoom images in books.
Select alternate background and text colors to improve reading comfort in low light conditions.
Tap on either side of the screen or flick to turn pages.

Amazon Buys Rival iPhone App Stanza

Amazon has purchased Lexcycle, the company that developed the free iPhone eBook reader Stanza. The software is widely seen as a rival to Amazon's own Kindle application. Stanza provides free access to over 100,000 books in ePub format, which Amazon's Kindle does not support.

Details such as the cost of the acquisition were not revealed by either company. Over one million copies of Stanza were downloaded by the end of last year. Amazon's Kindle iPhone app is free, however users must pay for content. The Kindle 2 electronic reader is now priced at $349.


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