Monday, August 9, 2010

Mobile Library

There's a war out there in the mobile library devices. And it's imminent. The war between ebook readers. This war seem like a war waged by PDAs late 1990's until middle of 2000. The war waned as time passes by, and PDA companies were forced to halt production lines out of declared losses and weak market reception. People's need for mobility mutated through the advent of hybrid phone with integrated PIM functionality.

Will this be the same fate our stand-alone eBook readers soon be marching on? The deathmarch? Knowing that one can have similar function from their laptops, or more appropriately, from their notebooks?

eBook Readers or "eReaders," as tech nomenclature calls it, is aimed at a very mature market(age notwithstanding) of rabid readers who want to bring the entire library with them in digital format.

Almost all consumer electronics manufacturers have their own of this pie. And although they have been in the market since the start of the PDA era(remember Franklin eBook Reader?), there has been numerous missing features among them. Most notably, a compatibility issue with one another in terms of ebook functions such as synchronization capabilities, especially for the last pages read, notes, highlights, bookmarks in ebooks, web bookmarks, web history, and a lot more.

Given all the supported formats(EPUB, PDB, PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3, etc), I'd still go for the Barnes&Noble's Nook because of its connectivity options that not only limit to wifi but 3G as well. Amazon's Kindle has 3G and wifi combo too but it's not touch technology-implemented. Others are touch screen devices like BeBook Neo but no connectivity combo. One feature of the Nook that stood out from the other breed of eReaders is its ability to lend books to others. Meaning, just by using Barnes&Noble's eReader software, you can send books to other devices like PC, Mac, iPod Touch, or iPhone. You can loan a book for 14days, and for the period of the loan, you won't be able to access the book on your device. I also like the Nook of the Nook more than the aesthetics of its competitors.

Do I need to compare Nook with Apple pad? Their market seemed to cross the line but iPad is primarily intended as an entertainment tablet more than a device with excellent reading experience.

I just wish iPad can share ebooks too just what the Nook does. Or every library for that matter. In the end, this war is jostled and won by consumer preference, which will vary for that matter.

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