How to turn your Chrome device into an adequate eReader

samsung-chromebook[1]When it comes to the major OSes, Chrome is clearly the last thing on many developers minds, and that is reflected in the paucity of reading apps for Chrome.

Following my post yesterday on turning an Android tablet into the ultimate ereader, I took a look at writing a similar post for Chrome. Alas, that's just not possible. While there are a few ebook and other apps, the vast selection found in Google Play simply isn't available in Chrome. Continue reading

How to turn your Android device into the quintessential eReader

android tablet mascotWhen it comes to distraction free reading, nothing beats an ereader. But when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, the reading apps available for Android make that platform easily the best value.

Between the save for later apps, ebook apps, PDF apps, comic apps, audiobook apps, news and feed reader apps, and web browsers, there are apps for just about all kinds of ereading. Continue reading

Where and How to Give eBooks as Gifts

81t2GxHmf7L._SL1500_[1]With the holidays rapidly approaching, our thoughts are turning to books and how to give them as gifts. With some stores like Amazon that is easy, but with other stores like Kobo it is difficult, and in the case of  iBooks it is simply not possible to gift an ebook.

As a general rule, I think it is better to give a gift card rather than an ebook. This lets the recipient choose the ebooks they want to buy, or perhaps use the funds to get a magazine subscription instead. Continue reading

What to do With an iPad with a Broken Screen

15101952494_3858fd306f[1]Has anyone else noticed that no one seems to be reusing iPads with broken screens?

I recently decided to replace my 4 year old iPad 2. (It had long had a broken screen, and with last year's iPad Air costing $100 less this year an upgrade made sense.) Once I had the new one on my desk and went googling for help on what to do next, I was surprised by the lack of instructions on how to upgrade as well as by the lack of posts on how to reuse an old iPad with a broken screen. Continue reading

How to Take a Screen Shot on Any Kindle (Paperwhite, Touch, Basic, Keyboard)

screenshot_2014_10_03T12_55_36-0700The Kindle can do many things, but not all of them are explained in the user manual. (For example, the first Kindle had a hidden menu where you could see a list of the Lab126 team members who had worked on it.) Among the many neat undocumented tricks is one that I use on a regular basis: taking a screenshot.

The Kindle has had the option to let users take a screenshot since the day the first unit shipped in November 2007.  The trick to enable this feature varies from one model to the next, so I took a few minutes to list them all. Continue reading

How to Download Kobo eBooks (Including the Ones They Won’t Allow) And Strip the DRM

kobo itunes ios logoFor as long as I've shopped there, Kobo has always had an issue with not letting customers download copies of all of the ebooks they buy.  I've never understood why and they've never supplied a consistent answer, but some of the ebooks bought at Kobo can only be read in Kobo hardware and apps. Continue reading

Don’t Like Amazon’s New Kids’ Tablet? Here are 5 Alternatives

kindle-fire-hd-kids-3[1]Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet is going to be getting a lot of press over the next few weeks, but it's not the first tablet to launch in this market - nor even the twenty-first.

Here are 5 kids tablets that you might consider in place of the Fire HD Kids Edition. (You might also retrofit your existing tablet as a hand-me-down, but this might not work for everyone). Continue reading