Barnes & Noble has updated its NOOK for iOS app today with over 8,000 comics and graphic novels, available through the NOOK store, as well as a new ‘Zoom View’ feature to help readers hone in on specific the panels and follow creative page layouts.
Users can download a copy of the DC Comics 2013 Superman Sampler, which include excerpts from Superman: Last Son of Krypton, Superman: For Tomorrow, Superman: Earth One, and Justice League Volume 1: Origin, for free as part of the app update.
All of the top comic and graphic novel publishers will be available through the new iOS app, including superhero giants DC Entertainment and Marvel, as well as IDW and Dark Horse.
Barnes & Noble says it will be updating the store on a monthly basis with new titles, which can also be downloaded through its NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ tablets, as well as on Android and Windows 8 through the respective apps.
The iPad is a popular device for buying and reading digital copies of popular comics and graphic novels. The difference in size means that app developers have had to be creative with how they display individual panels on a tablet; readers want to be able to zoom-in on some of the detail, but also see the entire page with a single glance when needed. For artists that pull artwork across a double-page spread, this is particularly important.
The new Nook for iOS app also includes animated page turns, which should add to the experience and immersion associated with reading a good book. The ‘Zoom View’ feature has also been adapted for other book types that feature illustrations, such as textbooks and children’s novels, so that readers can enlarge specific drawing at anytime.
Barnes & Noble has also given its Nook Newsstand section, which organizes periodicals in customers’ libraries, a bit of a spring clean so that particular titles are easier to find.
The NOOK Store is yet to really take off on mobile platforms outside of its own dedicated tablets. Part of the problem is that Apple’s iBooks and Newsstand apps are already pretty robust on iOS, and come pre-installed with every iPhone and iPad.
Likewise, Google has made great strides to improve the storefront experience in the Play Store, giving users fewer reasons to check out third-party alternatives such as the Amazon Appstore or NOOK for Android app.
Comics is a small, but welcome addition to the NOOK Store on iOS. It’s unlikely to be enough to sway users from dedicated comic apps such as Comixology, but at this point every little helps.
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Image Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Read the original here: Barnes & Noble adds Zoom View tool and over 8,000 graphic novels to its NOOK for iOS app
Microsoft has announced via its conference website that the coming Build developer event in San Francisco will sell a small number of new tickets this Wednesday, at 9 am, Pacific time. The company has made “more room,” it claims.
The news matters as the Build event had sold out, keeping many developers outside of an event that will see Microsoft retool its Windows 8 operating system, and likely much more; if you develop for the Windows or Windows Phone platforms, it’s the place to be.
Happily, this iteration of Build is in San Francisco, which should spare the tech industry another Woodstockian mud-fest, as the last Build devolved into. Jests aside, here’s the official Microsoft verbiage: “A limited number of additional tickets will go on sale Wednesday May 15 at 9am PDT.”
Microsoft has publicly confirmed that it will be discussing the ‘Blue’ set of updates to a number of software products. In October of 2012, Microsoft sequentially released a host of new software. Now, less than a year later, the company is working to, quickly, address concerns from users.
That Microsoft is having another Build event so close to its last, and to its most recent product crop’s release, is a small testament to the fact that the company is working to speed its development cycles.
I expect that the forthcoming set of tickets will go quickly, so if you want one, show up on time. TNW has asked Microsoft to specify the number of tickets that will be made available. We will update this post upon their response.
Top Image Credit: Damian Gadal
Facebook is in the final stages of negotiation with crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app maker Waze for an Instagram-sized acquisition of the Israeli company, reports local business publication Calcalist.
According to Calcalist reporter Assaf Gilad, who has a track record of getting things like this right (and then some), Facebook is in ‘advanced talks’ to buy Waze for $800 million to $1 billion in another move to beef up its mobile presence across platforms and geographies.
We should note that this isn’t the first time rumors about a Facebook-Waze acquisition have surfaced.
The Calcalist report is, however, more solid than any of the above.
For those who don’t know, Waze is a social traffic and navigation app that is based on a large community of tens of millions of drivers around the world sharing real-time road info and more to everyone else’s benefit.
The company is said to have roughly 45 million users today, up from 40 million back in February.
In 2012, drivers shared 90 million reports as they drove 6 billion miles (9.66 billion kilometres). Also last year, 65,000 map editors made a total of 500 million map edits and updated Waze’s map to reflect 1.7 million changes on the ground.
All this community-driven editing took place in 110 countries.
Waze has raised $67 million in venture capital to date, from investors like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Li-Ka Shing, Blue Run Ventures, Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Venture Capital.
According to Calcalist, Facebook started talking to Waze about a potential acquisition six months ago and is now close to signing off on the deal.
Waze and Facebook are partners, having first teamed up in October 2012 when Waze launched an updated version of its mobile apps that allowed users to share their drive with their Facebook friends.
Bardin was also spotted on the Facebook parking lot by Bloomberg TV reporter Jon Erlichman about a month ago.
Pretty sure Waze CEO Noam Bardin just drove by in the Facebook parking lot $FB
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) April 4, 2013
It has also reported ad revenue in the first quarter of $1.25 billion with 30 percent coming from mobile, or $375 million.
The company isn’t shy about its further ambitions when it comes to mobile, and has been making acquisitions left and right to beef up its portfolio of products, hire mobile development and user experience talent and stay ahead of the curve.
Buying out Waze would be a way for Facebook to further arm itself in the battle with Google for Internet dominance.
Image credit: Thinkstock
Originally posted here: Facebook is reportedly in advanced talks to buy social GPS app maker Waze for up to $1 billion
BeTheDancer is Alex Greenburg’s name and handle on Instagram. He’s a good friend and a brilliant photographer, but because Instagram doesn’t require real names, I had a lot trouble using the app’s new tagging feature to point him out in my photos. Right now, Instagram’s 100 million users are discovering that while pseudoanonymity can be fun, it’s not always functional.
On Facebook, you’re told to use your real name, and most do. That makes it very easy to search for and friend people. Mark Zuckerberg knew the social graph depended on you being you, and saw how Myspace’s lack of real name policy made it a haven for impersonators and unaccountability.
When Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger started Instagram, it wasn’t meant to be your meatspace social graph or the online copy of your personality. It was just for smartphonetography. You entered your handle and your “name”. Neither had to be your real name.
Some people still use their birth name or a shortening of it as their username. I’m joshsc, for example. And many do put in their actual first and last name. But many others don’t add their real name and just go by a pseudoanonymous handle. Thanks to Facebook’s Find Friends feature it hasn’t been so hard to follow them, though.
But today Instagram launched photo tagging, where you have to tap someone’s real name or handle into a typeahead to say they’re in an image. That gets a lot tougher if they don’t have their real name attached to their account. I didn’t think to search for Be The Dancer when I wanted to tag my buddy Alex in a portrait I shot of him a year ago.
Over the next few days, Instagram users are going to be
annoyed inundated with frequent notifications that they’ve been tagged in photos. But I’d bet those who go solely by pseudonyms will get a lot less. Tacking true identity onto a two-plus year-old social network doesn’t come easy. It could even steal a bit of the carefree atmosphere that’s made Instagram such a refreshing alternative to Facebook.
But one thing photo tagging will certainly do is strengthen Instagram’s social graph. After going to name a few friends in my photos, I realized I wasn’t following many of them. I opened the Facebook Find Friends feature and found hundreds of chums had joined Instagram since I last checked. I followed a ton of them, because Instagram isn’t just about photos anymore. It’s about the photographers, and the subjects who inspire them.
See the original post here: The Trouble With Identity’s Late Arrival On Instagram
Acer just announced the Aspire R7, a strange hybrid of a desktop all-in-one, laptop, and a tablet that was previously teased in some promotional Star Trek commercials. It’s honestly really, really weird.
We always expected that Windows 8 would lead to some really strange convertible touchscreen devices, but the Aspire R7 is a whole new kind of crazy. The first thing you’ll notice about the Aspire R7 is that Acer seems to have forgotten how laptops are made. The trackpad sits behind the keyboard, which is a bit perplexing until you realize that Acer doesn’t really want you to use the trackpad at all.
That’s because the Aspire R7 has something called an Ezel hinge that gives the 15.6 touchscreen display an amazing agree of flexibility. You can lie the 15-inch, 1080p touchscreen display completely flat with the device, turning the Aspire R7 into an oversized tablet. You can also angle the display so that it sits flush with the keyboard and covers the trackpad completely. I’m honestly not sure why the trackpad is there in the first place.
As a whole, the Aspire R7 seems to be incredibly well built. It’s made of some type of aluminum-like material, and there’s virtually no flex to the device. On the other hand, it’s very large and very heavy, which means that it won’t be very portable. It’s probably one of the nicest pieces of hardware Acer has ever built. But I don’t know who would use something as crazy as this.
Other key specs for the R7 include:
Acer also announced the Aspire P3, an ultra book convertible with a detachable display, and the Iconia A1, a 9.7 inch Windows 8 tablet. But it’s the Aspire R7 that stole the show here. It’ll be available for sale exclusively at Best Buy retail locations starting May 17th, and can be pre-ordered now at the Best Buy online store for $999.
(and a friendly shout out to Stefan over at LaptopMemo, who was kind enough to let me borrow his camera for these shots)
Go here to see the original: Acer Goes To A Whole New Level Of Crazy With The Aspire R7