reader

Zinio, a popular digital newstand service, has announced they will launch a Windows Phone 8 app that will be an exclusive for Nokia Windows Phones.

Zinio already has apps for Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms. The Windows Phone 8 version of the app is expected to debut a new look and feel that is optimized for the smartphone experience.

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The other day Feed Me, a popular RSS Reader for your Windows Phone 8 device, was pulled from the Store due to problems the latest update created.

The developer burned the midnight oil and quickly submitted a fixed version of Feed Me for certification. The switch was thrown this morning and Feed Me is once again available in the Windows Phone Store.

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NewsSpot for Windows Phone 8 now available

NewsSpot is a Google Reader for your Windows Phone and we were able to get a sneak peak of the Windows Phone 8 version of the news reader. We were pleased with what we saw with NewsSpot and found it to be a capable reader.  The Windows Phone 8 version has cleared certification and is now available in the Windows Phone Store.

For those not familiar with NewsSpot, it has a two-way synchronization for unread and starred articles that only synchronizes what needs to be delivered from your Google Reader account to your Windows Phone. Add article sharing with a ton of sources (Evernote, Instapaper, Pocket, etc.), a nice search engine, offline content and NewsSpot isn't a shabby Google Reader.

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Reading news and articles on the go is a huge benefit to having a Windows Phone. These days there are a bewildering array of website specific apps, RSS readers, read it later clients and even tailored magazine apps to help sift through and read it all.

When mobile, being able to quickly check and access posts, articles and features from all your favourite websites can be tricky. One of the popular ways to pull all this content into one stream is by using the Google Reader service. NewsSpot is a slick Google Reader client for our Windows Phone that is due to receive an update towards the end of September that will bring some nice new features to the app. We had a chance to check out the latest beta of this popular client.

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Nextgen Reader, an RSS app for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 3.1, which introduces a number of features, bug fixes, and enhancements. The app enables users to keep up-to-date with favourite sources of information, with support for Google Reader.

The app was previously bumped to version 3.0 back in May, adding a new tutorial to get users started who may not be familiar with the app. So what's new in 3.1? The "my feeds" section has disappeared, with all feed management moved to the main screen. Smarter article viewing is available for when viewing articles with a view button present to turn the content mobile-friendly.

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Zite for Windows Phone - now available

We haven’t heard much about Zite (zite.com), a news service that’s owned by CNN, but we should start paying attention to it. Zite is not just a news-app but rather a service that finds stories based on your likes and interests which gets you away from the “information overload” that many of us experience today.

The app has been on iOS since late last year and is also on Android too but now the service is coming to Windows Phone and the CEO is quite excited—mostly because he uses a Lumia 710.

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Over at All Things Microsoft, Mary Jo Foley has laid out an interesting discussion linking Monday's secret Microsoft announcement, tablets and even Barnes & Noble.

First up is the tablet announcement. After the Hulu idea was shot down as was Windows Phone (we've confirmed that it's not a Windows Phone announcement, otherwise we'd be there) the rumors are now centering around an RT Tablet unveiling. Specifically a Microsoft-branded RT Tablet which is more or less the same core that Windows Phone 8 will be based off of.

The rumor comes from entertainment site The Wrap who reported:

"But an individual with knowledge of the company said that Microsoft would introduce a Microsoft-manufactured tablet at the event, marking a foray into a new hardware category that would put the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple."

Certainly a plausible idea though we won't really know until Monday as the event is very much under wraps. Should Microsoft be unveiling a branded RT tablet (RT is what powers Windows 8) it will surely make headlines for numerous reasons. Some have even speculated that Nokia would be behind such hardware but Microsoft would wear the name. We find that last bit a tad much but who knows. 

Back to Mary Jo Foley, she has suggested that the Microsoft/Barnes & Noble deal focuses heavily on Windows Phone, specifically Windows Phone 8. The information comes by way of a recent filing with the SEC on the deal which mentions "Windows Phone" 55 times in the document. That's odd only because the original agreement does not mention WP at all.

Foley then goes to suggest that 

  1. There may be a reader ala Kindle of some-type announced Monday
  2. It's based off of the Windows Phone OS, specifically Apollo

We've told you that there will be two HD resolutions for Windows Phone Apollo--720x1280 and 768x1280--both of which are very high resolutions even by today's standards for a smartphone (on a 4.5" screen, the PPI is higher than the iPhone 4S's 3.5" Retina Display). Because of that we could easily see a tablet/reader running at 768x1280 but the question is would Microsoft do that?

We're not so sure. We're confident that Monday's announcement is not anything Windows Phone related--that's from talking with Microsoft PR on the matter who would surely have us there if it were. Then again, if the OS is some hybrid of a desktop OS and the Windows Phone one (for telephony purposes) then perhaps Microsoft is pulling a quick one. A strategy by Microsoft to take on the reader market is surely plausible and the location, LA for entertainment, makes more sense.

Needless to say people's imaginations can run wild on this and we'd rather sit back and see what happens.

Source: The Wrap, All Things Microsoft

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Here's another iPhone app that's landed in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Free Books delivers 23,469 classic e-books to your Windows Phone.  With Free Books you don't have to pay per download for the books you want to read.  The price of the app gives you full access to the complete library of titles.

Free Books sorts the titles across three main pages.

  • Featured Page highlights popular titles from the book collection
  • Collections Page that offers title categories such as adventure, classics, drama, etc.
  • Authors Page that lists all the authors (Abraham Lincoln to Thoreau to Shakespeare)
  • My Library is where your downloaded books will appear

In addition you can search for titles by keyword using the magnifying glass button that appears throughout the app.

Once you find a title, you can view a brief description of the title, read any reviews from other readers, and view a list of any related titles. From there all you do is tap the download button, choose the book from your My Library page and start reading.

Free Books has support for night mode reading, adjustable font sizes, and the reader will save your stopping point automatically.

The only downside is that the book collection may not appeal to everyone. You may not find the current best sellers but the selection isn't too shabby. Especially if you're a fan of the classics.

There is a free trial version available for Free Books to let you try before you buy. The full version will run you $1.99 and you can find it all here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Windows Phone App Review: Newsy

Here's an interesting news reader for your Windows Phone.  Newsy is a news app that presents two minute videos on daily news stories that are compiled from various sources. A summary video of sorts that puts all you need to know on a current event/news item in a nice, two minute package.  As the Newsy tag line reads, "multiple sources, the real story".

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The NZ Herald, popular newspaper in New Zealand, has released an app for Windows Phone, providing frequent readers on the mobile platform with more convenient access to articles. Though it should be noted that to read full news stories IE is required. Some highlighted features:

  • View all your favourite sections of the Herald - National, World, Business, Sport, Technology, Video, Entertainment, Motoring, Lifestyle, Travel and Opinion.
  • Swipe between sections, tap on a headline to preview and read the full story if you want more.
  • Easily share stories with your social networks.
  • View the latest photo galleries and video in full screen.

Hopefully we'll see more integration, with support for full articles, offline reading, etc. in future updates. It's good to see more official support for Windows Phone nonetheless. You can download NZ Herald from the Marketplace for free. 

Source: NZ Herald

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Official Cracked app is out

In the wake of the Cracked Reader being pulled from the Marketplace by Cracked.com, readers of Cracked.com should fear not.  An official Cracked app has been released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace to fill the void.

The app layout of Cracked is very similar to the Cracked Reader that was pulled for "infringing on Demand Media's trademark and unlawfully republishing content".  The Cracked app's main pages cover Featured articles, Recent articles, Craptions, Videos, and a page where your favorite Cracked.com articles can be listed. You do have the ability to share articles via Windows Live, Facebook, and Twitter (no email sharing).

All in all the Cracked app does a decent job of pulling all the Cracked.com material to your Windows Phone.  Maybe as well as the previous "unofficial" version did.  The Cracked app is a free application for your Windows Phone and can be downloaded here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is a mango app so you'll need to be running Windows Phone 7.5 on your Windows Phone.

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Feed Me - Review

Need a RSS Reader for your Windows Phone? There's plenty to choose from and today we turn our sights on Feed Me from Forty3Degrees.

Supporting off-line browsing, Feed Me is a simple, straight forward reader that takes advantage of Windows Phone 7's Metro design. With support for your Google Reader feeds as well as ties to Twitter, Instapaper and Read It Later, Feed Me has a certain amount of appeal.

Follow the break to read more on Feed Me.

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Stacks for Instapaper - App Spotlight

Stacks for Instapaper is being offered over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for $2.99. Stacks is a Instapaper companion app for your Windows Phone that allows you to access your Instapaper account while on the go.

Instapaper is a popular web service that allows you to save web pages that you discover during the day but don't have time to read. The service saves these pages for later when you do have the time to take it all in.

Stacks allows subscribers to organize and read their bookmarks on their Windows Phone. Log in and view all your folders. Progress bars let you know what's left to read. Pick your favorite font and size, switch to Night Mode and multitask all you want: bookmarks reopen exactly where you left off!

You need a paid subscription to Instapaper to use this app. There is a free trial version available for Stacks and again, the full version runs $2.99. You can download the Windows Phone app here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Yomomedia 7 - Review

Yomomedia is a popular RSS reader that first hit the scene with Windows Mobile and has successfully made the transition to Windows Phone 7 (here's our review of the classic version). Yomomedia 7 is available in two versions, a free Lite version and a pay full version.

Yomomedia 7 is a not only a media reader but you can also tap into your favorite podcasts (audio and video). Yomomedia 7 feeds can be pulled from your Google Reader account, Yomomedia 6.5 accounts (for those who used the WinMo version) or content can be chosen from Yomomedia 7's default catalog.

To see how well Yomomedia 7 made the transition to Windows Phone 7, follow the break.

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Comic books! Everyone has read a comic book at some point in their lives. Comics were a fundamental part of many kids' lives and are still very much a part of some adult lives. I loved comic books as a kid and still do. The format has changed a great deal since I was a kid though. I rarely read a graphic novel on paper anymore. Digital delivery applications across dozens of platforms and superb net-based readers have become the industry standard. Scans (literally meaning a scanner was used to make a digital backup of a comic book) and drm-free fan-produced e-books have become the anti-industry standard.

I have a fairly decent sized digital library of comics and graphic novels but I never get to read them when I'm well and truly bored. Like when I'm stuck on a train with just my phone. You guessed it, "Until Now!" Read on to see the ins and outs of not just reading comics on your WP7 device, but how to get 'em on there.

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Adobe Acrobat PDF support has been available on Windows Mobile for years now, but until things like Text Reflow became supported and adopted, it was rarely a fun experience (plus slow load times). And while Microsoft Office is covered in Windows Phone 7, the fate of Adobe and PDF has been unsure, until now.

Today, Adobe announced Acrobat X solutions, including Acrobat, Reader and Suite. More importantly, they announced support for Windows Phone 7:

Expands PDF access to mobile devices with free Adobe Reader X for Android, Windows(R) Phone 7 and Blackberry Tablet OS. Safer viewing of PDF files with new Protected Mode security capabilities in Reader X.

Curious, no iPhone support? (snicker)

The whole shebang is expected to ship "within 30 days" although it is unclear if that means we'll see an Adobe Reader X in the Windows Phone Marketplace at the same time. Lets just hope its pretty and works well.

Source: Forbes

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Review: TomeRaider 3

The ebook market keeps trying to get off the ground.  In the early days of ebooks, Microsoft and Adobe were the heavy hitters, both pushing their respective software and ebook formats. Both gained momentum, sputtered and died.  The second wave of ebooks has been with hardware readers from Sony and Amazon. The Kindle and the Kindle II have become one of the more sought after gadgets on the market.

The end result of this instability is that the little fish in the ebook pond have been able to garner something of a cult following. One such little fish is TomeRaider. While it doesn’t have the backing of a heavyweight like Microsoft or Adobe (or even Amazon), TomeRaider makes up for this in a number of other ways.

To see what TomeRaider has to offer, follow the link.

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