iPhone, my new book shelf?

1) The new Apple iPhone has a 160 ppi screen, when you flip it 90 degrees, the screen flips too, it can show pdfs… And you have it with you all the time…

2) The iTunes store has sold two billion tracks or so, has a system that works, and has their frontend (iTunes) installed on the majority of computers sold the last couple of years…

Add these together, and you have the perfect portable book reader. Here’s what Booksquare thinks:

We’ve noted in posts past that that an unheralded feature of the iTunes store is the ability to serve up PDF files. Go back and read that sentence again because one key element of the iPhone is its tight integration with iTunes (in retrospect, woefully misnamed). See, if you can browse the web and use iTunes, you can, theoretically, download PDF files. Not a heralded feature, but we have faith in Steve Jobs and his design team.

In other words, you can read lengthy texts. Articles. Short stories. Novellas. Books. Compendiums. On your cell phone/miniature computer/portable media player/killer device.

Setting aside the comfort issues, the iPhone could either kill the nascent e-reader business or take it to new levels. We’ve been saying just about forever that the problem with dedicated e-reader is the fact that the consumer isn’t seeking a device that does only one thing. With its “smart” orientation features, the iPhone could usher in the mass market e-book era.

E-reader to new levels

I have bought quite a few books for my (now retired) Palm Pilot. eReader.com has over 17 000 titles, but reading books on the sharp, but way too small screen on my Sony-Ericsson K800i doesn’t cut it. The Palm had a bigger screen. A lousy screen, but a bigger.

The books are DRM’ed, which of course is a nuisance. But I can live with it. If i WANT to, I get the texts out of the books, but I seldom do.

Tie text and audio together = killer app

Booksquare’s idea is brilliant. If I could buy books for the iPhone in the iTunes store, I would. What if Apple made an app for the iPhone that let you have the same book in both text and audio together? They already sell thousands of audiobooks in iTunes, and if I – for a slightly higher price – could get both audio and text at the same time, that would be a killer. The text could follow the audio when I listen to it, and if I read the text, and later were in my car, the audio version would know where I left reading the text. Let me have a way to set bookmarks with my voice when I listen to the audio version, and let people copy smaller passages and send them by e-mail or by bluetooth. That will help spread the word, and good books will sell more.

The next thing Apple should do with Google: Get all those Google-scanned books into the iTunes store. Let me use Spotlight to search all my books, and give me the most amazing e-reader ever made.

  • http://www.brilliantdays.com Oyvind

    “Call me old fashioned, but I really prefer flipping real pages and curling up a with a good book. Using a book mark that sticks out of the pages… also gives my cat something to bat at. ”

    …someone wrote in a comment to this post. I kind of agree, but only halfway. I read LOTS of books, several a week. And I tend to use different types of media for different times of the day or week.

    I often buy the same book both as a 1) book – to mark and draw in it (I totally mess up all books I buy – to learn and understand them), 2) as audio book – for jogging and training and 3) e-books – for reading when I can’t bring the actual books, like on a vacation or travel.

    What do you do? Do you ever read books on screens? What about audio books? How many do you have? And in what format?

  • http://www.brilliantdays.com Oyvind

    “Call me old fashioned, but I really prefer flipping real pages and curling up a with a good book. Using a book mark that sticks out of the pages… also gives my cat something to bat at. ”

    …someone wrote in a comment to this post. I kind of agree, but only halfway. I read LOTS of books, several a week. And I tend to use different types of media for different times of the day or week.

    I often buy the same book both as a 1) book – to mark and draw in it (I totally mess up all books I buy – to learn and understand them), 2) as audio book – for jogging and training and 3) e-books – for reading when I can’t bring the actual books, like on a vacation or travel.

    What do you do? Do you ever read books on screens? What about audio books? How many do you have? And in what format?

  • ooheadsoo

    I’ve also been intrigued in the ipod’s ability to read books. I’ve been reading on my Nintendo DS Lite, of all things, for a year, now. It’s pocket sized! Not even paperbacks are really pocket sized. Especially not the ~1000 page novels I love. A larger screen would be nice, though. I’m ok with reading in plain text, but it has to be able to bookmark, have good battery life, and hopefully have the option to dim the backlight and change the background color to black with white or grey text. The other multifunction device I have in mind for pocket sized ebook reading is the new psp slim.

  • ooheadsoo

    I’ve also been intrigued in the ipod’s ability to read books. I’ve been reading on my Nintendo DS Lite, of all things, for a year, now. It’s pocket sized! Not even paperbacks are really pocket sized. Especially not the ~1000 page novels I love. A larger screen would be nice, though. I’m ok with reading in plain text, but it has to be able to bookmark, have good battery life, and hopefully have the option to dim the backlight and change the background color to black with white or grey text. The other multifunction device I have in mind for pocket sized ebook reading is the new psp slim.

  • http://BooksoniPhone.com Hit No

    About TextOnPhone
    With TextOnPhone, iPhone and iPod touch users can view electronic books (ebooks), text files, and documents on the go using an iPhone-friendly interface when browsing TextOnPhone.com. No additional applications or downloads are required. Users can instantly read and choose from more than 20,000 titles by utilizing the powerful search function or by browsing through recommendations (Top 100 Books, Children’s Books, Book du Jour, and more). The interface of the iPhone and iPod touch enables users to create read lists and add multiple books for simultaneous reading. (The system remembers where you left off.) Users can also add and share personal notes on any of the pages they are reading–a unique feature that gives multiple readers the opportunity to read same book and exchange comments. TextOnPhone.com leverages Ajax technology and the Safari browser that is built in to iPhone and iPod touch. It features the following: virtual keyboard for typing and adding books to read lists, tap-screen technology for moving between pages, One-tap Share the Page button for email, adjustable font size for easy reading, variable number of pages per screen Portrait or Landscape mode for easy reading, and Touch-screen scrolling. The site is accessible for reading only from iPhone and iPod touch. It is accessible from any browser for uploading texts, books, poems, documents, and lyrics. Currently there is no limit for text storage per account. Service is free and TextOnPhone.com has a no spam policy.

  • http://BooksoniPhone.com Hit No

    About TextOnPhone
    With TextOnPhone, iPhone and iPod touch users can view electronic books (ebooks), text files, and documents on the go using an iPhone-friendly interface when browsing TextOnPhone.com. No additional applications or downloads are required. Users can instantly read and choose from more than 20,000 titles by utilizing the powerful search function or by browsing through recommendations (Top 100 Books, Children’s Books, Book du Jour, and more). The interface of the iPhone and iPod touch enables users to create read lists and add multiple books for simultaneous reading. (The system remembers where you left off.) Users can also add and share personal notes on any of the pages they are reading–a unique feature that gives multiple readers the opportunity to read same book and exchange comments. TextOnPhone.com leverages Ajax technology and the Safari browser that is built in to iPhone and iPod touch. It features the following: virtual keyboard for typing and adding books to read lists, tap-screen technology for moving between pages, One-tap Share the Page button for email, adjustable font size for easy reading, variable number of pages per screen Portrait or Landscape mode for easy reading, and Touch-screen scrolling. The site is accessible for reading only from iPhone and iPod touch. It is accessible from any browser for uploading texts, books, poems, documents, and lyrics. Currently there is no limit for text storage per account. Service is free and TextOnPhone.com has a no spam policy.

  • http://www.brilliantdays.com Oyvind

    That’s very interesting. I’ll check it out!

  • http://www.brilliantdays.com Oyvind

    That’s very interesting. I’ll check it out!

  • Dizzy

    I think reading an ebook on an iphone would hurt your eyes bigtime. i felt dizzy whenever i tried to read on my iphone.

  • Dizzy

    I think reading an ebook on an iphone would hurt your eyes bigtime. i felt dizzy whenever i tried to read on my iphone.

  • http://woodworking-books.org woodworking ebooks

    The books are DRM’ed.