Rivet and Other Cool Children Apps

I'm always looking for new, child friendly apps for the iPad / iPhone or even maybe Amazon's newly updated Amazon Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet specifically when it comes to reading or math. Granted, I'm pretty sure that my children do not spend more than 20 minutes on any device per week when I'm home as I have a strict no screen time during the week and only VERY limited time on the weekend. Anyways, that's a whole different batttle these days as the Wall Street Journal points out.

Out today is Google's new Rivet app from their incubator team Area 120 called Rivet on Apple App Store or Google Play. It's a speech processing app that has over 200 books availble for children to read and learn. I played with it yesterday with my son for just over 3 minutes and it was awesome. I've also done the Apple Coding App for children called Swift Playground on the iPad but of course, Google has their own app as well, by the same group called Grasshopper. I encourage you to check them all out. Pretty intuitive and interactive stuff!

The Legend of Korra ON SALE!!!

Friday is one of my favorite days and coincidently, one of my favorite American Anime series is on sale for $29.99!!! My daughter loves Korra and I can't wait to show her more episodes! And hey, while your'e at it, check out the original series, Avatar: The Last Airbender Complete series on DVD for $26.37. Great for the car rides!

Check it out now while they're hot!

 
 

Not Worth the $200 Premium

Still, those upgrades don't feel worth $290 for a device that doesn't perform its sole function any better than one more than half the price. In that context, the Oasis is meant to be the first desirable e-reader, marketed with its visual and tactile appeal instead of with its functional role in our lives. It’s appealing to customers who want a digital reading experience to feel more like a holding a well-crafted book and are willing to pay a premium for it.

My thoughts exactly. Looking at the reviews, the Kindle Voyage has half the amount of reviews of the Paperwhite and a quarter of the Paperwhite and Basic combined. Maybe I'll just add my own little "spine" invoking plate to my current Kindle for that "Oasis" feel.

Amazon Same-Day Delivery in San Diego!

Including my native San Diego and 14 other metro areas, Amazon Same-Day Delivery is launching FREE as part of Amazon's ongoing expansion of their Prime Services. Order by noon, and get your package (as long as it's over $35.00) by 9pm local! I'm already reaping the rewards of being a Prime Member with binge watching their shows and free 2-day shipping so do it and take advantage of it too!

Black Friday Deals: Amazon Video Games

There are many deals to be had tonight and tomorrow all day long. From video games, television and appliances, it's an onslaught of deals leaving your wallet dry and helpless. Check out Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag for $34.99!

assassinscreed blackflag

You also have Bioshock Infinite for $19.99, the award winning Last of Us for $34.99 and Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch Greatest Hits for $14.99!!!

For all the other games on sale, click HERE.

Also Updated in Tech

Amazon updated their line of Kindles, Microsoft launched their new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 line and Sony released new Walkmans. (wait... people still use Walkmans?) My takes:

Amazon Kindle:

They are all beautiful devices especially at the new entry-level price of $139 for the Kindle Fire HD.  Unfortunately, I still love reading on the Kindle Paperwhite but for only and additional $20, it's tempting especially to those that are without a tablet and are love the Amazon ecosystem.

New 2013 Kindles

At $229, the brand new 7" Kindle FIre HDX is directly competing with Google's Nexus 7.  The screen is rated at an amazing 323 ppi! Once again, if Amazon is your jam, this might be the goto tablet but if you find yourself wanting to directly interact more with the Android system, then the 2013 Nexus 7 is still the best bet.

Microsoft Surface 2:

I want to like them.  I was really impressed with the build quality of the Surface Rt & Pro Gen 1 but as with Gen 2, I still find them too expensive when coupled with a keyboard.  The touchscreen is nice and Microsoft is making leaps and bounds in advancing the Windows 8 system and ecosystem.  I'm still confused on its identity especially with the fact that the pricing model on the Surface Pro 2 brings it inline with the MacBook Air.

The bump in resolution is much welcomed.  The two position kickstand and longer battery life is also a plus.

I have no idea why the new commercials are comparing the Surface RT to an iPad.  They are different tablets for different users.  And I still hate RT.  I mean I guess iOS is a trimmed down OS X but it's not necessarily a bastardised version. If they included Windows 8.1 throughout the lineup, I think it'd help their fragmentation issues.  Because of that, I'm all for the Pro model but then again, the increase in price negates it's as an option.  $899???

Surface 2

Sony

I'm always curious on to who uses Walkmans, but if you want Hi-Res music playback, then I guess Sony is a pretty good bet. At $760, that's a little steep. I'm too lazy right now and don't think this will really interest most of you so I'll just link directly to Engadget's write-up here.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Version 2

Looks like Amazon's own leak led to the early unveiling of the next generation Paperwhite.  Being dubbed as version 2, Amazon's best e-reader & in my opinion, the best way to consume ebooks is out for preorder today!  Click on the picture or use my link below to get yours shipped on or by September 30th! Here's the quick run down:

  • higher contrast
  • next generation built-in light
  • 25% faster processor
  • 19% tighter touch grid enhancing accuracy

Is it worth the upgrade?  I'll be honest that these features alone won't cause me to sell my version 1 on craigslist just yet but if the light is indeed that much better, you can count on it!

paperwhitev2

Amazon Paperwhite (next gen)

An E-Reader That I Use

I get a lot of questions on what tablet I use / prefer (iPad Mini) and if I still carry an e-reader when I travel.  I do and I'll tell you why. To put it simply, my daughter has taken over my Mini.  Some other quick thoughts are that the Kindle Paperwhite is lighter than the Mini 95 grams, the front light is amazing, the resolution is crisp, and lets not forget about the amazing ecosystem than Amazon has established.

I've never enjoyed reading on the iPad unless it's a news article or a magazine through Flipboard.  I also end up getting distracted by all the applications that are on the iOS ecosystem.  When I want to read a book and dive into it, I'm still in enamored by my Kindle.  In fact, my wife prefers it too!

Kindle Paperwhite is...

When Amazon first debuted the new Kindle Paperwhite, I wasn't so sure about the name. Silly I know, but at $119, there's not too much to complain about except for the lack of audio out for text to speech and the reduced size of available memory (4GB down to 2GB). Nonetheless, even Barnes and Nobles had to lower the price of their lighted black and white e-reader. It's just that good. Not to mention the amazing ecosystem especially their Lending Llibrary available to those that subscribe to Amazon Prime.

When it comes down to it, Amazon at least has the naming scheme down; Kindle Paperwhite vs. Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. TKO Amazon!

Here are a couple of grabs from reviews posted throughout the blog circuit.

It's the stealth bomber version of the Kindle you know. - Gizmodo

I found myself turning on the light regularly, at various levels of brightness, not just at night. It just makes the Kindle that much more usable and convenient: On a dim subway or in a badly lit room, you can read comfortably. - GigaOM

Joshua Topolsky posted a thorough review on The Verge. Here are a few quotes I came away with.

The device is incredibly comfortable in hand.

It may be the most comfortable e-reader I've ever used.

In my opinion, it's one of the best E Ink displays on the market, and might possibly be the best thanks to that new lighting.

And here's CNN on the Paperwhite:

Kindle Paperwhite is king of e-readers

The one thing I won't be doing on it though is reading comic books. I'm eagerly waiting for mine being delivered this morning and will have an unboxing and review of my own later this week!

Surfing the Pages of a Real Book

Since the recent onslaught of Amazon's (and yes, Barnes and Nobles) inexpensive e-readers, e-book sales have exploded overtaking print sales. Over the past year, I find myself in constant dilemma about whether or not I'm ready to go full electronic. I still like the idea of a bookshelf displaying my collection and the physical sharing aspects of a hardback.

This artfully produced video by Salon Alpin depicts how beautiful page surfing really is. Of course, this only adds to my dilemma which I can assume I share with many others. Have you gone full electronic?

Much Better Now from Salon Alpin on Vimeo.