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View Poll Results: Could the iPhone serve as a whiz-bang e-reader?
Yes 43 26.88%
No 117 73.13%
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:14 AM   #16
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Well for shorter texts it is fine, likely ideal. Most iPhone users have ADD so they won't be reading more than a few pages before swapping to IM and other apps. The gizmo does so much that no single app is used for a longer period of time.

Thus the "real" reading where you sit down to read for 1+ hours a book cannot be done. That is when battery life and active screen shortcomings come to the forefront.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:22 AM   #17
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Hmmm. I'm not sure I see why the fact that the device can do a lot means that you won't do a single thing for an hour, Bob. I sat down for 2h yesterday to watch a movie on my iPod Touch without feeling to urge to stop every 5 minutes and look at the weather forecast or check my stock quotes, despite the fact that I could have done. Maybe I'm just wierd . Same was true when I used to read on a Pocket PC. The fact that you have lots of applications available to you doesn't mean that you're going to keep chopping and changing between them - does it?
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:29 AM   #18
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Another writer read the Cnet article wrote a piece that disagrees. He makes many of the same points mentioned here.

3G iPhone a Kindle Killer, I Don't Think So!

Quote:
Greg Sandoval over at CNET has an interesting theory and by interesting I mean completely insane. His theory is that the second generation iPhone could end up killing off purpose-built e-book readers, namely the Kindle; a laughable suggestion.

First, let me categorically state that I do read and I do not own a Kindle. I want an e-book reader, but the Kindle is US-centric with its wireless technology and that would make it a stupid purchase on my part. Alas I digress; I am supposed to be informing you of why the 3G iPhone makes a lousy e-book reader.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:30 AM   #19
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To those of us who are perfectly comfortable reading e-books on PDAs, I'd say the iPhone has the potential to be a great e-book reader.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
To those of us who are perfectly comfortable reading e-books on PDAs, I'd say the iPhone has the potential to be a great e-book reader.
But do you really want to have to touch the screen every time you turn a page, Steve? Don't you think that hardware buttons, such as most PDAs have, work a lot better than a touch screen, for that purpose? The only other option I can think of is auto-scrolling, and I've never come across an auto-scroll system that I'm comfortable with.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
But do you really want to have to touch the screen every time you turn a page, Steve?
Since I've never used the iPhone, and don't know how the screen might be set up for page turning, I really can't say. But I'd think an on-screen pageturn icon would work just fine.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Hmmm. I'm not sure I see why the fact that the device can do a lot means that you won't do a single thing for an hour, Bob. I sat down for 2h yesterday to watch a movie on my iPod Touch without feeling to urge to stop every 5 minutes and look at the weather forecast or check my stock quotes, despite the fact that I could have done. Maybe I'm just wierd . Same was true when I used to read on a Pocket PC. The fact that you have lots of applications available to you doesn't mean that you're going to keep chopping and changing between them - does it?
The *GENERAL* pattern for most users is to use the available functions on a device (there are exceptions of course). The knowledge that iPhone can display movies, check weather forecasts, etc. will often induce a user to do so. I find it much easier to read a book on my eReader without distractions knowing that it has not other functions than say on my computer right now. On PC I can handle articles. Even then I copy longer articles to my reader.

Again, you may use a single function (like movie display) for several hours, sure enough. However, the temptation is always present to check e-mail, IM, FaceBook, etc. You might be more disciplined, not an average user.

Finally, the battery lifespan (or lack thereof) has a huge impact. Shorter lifespan will tend to encourage shorter activities. Thus a 6hr battery won't encourage book reading that requires more time. I cannot relax and read a bood if I have to keep checking battery all the time. In this respect my eReader is very different from Palm Zire71 and laptop. I no longer even think about battery and only check it once in a while.

For myself, active display and reading don't work. Others claim it is fine.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
To those of us who are perfectly comfortable reading e-books on PDAs, I'd say the iPhone has the potential to be a great e-book reader.
I tend to agree. I don't think I could read books on such a device, but I can see the potential for others.

So, I answered "Yes", but in response to the poll question, "Could the iPhone serve as a whiz-bang e-reader?". If the question was as per the thread title ("Could Apple's iPhone smoke the Kindle?") my answer would probably be "No" as I do not think that the iPhone being used that way would eat significantly into Kindle sales (that is, I suspect people who buy the Kindle are mostly buying it for its dedicated function, and don't necessarily want their phone to do the same thing). It's supposition on my part though.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:42 AM   #24
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It's a lot less satisfactory simply because there's absolutely zero tactile feedback that you've pressed something, unlike a physical button. Don't get me wrong - I love my iPod Touch for many things, and I'm perfect happy to read an a hand-held device. I just don't think that the iPhone/iPod Touch is the right device for the job.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:00 AM   #25
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I had to vote "No" based on the question because it will not be a "whiz-bang electronic reader". However, does it really have to be a "whiz-bang electronic reader" to be successful? I do not think so.

Think about it. It is not like the iPhone is a whiz-bang phone or even a whiz-bang audio player. However, it has provided the best solution for all these functions in a device that can go with you wherever you go.

So while it may not be a "whiz-bang electronic reader", it has the potential to become the most used device for electronic reading, outside the mainstream computer. In fact, it might already be. While people may not be reading e-books on their iPhones right now, they are already reading a lot with it. They are reading email, stock quotes, weather, web sites, etc. What would keep people from reading e-books on the iPhone?

While the iPhone will not be the best way to read a book, I have a strong feeling that it will be good enough for most people. Thus, it will be very successful in delivering electronic books to the masses. Of course, you will always have other options available.

By the way, for those who do not have an iPhone or iPod Touch, the ability to scroll text on the screen using your finger is a totally different experience than using navigation pads, buttons, and/or scroll wheels on other devices. The user interface for the iPhone is a lot less disruptive than that of other devices, especially when reading. I believe this is a huge advantage for the iPhone/iPod Touch that is often missed by people who do not own one.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:15 AM   #26
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I do not like phones but out of all the phones that I have owned, I find I use all the abilities of my iphone, its easy. I use the browser while shopping all the time. I listen to its music and watch movies on it. I pull my email look up weather and stocks. I even text now an again. Would I use it instead of my Kindle, no. Would I use it instead of my TV, no. Would I use it instead of my Mac, no. I use it because those things are not around outside my home and my iphone is just a substitute. It will never replace them. My Kindle however has replaced my books, my ipod/iphone has replaced my stereo system and my Mac has taken over a lot of my TVs uses.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:43 AM   #27
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I actually have read an ebook on my ipod touch. My ipod is jailbroken and I installed books.app and read Cory Doctorow's new book Little Brother on my ipod. I liked the touch screen just fine. I liked reading in landscape (horizontal) more more so than portrait (vertical), because the lines of text were longer and it was easier to scroll along without getting your finger in the way of the text. The application does have an onscreen "next page" button, but I liked scrolling along more so than the button.

Using my ipod as an e-reader actually inspired me to get a seperate device (the sony reader) to use exclusively for reading. I liked the ipod fine, but I realized that it wasn't a great option if I was going to be reading alot of stuff on it.

Also even though there is an application for the ipod touch for reading comics I can never get it to install correctly. Where as the sony reader (and from what I hear the iLiad) works very well for comics without too much trouble.

It is an interesting situation. So many devices that we carry have overlapping functions. I myself carry an iPod Touch, Nintendo DS, and the Sony PRS-505. All three of these devices play mp3s (I have a flashcart for the DS), all three can view ebooks (the ds with the flashcart and the ipod with a hack) All three can read comics, Both the iPod and DS play games and can play videos. If I carried a cell phone it would likely be able to do most of these things as well.

I think the thing is if you are really interested in something you'll buy the dedicated device for it. If you really like video games then you'll prolly have a PSP or DS because the games on your cell phone aren't going to cut it. Where as a more casual game player will likely find the games for the cell phone are fine for passing a little time while waiting in line. I think ebooks are the same way, the casual reader might find the iphone is perfectly fine for occasionally reading. But someone more interested in reading will likely not find it sufficient.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:02 AM   #28
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Will Mobipocket also have a reader that will work on the iPod Touch or does it have to be specifically the iPhone?
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:08 AM   #29
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I think to be a good reader, the iPhone/Touch should have a screen twice the size of the current screen.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:09 AM   #30
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AFAIK all iPhone apps will also work on the iPod Touch, unless they specifically use the phone functions. An iPod Touch is basically an "iPhone without the phone".
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