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Old 07-14-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
CanadianContent
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Benefits of wifi?

Being a complete newbie, but gradually reading my way through the site and hopefully learning on the way to finally make an informed decision on what to buy, I noticed that several people are waiting for the Astak releases with wifi. Given that it is not possible to purchase and download direct as the Kindle does, what is the big advantage to a device with wifi? What do those of with wifi use it for?
I appreciate the willingness to answer all these endless, repeated questions from those of us new to ebooks!
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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No compelling advantage at all, IMHO. It's useful on an LCD device for things like web browsing, but you really don't want to browse the web on an eInk device - it's a rather painful experience with the slow screen refresh.

On the one eInk device I've owned which had WiFi, I never once used it. I use the WiFi on my iPod Touch, on the other hand, all the time.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CanadianContent View Post
Given that it is not possible to purchase and download direct as the Kindle does, what is the big advantage to a device with wifi? What do those of with wifi use it for?
I appreciate the willingness to answer all these endless, repeated questions from those of us new to ebooks!
We actually don't know what features they will enable with the WiFi. My basic expectation would be that it would allow for wireless syncing with your PC. They way you could subscribe to various news RSS feeds and have them automatically squirted to your device every day.

The second feature I could think of would be purchasing directly from the device.

The third feature would be access to some cloud based repository of your ebooks. Hopefully it would be a repository that you could add books you didn't purchase via some store. It would be really cool if they enabled doing this via MobileMe (for Macs) and Windows Live Mesh services. But, if not, I would be willing to pay a yearly fee to have this ability... to also know all my eBooks are backed up on the cloud. I keep hopping that Amazon adds this feature to the Kindle. I think someone said the eBookWise bookshelf allows you to upload your own stuff to it.

Any thing after that would be nice. A basic web browser perhaps.

But, you can't do ANY of the above without some type of connectivity.

BOb
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:26 PM   #4
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"Cloud", Bob? What do you mean by that?
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:31 PM   #5
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"Cloud", Bob? What do you mean by that?
Possibly this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programme...ne/7465386.stm
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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"Cloud", Bob? What do you mean by that?
Basically what people in the "biz" refer to internet servers/services.

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:35 PM   #7
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Yes, exactly what I meant.

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
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Thank you. I would regard myself as being reasonably "in the biz" (I work for one of the largest server companies in the world) and that's a new term for me. I'm obviously not "hip" enough .
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I noticed that several people are waiting for the Astak releases with wifi. Given that it is not possible to purchase and download direct as the Kindle does, what is the big advantage to a device with wifi?
One answer is that Netronix is cloning the iLiad, which has a touch screen and WiFi. The WiFi isn't very useful on the iLiad though, which is why it isn't on the iLiad Book Edition. The 1st problem with WiFi is that it is a power hog when it is on, so you want it off most of the time. The 2nd problem is that web browsers are not typically optimized for E-Inks slow refresh rate (or for a small number of keys as the only input, although there are browsers for cell phones). Note that iRex does not provide a web browser for the iLiad.

Still, WiFi can be used for content delivery. FictionWise could build this into eReader for the Astak Mentor for example. If a basic web browser can be made to work, then web sites optimized for the Mentor could also be used to buy content. Note that this is already possible for Windows Mobile devices and eReader, see OTA (OVER THE AIR) DOWNLOADING of EBOOKS. MobiPocket has something similar for Blackberry's.

I think the touchscreen is potentially more useful, but only if it is used to get a wider selection of existing software running on the device. It may not be needed for a pure reading device though, and in Astak's case their software has to run on a version without a touchscreen too.
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