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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%
Voters: 160. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-25-2008, 10:12 AM   #31
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My wife has the iPod Touch and when Mobipocket come out with their reader, it'll be the first portable Mobipocket reader we'll have here.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:23 AM   #32
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As one who has read huge novels on a Clie, I can see that an iPhone would be a perfectly good reader. The thing is, you can take it everywhere -- you don't have to lug a Kindle or an Iliad around. But why should one be limited to one kind of reader? The Iliad is the best for reading at home or when you can take it with you, but the iPhone would be a good stand-in when you don't have the Iliad (or the Kindle or the Sony Reader) with you.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:38 AM   #33
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I voted NO because the screen's too small for my taste. The 6" screens on various devices is just perfect for me ...
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:41 AM   #34
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So far, we have Book.app getting re-written with the official SDK, MobiPocket announced a version, and I believe I read that FictionWise was looking at porting eReader. The SDK targets both the iPhone and iPod touch - which in reality make up a computing platform all their own - so I see no reason today why a book reader application would be iPhone specific.

In an episode of TWiT, Jerry Pournelle said that the ability to read electronic books on a device people already own would be the death of the paperback book industry. (Emphasis mine, but it was his point.) People that aren't willing to spend $350 for a Kindle might end up buying an e-book for the iPhone they already have on them.

In addition, none of these potential solutions ties you to an iPhone as a reading device, whereas the Sony PRS and the Kindle do tie you to a one single physical device. What I mean by this is that you can't real BeB books on the Kindle, amz books on the Sony, or either on anything else, but those MobiPocket books or Palm Reader texts are readable on a variety of devices.

I don't see any reason why the experience of reading on the phone would be any different from reading on a Palm or Pocket PC device, except for having higher pixel density, more memory, and wi-fi built in.

I own a Kindle, a PRS-505, and an iPhone. (Okay, my wife stole the Sony and won't give it back, but that's another story ) I can see reading on the iPhone in certain situations where I wouldn't want to bring along the Kindle (waiting at the Dr's office, or lined up at the polls on election day - which is how I read a big chunk of "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" and learned to despise Rosetta's lack of OCR proofreading).

The real kicker will be when books can interact with the phone's location awareness features. Imagine what this could do for things like the Frodor's travel guides.

I still believe that dedicated reader devices won't take off until some kind of subsidy model is used. $200 for a phone that does a whole bunch of other stuff is easier to swallow, because many people feel they need a phone. $350 for a book reader, not so much, when they can buy a paperback or a magazine for less than $10...especially in an economy lacking in consumer confidence.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:49 AM   #35
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No, I don't like my books to glow. I much prefer eInk for reading when compared to an LCD, especially a 3" diagonal one.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:02 AM   #36
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I'm with lowmagnet. I very much prefer the non-reflective e-ink and the iPod screen is just too small for my taste (actually, I even wish the Kindle screen was bigger).
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:35 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeister0 View Post
In an episode of TWiT, Jerry Pournelle said that the ability to read electronic books on a device people already own would be the death of the paperback book industry.
Er, they already can . The vast majority of mobile phones have a version of MobiPocket reader available for them. If the paperback book industry is dead as a result, it's a very healthy corpse .
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:40 AM   #38
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The screen is small, it's a touch-screen which is bothersome for keeping the display clean, there are no physical buttons for page turning, it's not e-Ink, and the battery life is poor. But what if it ran MobiPocket, the screen was larger (say, by a factor of two), and had two physical buttons for page turning. It still wouldn't have e-Ink and the time between charges would probably be even shorter. But would that make it a pretty good ebook reader?
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:40 AM   #39
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There's a limit to how many functions I want any single device to do. The problem with having a "one device does it ALL" sort of item is, when the battery goes dead, and you are out in the middle of nowhere without a charger, then you have access to nothing!!

Same thing in my office .... I keep multifunction devices or a minimum, or I have more than one of the suckers. I don't want the printer going down to mean I also can't scan and can't fax .... you get the idea.

Same with the phone. Assuming battery life is going to be seriously diminished using the iPhone to read, I don't want to be stuck somewhere without something to read. In addition, I don't want to be stuck without a phone because I ran down the battery reading.

Devices are becoming small enough and/or light enough, that it no longer bothers me that I carry more than one device with me. I pop my iPod, phone and Kindle in my small pack and .... it still weighs close to nothing.

So, for me at least, the iPhone having a reader will not make me even think about putting my Kindle on eBay. Not even tempted, actually.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:20 PM   #40
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While I used to use a Clie for my EBook reading, the main advantage to the Clie was the scroll wheel on the side. I could pretty much operate it with one hand, turning pages with the scroll wheel. Unfortunately, I doubt that reading on an iPhone would be quite as easy as that.

Hell, even tho the Sony Reader is bigger, I can still hold and operate it with one hand, if need be. Not as nicely as the Clie, but it can be done.

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:24 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLongshot View Post
While I used to use a Clie for my EBook reading, the main advantage to the Clie was the scroll wheel on the side. I could pretty much operate it with one hand, turning pages with the scroll wheel. Unfortunately, I doubt that reading on an iPhone would be quite as easy as that.
I agree. That's exactly why I think hardware page-turning buttons are a lot better for a bookreader than a touch screen.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:11 PM   #42
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Having read on my Tung.e-2 for several years,the only problem I have is battery life. As for reading for more than 5 or 6 hrs. I use my cybook. If Iphone adds Mobi format Ill get one.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:03 PM   #43
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I voted no, but I think the iPhone can be used as an eReader, but it won't ever substitute a pBook or a dedicated eReader. Just like my phone's mp3 player will never substitute my stereo system/computer.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:31 PM   #44
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While I do prefer reading on my Sony Reader, I think smartphones are viable alternatives.

I have a smart phone Samsung i730. It's a windows 5 (WM5) with a touch screen. The reading applications on the smart phone are superior's to my sony reader PRS-505 so the reading experience is great. However where the SONY shines is on the, Battery life, Daylight reading, and Screen size.

The main reason I do not actively read on my Phone is because of the battery drain it takes to power the LCD. Until the battery life issue is resolved on phones can compete.

Another alternative is that phones start using the e-ink technology I think there will be good competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
... I've never come across an auto-scroll system that I'm comfortable with...
My Samsung i730 came with an app called "Picsel browser". The way it handled documents was excellent. It had the ability to Zoom/pan and turn pages quite easily and instantly. For flow able text like HTML the user could switch between the default view and reflowed text

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Last edited by =X=; 06-25-2008 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Added first sentence for clarification on my opinion
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:40 PM   #45
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I'm with Steve Jordan and the others, I read ebooks on my Palms (various models) for years and was happy to be able to do so. My iPhone is a splendid little device - I use it a lot even though I don't actually phone people very often. I can easily see myself reading an ebook on it. The mechanics of page turning tend to 'disappear' for me once I'm engrossed in a book, so I don't think that would interfere at all.

I do have a Sony Reader but don't always take it with me for regular errands. I always have my iPhone with me, so the ability to read on it would be a big plus, imo.
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