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Old 03-12-2015, 12:41 AM   #1
b4rad
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I actually prefer Nook app to Kindle app... just not for ebooks

I buy the majority of my ebooks through Kindle and use the Kindle app on Android tablets for most of my reading, or occasionally my old Kindle Keyboard. Even though I don't think the Kindle app is very good, its just adequate. The integrated ebook store is terrible (probably the experience is a lot better on a Fire tablet but I don't own/use one). Amazon wins on price and selection for the most part, but they really need to improve their Android app. Google Play Books is the only major store I visit that seems competitive with Kindle on ebook prices, and they do have a fairly nice app, but I mostly use it to upload my DRM-free technical books that I buy direct from the publishers in epub format.

About a year ago I started doing digital magazines through Nook. Their app had a few problems too, and it was kind of old, but overall it was fine and I felt they were doing magazines better than the other content stores (Google does okay but some of their digital magazines are "app"-ified and I find it annoying). I just want an unadulterated digital reproduction of the print magazine that I can flip through and read without having them pile up around the house. Maybe Kindle does magazines just as well, but I don't like their app and don't really want to use it for anything other than the ebooks I'm already buying.

Nook gets beat up a lot these days and their business is clearly in decline lately. But Nook just recently updated their Android app in the Play Store to the much nicer version they have on their new Samsung Nook tablets. In playing with the new app I discovered to my pleasant surprise what they are now doing with newspapers, basically digitally reproducing in every detail the visual appearance, layout and graphic design of the print editions. I don't know how new this feature is but it seems fairly recent, and these editions are nice! The Nook app actually has me reading newspapers again.

My favorite has always been the Wall Street Journal, but I dislike subscribing and having it come to my house in the mail while I'm at work all day so I can have papers full of day-old news piling up when I get home in the evenings. Yes WSJ has a pay-walled online version and some poorly-reviewed phone/tablet apps, or I can get the daily Audible version, but it's just not the same experience as the real printed newspaper. The annual digital subscription through Nook is also much cheaper than the WSJ print and online subscriptions and it gets me everything that's in the daily paper, preserving the appealing visual layout of the original, plus a nice Article View feature when I just want to read a piece end-to-end without having to jump to whatever page the rest of the article is on. The Nook subscription doesn't give you access to the online version, but who needs it when I get everything that was in print? I've also subscribed to a couple of my major regional papers, which offer good values at their annual subscription levels through the Nook app.

Wondering if anybody has noticed this, because I think the fully preserved presentation in digital format is something that finally makes newspapers work for me again, as I haven't really liked the medium in years. Content-wise and layout-wise newspapers can be great, just a fire hose of reading material, but the problem in the digital age has been in the delivery (dead trees, timeliness, cost). Early "digital editions" of periodicals used to be so bad, with layout and graphics lost in the translation process and often a lot of articles missing, or they looked fine but were dumped into a clumsy PDF.

Another key piece of the puzzle I think though is that I'm viewing these papers and magazines on such a large tablet, a Galaxy Note Pro with a 12.2 inch display. I think at least a 10" display might be necessary to have such a satisfactory experience with these digital newspapers, although I did magazines just fine on a smaller 8 inch Galaxy Tab 3. With the 12" display I can zoom into and pan across the printed news-page with high legibility and readability and see it in pretty much the equivalent size of the printed version. No squinting.

So for periodicals Nook is now getting my business. Honestly the Nook app software on Android is a much nicer ereader than the Kindle app for eBooks too (as is the Google Play Books app and the Kobo app), but Nook like Kobo is just not competitive on ebook price and selection, and there's the efforts now to prevent you downloading your own books. But for periodicals I don't really care about downloading them forever, especially not for newspapers. The new app does still have a couple rough edges, but the Nook team seems to be responsive to feedback reviews in the Google Play Store and are hopefully working on improvements.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:52 AM   #2
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I haven't updated the Nook app on my Android tablets -- it needed too many new permissions that I regarded as unnecessarily intrusive.

Otherwise, I like the old app just fine.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:48 PM   #3
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One the best features I like that the kindle system offers is the Send-to-kindle emailing of documents. I wish more parties would implement a similar function.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:36 AM   #4
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Yeah email to Kindle is a good feature, I just haven't used it in a long time. I much prefer Google Play Books upload feature that lets me store epubs and pdfs in their cloud and use the nicer Google books app to read them across any connected device.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:58 AM   #5
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Note that in Kindle for iOS and Kindle for Android, some Kindle magazines (e.g. Asimov's SF and Analog SFF) do comes with images of the magazine pages, with the option to read the articles in a flowing text mode. It does make the issues quite big - about 50MB for 100 pages.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:06 PM   #6
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Did not Update to the New Nook App

As previously stated the new Nook app requires invasive permissions an eBook reader app has no business asking for so I did not update.

I tried 1 magazine with the Kindle app. It was the worst experience I have ever encountered reading a digital magazine. I use Google magazine app for my magazines and avoid the magazine as an app some magazines have gone to. I find it the best combination of the old paper experience and a modern digital experience.

I tried Zinio awhile back but the app was way too slow to download new issues and slow to render pages. Not as bad an experience as the Amazon reader app but almost as bad.
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:12 PM   #7
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The permissions list for the Nook app is definitely longer than for the Kindle app, but it was probably designed to enable more features like when taking it into a physical store, etc. Its not really messing with my device in any harmful way. The new app has much better performance when browsing your library or bookshelves than the old one, and the nice page transitions are available in magazines and newspapers. I dont remember any transitions for magazines in the old app, unless it was a setting you had to turn on. Superficial maybe but some of us like them. The old app seemed to not be as good at cleaning up these large periodical files when I deleted them from my device, as they do typically consume 30-50 MB each. Sometimes I would just need to clear all the Nook app's "miscellaneous" files through the Android OS storage settings to fully recover space. This new app seems to fully release storage when I remove items from my device.

I get a couple free mags through Zinio but I'm not crazy about that app either. Still probably not as bad Kindle. I think for digital periodicals like magazines the best right now are Nook and Google, but I dont like the app style magazines you sometimes find on Google. Not sure anybody is doing newspapers as well as Nook is right now.
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