Cool Windows Mobile apps to ease iPhone envy

July 16, 2008 by Josh · 2 Comments
Filed under: Phone PDA 

After playing around with Tobias Buckell’s iPhone, rocking the 2.0 firmware update, over lunch I decided I needed to find some cool new applications for my Samsung i760 which I had just upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.1. I found 4 cool programs which help me feel like I can at least wait for the third generation iPhone.

  • Tiny Twitter - A Twitter client for Windows mobile which provides some excellent features and a nice user interface. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to let you check out a time line from an @Josh_Smith or click on links which have been tweeted.
  • AIM for Windows Mobile - Currently out in beta the new incarnation of AIM for Windows mobile is leaps and bounds ahead of previous offerings and unlike its many competitors it is free. The design, interface and usability are all elegant.
  • Skyfire - This internet browser is leaps ahead of the other mobile competitors despite being in private beta a the moment. You can sign up to get access in the next wave of the beta. I highly recommend you check this out. Though depending on Opera Mobile 9.5, I may have to change my browser, we’ll have to wait and see.
  • Mobipocket - This is an excellent ebook reader with a really cool store integration and guess what! You can’t get MobiPocket on the iPhone yet so feel free to give your iPhone toting friends a ” nener nener nener”, the next time you see them.

There you have it, my favorite new WM apps which will at least provide some help to avoid the iPhone jealousy!

What’s missing from ebook readers!

May 21, 2008 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Tech, books 

I love to read, recently I have split my reading between ebooks and paper books mainly since both have advantages. I have been using my windows mobile phone to read ebooks for some time now and while the experience is good a larger screen and some dedicated buttons would be a huge improvement. I have been eyeing the Kindle from Amazon and several other smaller readers but the all lack what makes my phone the best ebook reader out there … a backlight. How hard would it be to add some LED lighting around the side of the Kindle or a competitor if back lighting doesn’t work. I know this will eat into my battery life but I honestly don’t care. The ability to read in any lighting will outweigh the lost time and if I can charge over a mini USB cable the problem is further reduced.

Give me an affordable ebook reader with a backlight and loads of content and I’ll be all over it.

Tobias Buckell, 3 Points on Free Ebooks

March 4, 2008 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: books 

Tobias Buckell, sci-fi author and blogger has a great post up about free ebooks. Lately many of the main publishers have been scrambling to launch some version of a free ebook program. In my opinion some have done it better than others. From the examples Tobias listed, Tor has done a great job in that the free ebook is available as a pdf, html or mobi file to ensure portability and compatibility. The Harper Collins program however relies only using your web browser and constant connectivity. I am all for free ebooks even in a less useful online only format, simply because it is a low risk way for me to find out more about an author.

Tobias writes:

These are not ‘information wants to be free’ people, but entrepreneurs interested in gaining a wider reach for their fiction. They’re disparate in politics, technology outlooks, and so on. They’re not part of some e-conspiracy, but a range of working writers in today’s field.

Whole publishing companies are starting to experiment. Baen is well known for giving away the first novel or couple novels of a series (bet you can’t read just one), you can check out their free library. All indications from Eric Flint’s comments are that these drive sales up throughout the backlist.

Tobias also includes a great roundup of currently free ebooks and announces that Crystal Rain will be one of Tor’s upcoming free ebooks in the coming weeks.

Amazon Reveals Kindle Ebook Prices

November 18, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Tech, books 

(Kindle default font)

Newsweek has a long and informational interview with Jeff Bezos of In the interview Bezos reveals new information about pricing, confirms features and explains the benefits of digital to authors.

Pricing: The Great News

“Amazon prices Kindle editions of New York Times best sellers and new releases in hardback at $9.99. The first chapter of almost any book is available as a free sample.”

New releases for $10 and older books for $2, brilliant.

The overarching goal of Amazon and Kindle seems to be set to deliver a large back catalog of books in the near future at affordable prices.


Nothing really new from the leaked specs but the confirmation of EVDO from Sprint is confirmed as is a battery life of 30 hours. I hope that the EVDO service doesn’t require a contract and huge monthly fee from Sprint to use.

Benefits to Writers:

For argument’s sake, let’s say cutting the price in half will double a book’s sales—given that the royalty check would be the same, wouldn’t an author prefer twice the number of readers? When I posed the question to best-selling novelist James Patterson, who was given an early look at the Kindle, he said that if the royalty fee were the same, he’d take the readers. (He’s also a believer that the Kindle will succeed: “The baby boomers have a love affair with paper,” he says. “But the next-gen people, in their 20s and below, do everything on a screen.”)

Overall I still think $400 for the Kindle is too much.  I hope that Amazon will allow users to purchase these books for Windows Mobile devices and the iPhone.

Reinventing the Book - Newsweek