Thursday, May 30, 2013

Global eBook stores for International readers

Amazon and Barnes & Noble are two of the biggest eBook stores in the market. However, people outside of the US cannot well benefit from the convenience delivered by them. This is especially true when it comes to Barnes & Noble Nook store, where non-US readers are able to purchase eBooks with a local credit card, but can't download the books or read on their computer.

Here I have collected some global eBook stores. Thus people will be able to buy and read eBooks in non-US countries.

International eBook stores for EPUB books accepts 4 kinds of payment: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. You can choose the format for your books, read online (for most books) or download the books to your computer with the provided reading software installed.


Launched in 2004, Diesel is one of the largest independent eBook stores in the world. As a freedom fighter, you can read eBooks from Diesel on multi reading devices without restriction to some store or eReader.


As a rival of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, you should have heard of Kobo. Yes, it sells eBooks as well eReaders. Of course, you don't have to own a Kobo eReader. By installing Kobo for PC/Mac/Android/iOS, you can read Kobo books on a handy device.

Mills & Boon

Mills & Boon, based in the UK, is world's leading publisher of romance fiction. Every month, it receives manuscripts from 200 UK authors and 1300 worldwide authors, publishing 50 new titles.

The Random House Group

The Random House Group, based in London, is one of the largest eBook publishers in the UK. Besides, it also has branches in Australia, New Zealand and India, and set up a joint venture (Random House Struik) in South Africa.

eBook stores in other countries


Angus Robertson

New Zealand
Sony eBookstore

Source: Mobileread

Monday, May 27, 2013

Amazon Kindle will enter China soon?

The photo above is from Chinese most popular microblog, Weibo. Someone called "Mr_各种浪" post this photo into his Weibo and then it spreads all the chinese tech blogs on hours.

The photo is taken in a big chinese general merchandise called "Suning", which is similar to "Best Buy". And we can get these information from the photo:
  • This is an Amazon's shoppe, we can see from the photo;
  • From the Billboard on the counter, we can see they are advertising the Kindle Paperwhite, meanwhile the slogans are written in Chinese;
  • The counter is empty inside, and the employees in "Suning" said they have no idea about if this counter is going to sell Kindle devices in the future.
Recently Amazon stated they are going opening pre-order of Kindle Fire HD in over 170 countries, but China is not in the list. 

But in fact, many Chinese youth love Kindle. In "Taobao" (chinese eBay), tens of thousands (at least) of Kindles are sold per month, and the main sources are USA and Japan. 

FYI, Amazon has already opened eBook store, Cloud service, and app store in China. We believe the device is definitely on the schedule.

The latest rumors say that Amazon will enter China on June 7th, with Kindle e-ink devices and Kindle Fire HD tablets.

Jun. 2, 2013. has already released Kindle for PC/Mac clients, while even has only Kindle app for Android/iOS.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Top 5 Free Apps&Games For Kindle Paperwhite

Many people loves playing games and apps on tablet like Kindle Fire, but have you ever thought that you can also play games and apps on e-ink device like Kindle Paperwhite?

Math Blender

This is a free puzzle game on Kindle, in this app you are given five to nine scrambled tiles, each containing a number, an operator or an equal sign. Your goal is to find all of the possible equations for each puzzle. The game board shows a list of the possible answers with the numbers hidden, but with the operators and equal sign revealed. Some of the equations require every tile, but many will not.

Hamster Habitat

In Hamster Habitat, your goal is to connect all of the pieces in the hamster cage using a limited supply of hamster tubes. You'll need to work around obstacles and plan carefully to solve puzzles of three different difficulty levels. For bonus points, find the path that not only unites the hamsters but rewards them with up to three treats! And many reviews say the game is a bit difficult.

Jigsaw Words

In each Jigsaw Words puzzle, you start with a set of 10 clues. You also have a set of randomly arranged puzzle pieces with letters on them. Your goal is to solve the clues in the puzzle by arranging the puzzle pieces so that the letters form the word that matches each clue. Start with the easiest clues first. As you use each puzzle piece, it is removed from play, making it easier to find the more difficult matches. You can also shuffle the grid of puzzle pieces at any time for a different perspective.

My Checklist

My Checklist allows you to organize your life with up to 25 lists for your to do's, shopping, invitations, party planning, reading lists, whatever! You can easily enter custom lists on any Kindle, and make fresh copies of frequently used lists ? like Groceries ? every time you need them. You will get a great sense of accomplishment as you mark each item on the list complete. You can even see your progress on your most recent lists at a glance!

Grid Detective

Test your deduction skills as you try to solve 30 puzzles of varying difficulty. Each Case File starts with a brief story that describes your objective. Based on the information in the story and 6 clues, your job is to figure out which of the dozens of possible outcomes is the correct one. Using the process of elimination and deductive reasoning, you'll deduce the correct relationship between items. For example: if A=B and A<>C, then B<>C. If you can find the unique solution that matches the facts, you've solved the mystery!

Get it here for free:

For some other models of Kindle, they have got built-in mini games like Minesweeper and Gomoku. You can hold down ALT, Shift together with M to enter Minesweeper. Tap G to go to Gomoku from Minesweeper. More Kindle tips refer to this post.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Barnes & Noble will add web browser and email app to Nook Simple Touch

Barnes & Noble has occupied less and less market share over the past years regardless of the rising eBook field. Unlike Amazon and Kobo, it confines itself to the US region, partly leading to the stagnation. Less competitive eco-system and devices just make things worse.

A big event about Barnes & Noble recently was that it eventually gave up its STRICTLY customized Android OS and added Google Play app store as well as other Google services & applications such as Google Chrome to its latest Nook HD tablets. As a result, owners of Nook HD don't have to root their Nook devices anymore and can easily access free Google Paly without losing original Nook content.

This act has brought about good effects expectedly. More people now talk about Nook HD tablets and prefer to this model when considering buying a tablet suitable for eBooks. Obviously, if we want to purchase eBooks from other stores such as Barnes & Noble on the Kindle Fire HD, we almost have to root it (although you don't have to do so), while we can easily access Kindle books on Nook tablets with Kindle for Android app installed.

Good things come in pairs. According to TechCrunch, Barnes & Noble will also add some revolutionary features to Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, with web browser and email app supported. After all, people check emails and browse the Internet at intervals in addition to pure eBook reading.

Amazon has walked away from Barnes & Noble in the eBook & eReader race, but Barnes & Noble is trying to find other possibilities. Despite that Kindle Paperwhite has shown excellent performance in the market, the $79 Nook Simple Touch, which has a fashionable touch screen and supports widely-used EPUB format, appears to be a better option than the $69 Kindle (5-way-controller) for people looking for a basic eReader.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pros and cons of rooting Android device

Even a newbie of Android would always hear the word “root”, seems like it is a very common activity for Android users. Generally speaking rooting is not difficult to understand. Rooting means the user gets the administration authority and has privilege to do almost any operations. You can modify the system as much as you want. But for many people, they don’t have a clear knowledge of rooting. What can I do after rooting? Would it damage the device? This article lists brief pros and cons of rooting. You will get to know what rooting is and decide whether to root your device.
1. Customize your device freely
This is the main reason why many people like rooting. The original Android UI isn’t beautiful enough or easy to use. Although many cellphone manufactures have developed their own UI such as HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz, MotoBlur, Sony Xperia. But they still can’t satisfy user’s various requirements. So why not customize phone by ourself? Due to the open source feature of Android, you can find thousands of third-party themes, widgets, ROMs on the internet. Once get rooted, your Android device could install these amazing stuff and experience some fantastic features. Here I recommend you the Cyaongenmod ROM. They all provide various options for both newbies and veterans.

2. Backup and modify data
On a rooted device almost all apps and data can be accessed. You can easily backup any apps you want and transfer them to another device without losing your current data. Most people prefer to crack games by modifying the game data. You can change your game progress, get a large number of gamegold, unlock new competition and character. Just like cracking games on PC! But I suggest you not do this often as it reduces game difficulty sharply and make you get tired of games rapidly.

3. Remove native applications
Many mobile telecom carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T like bundle some software in cellphones. In most cases these software are of little use but they keep running in background and pop up some annoying notifications and ads time and again. Anyone would get crazy about these software, or rather, malware. As these bundled software are integrated into the system, you can’t delete them easily. At this point, you need to root your device and get administrative privileges. Then you can remove these bothersome stuff permanently with root explorer or any other system tools.

4. Processor Overclock
Even though the processor frequency of major Android devices has reached at least 1.2 GHz, which is enough for daily use, someone still think it’s not perfect as they want better performance in high quality game and HD video. Overclock seems to be a common choice. Usually you need an app to do this and it requires an administration authority which means you must root your device first.

1. Easy to get bricked
Rooting is not a simple job like setting your ringtone or adding a new contact. It really needs patience and experience. Before rooting you’d better read some tutorials and remember some important steps and common errors. But honestly speaking, for newbies it’s very impossible to get the device bricked in rooting – which means your device gets in black screen and doesn't respond. Unfortunately there is no universal solution for bricking as it may depend on how you operate the rooting process and which kind of your device is (devices of different manufactures differ in rooting). Once your device gets bricked and you can’t solve it yourself, all you can do is sending it to the after-sale service site.

2. May lose warranty service
Some manufactures have a rule that rooting device may lose warranty. They can check out if you had modified the system so it won’t work even you flash the original ROM. For veterans, they may not care about the warranty as in their view cellphone is used for study or rather, tossing. But if you are not confident with your rooting technique or you are a careless people, you’d better not root your device.

3. System instability and security
In fact instability and security are the main reasons why manufactures don’t open administration authority. Rooting gives users a totally free operation environment but also brings some trouble. These mainly manifest in overclock and malware. Overclock could damage the processor more or less and cause more heat. These would make your device get stuck for several seconds or even shut down suddenly.

Malware is another problem. As you’ve rooted your device, it opens to not only you, but third-party apps. Some malware would collect your personal information or change your system configuration in background, just like virus. Although such malware on Android aren’t too much at present, they finally get increased. So you’d better take care of your system security.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Take screenshots on Windows Phone 8, iPad and Android mobile

Sometimes we need to take screenshots on our mobile phone or tablet. After iOS and Android, Windows Phone 8 OS has also integrated this function. Thus, we don't have to rely on a third-party app when we want to capture a screenshot on a WP phone.

How to take a screenshot on Windows Phone 8
Similar to iPad (iPhone/iTouch) and Android, we just need to press two keys at the same time: Power + Windows. All taken screenshots will be backed up to SkyDrive with Internet connection.

How to take a screenshot on Android (4.0 and up)
Except that some Samsung models have built-in screen capture feature by pressing "Home" and "Power" buttons simultaneously, most devices running Android 2.3 and below do not support it. Fortunately, Android 4.0 and above have added this feature.

By holding volume down and power buttons at the same time, we can easily take a screenshot on the latest Android phones/tablets. The screenshots are saved under "Pictures" -> "Screenshots" of the device drive.

How to take a screenshot on iPad/iPhone/iTouch
iOS devices are almost the first ones that come with built-in screen capture function. Just hold down the Power button and the apple button at the same time. Go to "Photos" app to get the captured screenshots.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Top 4 reasons for not buying iPhone5

It's no doubt that iPhone 5 is one of the most popular cellphone in the world. People get attracted by its appealing design and good performance. Objectively speaking it sure is an excellent cellphone in many aspects. But we can’t say it’s flawless as the iPhone 5 do have some obvious problems and defects which you can’t ignore. For some people perhaps iPhone 5 is not a perfect choice. Here we list 4 reasons for not buying iPhone 5. I’m sure you’ll get a more objective knowledge of iPhone 5.

Reason 1. Scratch and paint peeling
Different from the glass casing of iPhone 4 (and 4S), iPhone 5 adopts an aluminum unibody. This do makes it looks like very light and appealing. Perhaps this is the main factor which attracts people, especially girls. But in fact, an aluminum body is very easy to be damaged-it’s light but also soft! If you drop your iPhone 5 on the ground carelessly, it may get some ugly and unfixable scratches. And due to the metallic surface, paint peeling becomes more common. So besides scratches when dropping, you may get some mottle at the same time! If you use a black iPhone 5, the situation will be more terrible!

Reason 2. Unstable WIFI connection
The iPhone 5 runs iOS 6. In the past the iOS gave us an impression of simple but effective. But unfortunately it has proven that the newest iOS 6 has many large or small problems. Perhaps you can tolerate some tiny bugs, but a bad WIFI connection is flagrant as cellphone is an important communication tool after all. In most of the time the WIFI connection of iPhone 5 is unstable. You may find the internet surfing becomes very slow or even stops-that’s because the iPhone 5 lost WIFI connection! This problem is firstly found at iOS 6.0 but it hasn’t got perfectly solved at the latest iOS 6.14. If you upgrade your iPad or iPhone 4(or 4S) to iOS 6, the same problem exists too.

Reason 3. Small and strange screen size
Apple once claimed that the 3.5 inch screen is just right for one hand operation. In some degree this conclusion is right as your thumb can’t reach too far on the screen. But iPhone 5 doesn’t follow the “best one hand operation” principle. It adopts a 4 inch screen- an embarrassing size. It’s big for one hand operation and small for entertainment experience like watching video or playing game. It’s a trend that cellphone has big screen as big screen can provide wide viewable. In addition for people who have big fingers, typing on a 4 inch screen seems more difficult.

The iPhone 5’s screen size doesn’t increase on width but height. It has a resolution of 1136*640. This strange resolution causes some incompatibility as most of the apps of iOS are designed for a resolution of 960*640 at present. So you will find that there are letterboxes when playing games.

Reason 4. Low-capacity and non-replaceable battery
Battery is very important for mobile equipment like cellphone. iPhone 5 adopts a 1440 mAH non-replaceable battery. Even though Apple claims that the iPhone 5 has a lower power chipset and more advanced energy saving technology, it just lasts for one day in common daily use. If it is the trend that more cellphone will use an non-replaceable battery (actually more people prefer a replaceable battery design) that we can’t blame iPhone 5 only, then the 1440mAH capacity is unacceptable. Compare the common battery capacity of 1800-2300 mAH of Android cellphone, iPhone 5’s battery capacity is too low.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5 Requisite Free Apps for BlackBerry Z10 and Q10

I don't know at the moment there are how many people think BB 10 OS and cellphones can pull BlackBerry back from the cliff. And I personally believe the amount is decreasing. I do agree that Z10 and Q10 are good cellphones, but we all cannot deny that the lack of popular apps are killing people's decision for buying a brand new BlackBerry cellphone.

However, BlackBerry are working hard to fix this issue up. So we can still recommend you some requisite apps for BB Z10 and Q10.


The must-have app for eBook lovers, although delayed for dozens of days, it finally comes to BB10 on March and hit the 100,000 record for apps amount in BlackBerry App World.

And to be honest, the quality of this app can't compare to the iOS or Android versions, if you have the same opinion, you can read your eBooks on BB10 in some alternative ways.

Download the app here:


The superstar app on all the mobile platforms, you can almost use this app to replace the built-in SMS feature or even the calling feature.

This app is free for the first year on BlackBerry 10.


An important option for listening to music on your BB10 cellphone. You can choose a scene and it will plays the right songs for you. Like waking up, feeling confident, working out, etc.

Angry Birds Star Wars

A rare high-rating app in BlackBerry App World with a 4.5 star review. This is a fresh series of Angry Birds and it is totally free for BB10.

While this app costs $0.99 in Apple AppStore. 


In fact, the built-in weather app of BB10 is offered by AccuWeather, but this independent app has got a much more powerful features and function.

It offers satellite maps, 10-day forecasts, barometric pressure and many other parameters. And the UI is pretty elegant. An awesome weather app.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nook HD or Kindle Fire HD: Nook tablets come with distinct advantages

Due to a preference for Amazon or Barnes & Noble, readers typically prefer to Kindle Fire HD (8.9") or Nook HD (+) when they consider buying a tablet. But when people have either tablet at hand, they would realize a serious problem. The customized Android OS keeps people away from Google Play apps and makes it tough to use YouTube or Yahoo on the tablets. In the end, many people are forced to root their devices. Fortunately, Barnes & Noble recently announced to add Google Play to its Nook tablets, which means people will be able to read both Nook eBooks and eBooks from other stores with corresponding reading apps installed, such as Kindle / Kobo for Android app and third party apps with Adobe DRM supported. Besides, users can easily get free entertainment apps from Google Play.

As Mother's Day is coming, Barnes & Noble has launched a one-week (from May 6 to May 12) promotion. The 7-inch Nook HD 8G now sells at $149 and the 16G sells at $179 with a discount of $50. The 9-inch Nook HD + price at 179 (16G) and 209 (32G) with a discount of $90.

Use Google Play on Nook HD

The Nook HD devices will get updated automatically if there is WIFI connected. People can also go to Barnes & Noble to download the updates manually.

After the updates, people will be able to download apps, music and movies from Google Play and the original app / film / music libraries won't be affected. Google Gmail will be added as well, alongside with Nook's built-in email app. On the other hand, Google Chrome will replace the original browser on Nook.

Nook HD or Kindle Fire HD?
More people voted for Kindle Fire HD in the past, largely because there are cheaper eBooks and more complete ecosystem on Amazon. Actually, Kindle Fire HD tablets come with less competitive tech specs than its opponent (Nook HD vs. Kindle Fire HD). Now that Nook tablets have added Google Play, people can not only purchase and read Kindle books on Nook, but also benefit from other apps & services provided by Google.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

iPad Mini beat iPad in Q1 2013: a battle between 7" and 10"

People often hesitate between 7 inch and 10 inch (or so) when it comes to tablets. Apparently, larger display  offers much better user experience but smaller display is typically big enough and far more portable. Judging from the sales of apple iPad, people has shown preference for smaller tablets.

According to a post by DigiTimes, apple sold 12.5 million units of iPad Mini over the past three months, taking 64 percent of the tally of 19.5 units, which means less than half customers preferred to the full-size iPad when they had selected apple. Last year, apple sold 17 million iPads in Q3 and 14 million models in Q4. iPad sales decreased by 50 percent in the first quarter, although the total sales (plus iPad mini sales) is not bad. 

Many people thought apple made a wrong decision when it released 7 inch iPad Mini last year, landing both iPad and iPod Touch in an awkward situation. Now the fact is that 7 inch tablets has won the market. Compared to limited 10 inch tablets including iPad, Surface Pro / RT and 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD, more people are talking about various 7 inch titles such as Nexus 7, iPad Mini, Kindle Fire HD and the like. Moreover, Microsoft updated the required resolution for Win 8-based tablets months ago, planning to break into the smaller market as well.

On the other hand, there are people who are opposed to tablets. They think tablets are almost useless as they do what large-size smart phones do with the calling function removed and can't replace portable computer for good. "In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said in a recent interview.