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July, 2011:

Apps and the web – trends

Research shows that app use is now greater than web surfing. This is calculated in minutes spent (consumed, wasted, gained!) on each.

There is a graph here:

Apps versus Web use >

Which I show here small size so you get the general idea.

Apps use versus web use

Apps use versus web use

Wired magazine has announced this as the death of the web. But it is really that people now use apps to do things, play games, read ebooks, magazines, look at stocks, musical games like Biophilia by Bjork, and so on forever; rather than randomly search around the web.

Using an app has an extended and potentially unlimited time frame (Angry Birds, reading, music), unlike surfing which is usually doewn for a specific reason – research item Z – or to fill in ten minutes – have a look at the news, or Ebay, etc.

Web use is moving towards the ‘walled garden’ style of the old days – AOL etc – where people stay in comfort zones, rather than browsing the chaotic web, where all sorts of nasty things lurk, the least of which is viruses. Most time is within Facebook, then some apps, then a short bit of web research to Google a product, say.

So it is a kind of maturation of user habits, and the technology is there in smartphones and tablets. Chicken and egg?

Use of apps is moving away from a standards compliant web, as the apps conform to whichever platform and version they have to run on.

People used to make Macromedia Director games, Flash web modules; now it is a range of apps in many languages, this is a big boon for the developer (more work) but not so good for the company that pays up for them, especially as a lot are free.

With branded TLDs – the new dot coms for brands and also categories, such as .apple, .microsoft, .pizza etc, at high prices (175,000 UKP has been quoted), we are heading towards a ‘safe’ zone and an ‘outside’ for the rabble and the geeks… where all the free and interesting things are.

Incidentally, many of the new apps for the ipad, Android etc look like the 1990s multimedia CDROMs – remember all those DK learning multimedia books, even offbeat Arts Council funded things (yes I was on one called The Hub, with a multimedia game from the Nnn Goes Mobile novel)?

So perhaps the technology has caught up with the multimedia ideas at last.

Floating windows idea from a reader, Story software tips

Screen windows Story Lite

Screen windows Story Lite

We had an interesting idea from Ilan, a reader and user of Story Lite software. He said:

“I think there is one feature that is very critical to me, that’s missing. The ability to float the Story Lite window above other windows. Thus, if I want to copy/paste some text from a web page, a pdf file that I’m reading, some email, or a different source, into Story Lite, I can simply position Story Lite above the maximized web browser (etc.) window.”

Yes that is a good idea, we have automatic copy/paste (so you don’t even need to see the Story software) in the new online version out in the next few weeks.

For v1.1, and all the desktop versions, the Story Lite window is in a standard Windows or Mac window, so we can’t make it act differently, as that is built into the system.

You have to adjust the size and shape of the Story Lite window to suit your screen layout, then you can save a new Template (or just save and open the file) with a new box layout, such as vertical or horizontal.

We have a new online version out soon, which is a simple version of Story Lite in a browser window, this will have auto copy/paste into the online box, which can then be saved as Story format, or txt and rtf for Word etc.

This will be useful if you are working online for research or note gathering.

This will be ready soon, I will email everyone about it.


Google ereader Story HD from iriver – Amazon Kindle, Sony Ereader, Nook challenger?

Google iriver Story HD ereader

Google iriver Story HD ereader

Google enters the ereader market with the iriver Story HD. Main new things are:

  • Higher screen specification – 15cm, 6 inches, 768 X 1024 pixel resolution, like a PC, and 16 grayscale color depth.
  • Keyboard
  • Access to Google ebooks – many classics (out of copyright) – from the Google ebookstore

  • Wifi
  • eink (same as Kindle etc)

BUT… with the ipad and other touch screen readers out, it looks like a Kindle device, so is playing catch-up. We have not tried one out yet as it is due to be launched in USA at Target stores and online on 17 July 2011. So does it have that annoying page turn flash like the Kindle? We assume so.

Also, Google is still battling with the publishing industry over book rights, which looks set to worsen as the Google plan is obvious now, get lots of digitised books for free, give away on their own ereader; fight Amazon/Kindle with FREE…

See also:

iriver Google Story HD ereader site >

Google ebookstore site >

And our own Story Software Story Lite How to use page, as it can be used to make ebooks in its unique non linear format >