Amazon just bulked its Kindle app for Android, iOS, and its Cloud Reader by adding children’s books, comics, and graphic novels that were previously exclusive to Kindle Fire owners.
The apps now offer over 1,000 titles for children with features like Text Pop-Up, which help to improve and simplify the reading experience, and Kindle Panel view for comics and graphics to allow panel-by-panel viewing. A few of the literary additions include Brown Bear, Curious George, Batman, and Superman.
Android tablet owners, or those with Cloud Reader on a widescreen display, will also notice the ability to customize their reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls. The update also brings side-by-side viewing of two pages in landscape mode. Meanwhile, iOS users have a new Search option to locate content by title or author.
While it already made the rounds at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony and AT&T made things official today for the Xperia Ion. It is coming exclusively to the carrier starting June 24. Available for $100 on the usual two-year contract, Sony’s first LTE device packs a 4.6-inch (1,280-by-720) “Reality” display, 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 12-megapixel main, 720p front-facing cameras, and 16GB of memory via microSD. It is also PlayStation Certified. AT&T will make the Sony Xperia Ion available through its regular retail channels on June 24.
RT @philnickinson: With Gingerbread. RT @phonescooper: A phone announced 5 months ago will finally be available in 10 days. Yay.
Google released sworn denials (PDF) on Tuesday from nine Googlers who claimed they had no knowledge about data mining in the Street View mapping project.
Google Street View is a service highlighted in Google Maps and Google Earth that offers panoramic views of streets. It launched in 2007 in the United States and expanded to many cities and rural areas worldwide. The project ambitiously maps the world’s streets with photographs, but the plotting venture allegedly cropped unencrypted Internet data from wireless networks for roughly three years until 2010.
Google’s Street View automobiles gathered sensitive information, including private dispatches, as it roamed many boulevards, avenues, roads, highways, lanes, and thoroughfares across the globe. Tuesday’s unveiled declarations by nine Google engineers featured redacted names and titles, while it explicitly disclosed that the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company employees did not know about the misconduct. The Googlers were in the dark, because either content collection was not a part of their job, or they did not assess given project documentation.
It eventually became publicly clear that Street View gathered unencrypted information, like emails and Internet searches beamed between personal computers from within homes, thanks to German regulators who began to probe the mapping service in their country. When the findings came to light, Google fingered a nameless engineer as being solely responsible for the action, which resulted in a Federal Communications Commission inquiry.
The search engine did not break any laws, the regulatory body found, but it did obstruct the investigation. The F.C.C. fined the company $25,000, despite the sworn documents having been originally provided as part of the inquiry into Street View.
We already gave you most of the details on Spotify’s redesigned Android app in April when the company released a preview detailing all the new features. Today, Spotify is finally releasing the app that brings a number of features previously only available to iOS users. It also includes support for Android 4.0 devices.
The free app is already available through Google Play, and, as always, Spotify offers a 48-hour trial that can extend to 30 days. Below is a full list of features that you will find in the overhauled app:
According to a report from AllThingsD, Verizon Wireless will soon change the way it charges customers for cellular/data plans in a major way. Rather than charging customers for phones calls or messages sent, the report claimed Verizon would charge “almost exclusively based on how much data” is consumed. The new “Share Everything” plans will also be the first in the United States that allows users to share their data with up to 10 devices through a single account:
The plans, known as “Share Everything,” allow users an unlimited number of calls and texts and also allow data usage to be pooled among up to 10 devices on one account. With the move, Verizon becomes the first U.S. carrier to offer the ability for customers to share a bucket of data across multiple devices.
AllThingsD noted that AT&T also has plans for shared data options, but it did not provide more details. As for Verizon’s new plans, which will apparently kick-in June 28, the report explained the cost of the data plan and pricing metrics based on a per-device fee. In other words, you will have to pay roughly $40 per smartphone ($10 per tablet), and then opt for either a $50 1GB data plan or a $100 10GB plan. While the report claimed the new pricing should not impact the cost of plans for users who continue consuming the same amount of data, it is clear that those signing a new plan for a single smartphone are getting a bit less for their money:
According to a post on Google’s European Public Policy Blog, the company is forging groundbreaking partnerships with French publishers that it believes “will put France ahead of the rest of the world in bringing long lost out-of-print works back to life.” The agreements, Google claimed, will put an end to roughly six years of legal disputes with several publishers and authors in the country. The deals will also allow Google to continue ahead in its goal to bring the almost 75 percent of books that are currently out of print and unavailable to most. The result is publishers working with Google to “promote and commercialize” scanned copies of out-of-print works: