Sunday, June 30, 2013

5 must-have apps for Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire is not only an e-book reader but also an Android tablet. We can install many apps on it to have more fun. For some newbies who haven’t used Android before, it’s confused about choosing suitable apps as there are so many useless and boring ones, some are even malware. So here comes this article – it introduces 5 must-have apps for Kindle Fire. They are very useful and highly praised. These 5 apps can all be purchased at Amazon store.

1. ES File Explorer

We all know that Android is an open system. It’s easy to custom our own system on an Android device. You may always need to modify some system files or crack apps so a file manager is necessary. ES File Explorer is just an excellent file manager. It gives you total control of your phone’s file management. This handy utility lets you cut and copy, rename, search, delete, and explore the properties of your phone’s files and folders.

2. Winamp

The original Kindle Fire’s music player has very limited features. So you need a professional music player. Winamp is a good choice. This famous music player have launched Android version. With it you can really whip the llama, and your music collection, into shape with this full-featured app. Winamp let you control your music library, listen to your favorite tunes, and even stream live radio programs. In addition, you can experience variable equalizer options which make the sound effect better.

3. Maxthon Mobile

Amazon claims that Kindle Fire use a “silk browser”, which means it runs very smoothly. But in fact the original browser is not as good as it advertised. It respond slowly and often stucks. You need to change a browser. I recommend the Maxthon Mobile. This fast, secure, smart and fun web browser app is packed with features, including Download Manager, Speed Dial, Super Gesture. It also performances good in HTML5 so you can experience some fantastic web page effect on your tablet.


We live in an information age. It’s necessary for us to know the latest news and events quickly. USA Today is the very app for doing this job. The nation’s news from USA TODAY is accessible 24/7 on your tablet. Staying informed has never been this quick, easy or enjoyable. It has seven columns: Headlines, Scores, Weather, Photos, Snapshots, Offline Reading and Breaking news. Now you can know what are happening in the outside world just when lying in sofa comfortably with a Kindle Fire at hand!

5. Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading subscription service for watching TV episodes and movies on your phone. This Netflix mobile application delivers the best experience anywhere, anytime. Get the free app as a part of your Netflix membership and you can instantly watch thousands of TV episodes & movies on your phone. If you are not a Netflix member sign up for Netflix and start enjoying immediately on your phone with our one-month free trial.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Convert e-book online

People who love reading e-book may always meet the problem of converting e-book files. This is due to the fact that different e-book readers support different e-book formats. Generally we can use the professional e-book converter like Epubor eBook Converter or Calibre. This is a good method indeed. But someone just think it’s not easy enough. So today I’ll introduce you a simple way of converting e-books – converting online.

There are some website provide the converting features. They allow you to upload your file to convert and the converted files will be sent to your email or you can download directly. Here we take two websites for example. Just see the steps below. It’s very easy.


Step1 Add e-books and set output format

Click “Choose Files” to add e-books from your PC. You can select multiple files a time (Press “Ctrl” and “A” together). Make sure the e-books are non-DRM. The added e-books will display in the list.
ZAMZAR support some mainstream document formats. Here I choose epub. You don’t need to set any options.
convert e-book online-add book and set ouput format

Step2 Fill in email address and convert

ZAMZAR will send the converted files to email. So you need to fill the blank with your email address. Click “Convert” and your e-book will upload to the server. This will take some time. It depends on your file size and network. ZAMZAR will email you after uploading finished.
conver e-book online-fill in email and convert file

convert e-book online-upload finished

Step3 Download converted files

Check the email from ZAMZAR and click the download link. A new window will pop up in your browser. Click “Download Now” button and your download will start several seconds later.
convert e-book online-check email

convert e-book online-download window

convert e-book online-download finished

2. Online ebook converter

Step1 Set output format and upload file

 Click the left tab to set an output format then add e-books from your PC.
convert e-book online-set format and upload file

Step2 Set options and convert e-books

You can set some options for you e-books. If you don’t want to set anything, just click “Convert file” to start converting. Your e-books will be uploaded.
convert e-book online-set option and convert

convert e-book online-uploading process

Step3 Get converted e-books

Once uploading finishes, the converting begin. This won’t take so long. When conversion complete, a download window will pop up. If you close the window carelessly, don't worry, just click “direct download link” to download file again. Remember you can just click the download link ten times a day at most.
convert e-book online-download e-book

Monday, June 24, 2013

Barnes & Noble to shift overwelming priorities to mobile area

Barnes & Noble nook business has been amid rumors of being purchased by Microsoft over the past few months. As a result of the unbearable losses in the hardware line, Barnes & Noble eventually gave up its own OS platform (customized Android OS) with Google appstore and related services integrated. What's more, although father's day was already over, Nook tablet promotion is still available with 7" HD tablet starting at $129 and 9" HD+ tablet starting at $149, which makes it evident that Barnes & Noble is taking a big clearance on Nook tablets.

In the meantime, Barnes & Noble mysteriously removed Nook for PC and Nook for Mac app download links from its webpage but remained Windows 8 and mobile versions (Nook for iOS/Android/). Although Barnes & Noble soon officially confirmed for this behavior, perhaps out of remarkable complaints from readers, it mysteriously added back the download links for PC and Mac in weeks.

No one knows what Barnes & Noble will do about Nook next. But a post from GoodeReader last Friday seems to show that Barnes & Noble will shift overwhelming priorities to the mobile area. It is said that Barnes & Noble will release an updated version of Nook for iOS app this summer with a full support of EPUB 3. Nook books are expected to sell on iOS as well. While Nook Kids app keeps performing well and has taken around 60% market share, there is no further saying about Nook tablets or Nook clients.

Since Nook only wants to close down the Nook hardware business, why did it try to discontinue Nook for desktop service? Whatever the real reason is, Nook customers are bound to suffer loss from it and probably lose their purchased Nook books. People paid for the books, but would no longer have access to them once Barnes & Noble Nook discontinued Nook DRM server at last. If you hope to save your Nook books, you can partly refer to this sideshow and strip Nook DRM in time.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

4 Best IFTTT Kindle Tricks

IFTTT is a genius web service which simplify your internet life like a charm. I am addicted to it as soon as its release. Now there are dozens of recipes are working for me, they sync my files, push contents to my Kindle, send notification with SMS, etc.

As a Kindle user, I certainly want to make the most of IFTTT, so here I collect some most useful Kindle related IFTTT tricks.

1. When a new book is added to Kindle Top 100 Free eBooks, send me an email

This recipe is suitable for users, in another word, US Kindle users. The trigger is's top 100 free book rss feed, once there adds a new item, IFTTT will send you a notification email.

Get the recipe:

2. Convert and send books and documents (PDF, doc...) from Dropbox to your Kindle as .azw ebook

First you need to create a new folder in dropbox and name it as "convert2kindle" and make it public, when a new file is added into this dropbox folder, it will be converted to .azw ebook and push to your Kindle. And the file must be convertable, for instance, you can't add a zip or avi file for converting.

Drop your documents in the folder dropbox/public/convert2kindle and they will be converted to Kindle's .azw ebook format and sent to your device via email (to your address.) Remove the files after sync or they will be sent multiple times. You can change the subfolder to whatever you want, it will be created automatically.

Get the recipe:

3. Rss Feed Items to Kindle (via

In this recipe you need to customize these 2 blanks, in "Feed URL", fill in the rss feed url you want to subscribe, for example, if you want to auto-push our blog's new post to your Kindle, please input "", and "To address" please input "your".

4. Sync Pocket to Instapaper (for Kindle reading)

Instapaper offers a built-in send to kindle feature, but Pocket has gathered more users since it changed name from "Read it later", therefore this recipe is pretty useful for Pocket users.

First please register on both Pocket and Instapaper, and setup your Kindle account in Instapaper setting page.

Then active Pocket and Instapaper channels in IFTTT and use this recipe:

Now when you add a content into Pocket, it will push to your Kindle via Instapaper.

Monday, June 17, 2013

New eBook (document) DRM named SIDIM is coming

It has been disputed for long that whether or not eBook DRM protection should be abolished. Although DRM scheme is able to stem eBook piracy, it does make it tough to read eBooks on multi-platforms or share books with family members despited of some limited remission. At present, most eBook stores keep selling DRM-protected eBooks, but there have been a small group of providers thinking of customers and selling DRM-free titles to readers, such as Tor and O'Reilly.

Besides Amazon Kindle DRM and Barnes & Nook DRM (eReader PDB DRM), most EPUB and PDF books on the market are protected with ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) DRM, which can be easily cracked as long as the owners of the books read the protected books on ADE authorized with their Adobe ID and then use an Adobe DRM removal tool such as Epubor. Some other eBooks are protected with watermark, which does not encrypt the book content specifically but marks the books with the book owner's info.

According to GoodeReader, a new type of German eBook (doc) DRM named SIDIM is coming, aiming to crack down on document DRM piracy with content encryption as well as invisible marking technique. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research and launched by Fraunhofer project.

How does SIDIM (Secure documents by individual marking) work?
When the owner gets the book with SIDIM for the first time, the book comes with correct content. But every time it is copied, the content of the book will be partly replaced or encrypted at random. The variation will be applied to every generated version and people who get the book after many copies will find it simply unreadable. In the meantime, publishers have tools to detect the pirated copy and find out the real owner.

The new DRM scheme seems to prevent piracy and content copy in an excessively rigorous way. Although it is said to enable users to transfer books to another device more efficiently, there are no more details. Another question is, how can we share a doc (or an eBook) with another computer of ours? Will it be treated as a behavior of transfer or copy?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to transfer Google Chrome bookmarks to another computer

When we use Google Chrome browser in more than one case, say at the office and at office, or when we upgrade our computer, we normally hope to transfer the browser data from one computer to another. Since Google bounds user data with an email (Gmail) account, we can easily transfer them among different devices. Here I will tell you how to transfer Chrome bookmarks to another computer (Chrome) in two ways.

Method 1: Sign in to Google Chrome
Step1: Sign in on the first browser. Click the options button in the top right corner, then select "Sign in to Chrome...".
Step2: Input your Gmail account and passport. You can stay on the first computer for some time if this is the first time for you to sign in, so that the browser bookmarks and browsing history will be totally uploaded to the cloud.
Step3: Sign in (Repeat Step1 & 2) on the second computer. You will find all bookmarks displayed under the address bar.

Chrome on the first computer (Win7):

Chrome on the second computer (Mac):

If you don't want to keep signing to Chrome, click options button and select "Signed in as your email address", then "Disconnect your Google Account...".
You can also sign in to Chrome browser on your Android phone, iPhone, Nexus 7, iPad or other mobile devices to sync the browsing bookmark and the like.

Method 2: Export and import Chrome bookmarks
Step1: On the first computer, click options button in the top right corner of Chrome. Select "Bookmarks" -> "Bookmark manager".
Step2: Click "Organize" and select "Export bookmarks from HTML file...". Then your Chrome bookmark data will be stored in an HTML file.

Step3: Copy the HTML file to a removable drive (your smartphone or flash drive). Connect the removable drive to the second computer.

Step4: On the second computer, go to bookmark manager and select "Import bookmarks from HTML file...". Locate the HTML file from the removable drive and import.

Monday, June 10, 2013

How IOS 7 Learns Design from Other Apps and OS

Apple introduces iOS 7 in WWDC 2013. Many people think this is the most important and bold update for iOS in last 5 years, and many new designs and features are "deja-vu" in our eyes.

So I collects some iOS 7 elements which can find an aspiration source.

 Many built-in apps





Navigation Bar

And More...

  • Wallpaper --- Phase Beam (Android)
  • Swipe to backward --- Swipenav (Jailbreak Plugin)
  • Folders --- FolderEnhancer (Jailbreak Plugin)
  • Lock screen notifications --- Bulletin
  • Password to unlock --- Meizu Flyme (Chinese cellphone's customized Android)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD officially enter China

After 5 years and 6 months waiting, Amazon Kindle finally show up in Chinese market.

US time Jun, 7th, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD occupied's home page. While Kindle 5 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 are missing this event.

From the table below we can have a simple price comparison between and

Model Chinese Price US Price
Kindle Paperwhite ¥849($138) $119
Kindle Fire HD 16GB ¥1499 ($244) $199
Kindle Fire HD 32GB ¥1799 ($293) $269

No surprise that the Kindle family are more expensive in China than in US, especially taking the tariff into consideration.

But to be honest, the price gap is definitely acceptable. The latest version of iPad sells for ¥3688 in China, which equals $601, while in US, we can get it for only $499.

Another fact we should pay attention is that the eBooks in are pretty cheap. When I browse the Kindle store, books displayed on Top List are extremly cheap.

The right side image is the screenshot of top 7 books in Kindle Book Store. The most expensive book only sells for ¥2.80, which equals $0.45, and the cheapest one even less than $0.1. 

From the price we can figure out Amazon is really taking the Chinese market seriously, it is not a secret that the piracy is pretty rampant in China. The low price is a good way to introduce the legitimate digital content to more Chinese customers.

At the moment, there are nearly 40,000 eBooks available in, about 4,000 fo them are free public domains; over 30,000 books are selling under ¥7.99 ($1.30) and 7,000 books are under ¥1.99 ($0.32).

In China, the eBooks market is blooming, now they have Taobao, JingDong, DangDang, Douban, Duokan, TangCha, Zijieshe, etc competing with Amazon.

No doubt with Amazon shipping Kinle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD into China, the battle is becoming bloody.

On another hand, Amazon's rich experience in eBook marketing can accelerate Chinese eBook market going mature, that will be a good news for Chinese eBook lover.

For your information, all the Chinese eBook publisher are using their own method to encrypt their eBooks, which means, people are limited in a specific app or device to read a book purchased in a specific eBook store. For US, many publishers are using Adobe DRM, so they can easily use a Sony or Kobo device to read books from varies of stores.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Will you prefer the $149 ASUS Memo Pad HD to the $199 Google Nexus 7?

Google Nexus 7 is an excellent tablet coming with terrific tech specs at a reasonable price ($199). It is actually recommended by many geeks to guys who want to have a good tablet but can't afford a more expensive device, such as iPad or iPad mini. Despite of the Tegra quad-core processor, 1280*800 pixel screen and a series of useful sensors, Nexus 7 can be a bit cheaper. Or for people who are after budget tablets, it is still a bit expensive. Fortunately, the ASUS Memo Pad HD is coming, at a cheaper price of $149.

Speaking of cheaper tablets, you may immediately think of Kindle Fire (not HD) and a few other unpopular models. However, you will spend money on none of these items as long as you know something about them: Kindle Fire is based on a terribly customized Android OS and other models are too lousy to use. This is not the case when it comes to ASUS Memo Pad HD. Do you remember the manufacturer of Nexus 7? Yes, Nexus 7 is manufactured by ASUS, so does Memo Pad HD!

So we don't need to worry about the quality about this cheap gadget. Now let's talk about hardware. To cut costs, Google removes rear camera and SD card slot from the device. As an owner of Nexus 7, I feel very unpleasant when I have to turn to my small-size phone every time I want to take pictures and share on social communities. It is great that the ASUS Memo Pad HD adds a rear camera and SD card slot. So it is complete! What's more, it sells at $149 only. It is said that there will be a $129 version (8G) for people in developing countries.

As to OS, ASUS adds something new to the pure Android 4.2, such as App locker to help protect some important apps. Apparently, this will bring more convenience and better user experience to customers instead of simple iterations of other cheap Android devices.

Probably, Memo Pad HD will become a big threat to the current Google Nexus 7. Hopefully the second Nexus 7 is coming soon.

Here is a video review of ASUS Memo Pad HD.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Will Kobo become the No.1 rival of Amazon Kindle?

Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook used to be the biggest leaders in the eBook & eReader market. When Amazon is expanding its eBook business in foreign countries, Barnes & Noble takes an over-conservative strategy with very little investment in non-US regions. Even so, B & N Nook line does not show satisfactory performance in the US market. It is even rumored that Nook line will be purchased by Microsoft. Anyway, Barnes & Noble is not a strong opponent of Amazon any more.

In the meantime, Canadian eReader manufacturer, Kobo, is rapidly growing and zealously expanding into new markets. According to the Q1 financial report, the Kobo's overall revenue has received a continuous increase by roughly 98 percent, in both hardware and digital content. The newly released high-end eReader, Kobo Aura HD, has largely contributed to the growth of Kobo devices, which took up to around one third of the total hardware sales in Q1. What's more, downloads of Kobo for Android app has experienced an unprecedented growth up 378 percent.

At first, readers in countries like Canada and Australia, might be forced to choose Kobo eReaders or eBooks as they couldn't access Amazon Kindle in their countries at that time. When it is possible to choose from the two brands, some people will still select Kobo. A case in point is that Kobo Aura HD shows a higher resolution and better reading experience (such as a special page-turning design on the backside) than the popular Kindle PW (Kobo Aura vs. Kindle Paperwhite). On the other hand, eBooks in non-US Amazon eBook stores are not as rich as that in  

It's no doubt that Amazon will fully enter the Chinese market soon with its Kindle devices after the official release of Amazon eBook store and Chinese Kindle for PC yesterday (2, June). In all eventualities, Kobo will break into new markets including China and India in the next few months. Then Kobo will become the only brand that is capable to compete with Amazon Kindle.