Flipkart eBooks launches on Windows Phone for India to enjoy literature while on the move

Flipkart (www.flipkart.com), one of the largest online retailers in India, has launched an eBook service on Windows Phone 8. Titled Flipkart eBook, the app will enable you to enjoy a large collection of books while out and about. Offline storage is supported for commuters who head through dead spots in signal coverage, as well as those who enjoy long-haul flights.

Amazon Kindle app gets new look, goes Windows Phone 8 in latest update

Amazon has rolled out version 2 of their popular Kindle app for Windows Phone devices. The update comes without a changelog but was long overdue as their last app change came with version 1.2 way back in July. That update brought ‘Mango’ support including Live Tiles for books and this one goes along the same path but for Windows Phone 8.

The good news is if you’re on Windows Phone 8, the app now supports all resolutions and doublewide Tiles, including those for books, which is a neat twist. They will even flip to display some information, including the last book you read and where you are in a current tome.

Nokia Reading updated to sport 'News Stream' and importing ebooks from SkyDrive

Reports are coming in that Nokia has released an update for its Reading app, which was made available for Lumia Windows Phone owners earlier this year. The app is unfortunately not available in the US, but for those who are able to download and make use of the service it's a worthy reading companion.

Should you not be able to access the likes of Amazon's Kindle service, Nokia Reading offers a variety of books available to purchase and / or download. With the latest update, which we've not yet been able to apply ourselves, users will be able to import DRM-free books (EPUB and PDF formats supported) from SkyDrive.

Freda ebook reader for Windows Phone bumped to 2.6

Freda, the free ebook reader for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 2.6, which introduces a number of new features and improvements. We previously looked at the app back in November when the developers were eagerly seeking beta testers for a previous update, so it's good to see Freda continue to receive invested time and effort to further improve the user experience.

So what's new in version two-point-six? The Turnipsoft team have worked hard to translate the UI for French, German, Swedish and Slovak users, further opening up the service for international consumers, but that's not all. Find the full changelog below:

  • Improved Metro-style appearance (including a jump-list view of the 'bookshelf')
  • FB2 format
  • Ability to backup and restore the bookshelf using SkyDrive storage
  • Better handling of CODE, PRE and DIV elements
  • Advertising no longer displayed on the main front screen
  • Bulk-download feature to get multiple books at once
  • Low-memory mode for better performance on low-end hardware (Lumia 610, etc.)
  • Password lock
  • French, German, Swedish and Slovak UI localisation
  • Numerous stability and performance fixes

Not a shabby update. In fact it's quite a leap forward. If you're into ebooks and haven't given this app a try, be sure to do so as it supports EPUB (DRM-free), FB2, HTML and TXT formats to keep you busy. Freda sports customisable controls that enable the user to alter fonts and colours, while inserting annotations and bookmarks, as well as the ability to look up dictionary definitions and translations.

The app can render EPUB formatting (eg. bold / italic text, margins and alignment) and can display code, images and diagrams. Book sources supported include Feedbooks, Smashwords and the Gutenberg Project catalogues. SkyDrive, DropBox or Calibre can be used to share existing book collections with the app for on-the-go reading. If that wasn't enough, Freda can also download books from websites using the built-in web browser. Favourite books can then be pinned to the home screen for more convenient access. 

You can download Freda and Freda+ ($0.99 / £0.79) from the Marketplace. Difference between the two versions is advertisement removal.


Senior User Experience Designer for Windows Phone, Arturo Toledo leaves Microsoft

Arturo Toledo, a Senior User Experience Designer for the Windows Phone Design Studio who chose to leave Microsoft last month, has announced plans to finish the Windows Phone Design Series.  Toleda is set to turn the series into a free e-book.

More good news is Toledo plans to stay involved in Metro for the future, I guess we can't get rid of superb talent that easily?

The 31 “Weeks” of Windows Phone Metro Design series focuses on providing developers (and enthusiasts who are just starting on the Windows Phone development path) with resources to ensure app UIs follow suit and create a fluid Metro experience for consumers. One thing we here at WPCentral understand is that our readers (and the community as a whole) favours a complete Metro experience.

Should this series finally become available in free e-book format, it'll be the bible for Windows Phone developers. Exciting times ahead. For now we'll leave you with our no-so-famous Metro meme.

Source: ux.artu.tv

Learn how to develop Windows Phone 7 games in just 24 hours

An interesting book has been released by Sams Publishing, which will be of great value to anyone who's looking at Windows Phone to develop games taking advantage of available technologies and hardware. The book, authored by Jonathan S. Harbour, claims (as does other learning material) to teach the reader how to develop a playable title in just 24 hours using Microsoft's free XNA 4.0 toolset. The book is set out in easy-to-digest chunks, with "Did you know?" tips and "Watch out!" alerts.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Develop fast, playable Windows Phone 7 games with XNA 4.0
  • Get and manage user touch screen input
  • Draw 2D bitmapped images, and bring them to life as sprites
  • Transform sprites using rotation, scaling, and velocity calculations
  • Detect and handle collisions between game objects
  • Create surprisingly realistic animation effects
  • Master sophisticated finite state programming techniques
  • Integrate GPS Location Services into your game
  • Make the most of Windows Phone audio
  • Read, write, and save game files
  • Create your game’s Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Implement realistic physics effects, including gravity and acceleration
  • Tweak gameplay to make your games more fun

The book is available to purchase as paperback or in ebook format, and prices start at just $25.59. Amazon is also stocking the resource at $23.85 (UK version from £13.36, available for Kindle too).

Free Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit ebook [Developers]

Boryana Miloshevska, over at WindowsPhoneGeek, has published an ebook today that covers Silverlight development for Windows Phone 7.5. The book itself contains 246 pages separated into 22 chapters. Full source code is available and the book contains all the controls from the Windows Phone Toolkit, plus it's up-to-date with Mango. Developers who are looking to start out with Silverlight on Windows Phone should definitely check this free resource out.

Check out the list of chapters and download links after the break.

Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide [eBook, Developers]

Microsoft's Mike Ormond has gone ahead and finally published a nice eBook called "Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer's Guide", which looks to give a "puddy up" "into developing on the platform and, importantly, helps you to avoid making the same mistakes others have made".

The book was done as a collaboration between various volunteers in the community, including Colin Eberhardt, Pete Vickers, Andy Gore, Mike Hole, Gergely Orosz, Sasha Kotlyar, Dominic Betts, Will Johnson, Ben Cameron, James Bearne, Samidip Basu, Paul Marsh, Stuart Lodge and looks to be dynamic, with new chapters added over time.

"The plan was always to publish an initial set of chapters and then iterate, adding new chapters and updating / refining existing chapters as we went."

Seems like a good resource for devs out there and seeing as it is free, there's little reason to not grab it. More info can be found on Mke Ormond's blog here. Thanks, Aleksandr (Sasha) K., for the tip!

Windows Phone 7 for Silverlight Developers ebook

András Velvárt (Vbandi), the developing power behind the SurfCube app (award-winning 3D web browser), has just announced that his ebook "Windows Phone 7 for Silverlight Developers" is now available to purchase. There are nearly 50 topics covered in the ebook, including Silverlight, design (Metro UI), Panorama (pivot), input on the phone, accelerometer, performance and publishing to the Marketplace.

You can download a copy for just $4.99 from Silverlight show. The ebook is available as PDF download and contains 46 pages. You can view two excerpts before purchasing - input on the phone and portrait, landscape & themes. Dave Cambell, MVP of the year, had this to say about the developer resource:

"Wow... get some great in-your-hands training on WP7 development from András Velvárt... I bought my copy, and it's more than worth the $4.99 price... great job András and SilverlightShow!"

Source: Dotneteers

OverDrive modernizes Libraries on WP7

While we have access to Amazon Kindle and whatnot on Windows Phone 7, what about free access to local libraries and books from schools? Many public libraries are now offering downloadable eBooks and now you can take advantage of this growing service with OverDrive.

This free app helps you locate libraries, find books (including audio books) and download them, not to mention the ability to read through each and every page. You must note however that you may need a library card and the downloaded eBooks will expire within a set time and will automatically be deleted. You can download OverDrive from the Marketplace.

Source: OverDrive, via: ChipChick

Samsung Windows Phones get a Kobo eBook reader

For those of you with Samsung Windows Phones, it looks like they've made their own eBook reader (via Kobo) for your device.

First impressions? Very nicely done by Sammy, but we have question its usefulness with the ubiquity of Amazon's Kindle/Marketplace. With Kobo, you'll have to create a userID if you don't have one and login under an Adobe account as well (ugh).However, if you're already a Kobo user, you'll love this app. If you're not, you'll admire it but pass.

Unfortunately it's not listed (yet) under the 'Samsung Zone' but you can get their by clicking here on your phone or just by doing the "find more SAMSUNG..." trick.

via: MobilityDigest

Amazon Kindle app now available for Windows Phone 7

Good news folks as Amazon's Kindle app has finally hit the Marketplace. Well, they said "by the holidays" and though they're a few days late, we'll accept the ever so slight delay.

Considering the Kindle was one of the top selling gadgets of 2010, we're betting many of you got one for the holidays, making this app a natrual extension. What's cool of course about Kindle is the fact it keeps all your periodicals synced up, meaning you can read your Kindle then pick up your phone and continue that newspaper from right where you left off.

Our initial impression? It's pretty, darn pretty. And we like it.

Anyways, grab it here now.

via: ZDnet/@palmsolo & @derbrotkasten

Amazon Kindle App for WP7 Demoed at PDC (Updated with video)

There are a number of applications that lend themselves perfectly to a Smartphone; Ebook readers are toward the top of the list. Though many of us would still prefer having a physical book in hand, the convenience offered by having a dozen different books readily available on your Smartphone is tough to argue with.

One of the largest players in the Ebook (and traditional book) market announced their support for Windows Phone 7 at Microsoft’s PDC (Professional Developer’s Conference) this week in Redmond. Amazon’s Kindle app (no relation to WP7 heavy hitter Charlie Kindel) is one of the premier platforms for Ebooks available. Kindle for Windows Phone will support Amazon’s Whispersync technology which allows you to keep your place in a book across devices.

The Kindle app is “Coming Soon” to the Marketplace. More details are available from Amazon. View the PDC Day 1 keynote here.

Source: The Windows Phone Developer Blog

Update: YouTube Video after the jump. Thanks to Tom Warren for the link.

Review: TomeRaider 3

The ebook market keeps trying to get off the ground.  In the early days of ebooks, Microsoft and Adobe were the heavy hitters, both pushing their respective software and ebook formats. Both gained momentum, sputtered and died.  The second wave of ebooks has been with hardware readers from Sony and Amazon. The Kindle and the Kindle II have become one of the more sought after gadgets on the market.

The end result of this instability is that the little fish in the ebook pond have been able to garner something of a cult following. One such little fish is TomeRaider. While it doesn’t have the backing of a heavyweight like Microsoft or Adobe (or even Amazon), TomeRaider makes up for this in a number of other ways.

To see what TomeRaider has to offer, follow the link.