Kindle Unlimited – worth your 9.99 USD?

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Kindle unlimited

I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited as soon as it launched in US last night.

So what exactly is Kindle Unlimited? Well, it is a service by Amazon.com where you get to read as many books as you want for 9.99 USD a month. This type of service is not new, companies like Oyster and Scribd have already been doing this for years but then again they are not Amazon.

What makes this Kindle Unlimited unique and interesting is Wispersync feature. Whispersync for Voice allows you to move from reading to listening without losing your place in the book. Example – you have chores to do but the book you are reading is too interesting to put down, you can switch to audio and listen to the book while doing your chores and they go back to reading when you are done with your chores.

So, should you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited?

Probably not,

80 percent of you don’t read that many books a month and signing up for a US only service requires some workaround.

To the 20 percent that is excited about Kindle Unlimited

I’d suggest that you wait. Right now less than 10 percent of popular titles are available for unlimited reading. 90 percent of the books in The New York Times Bestseller list is not available in Kindle Unlimited library.

Let the big six publishers (Random House, Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group) and indie authors sign for the service. That’s when you get to see all the popular titles.

Also your local library will probably provide you with unlimited titles every month for FREE.

J.K. Rowling releases new Harry Potter short story [download]

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Sweet nostalgia.

I was introduce to the world of Harry Potter when I was in 7th grade and I missed the magical world of Harry Potter when the series ended.

And after all this time, a new book!
Okay, it’s not really a book, or a novella. It’s a news Column by Rita Skeeter.

And it’s not really a story about Harry Potter.
It is an news snippet about Quidditch which happen to talk about Harry and his friends.

It felt extremely good to go back to the magical world of Harry Potter. This news snippet gives us, the fans, a tiny peak into the lives of our heroes.

Stop whatever you are doing and spend two minutes of your time reading this Harry Potter update.

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You can download and read the story here.

I saved the best for the last – we are getting another Harry Potter story!

But let us not be severe. Harry Potter and his cohorts never claimed to be perfect! And for those who want to know exactly how imperfect they are, my new biography: Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob will be available from Flourish and Blotts on July 31.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the new book. It’s going to be like a pensieve for me. Taking me back into the magical world.

Features Android should borrow from iOS 8

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iOS

It seems iOS has finally caught up to Android with iOS 8. It has “hey Siri” similar to “Ok Google”. The notifications are interactive. It’s getting multiple keyboard support and word predictions, no more annoying autocorrects. iCloud Drive now supports all kinds of files, similar to Google Drive. Widgets finally comes to iOS. App Store will have video preview of apps and the biggest of them all – apps talk to each other.

Apple has generously borrowed feature from Android, Google should also return the favor. A small list of features that Google should borrow from iOS -

1. System wide dictionary – I want to tap on a word in any web page and in any app and get the definition of that word. The dictionary should also work offline.

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2. Better folders – folders in iOS is consistent, in Android it is a mess. In iOS you get a grid of 9 icons and you can put in as many apps in the folder as you want. In Android the folder size is different, inconsistent and depends on the number of apps in them.

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3. Fix Hangouts please – Hangouts is an app with lots of potential. Google should spend some time making it better. BTW. Integrate Google voice already.

4. Design consistencies – hamburger menu, back button, menu button… Oh my.! The gmail app is different from the new Google+ app and Google Music just got updated with the new hamburger menu. Can we please have a consistent design language across Android?

5. Google Experience Launcher – Please launch Google experience launcher for all the devices, doesn’t matter if it’s running Sense or TouchWiz. This will let people experience Android the way Google has meant it to be experienced.

6. iOS continuity – Start writing an email on your iPhone and pick up where you left off when you sit down at your Mac. Or browse the web on your Mac and continue from the same link on your iPad. This is really great in theory, it will be awesome if it actually works.

7. Polish, polish, polish – isn’t that the constant complain that Android gets? iPhone/iOS is supposed to be really polished and refined. Why can’t we hear that about Android? It’s not that Google is not working (Project Butter, RAM usage in KitKat) but it’s about time Android caught up to iOS in this regard.

hangoff