Tag Archives: Apple

Annah Wooten's incredible artwork for the cover of The Fey Man

The Fey Man Promo Codes

Reviews are great (ask me why), and whilst The Fey Man is gathering some good ones on Goodreads and Amazon, I’d love to get some more on Apple’s iBookstore.

Therefore I’ve secured 5 promo codes for readers willing to write an honest review. These codes will let you download The Fey Man for free!

Please note I’m seeking honest reviews. That means you’re under no obligation to say nice things; if you hate it, by all means say so!

Like I said, I’ve only got 5 promo codes at the moment so let me know if you want one in the comments!

Is Apple Looking to Get Into Self-Publishing?

It’s being reported that Apple are hosting an education-focused event on January 19th, and a fascinating quote has emerged over the last few days: “GarageBand for ebooks”.

What does that mean?

We know GarageBand enables mere mortals like you and I to make a professional sounding song, allowing us to record live instruments as well as adding loops and editing tools. But for ebooks? Whilst ebooks can be difficult to format, it seems unlikely Apple would be happy offering a formatting tool. It’s not whizzy and exciting enough for Apple. And, let’s face it, formatting a document is neither whizzy nor exciting.

It’s far more likely that this will be an app for creating interactive ebooks. Interactive ebooks can range from children’s picture books with narration, sound and touch elements to adult books that incorporate sound and video. The iPad is a perfect platform for such books and could help Apple challenge Amazon for dominance of the self-publishing market.

What does this mean for writers and readers? Well, up until now, writers who wanted an interactive ebook would have to find and hire a developer to do all the work for them. But if they can buy an application from Apple that makes it easy to do it themselves, they can create that ebook for a fraction of the cost. So more creators can create the ebook of their dreams. And for readers? Just as with more traditional ebooks, readers will have the opportunity to enjoy a greater variety of books and often at a lower cost than those with expensive developers behind them.

Of course, this is all conjecture at this stage. But Apple have a golden opportunity to challenge Amazon’s dominance of the self-publishing market. Here’s hoping they take it.

5 Things You Need to Know About the iPhone 4S

1. Siri is very impressive, but it’s not 2001 yet.

Siri is a huge improvement on Apple’s old Voice Control software and it’s certainly worthy of the fuss people have made over it. It’s capable of stringing together a conversation (almost), in the sense you can ask, for example, “what’s the time in New York?” followed by “what’s the weather like there?”. A lot of speech recognition services I’ve seen seem to reset after each interaction. It’s also capable of remembering relationships, which is really impressive! But at times I’ve got carried away and spoken to it as if it’s intelligent. It isn’t. There’s room for improvement, but it’s still fun.

2. You can’t put it down. Literally.

Unlike the 3GS, the iPhone 4S (and, of course, the 4) has a smooth glass back. Put it down on anything other than a flat surface and you’ll find your new phone doing a lemming impression.

3. 3G is the only way to go.

The option to switch off the 3G and onto an Edge/GRPS network has been removed. This means battery life takes a hit. This is a stupid omission and an idiotic move on Apple’s part. Hopefully we’ll see this rectified soon.

4. The camera is on par with a dedicated digital camera.

Whilst a digital camera is always going to win in terms of functionality, the improved 8 megapixel camera and LED flash is excellent. I can see my camera sitting at home a lot now I have a 4S.

5. This is evolution, not revolution.

A number of people have told me I have no right to be so pleased with my phone as it’s like an iPhone 4 only better. This, to my mind, is like telling me I can’t be pleased with an Aston Martin DB9 because it’s like a Fiat Panda only better. The truth is that the upgrade from an iPhone 3GS is noticeable. Speed, storage space, camera and display are all improved. But, to my mind, there’s no point in upgrading from an iPhone 4. It’s not really worth it. Far better to wait and see what the iPhone 5 brings.