Oyster e-book subscription service opens the cover on Android app

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Oyster, the e-book subscription service, has launched an Android version of their app after several months of being an iOS only app. Oyster’s business model is patterned after services like Netflix in giving users access to their entire library for a flat monthly fee. Oyster currently charges $9.95 per month which gives users unlimited access to their library of over 500,000 titles. Titles includes New York Times bestsellers, Oprah picks and Pulitzer Prize winning titles among others.
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Samsung, Barnes & Noble announce Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

Samsung nook

Just when you thought you’d heard of the Barnes and Noble Nook for the last time, here it is again, but in the form of a co-branded tablet with Samsung.

The two companies announced the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook today, which will come with a customized Nook UI. The interface prioritizes reading as a top use for the device and emphasizes the availability of content.

It obviously doesn’t offer any truly new content though, since any Android user can simply download the existing Nook app.

We’re expecting to see an improved software package though, so it’s just a matter of time before we get our hands on it to truly check it out. The tablet will have a 7-inch display, but other specs are not yet available. Hit the break for the full press release.


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New App: ‘Rockmelt’ news reader released to Google Play

Rockmelt

Rockmelt, a news reader for Android, was recently released to the Google Play Store and immediately received rave reviews. The application offers an interface much like the one provided in Google Currents, and features a stream of news stories categorized by themes/interests or specific news sources that you can “follow.”

Content is gracefully placed on the screen and the interface is simple enough for even the biggest smartphone newbies to understand. The search feature allows users to search for specific news sources instead of just picking categories, which will help readers narrow down their selection of incoming content. And of course there are plenty of social media features, allowing users to post content directly to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Check out a video, a screenshot gallery, and the link to the app in the Play Store after the break.
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Square mobile payment solution now available in Canada

For small business owners or individuals selling goods or services, a common business challenge is the ability to accept payments from customers wanting to use a credit card. This is especially true for those who conduct business “in the field” or otherwise don’t have a fixed point-of-sale system. Square introduced a unique solution to this problem in the form of a mobile card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of iOS or Android devices. Users can then accept payments using the Square Register app on the device for a fee of 2.75% per swipe without having to jump through the normal hoops associated with establishing a merchant account with a financial institution.

Until now, one of the limitations has been geographic as Square was only doing business in the U.S. That changed today with Square’s announcement that they are expanding into Canada. Hit the break to read the full press release.
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Adobe Reader XI for tablets brings cloud services and productivity features

In an announcement made earlier today, Adobe has unveiled the next iteration of its Acrobat and Reader software. Along with the new desktop software comes updated mobile applications, which bring some major enhancements, like the ability to edit PDF files, modify paragraph layouts and images, as well as other objects through a newly-introduced design tool.

Adobe is also touting its new cloud applications, including EchoSign, which is the company’s very own electronic signature service. Now users can digitally sign PDF documents directly from their devices, meaning there’s no need to deal with pesky printers and fax machines. Additionally, annotation and comment support has been added. Compatibility has also served as a major focus, as Adobe has engineered the new software to allow users to fill in forms using check boxes, radio buttons and text boxes, with the ability to save these edited documents.

Unfortunately, these new features will only be available on tablets initially, though it’s entirely possible we could see them hit smartphones in the future. Adobe hasn’t provided an exact release date, though we expect to see the new software later this month. Jump past the break to read the official PR.


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Breaking News: DC Comics app released for Android with over 3,000 issues available

DC Comics

Comic lovers everywhere rejoice! Just in time for Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, DC Comics and comixology have partnered to bring Android devices a branded DC Comics app available for free in the Android Market now! The app will feature DC Comics which you can purchase through the app for $0.99 – $2.99 per issue. The payment will be made through the Google in-app purchase system for ease of use. The app will have a library of over 3000 titles to choose from, while adding over 80 format title per month.

Here’s what Senior Vice President of DC Entertainment Hank Kanalz had to say about the release;

This launch is another great milestone in our digital strategy, Our goal is to make DC Comics available to the broadest audience possible and this Android launch extends our reach among mobile phones and tablets. We want our readers to enjoy comics whenever and wherever they want, be it at home, work or while walking around San Diego Comic-Con.

Grab the app by clicking or scanning below now!

dc comics QR
[TalkAndroid Apps Link]

More images and full press release below.

Zinio is now available for all Android 2.2+ devices, Gives access to 12 free magazines through August 15

Zinio released its magazine reader app this past summer, but only to Honeycomb tablets. Today they are announcing that it is available for all Android 2.2 Froyo and 2.3 Gingerbread devices.

Zinio brings the “world’s largest newstand” of magazines to your phone or tablet. You can download digital susbriptions or single issues and sync your library on multiple devices.

To celebrate this update, Zinio is giving users free access to the following magazines through August 15:

  • Bike Magazine
  • BlackBook
  • ESPN The Magazine
  • House Beautiful
  • Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine
  • Maxim
  • Outdoor Photographer
  • Redbook
  • Robb Report
  • Seattle Met
  • SURFER Magazine
  • Wine Enthusiast.


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Panasonic Introduces The UT-PB1 E-Reader Tablet With Android On Board

Panasonic has decided to enter the e-Reader war with its newly announced UT-PB1 e-Reader with none other than yours truly, Android on board.  The device, at this time, is just a prototype but it appears to have some promise.  The video below reveals some slight lag and a not that all intriguing UI.  However, in all fairness, we’ll wait for the final product release.  According to DigInfo, there should be support for some of your standard Google apps like Gmail.  The device sports a 7-inch 1024 x 600 display, micro SD slot, WiFi for quick downloads and a webcam for video chats.  In addition, the device will rock a dual-core CPU of some sort, but we’re not entirely sure who the manufacturer of the CPU will be, it’s good to know it’s there though.  Furthermore, the device will come with 600 “previewable” book titles preloaded for you to get started quickly.  You’ll be able to download more content using Rakuten’s e-book store and a custom API will allow for real-time updates.  Stay tuned to Talk Android as we dig a little deeper to find you a price and release date for the device.  In the meantime, check out the video below to see it in action.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.

Taptu 1.4 Aims to Make Headlines on Android Tablet with Three Exclusive Features

Back in March we told you about an update to Taptu — the “News DJ” application that lets you get your news the way you want it — that brought new customization options with version 1.3.  Well, they’re at it again, bringing three Android-exclusive features in the tablet-friendly version 1.4. The three new features that you will ONLY find on the Android platform are:

  • A new theme, white text on a black background
  • Full screen reading, for when you prefer to not use a tabbed look.
  • Instapaper support: Don’t have time to read it now? Send it to your Instapaper account to read it later.

While on the surface this appears to just be a new version, as the look is very similar to what we’re used to with Taptu, it was actually rebuilt from the ground up to be tablet-friendly, while still keeping handset users in mind as well.  Full press release after the break, and you can grab it in the market today.

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Official Google Reader For Android Gets An Update, v 0.9.2 Adds Widget Support

The official Google Reader application for Android has received an update, adding widget support to the ever popular RSS application.  The update now brings the app to version 0.9.2 and adds two new home screen widgets.  We think the screen shot of the update below says it all.  So, hit the break and check it out.  Check out the application on our apps database as well and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.  One thing we did find interesting and worth noting is in the new permissions.  For some unknown reason, the app would like access to your contacts list.  
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