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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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February 2012
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Daily Deals: Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria Became Queen with the Help of Her Maid and Draw(er) Pro

Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria Became Queen with the Help of Her MaidToday Amazon unveils a new Kindle book deal: Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria Became Queen with the Help of Her Maid written by Michaela MacColl just for $1.99

Liza is expected to make her debut in 1830s London, but when her parents die suddenly, she is left penniless and must instead enter service. Through fortuitous connections, she gets a position as a lady’s maid to 17-year-old Princess Victoria, who lives with her mother in the neglected and tension-filled Kensington Palace. Liza begrudgingly adjusts to this new role and slowly comes to care for the temperamental, haughty, and pitiable princess even while she rejects lewd advances from Sir John, the household’s powerful secretary. Ultimately, Liza befriends a young boy and a newspaperman (who soon becomes a love interest) in order to confront the public slander surrounding the princess. This novel is full of historical detail, vivid settings, and richly drawn characters, and themes of friendship and romance give the story teen appeal; Liza is a brave yet conflicted young adult with whom readers will identify. The author takes liberties with some historical facts (clarified in an afterword) to create a tale of espionage, romance, grief, and hope. Grades 6-12. –Melissa Moore

Draw(er) Pro

 

Draw(er) Pro is a sketching and drawing app with a twist. The various tools give you a new perspective on drawing, so your basic lines turn into works of art. Set colors and brush sizes, undo and redo as needed, save and share your sketches, and much more.

Gather your Artist’s Tools

Setting up your canvas and paint colors isn’t just a matter of clicking a color picker. Choose hue, saturation, and lightness settings, just as you would in professional image manipulation software. Smooth your drawing’s edges with automatic anti-aliasing, and set up your brush size before you begin your latest masterpiece.

Play Creatively

Turn simple lines into chains of circles and squares. Apply sketched effects, fur, webbing, and shading. Erase just a bit or undo a lot–and redo if you’ve undone too much. Color naturally, and keep your colors inside the lines, or create a rougher, realistic drawing with a happy-messy appeal.

Draw(er) Pro encourages creativity with your very first doodle. You’ll work towards more and more complex drawings as you discover how many different ways the tools work for you. For example, fur makes perfect fireworks, and both the web and sketch brushes fill in shapes as you draw. Sketch and draw creatively with every tool in Draw(er) Pro, then save and share your works of art for others to enjoy.

Kindle Fire Now #1 Android Tablet

Android has seized a greater share of the tablet market than ever before in the last year, with fourth quarter usage of Android tablets up to 39% of the total (up from 29% the previous year).  A great deal of this improvement comes as a result of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet.  With the whole tablet market seeing huge growth (including Apple’s sales numbers we saw around 150% growth and a total of over 25 million tablets sold) it is no small feat for something as new as the Kindle Fire to already be edging ahead of more established competition.

These numbers deal specifically with device usage as reported by analytics firm Flurry, based on app sessions.  Given the importance of content sales compared to hardware profits, this is probably a significantly better estimate of consumer preference than simple sales or activations.  Thanks to this data, we can tell that the Kindle Fire’s approach to content is making a pretty big difference to the user.

The alternative method of analyzing the success of the Kindle Fire would be along the lines of what Google has been doing when describing Android as building up momentum compared to the competition.  That would be looking at device activations.  While this is not misleading, necessarily, it does focus entirely on numbers that fail to directly equate to post-purchase satisfaction.  Even using this method, the Kindle Fire is doing amazingly.  Approximately 10.5 million android tablets were sold in Q4 2011.  While Amazon is not releasing sales numbers, we can say with a fair degree of certainty that around 5-6 million of those were Kindle Fires.  The numbers are favorable, to say the least.

While there is not any indication that this is having a negative effect on iPad sales, there is also little to support the notion that Amazon had any intention of making a direct attack on Apple with this first tablet.  It is likely, given how much the two companies overlap in their digital media sales markets that there will be some more direct Kindle vs iPad competition down the road, but a 7″ $200 tablet that clearly lacks the potential to replace even the functionality of a netbook is not something you could take seriously if they were heading for a confrontation with the iPad 2 right away.

The biggest impact of all this is probably going to be on Google.  Since Amazon is running such a heavily forked version of Android, and since it lacks easy access to Google’s app marketplace, the success of the Kindle Fire will tend to draw people away from Google services despite technically relying on their original concept.  This has the added effect of drawing developers away from the more general marketplace.

While Amazon’s Appstore has not been a favorite destination for many developers thus far due to the heavy oversight and lengthy screening process for even minor updates, the most important thing will always be going where the customers are.  Right now, for better or worse, it is looking very much like that is the Kindle Fire if you’re talking Android tablets.