Saturday, April 13, 2013

I now have a tablet!

It's a Google Nexus 10. To be accurate, I've had one for a little over a week, more than that if you count the one I had to return mere days after I bought it. The first one I bought had battery issues - it took 12 hours to fully charge it from 50%. The one I exchanged it for takes maybe 5 hours to fully charge it from 15%, a definite improvement.

I'm still deciding how, exactly, I'm going to use it, but at least I'm a little bit more comfortable with it now. When I first got it, I kept having an urge to right-click, and the lack of ability to do so was frustrating until I figured out how to delete things and find app options.

So far, my most-used apps are Goodreads, Moon+ Reader, and a couple games. I have YouTube, Netflix, and Crunchyroll installed as well, although I don't use them much. I do use the browser a lot - it's great for checking various websites in the morning without having to wait for my computer to start up.

The Goodreads app is great for reading reviews and sorting my books to decide what to read next. Oh, and if I ever wanted to catalog everything I own, the barcode scanner would be perfect. I'm tempted, but I don't know that I want an exact count of all the books I own that I haven't read yet. I'm sure it would be depressing.

I wasn't a fan of the first EPUB reader app I downloaded (sorry, can't remember what it was called). I had seen Moon+ Reader recommended as a good EPUB reader on a couple blogs, so I gave it a shot next. I just have the free version at the moment, but so far I like it. I was right that a tablet screen would be more of a strain to read on than my e-ink reader's screen, but changing the page and text color helped a bit. I've got Moon+ Reader set to one of its daytime themes, sort of a dark red/brown text on a pink background. As far as the actual reading experience goes, I still prefer reading on my Nook 1st Edition versus reading on my tablet. However, it's possible I might start doing more of my e-book reading on my tablet than on my Nook. Here's why: my tablet allows me to do both my reading and my note-taking in one place, and I can take notes more quickly.

With my Nook, I have to make sure I have my notepad and a pen nearby. Then, if I want to quote a particular passage, I have to at least write down enough words so that I can find that bit of text again when I'm on my computer. Then I have to write down my notes. I could do all of this in my Nook, but the controls are too annoying for anything more than adding a bookmark.

Using Moon+ Reader on my tablet, I touch the passage I want to highlight/add notes to, in order to select it. I'm frustratingly slow with the tablet keyboard, so I was thrilled when I discovered that I can dictate things to my tablet. It's not perfect: some things are recorded perfectly, while other things come out horribly garbled no matter how clearly I try to say them. Still, it's usually better than typing everything out. I say what I want to say, correct the errors with the keyboard, and go back to reading. The notes section of Moon+ Reader lists the notes I took, plus the passage of text they're tied to.

That's it so far. I'll probably figure out more things later on down the line, but I think I'm doing decently well so far. If anybody out there has any Android reading/book-related app recommendations, let me know in a comment!


  1. That is one thing I love about doing book reviews with a Kindle. I can access my notes and highlighting from a web page, and copy and paste them into my review. It's wonderful for reviewing, but sadly, Amazon doesn't offer the same support for "personal documents." When I send one of my own manuscripts to the Kindle to proof it, I can't access the Notes and highlights for that m.s. except from the Kindle itself-- unless I want to physically hook the Kindle to my laptop and then I can drag and drop the clippings.txt file, but that's not nearly as easy to do.

    My husband, on the other hand, prefers reading on his iPad with the Kindle app, because he likes the two-page display. Is the Nexus screen noticeably larger than a Nook? I don't know tables by name well enough to know if it's a 7" or a 9".

    1. The screen's a good deal larger, yes - with the Nexus, the number after it tells you the size, so my Nexus 10 is a 10" tablet. Depending on how I'm holding the tablet, I can change the reading app page display to display two smaller pages or one large page. When I sit, I usually have it in the horizontal position and go with two smaller pages. When I'm lying down, it's usually vertical and I go with one larger page.