Stephen and I are interested in conducting a research on eBook reader tools for the iPad. Like many people and publishers, we think the iPad is a great reading device offering the comfort and efficiency that no other device have. Most importantly, its positioning between a computing device and a traditional e-book Reader makes it highly versatile for both casual reading and academic learning tasks. It has stronger computing power than Kindle and Nook so that it can be used as a research tool to accomplish tasks such as managing literature, composing texts, creating charts, Internet research, and online collaboration, among others. Aslo, it has better portability and display than a laptop and it can be taken anywhere for reading and learning.
However, we think the iPad's great potentials provided by its hardware are still largely limited by the availability of good applications for reading and learning. We started by looking at some popular eBook reading apps for iPad including the iBook app by Apple, the Kindle app by Amazon, the B&N eReader app by Barnes & Noble, and the Good Reader (GR) app by Good iWare Ltd. The first three apps are developed by big businesses and their book stores are the only resource to obtain books. The last app, GR, is the NO. 1 selling e-book reader app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod due to its great features and functionality, but it isn't affiliated with any online bookstore. Next I will share a summary of these four apps. I will describe these apps in 6 types of tasks: file management, customization, navigation, content interaction, social interaction, and extended tasks.