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Apps

Is Your Writing as Clear as Hemingway’s? This App Can Tell You

hemingwayAdam and Ben Long have created an app that analyzes text with the goal to help make your writing bold and clear like that or Ernest Hemingway.

It’s called Hemingway. “Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow highlight, shorten the sentence or split it,” explains the site. “If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic — try editing this sentence to remove the red.”

The New Yorker has more about how it works:

Hemingway uses a formula to judge the “reading level” of a particular selection of writing, which the Longs said is “a measure of how complex the sentence structure is and how big the words you’re using are.” It scored my first paragraph as Grade 14. The app suggests that anything under Grade 10 is a sign of “bold, clear writing.”

The Very Hungry Caterpillar to be Adapted in App Form

storytoysEric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is celebrating its 45th  anniversary this year, will soon be adapted into an app.

This is thanks to a new partnership between interactive book maker StoryToys and The Joester Loria Group, exclusive global licensing agent for The World of Eric Carle. StoryToys has signed a three-year deal to develop a series of apps based on the characters in his books. The app maker will make a number of apps based on Carle’s classic books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day app will be the first in the series, available on March 20th.

The apps will bring the static drawings to life. Barry O’Neill, CEO of StoryToys, explained that their ”aim is to build beautiful apps that will enable children to interact with their favorite Eric Carle characters in totally new ways.” 

 

Scribd, eBook Subscription Service, Launches Kindle Fire App

scribdBook subscription service Scribd is introducing an app for the Kindle Fire. The app comes as the company is celebrating three million downloads of its Android app. In addition, the company revealed that mobile app usage is up 5x from December 2012 and that Scribd was accessed on 11 million unique mobile devices in December 2013.

The Kindle app comes from user demand. According to the company, more than 100,000 users asked for an app that is compatible with their Kindle Fire device in the last couple of months.

The new app means that Scribd can support all Kindle Fire models. The service does not have an app on any eInk based Kindles, because these devices don’t support third party applications.

 

5 Apps for Copy Editing

dictionary.comWhether you are a self-published author, an editor that works in traditional publishing or a journalist on the go, everyone can benefit from a little copy editing. We’ve put together a list of apps designed to help with the job, from tools that let you edit pages to style guides and reference materials.

We’ve included the app’s name, description and a link so that you can explore these apps further. Check out our list after the jump. Read more

Oceanhouse Media Turns 5

oceanhousemediaOceanhouse Media, the digital publisher that is known for its Dr. Seuss apps, turns 5 this week. The company is taking advantage of its birthday by offering a major sale on its apps from today through Monday.

A number of titles will be available for 50 percent off. The company will also be hosting hourly giveaways on their Facebook page.

Apps on sale for the company’s anniversary include: Bowls, The Kissing Hand, Elmer and the Lost Teddy, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Just Go to Bed – Little Critter and Berenstain Bears Bedtime Battle. Follow this link to check out the sale.

‘Books I Love’ App Lets Readers Share Their Favorite Books

ilovebooksWashington-based startup Books I Love has created a new social networking app for readers that lets you share your favorite books with friends digitally. Using the free iOS app, you can send and receive book recommendations with friends. You can use the app to recommend a book to one friend at a time or to dozens and there is the option to add a personal note about why you love the book.

“We co-founded our company two years ago to address the problem of readers losing many of their trusted sources of book recommendations,” explained Elizabeth Dimarco, co-founder of Books I Love, via email. ”With this app, we believe we’ve built a way to digitize word-of-mouth recommendations that happen every day – at home, at work, at play- but are rarely captured in the moment.” Read more

Six Libraries Exceed a Million Digital Checkouts This Year: OverDrive

overdrive304Six libraries in North America marked more than 1 million digital checkouts this year, according to digital book distribution company OverDrive. This includes eBooks, audiobooks, music and video files.

The libraries to make OverDrive’s ”Million Digital Checkouts Club” this year include: King County Library System in Washington, which recorded 1.6 million downloads up 25% over 2012; Toronto Public Library, which had 1.5 million digital downloads this year, up 68% over last year; New York Public Library which had 1.2 million digital downloads up 16% from 2012;  Hennepin County Library in Minnesota had 1 million digital downloads in 2013, a 41% increase from 2012; Cleveland Public Library in Ohio, which marked 1 million digital downloads this year,  a 32% increase over 2012; and the  Seattle Public Library which had a million downloads, representing a 22% increase over 2012.

 

 

NPR Readers Search For Books About Sex Combined With Great Writing

nprappInstead of doing a ‘best of’ list, this year NPR Books created an app that lets users match up different tags in order to find a book to read from NPR’s favorite 200 books of the year.

The tool lets you mix and match 21 different categories of reading. The media outlet did an analysis of what kinds of queries its readers were doing and found that the most common combination was the tag ‘Let’s Talk About Sex,’ with ‘Seriously Great Writing,’ a request that summons the books The Book of Goodbyes by Jillian Weise and All That Is by James Salter.

Here is more from NPR:

And here’s the kicker — while people browsing, say, biographies or science books were happy to do it from their desktops, a disproportionate number of you were looking up the sexy sexy books on mobile.

Stephen Hawking’s ‘Snapshots of the Universe’ App From Random House

hawkingappRandom House has released a new iPad app that lets you get inside the mind of Stephen Hawking called Stephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe. The app is designed to teach the principles that control the universe through eight experiments.

Each interactive experiment is designed to teach basic theories that govern the universe. For instance, you can spin planets and create your own solar system. In addition, you can drop objects with Galileo to learn about gravity and search for black holes in the constellation of Leo. A virtual Einstein teaches G-force in outer space within the app. The app is available in iTunes for $4.99.

“This app provides a great opportunity to introduce Professor Hawking’s teachings to a whole new audience, through an entirely new medium,” stated Scott Shannon, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Digital Content at Random House.  “We are very proud to continue our publishing tradition with Professor Hawking, now across more platforms than ever.”

Oxford University Press Releases Spelling App for Kids

spellwithpipOxford University Press has created a new iPad app designed to help kids learn how to spell. It’s called Spell with Pip: An Oxford Spelling Game. The app turns spelling into an arcade game for the 4-8 year old set.

The app features a parrot named Pip who does somersaults when the player correctly places a letter. When the word is misspelled, he squawks and loses a feather. Pip serves as a kind of guide through a jungle of letters and spelling games. The app has more than 3,000 words, all of which were taken from the Oxford’s First Dictionary. The app is Oxford University Press’ first children’s dictionary app.

“We know that children love games and that they are keen and motivated to spell well, this ambitious and exciting app combines these to help children practice their spelling in a creative and fun way,” stated Vineeta Gupta, Head of Children’s Dictionary Publishing, at Oxford University Press. “What sets Spell with Pip: An Oxford Spelling Game apart is that it focuses on words that children find hard to spell, and is based on the latest research from the Oxford dictionaries team.”

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