if we want to maximize the usefulness of an eReader like a Tablet, it needs to support the largest number of applications. Let’s have a look at the major options :
- The iPAD can reuse all the iPhone/iPod applications. If there are a lot of those applications, let’s note that they need to be developer specifically to run on Apple’s products.
- The Google Tablet will support any web development (web sites) thanks to ChromeOS which has a strong web focus. If one wants to work offline, those web applications will probably have to be ported to ChromeOS, for using its asynchronous services. There is also the possibility for Google to leverage the Android market and allow those (Java) applications to run on ChromeOS.
- The Kindle has its own (Java based) Software Development Kit (SDK). Again, one needs to develop specifically for the Kindle.
- Some Other readers, mainly those with ePaper screens, use Linux as Operating System. You than need to make sure your application will run with the distribution and ePaper screen (GTK+?) constraints.
Now let’s look at a “Windows based” eReader as -I suppose- Microsoft Courier. From an application point of view, such a device might well be one of the best platform for the “applications of ePaper”:
- It could run everything that runs under windows, and that’s a lot
- It could than also run a browser (google chrome for instance)
- It could leverage Microsoft Office, which I believe still has a large market share
Would a windows based Tablet have the lowest barrier on entry for eReader applications ? Probably yes.
On the same line, there would be Linux based Tablets, but they don’t have so many ready to go applications. For instance OpenOffice is still lagging a bit behind MS Office (personal opinion, of course).
MS Windows based tablets would nevertheless still to face some challenges:
- Boot time : You don’t want to wait 30 seconds for you ebook to ‘boot’ before reading
- Security Management : You don’t want your eReader to freeze while working because some Anti-Virus needs to start now…