Friday, April 18, 2008
The iPod of Newspapers
Orange in France is testing a concept mobile digital newspaper and ebook reader. Like an Amazon Kindle minus the keyboard, Read&Go uses touchscreen to navigate a custom UI but is both WiFi- and 3G-enabled. It has 1Gb storage (enough for 200 newspapers) and comes with 30 ebooks preloaded. Five French papers are involved in the trial - Le Monde, Le Parisien, Les Echos, L’Equipe and Télérama - and books including city guides and novels come from Feedbooks, Médiatoon and Mango. Content is updated every hour between 6am and midnight and Orange would like to use geolocation to embed ads. Some 150 users will test the device over two months. Orange is still seeking testers at its DreamOrange.fr site, where they will have a forum to share use cases. Though some newspaper execs still dream of “the iPod of newspapers”, it’s questionable whether people will really want a dedicated e-newspaper reader separate from their mobile handset - but then, that’s what trials are for.