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The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.


Monday, June 1, 2015

App Enables E-Books on Apple Watch

“It. Was. The. Best. Of. Times. It. Was. The. Worst. Of. Times.”

That’s how a college student might encounter the opening of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens while reading the classic novel—often assigned for English literature courses—on an Apple Watch. A new app called Wear Reader functions as an e-book reader for the watch.

The 99-cent app basically displays the e-book text word by word. You can adjust the reading speed from 50 words per minute up to 1,000 and jump back to previous text if you missed something. Wear Reader also allows the user to bookmark pages, pause the display, go to a different chapter, and switch among various e-books.

To get an e-book into the watch, though, users must attach the device to an iPhone in order to import the reading material from iCloud or Dropbox. Wear Reader cannot import e-books straight from Apple’s iBooks, but no doubt that capability will be available in a later version.

However, in the opinion of one reviewer for 9to5Mac, what’s the point of reading books on your wrist?

“It’s not only about battery life, but also the user experience overall,” wrote Jordan Kahn. “Not to mention holding your wrist up for much longer is ergonomically terrible, as Steve Jobs would put it.”

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