Feature Spotlight : Audio Books and Offline Access

by On March 28, 2013 in General, Releases

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While the free Bookboard trial gives you most of the full experience of using Bookboard, we know that folks have been curious about the?<strong>Premium Features</strong> they get when they <a href="https://app.bookboard.com/decide">purchase a full subscription</a>. Here’s the full scoop..

<a name="unlocks">&nbsp;</a>
<h2>Unlimited Book Unlocks</h2>
<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/unlock_banner.png"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-1699" alt="unlock_banner" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/unlock_banner-1024×292.png" width="499" height="142" /></a>

With Bookboard, kids start out with 25 books as a "sampler", and <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/21/bookboard-launches-app-to-encourage-children-to-read-more-by-limiting-their-choices/">unlock more books as they read, based on their pace, interests, and comprehension</a>. The unlock system is proven to <strong>keep kids motivated</strong> while avoiding overwhelming them with too much choice.<!–more–>

For <a href="http://bookboard.com/sign-up">free trials</a>, we have to limit the number of books kids can unlock. Once your trial expires, your kids’ libraries will stop growing. When you <a href="http://app.bookboard.com/decide">purchase a subscription</a>, unlocking is turned back on, so that new stories will continue to arrive at a pace your kids can handle.

<a name="audio">&nbsp;</a>
<h2>Read-to-Me Audio Books</h2>
Audio books are great when kids want to enjoy books and you aren’t available to read them aloud. We have <strong>over 100 read-to-me books</strong> available to be unlocked, and younger kids gain access to a bunch the moment you subscribe.

From there, if your kids are reading a lot of audio-books, more will be unlocked for them. Here’s a demo of the experience of "reading" audio books (watch in fullscreen!):

Notice a few important points :
<ul>
<li>A new <strong>Audio Books menu button</strong> is available to show all audio books available to your kid.</li>
<li>A new <strong>toggle button</strong> inside the book,?<strong></strong>to turn "read to me" on or off (<span style="color: #ff0000;">red</span> means it’s on)</li>
<li><strong>Keep focus on the text</strong>. Kids tap on the text in order to hear it out loud, just like they do when Mom and Dad are reading to them. If they prefer, double-tap or pinch the page and have each text bubble read itself in order.</li>
</ul>
<a name="offline">&nbsp;</a>
<h2>Offline Access</h2>
<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/offline_banner.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-1706" alt="offline_banner" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/offline_banner.png" width="498" height="185" /></a>We sweated the details here – we want kids to have access to books when they’re not connected to the Internet, but there are two problems to handle :
<ol>
<li>We can’t just download all available books to your device… you’d run out of space!</li>
<li>We don’t want kids (or their parents) to need to manually download or manage books either. Staying simple enough for a 3 year old is important!</li>
</ol>
The solution – when you’re online, <strong>any book you open is made available offline on that device</strong>, up to a maximum of 20 offline books. If you run over the 20 book limit, the least-recently-read book is replaced by the new one. In our ideal world, you won’t even know it’s happening, and it just works.

&nbsp;
<h2>Coming up…</h2>
We’re not resting on our laurels here in the Bookboard labs. We’ve got a lot more coming up in terms of <strong>new books and features</strong>. It’s an exciting time, and we’re glad you’re along for the ride! And if you want <strong>access to the Premium Features above</strong>, <a title="Responding to the Books Children Choose" href="http://app.bookboard.com/decide">buy a Bookboard subscription today</a>!

&nbsp;

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Nigel is a co-founder and serves as the product and technical lead of Bookboard, Inc. With 14-years experience spanning multimedia production, web platform architecture, real-time collaborative applications, and cutting edge UI, Nigel combines the finer details of User Experience with a “serious” Computer Science background. Nigel is the holder of 4 US patents (11 more pending), and has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from University of Alberta, which he paid for working as head instructor at a private tutoring academy, teaching reading, math, and science to kids.

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