Jide is killing off its Remix OS

Jide has announced that it is ceased development on all of its products. The company, which started in 2014, had the “mission to unlock the potential of Android and accelerate a new age of computing.” The company ran three successful Kickstarter campaigns for its products.

According to The Verge:

Jide previously sold its vision of desktop Android as a cheap, lightweight computing solution for individuals and businesses alike. Earlier this year, it even previewed a version of Remix OS that lived on a smartphone but could power a PC, just like Microsoft’s Continuum. Back then, Jide co-founder David Ko told The Verge that the wide range of Android apps available and the free price of download would attract customers to Remix OS. “If your phone can replace [your PC], it’s a huge saving, and has a big impact to productivity,” said Ko.

This wasn’t enough, though, and Jide’s vision has had to fight against a number of factors, including Google’s fledgling efforts to put Android apps on a Chromebook; the increased popularity of the Chromebook itself, especially in education; and Apple’s push to position the iPad as a desktop replacement. (Arguably, the latter shouldn’t have affected Jide’s sales pitch given the difference in price, but it certainly wouldn’t have helped the company grab any customers in the West.)

Personally, I have a slightly different take on why the product line was not successful. The idea of an Android desktop PC that I could attach to my television was an interesting one, so I bought a Jide Remix Mini last year on Amazon. I have  say that it was one of the worst tech purchases of my life. Straight out of the box, it never worked correctly. The device was slow, clumsy, and had a serious issue with WiFi connection. I never even managed to get the device to do the initial update to the firmware. By the time I got done trying to make the device work, the return window for sending it back for a refund had lapsed and it is currently sitting in my stuff-to-sell-on-eBay box.

If you look at some of the reviews on Amazon, you’ll see a recurring theme of mentions of poor performance and poor support from the company, with remarks like “Don’t waste your time or money with this empty promise of a device” and “Don’t waste your money.”

While Jide might like to blame the other marketplace factors, in reality, this was poorly designed product that never delivered on its initial promise.

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Libraries: Be Careful What You Wish For

Here’s an interesting followup by Bill Rosenblatt from the Copyright and Technology Blog on the new cost-per-circulation model and the potential consequences for libraries. While I love having access to ebooks through libraries, I think that it is important to keep in mind that our taxpayer dollars are paying for these services. We need to pay attention to the conversation and encourage choices that will support long-term access for everyone.

Copyright and Technology

Last week we discussed the new “cost-per-circulation” (CPC) model for public libraries — in which they can make e-books available to patrons and pay the publisher per “loan” instead of paying fixed fees to “acquire” titles as if they were print books (the “pretend it’s print” or PIP model). HarperCollins has just become the first major trade house to license its titles to libraries under the CPC model, and a growing number of library e-book platforms now support it.

This is a major shift in public library e-book distribution, and I explained last week, it’s great for library patrons… in theory. Yet as I’ve heard from several people who use CPC-supporting libraries since last week, the reality is that CPC merely replaces one set of limitations on e-book availability with another. The CPC model may end up giving publishers more control over the titles that libraries…

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Prime Day 2017 Starts Today

Prime Day is Amazon’s Exclusive for Prime Members Annual July sale that some have said offers better bargains than you see on Black Friday. This year’s sale last 30 hours, beginning at 9PM Eastern Time on July 10th and ending at 3AM EDT on Wednesday, July 12th. The deals start two hours earlier for Alexa-enabled devices.

Expect deals on Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Video, Kindle Unlimited and Audible. New deals will be starting every 5 minutes.  There will also be extra savings available through the Amazon Shopping app as well as special voice deals through Alexa-enabled devices.

Remember, the Prime Day Deals are ONLY for Prime Members. Even if you sign up for a 30 day free trial of Prime or under the monthly plan, you can still take advantage of the sales.

Are you looking for anything special?

Kindle First Books for July 2017

Every month, Amazon allows Prime members to download one upcoming book from one of Amazon’s imprints for free. The books are chosen by Amazon’s editors. (These deals are for US customers only.)

This month’s books are:

The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed by Scott Parazynski, Susy Flory – Memoir (This is a Kindle In Motion book that has special feature when read on certain devices.)

Little Boy Lost by J. D. Trafford – Thriller

Secondborn (Secondborn Series Book 1) by Amy A. Bartol – Science Fiction

A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang – Historical Mystery

Mrs. Saint and the Defectives: A Novel by Julie Lawson Timmer – Contemporary Fiction

Kings of Broken Things by Theodore Wheeler – Literary Fiction

Previously, Amazon would allow you to download a second upcoming title for only $1.99. While that offer is no longer available, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, all of these books will be available to read for free when they are released on August 1, 2017 as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Prime members can also sign up to receive a monthly e-mail announcing new Kindle First picks.