eReader Terms You Should Know...

Whether you are new to eReaders or consider yourself a pro, here are just a few terms that you should be familiar with as we progress through the month of February focusing on eReader technology. Oh yeah and just in case I miss an term you think is important, feel free to add it as a comment. Or if you want to give us your take on one of the definitions below, feel free to do that too!

Don't forget to take this month's poll question: How did you receive your eReader?

3G (or Third Generation). Commonly heard in regards to cell phones and cellular networks, it is a wireless format that enables you to access to Internet content via your eReader. Having an eReader with 3G means it has the Internet built-in. As long as you can get a signal, then you can access the eReader store and buy/download eBooks. Since 3G is built-in, there is no monthly fee or subscription for utilizing it. (see also eBook & eReader)

app (or application). Commonly heard in regards to smartphones, it is a generic term for a stand-alone application (or program). Most eReaders come pre-installed with apps. Some vendors provide a store in which you can download and install additional apps either at no additional charge or for a small fee.

DRM (or digital rights management). A concept derived from the music industry in which control is held over description, identification, trading, protection, monitoring and tracking of both tangible and intangible assets. Ultimately, DRM allows for limited user access while at the same time meeting the restrictions set forth by the actual copyright holder. An example of DRM is whether or not eBooks can be shared with others and at what rate.

eBook (or electronic book). An digitally-formatted interactive book often containing hyperlinks and other multimedia. Designed to be read from a desktop, laptop or tablet computer or a portable reading device also known as as eReader. eBooks are often restricted by digital rights management (see also eReader & DRM). Other variations of eBook are e-Book, eBook, Ebook and EBook.

eInk - Developed in the mid-90s by the E Ink Corporation, eInk also known as "electronic ink", is a technology that displays or mimics the look of ink on paper. This technology is most commonly used now for eReaders because it is easier on the eyes. eInk is usually associated with various shades of gray but in recent years, eInk is becoming available in color for eReaders. (Source:

ePaper (or electronic paper). see eInk.

eReader - An portable electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals and uses e-Ink technology to display content. Some eReaders have multi-function capabilities offering additional features such as the ability to access the Internet, download and playing apps, listening to music and much more. see app.

ePub (or electronic publication). This format is the most common format in which eBooks come. ePub is the standard for all eBooks; however, not all eBooks come in ePub format. Some come in other formats, such as plain text (TXT), portable document format (PDF), or mobile version (MOBI), among others.  For example: Amazon Kindle books are DRM-protected and restricted with a format called AZW; therefore, Amazon Kindle eReader does not support ePub. see PDF.

PDF (or portable document format). A format developed in the early 80s by Adobe Systems. This format allows for users to store, open and print a document used free software called Adobe Reader (available here). PDF files always end with a .pdf extention - resume.pdf.

Wi-Fi (or wireless fidelity). A means in which a portable device such as an eReader, laptop, or tablet computer can connect to the Internet wirelessly. Unlike 3G, Wi-Fi is not built in. So you must be in the vicinity of a Wi-Fi connection to connect to it.
       There are two ways to access Wi-Fi: through a secure or an unsecure network. Secure Wi-Fi network have a password that only authorized people have, while an "unsecured Wi-Fi network" is open to all. For security purposes, always use caution with connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network since these types of network can be easily hacked to gain unauthorized access to your devices. (Other variations are WiFi or WIFI). see 3G.

Don't forget to take this month's poll question: How did you receive your eReader?

Check out these eReader glossary available on the Internet:

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