Keep kids entertained while they’re stuck indoors with free Audible audiobooks

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Cassette tapes
What better way to while away the day than with a book on tape?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Struggling for ways to entertain your kids with schools out and social distancing in play? Streaming audiobook company Audible has your back.

Audible is offering free audiobook stories for kids to “help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.” (And, hopefully one day, Audible subscribers.)

Apple offers free audiobooks narrated by celebrities

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Apple Books free audiobooks
‘Great First Listens’ get you started with Apple Books.
Photo: Apple

Apple is offering a bunch of free audiobooks narrated by celebrities, including Kate Beckinsale and Kelsey Grammer.

The giveaway is an effort to promote Apple Books, which saw a big overhaul with iOS 12 — but audiobook fans will probably feel Apple could have done better.

How to pair your AirPods with your Kindle Oasis

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kindle AirPods
A new Kindle software update adds AirPod-friendly Bluetooth.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Amazon is rolling out an update to the Kindle Oasis which activates a hitherto-dormant Bluetooth chip, allowing you to connect it to speakers and headphones. That includes your Apple AirPods, if you have some. Today we’ll see how to connect and use your AirPods with your Kindle Oasis, and take a look at the other new features in this recent update.

Great travel apps to make your trip easy and fun [Tech Travel Tips]

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Rome vacation travel apps
Travel isn't all about visiting amazing places. Sometimes it's about using apps on your phone, too.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

tech travel tips You already have all the travel gadgets you need for a successful and relaxed trip. Today we’re going to look at travel apps. Specifically, apps that make your trip better and easier, like great city guides.

We’ll also showcase apps that work around limitations you face while traveling, like a lack of bandwidth. Let’s get started!

Apple and Amazon end audiobook deal to avoid antitrust case

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CoM_Audible
Apple won't only buy audiobooks from Audible any more.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple has settled a possible antitrust lawsuit to the satisfaction of European Commission regulators and German Federal Cartel Office, after scrapping an exclusivity deal with the Amazon-owned Audible.

The investigation dates back to November 2015, following complaints from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.

Germany investigating Apple’s audiobook deal with Amazon

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
Apple has another antitrust investigation underway.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s just gotten to the end of its long and convoluted eBooks antitrust case, and now Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is reportedly investigating the company’s agreement with Amazon for purchasing audiobooks.

Apple and Amazon are said to have a long-term agreement in place for purchasing audio books from Amazon’s Audible company to distribute via the iTunes store. The terms of the deal haven’t been made clear.

Kindle App Vs. iBooks. (Spoiler: They’re Virtually Identical Now!) [Feature]

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Yesterday, Amazon’s iOS Kindle app was updated to add multicolor highlights, “Book End Actions” (rate, review, share, see recommendations) and to fix the brightness control, which now stays set across app switching or sleep.

At first I thought “Meh, iBooks has had most of that since forever.” And then I thought “Wait, are there any differences left between these two apps?”

The answer is — of course — yes. But it’s more complicated than that…