Saturday, July 12, 2008

iPhone eReader review, continued

Yesterday, I installed the eReader on the iPhone and began plowing through "The Last of the Mohicans", which came with the program. I was about to try downloading some books when the iPhone decided to go haywire. Three hours later everything was fixed, but I was too tired to mess with eReader's website. However, today is a new day, and I'm pleased to report that I have had great success so far in putting two new books on the iPhone: Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick", a free book, and a book I had previously purchased: Getting Things Done.

While eReader's website seemed extremely slow to me, I finally managed to log in on my existing account and saw that I already had two existing books on my "Bookshelf" from my Treo days. It turns out that you add books over wi-fi (no iTunes middle man) from this online "Bookshelf". The only bad thing is that you have to go to eReader's website and buy the book (no store from within the app), and then you can download it to the iPhone. I've gotten rather used to being able to put things directly on the iPhone from the onboard iTunes and App Store, but I can't complain too much. Once you've logged into eReader's website from the iPhone eReader app, you log in with your eReader account and can begin downloading books from your online "Bookshelf". I started with "Moby Dick", and some three minutes later (I guess the book is pretty big), I was able to begin reading. After stumbling through a couple of pages (you really need a dictionary handy when reading "Moby Dick"), I tried to download "Getting Things Done". Opening paid for content is a little tricky since you have to enter your name and credit card number, but I punched it in and the book opened up. It's still easier then the Treo method which required downloading a zip file, opening it up, and then transfering it over. Theoretically, I suppose you can buy all the books on the eReader site from Safari on the iPhone, thus bypassing your local computer entirely, however, I think a wi-fi connection is still required. I'll try that later and see how it turns out.

I noticed that that there were some useful tools on eReader like Search, Chapters, and Font by tapping once on the screen. I hadn't seen them yesterday and thought that eReader had forgot them in the rush to get the program in the App Store. There are a lot of half-cooked apps out there, and I'm glad to report the eReader is not one of them. I still have a few gripes about landscape mode as the menus don't switch orientation, but other then that the app is solid. Having the ability to read books in Airplane mode is vital, and Lord knows this app would have made my 17 hour train ride to Washington much more bearable. I look forward to building up my library and drastically increasing the number of books I read in a year.

4 comments:

Martyn said...

Yeah Its great .. but I wish there was a way to put over PDB book files that you have on your hard drive already .. I have a really large collection of books not bought from ereader .. and no way for ereader iPhone to read them!

steve said...

Hi,

I'm Steve Pendergrast of Fictionwise.

We are in the process of adding a way to upload personal content (pdb and palm doc) as well as ereader files you bought elsewhere.

We are also of course continuing to develop the ereader iphone app. We'll be coming out with a more feature rich release in just a few weeks. We did have to keep it simple to make the grand opening of the app store, but we're filling in the gaps even now. It will take several more releases, several weeks apart each, to get in all the features we think are necessary. But you have to start somewhere.

Take care,
Steve P.

Martyn said...

Thankyou for that information! greatly recieved ...

I have always used ereader (palm version , Mac Version etc ) I cant wait till its fully functional on my iPhone as well .. that will practically consign my palm lifedrive to the bin!
less to carry :)
will it have the same themes as the palm version ?

Thanks!

Oli from the-iBlog.com said...

For anyone having download errors using the iPhone app, read http://www.the-iblog.com/2008/07/28/fix-problems-with-ereader-not-download-books/