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  1.    #1  
    Description

    An eBook reader for the WebOS currently supporting HTML formatted books with more formats on the way (with Palm assistance ). The Shortcovers application has limited functionality preventing it from being a fully realized eBook reader application. Palm Reader is a more complete eBook reader with functionality users have come to expect.

    Note:

    The version being released to the Homebrew Gallery is a "lite" version which allows for only two books to be loaded to the Pre. This has been intended as a paid app since its inception, and will hopefully be seen in the Pre Catalog as soon as paid apps are available. This version is intended for beta testing purposes (feedback is extremely welcome). The Pre Catalog version will have no limitations to the number of books that can be read.



    Palm Reader has the following features:

    • On device library management. Add books to library, delete from library, edit title and author.
    • Bookmarks, bookmark management, and jump to any location in the book.
    • Current position in the book is saved when exiting the application. Loading the book returns you to where you left off.
    • Auto-scroll with variable speed, or "flick" up or down to move through the book. The on-screen arrow keys adjust the speed of the Auto-scroll. Right arrow key speeds the scroll and left arrow key slows the scroll.
    • "Flick" pages left or right, or use on screen arrow keys to read page by page.
    • Search capability by word or phrase.
    • Dictionary look up of a word with five on-line dictionary choices: Wikipedia, Google, YourDictionary, Websters, Urban Dictionary.
    • Full array of adjustable preferences: Font Size, Text Color, Background Color, Screen Orientation, "Flick" Paging (On/Off)


    Known Issues:

    • Due to limitations with the current SDK, Palm Reader will currently only support HTML formatted books. Popular formats such as ePub and Mobipocket are archived files that cannot be decompressed on the Pre at this time. We have requested access from Palm to be able to support these formats (non DRM of course).
    • Currently the Pre will still turn the screen off even while reading a book unless finger swipes or other actions are performed. There is a homebrew app designed to prevent this, and a Preware tweak that adds an option to prevent this, but there is no Palm authorized method at this time.


    Directions:
    • There are several popular utilities available to convert your existing eBooks into HTML. Once the book is converted, simply copy the book (you may copy the folder structure, and any images if you wish) to the Pre in USB mode. Feel free to use whatever folder structure you like, Palm Reader will find the book.
    • After you have copied the books to the Pre, load up Palm Reader and it will explain that you have no books in your library. Press the "Search for Book" button and it will find all of the HTML files you have copied to the USB drive.
    • Select the book and Palm Reader will format the file for the screen (this does take a while the first time this book is being loaded, so please be patient).
    • The book is now in your library where you can edit the title and author, or simply begin reading.


    Change Log:

    Version 1.0.2:
    • Added an option to the dictionary preference to disable word lookup.
    • Added experimental support for plain text files.
    • Fixed some of the chapter-navigation issues.
    • Fixed a bug that prevented paragraph alignment from being preserved.

    Version 1.0.1:
    • Fixed trial bug which penalized pressing the search button rather than actually selecting a book.
    • Added a percentage readout on the Go To -> Specify dialog.
    • Added full screen mode accessible by tap-holding on screen.
    • Added a preference to determine the direction of page flicking.
    • Added a preference to specify action to take when launched (i.e. Library, Last Opened Book, etc.)
    • Removed "Your Dictionary" from dictionary options and added "Dictionary.com."
    • Mapped spacebar to "Page Down" in anticipation of greater future keyboard support.
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    Last edited by vance6842; 10/08/2009 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Edited feature list
  2. wkalam2's Avatar
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    #2  
    Very cool! This looks like a very useful app. Thanks!
  3. #3  
    Nice! Will this work with ereader.com books?
    Pilot 1000 -> Pilot 5000 ->Palm Pilot Professional -> HP 620LX -> TRG Pro -> Palm V -> Palm Vx -> Palm M505 -> Palm i705 -> Palm Tungsten|T -> Samsung i500 -> Treo 600->Treo 650 -> Treo 600-> Treo 700p ->Centro ->Treo 800w + Redfly C8n -> Palm Pre -> HP Touchpad
    R.I.P Palm 1996-2011
  4. #4  
    Edit: Oops, answered my own question by reading. Only HTML for now.

    I need ePub support myself, hopefully you can get that done in later versions (especially since it's really just HTML in a zip file).
  5. #5  
    Congratulations.

    Your app will officially be the first paid app I buy.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    Edit: Oops, answered my own question by reading. Only HTML for now.

    I need ePub support myself, hopefully you can get that done in later versions (especially since it's really just HTML in a zip file).
    As you pointed out, it's basically just an HTML file inside a zip file.

    There are plenty of programs that will convert it to an HTML file for you, allowing you to use this app, which looks like a very nice app as far as I was able to text with the 2-book limit.

    The minute this thing hits the app store I'll be removing homebrews until there's room for it.
  7. #7  
    Thanks for the ebook reader. What other formats are you planning to add? I hope you can add at least rtf.
  8. SirWill's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by betosbooks View Post
    Thanks for the ebook reader. What other formats are you planning to add? I hope you can add at least rtf.
    Just save the RTF file to HTML!
  9. SirWill's Avatar
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    #9  
    Question, what about HTML books that is 1 book, but consists of a lot of HTML files and images?
  10. precntrl's Avatar
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    #10  
    Eh, i like that other people are trying to come up with a decent solution but this is lacking big time at this point.

    Lack of landscape support, lack of file format support other then HTML (i understand that this is more on palm then you, but i'd imagine this is kind of THE crucial feature of an ebook reader). I also have formatting errors on the one HTML file I did have to test. The margins seemed to be off, cutting off content, which was especially evident in an indented bulleted list.

    You might also want to kill the book limit until you have more of a useable app, just going into library view without opening anything knocked off one of my two uses, that's pretty shoddy.

    I'm glad your working on something, but if this just gets dumped to a paid app without a ton of revision I can't see anyone choosing this over a portable app from one of the ebook providers. Catch 22 and all...
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by rc46 View Post
    Nice! Will this work with ereader.com books?
    I am aware that this is likely the biggest issue with the app until we can get Palm to support archives on the device itself. Formats like ereader.com distribute are simply packaged HTML files with images and usually some sort of styling information. As of the latest SDK we are unable to decompress these archives into the native HTML on the Pre. This has to be done on the PC prior to sending to the Pre.

    Quote Originally Posted by betosbooks View Post
    Thanks for the ebook reader. What other formats are you planning to add? I hope you can add at least rtf.
    This is largely answered above. As another poster commented, you can rather easily save the RTF to HTML using Word or other software.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirWill View Post
    Question, what about HTML books that is 1 book, but consists of a lot of HTML files and images?
    I think I know what you are talking about, the HTML will not link to external files, even if they are other HTML files. Images should render within the book itself if they are sized properly within the HTML, but links themselves do not work.

    Quote Originally Posted by precntrl View Post
    Eh, i like that other people are trying to come up with a decent solution but this is lacking big time at this point.

    Lack of landscape support, lack of file format support other then HTML (i understand that this is more on palm then you, but i'd imagine this is kind of THE crucial feature of an ebook reader). I also have formatting errors on the one HTML file I did have to test. The margins seemed to be off, cutting off content, which was especially evident in an indented bulleted list.

    You might also want to kill the book limit until you have more of a useable app, just going into library view without opening anything knocked off one of my two uses, that's pretty shoddy.

    I'm glad your working on something, but if this just gets dumped to a paid app without a ton of revision I can't see anyone choosing this over a portable app from one of the ebook providers. Catch 22 and all...
    Good points and we are working on several of them. The largest issue is support for other formats which I hope Palm will realize the need and grant us access. The application does support landscape mode however, it is how I read books exclusively (it feels more comfortable in my hand that way) it is under preferences. We have tested a great deal of books and formatting issues are, at least in the tests, largely an issue within the file itself. If you are interested, send me the file that you used and I will look at it. I will also renew the limit on your uses, and work on resolving the issue. Thanks for the feedback.
  12. #12  
    Any word on when this wlil hit the catalog?

    I know there's work to be done, but I'd pay for this today, as-is.
  13. #13  
    Certainly like the idea. I really want an ebook reader. Problem is most of my books are purchased (DRM) and I am sure I can't just convert them to HTML. Please correct me if I am wrong. I hope I am. But without being able to use purchased books there is of little use. Keep up the work, I hope in the future I will be able to use it.
  14. SirWill's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by vance6842 View Post
    I think I know what you are talking about, the HTML will not link to external files, even if they are other HTML files. Images should render within the book itself if they are sized properly within the HTML, but links themselves do not work.
    Ahh in other words absolutely no navigation then. Bummer. Big bummer.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by pjjohn73 View Post
    Certainly like the idea. I really want an ebook reader. Problem is most of my books are purchased (DRM) and I am sure I can't just convert them to HTML. Please correct me if I am wrong. I hope I am. But without being able to use purchased books there is of little use. Keep up the work, I hope in the future I will be able to use it.
    Yup, you pretty much missed the point.

    There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of freely available ebooks in non-drm formats all over the internet.

    On my old WinMo device I generally kept around 60 books with me.

    For DRM books, you won't be able to read the ones you already have until the companies you bought them from release their readers for the Pre. This will not come from a 3rd party app.

    However, you can buy new drm ebooks for shortcovers, which actually isn't bad.
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by pjjohn73 View Post
    Certainly like the idea. I really want an ebook reader. Problem is most of my books are purchased (DRM) and I am sure I can't just convert them to HTML. Please correct me if I am wrong. I hope I am. But without being able to use purchased books there is of little use. Keep up the work, I hope in the future I will be able to use it.
    DRM is kind of a difficult issue to discuss and there is a great deal of controversy regarding your legal right to content that you have purchased. With that said, it is technically possible to convert your DRM books to HTML, however I believe there are possible legal ramifications and I can't recommend any utilities for that reason. Sorry to be so vague. As another user posted, there is an extremely large selection of freely available books available on the internet which will work very well with Palm Reader.
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by SirWill View Post
    Ahh in other words absolutely no navigation then. Bummer. Big bummer.
    Navigation through HTML links will not work, you are correct. You can move through the book with Palm Reader, however. There is a menu function Go To which will let you jump to any percentage of the book (i.e 50% would be exactly half way through).
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by VeeDubb65 View Post
    Yup, you pretty much missed the point.

    There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of freely available ebooks in non-drm formats all over the internet.

    On my old WinMo device I generally kept around 60 books with me.

    For DRM books, you won't be able to read the ones you already have until the companies you bought them from release their readers for the Pre. This will not come from a 3rd party app.

    However, you can buy new drm ebooks for shortcovers, which actually isn't bad.
    No I really did not miss the point. I realize there are lots of free ebooks, I have many. But I also have and read many books only available by purchase. So You are correct this will be a really great program for free ebooks. Sorry if I made my comment sound negative. I know this is a good thing, guess just anxious a ereader app for drm also. Does shortcovers have a good selection?, I may have to try it out also.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by vance6842 View Post
    DRM is kind of a difficult issue to discuss and there is a great deal of controversy regarding your legal right to content that you have purchased. With that said, it is technically possible to convert your DRM books to HTML, however I believe there are possible legal ramifications and I can't recommend any utilities for that reason. Sorry to be so vague. As another user posted, there is an extremely large selection of freely available books available on the internet which will work very well with Palm Reader.
    Thank you for the information Vance!
  20. bugduk's Avatar
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    #20  
    First of all, a big thank you.

    1. I tried to load a big HTML file. Didn't work. But this used 1 of my 2 allotted slots for books. Bummer. Allowing two books but requiring one to be removed before loading another would have been reasonable. I still eventually would have wanted to store a library and would buy the app.
    UPDATE: Since last night, a new slot opened up.

    2. Progress Bar on the way? Nice to know how far along I am.

    3. I'm wondering if I'll get used to the last line of one page being the first line of the next page.

    4. I have lots of mobipocket books, most homemade. I'd love to be able to read all of these. At this point, it looks like I'll buy this app anyway, but being able to read these old mobipocket books would be sweet indeed.
    Last edited by bugduk; 10/06/2009 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Adding a "thank you" plus more feedback
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