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reader apps

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by zuben el genub, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I've been installing and uninstalling quite a few of them. I've got some Epub books and I simply can't get the text to where I can see it! Either the app cuts off half the page and won't scroll, or it won't zoom in. Some are conversions from PDF to EPUB that I did. I have no objection to buying one, but the dratted thing has to work so I can SEE it.
    Do the paid version of Aldiko, etc really zoom in?
    I've got 2.1 on a Samsung Apollo.
    Thanks
    Z
     



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  2. wayrad

    wayrad Android Expert

    Epub readers aren't going to "zoom in". What you need to do is increase font size. Any decent epub reader does that, and reflows the text so it still fits the page. If a book gives trouble about it, it may be that the reader is trying to follow CSS styles within the book. Many readers have an option to ignore internal CSS formatting.

    I'd suggest using a "known good" book for testing, like the free ones from Mobileread, to rule out problems with conversion.
     
  3. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Adobe reader seems to zoom if I can figure out how to control it.
    I did try a book that I didn't mess with, but it's in PDF. That wouldn't increase font size. I bought that copy. But that works fine in Adobe, and not at all in the other reader.
    Some of the pdf I had to mess with - they were in public domain and Google scanned them. Left all kinds of marks on the page where the scanner got his/her fingers! I had to edit that.
    I also can't find the menus for some of the programs.
    Z
     
  4. wayrad

    wayrad Android Expert

    Adobe reader reads .pdf's, doesn't it? Pdf is designed primarily to reproduce the exact appearance of a printed document, and is an entirely different animal from true ebook formats like .epub, which allow much more extensive formatting changes to suit individual tastes and screen sizes (if you can change your font size, type, margins and line spacing, who needs zoom?). If you want to find out more about how ebooks work, try the wiki at Mobileread. And again, to test reader apps, you should first make sure you have a correctly made file of a file type suitable for that app.

    On a small screen it is hardly worth bothering with pdfs made from raw page scans IMO - if you're seeing finger marks, they are nothing but an image of a document and may not even have been converted to machine-readable text ("searchable pdf" which is a small step up), so can't be reformatted in any way except "zoom", which is likely to leave half the text offscreen once you blow it up big enough to read! Searchable pdfs are a bit better, but still are frustrating to read compared to other formats (of course you can at least convert those, but the ones from Google are full of errors...) (edited to add: rereading your post, it sounds like you have one of those Google books where they show an onscreen image of the raw scan, but let you download a searchable pdf version.)

    On most true reader apps you can access the settings via the menu button on your phone.
     
  5. carolinejh

    carolinejh Lurker

    I have installed Aldiko 2.0 on my Archos 43. Reading epubs is excellent. Margins and Font sizing buttons work.

    However, downloaded DRM's from my public library have no font or margin button. Pinch zooming does not work.

    I've talked to my library support staff. They think Aldiko is the best reader for Android and hope that they can somehow make DRM's (Overdrive + ADE) format better. They work perfectly on my laptop screen.

    Does anyone have a solution?
     
  6. wayrad

    wayrad Android Expert

    Well, removal of DRM ("digital rights management", referring to various forms of encryption applied to ebooks in an attempt to ensure vendor/device lockin and prevent piracy) is actually rather easy (in most cases- I have no experience with Overdrive, but have seen it discussed). However, please note that it is technically illegal in the USA.

    Once sanitized, a file can be read with any reader app that handles the underlying file type (.epub in this case), giving you a much wider range of choice in how to read the book that you purchased or borrowed from the library. And of course library books can and should be deleted when the loan period is up, and naturally copies shouldn't be given out (IMHO).

    Google is your friend. As are the Dark Reverser, Apprentice Alf, and I<3cabbages. :D

    P.S. The most recent version of Aldiko seems to me to have sacrificed a lot of useful features for the sake of being able to handle books with DRM. You might have better luck with the previous version, or maybe CoolReader or Moon+. They're all good readers for non-DRM-infested epubs.
     
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