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Old 04-11-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
MobiPocket: Oy

The first website I went to was MobiPocket. The reason was simple: I have more MobiPocket-formatted books than anything else right now. It took no time at all to find the link to download the Mobi CAB file directly onto the TP2 (no PC intermediary needed! Cool!). But it did take me a bit more time to figure out where the CAB file was dumped. I do this all the time: I’d download the app onto my PDA, then search through File Explorer to figure out what directory it was dropped into when you selected “no folder.” (It goes to My Device/My Documents. Someday, maybe I’ll remember that!) Clicking on the CAB file went through the usual install that Windows Mobile users are familiar with.

From the Start menu, you have to select “All Programs” from the lower menu to see the MobiPocket app. If you want an easier process, you can scroll down past the apps displayed under the initial Start screen, until you come across a square with a “+” on it. Tap it, and you can scroll down and find the app you want, tap the app’s icon, and it will be added to your Start screen.

All of that was the good news.

The bad news came when I opened the app. The Mobi app for WinMo 6 is simply not designed for the latest touch-phones, and it shows. Some menu items don’t work properly, and some not at all. The library menu that displayed at first was uncomfortably large, so I tried to use the Options menu to diminish the font. Unfortunately, the options list displayed 5 numbered items—general, fonts, colors, display, buttons and library—none of which worked at all, either when you tapped the items, or tried to select the items or item numbers with the physical keyboard. Pressing the OK in the bottom screen menu just sent you back to the Library.

Once a book was opened, there was no way to move a page with a finger-swipe… the only option was to slide open the physical keyboard, which turned the page into landscape mode, and use the arrow buttons to advance the page. But if you still want to read the page in portrait mode, you can use the menu to select “display, rotate.” The pages have a generous margin, a slight extra space between paragraphs, a first line indent, and justified text. Hope you like it… because you can’t change any of it. At first, I thought the progress bar was missing… as well as an entire line of text at the bottom! But it turns out that if you hit the enter key on the physical keyboard, it removes the top and bottom menu bars on the screen, revealing the missing line and progress bar. Another minor note: In portrait mode, the icon for the on-screen keyboard won’t go away, so it will actually obscure a few letters of whatever word is in the middle of the bottom line. Maybe it’s easier to get used to landscape.

Once a document is open, you can change the font size up or down, add a bookmark (though I couldn’t for the life of me find a way to remove it), move to a particular page by number (useful if you manage to expose the progress bar), find a word, and return to the Library. So, bottom line, it is workable… and I must say, the text quality is fantastic! But it’s a shame not all of the menu functions work on this device. I suppose I could get used to reading in portrait or landscape mode, keeping a finger poised on the keyboard arrow to flip pages… but I wouldn’t call it ideal.

Connecting to MobiPocket Reader on my PC took just a bit of doing: At first, the PC app did not recognize the phone app, and insisted that there was no working app on the phone (when, in fact, there was). But after a few attempts to connect the phone and tell the PC app to install the app on the phone, it eventually decided the phone app was good after all. I had already moved most of my mobi files to the phone, but I discovered that I could not open some of them (yes, the DRM’d ones) until I re-downloaded them from the PC app… and in the case of my Fictionwise books, I had to manually enter my Fictionwise name and password when downloading the books. But they all made it onto the phone okay.

Sadly, Amazon has not developed a Kindle app for the Windows smartphone. You won’t be able to read a Kindle book in your MobiPocket reader, unless it comes without DRM, or if you can jailbreak any DRM that is on the file (not that I’m recommending anyone jailbreak their file… I’m just sayin’). Can we expect to see a Kindle app for this phone in the future? With WinMo having moved on to Series 7, very few are interested on updating apps for older OSs, so I’m not holding my breath…
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