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Old 01-16-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
Ham Cannon
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Kobo iOS apps future version request thread

This is a thread for requests and comments regarding what we would like to see in future versions of the Kobo iPhone and iPad apps

Most of my comments below relate to the iPad app rather than the iPhone app.

- The font size selector is too fidgety. Rather than having a slider to select between font sizes, there should be two buttons, up or down. Or, you could have a slider with buttons on either side, like on the Touch.

- More fonts, and more granularity in the font sizes, would be most welcome.

- I would like to see an option to delete the spacing between paragraphs.

- Page turns are a little slow and choppy on the iPad 1. This is not a problem on the iPad 2.

- The bar at the bottom that shows your progress throughout the chapter and the book is hard to understand and makes it hard to navigate between chapters. I would like to see it scrapped and replaced with a number that shows you the number of pages left in the book and/or chapter, along with perhaps something like the "black bar" in the Touch that shows your progress through the whole book showing notches for each chapter.

- Hyphenation on the iPhone app please! On such a small screen, the word spacing can get really messed up without hyphenation, especially if you read justified text.

- Would like the option to pinch and zoom pictures in books.

- A two-page landscape mode would be nice on the iPad app, like in iBooks.

- In night reading mode, the top bar (the system bar, with the clock and battery meter) should either disappear, or dim along with the rest of the text. In fact, it would be nice to have this bar removed entirely while reading in any mode.

- Syncing, syncing, syncing! Kobo has been promising that syncing works fine for countless months but I can tell you, page syncing between the iPad, iPhone, and Touch is still extremely unreliable.

Phew, I think that's it for now! I hope someone from Kobo is reading this. Anyone else have any comments?
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:12 PM   #2
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I want more fonts too, and 2 columns mode in landscape mode.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Cannon View Post
- Hyphenation on the iPhone app please! On such a small screen, the word spacing can get really messed up without hyphenation, especially if you read justified text.
Hyphenation is available in the iPhone app, but requires iOS 4.2… have you tried changing the text justification setting from publisher default to justified?


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- Would like the option to pinch and zoom pictures in books.
Pinch-and-zoom is in the app too – just tap and hold on any image in a book, and it will enlarge and can then be zoomed in or out .

Cheers,
Charles

Edit: Oh, and thanks for the feedback

Last edited by lessthanyouthink; 01-16-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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Excellent thread idea! I am surprised it's not been posted before. I'm sending the link to this onto the development team.

Speaking to the Sync side of things, try the next version (should be available this week) and see how that works for you. We've made a couple of changes.
One is to how the book progress is calculated, so that should be far more accurate than it was.
The other relates to the actual position within the book, what we term "cloud bookmarking".

Over the past few releases we have made a couple of changes to this, as there were a few issues, one of the big ones being that we were not correctly saving the position you were at. If you used one device and you did not sign out of your account, then you would probably would not have noticed, as we store the position locally and also sync it to the cloud.
If you used more than one device you may well have noticed when you read the book on one iOS device and then went to another device and opened the book, it would not be in the same position. As said, this was previously fixed.

The soon-to-be-released version has another fix relating to cloud bookmarks, specifically how we were calculating where in the book you were. What happened was that we would not get the position reference sent back to us and this caused us not to be able to send a cloud bookmark to the server, and thus when you opened the book on another device, you would not be at the correct position in the book.

At present, I know of only one existing issue with cloud bookmarking; If a book does not contain, or does not correctly define the tags we use for cloud bookmarking then a bookmark will not be sent to the server and therefore you may find on other devices that you are not in the correct position in the book. This is a pretty rare situation and it would be a per-book issue, so if you find a book where it's not working, do let us know and we will look into it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lessthanyouthink View Post
Hyphenation is available in the iPhone app, but requires iOS 4.2… have you tried changing the text justification setting from publisher default to justified?




Pinch-and-zoom is in the app too – just tap and hold on any image in a book, and it will enlarge and can then be zoomed in or out .

Cheers,
Charles

Edit: Oh, and thanks for the feedback
Good tips, thanks... switching from Publisher Default to Justified does indeed give hyphenation.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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Here's an example of some syncing weirdness that happened to me just the other day. I've been reading "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson. I was reading primarily on the Touch, connected to Wi-Fi. Picking up my iPad, it would sync to the most recent page that I'd been reading about half the time. About 3/4 of the time, after reading on the iPad, the Touch would recognize that I had read to a new page.

As if that weren't enough, a couple of days later I opened up the iPhone app and opened the book. It was on the first page of the book, even though I was halfway through on the iPad and Touch. I exited the app and opened the book on the iPad... which then opened to the first page of the book! It had synced the very first page of the book as my last page read.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Cannon View Post
Here's an example of some syncing weirdness that happened to me just the other day. I've been reading "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson. I was reading primarily on the Touch, connected to Wi-Fi. Picking up my iPad, it would sync to the most recent page that I'd been reading about half the time. About 3/4 of the time, after reading on the iPad, the Touch would recognize that I had read to a new page.

As if that weren't enough, a couple of days later I opened up the iPhone app and opened the book. It was on the first page of the book, even though I was halfway through on the iPad and Touch. I exited the app and opened the book on the iPad... which then opened to the first page of the book! It had synced the very first page of the book as my last page read.
The latter makes sense, albeit not the desired behaviour. When you closed the app on iPhone it sent up a cloud bookmark of the current location (first page), then when you open it on the iPad it will have obtained the bookmarks from the server, which would have been pointing to page one, hence why you were on page one when you opened the book on iPad.

As mentioned, when the new version is released, have a look and see if things are improved for you, and let me know (send me a private message) and I'll look into it for you.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:16 AM   #8
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Thanks Sharkus, I will check out the latest versions of the apps and keep you posted. And I'm honoured to have a stickied thread!

Two more things:

- From what I understand, in iOS5, apps can access a system-wide brightness feature (like being able to go to settings/brightness without leaving the app). However, the Kobo app still seems to merely darken the page and text when you reduce the brightness (to see what I mean, check out how the dimming looks in iBooks as opposed to Kobo.) It would be nice for the brightness to take advantage of this, and would solve the problem I mentioned in my first post about the clock bar being too bright in night reading mode.

- Again in terms of syncing, not sure how feasible this is, but it would be great if side-loaded books could sync between devices. I'm thinking specifically of public domain epubs downloaded from Project Gutenberg. For what it's worth, iBooks does this handily (but of course that doesn't help with reading on my Kobo Touch.)

Last edited by Ham Cannon; 01-17-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:33 AM   #9
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One fix I want too : some sideloaded books don't show the cover artwork, in iBooks shows fine.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks Sharkus, I will check out the latest versions of the apps and keep you posted. And I'm honoured to have a stickied thread!

Two more things:

- From what I understand, in iOS5, apps can access a system-wide brightness feature (like being able to go to settings/brightness without leaving the app). However, the Kobo app still seems to merely darken the page and text when you reduce the brightness (to see what I mean, check out how the dimming looks in iBooks as opposed to Kobo.) It would be nice for the brightness to take advantage of this, and would solve the problem I mentioned in my first post about the clock bar being too bright in night reading mode.

- Again in terms of syncing, not sure how feasible this is, but it would be great if side-loaded books could sync between devices. I'm thinking specifically of public domain epubs downloaded from Project Gutenberg. For what it's worth, iBooks does this handily (but of course that doesn't help with reading on my Kobo Touch.)

I think one of the devs has mentioned the brightness control before, so it might well be looked into. Status bar is another hot-topic, it'd probably be a user configurable option as to wether it is displayed or not.

Sync of side-loaded files. I'll add that to our list of things to look at. We would have to upload the book to a server to allow other devices to access it.


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One fix I want too : some sideloaded books don't show the cover artwork, in iBooks shows fine.
Could you possibly give me links to some of the books that are not displaying cover artwork please.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:37 AM   #11
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I want to see them fix the ePub rendering they broke on the last update. Prior versions displayed side loaded ePub fine but this version refuses to acknowledge line breaks between paragraphs. If you turn kobo styling on it registers two line breaks between paragraphs. They worked fine in the prior version.

But better than the android version, don't even have the option of setting th text to justified.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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I want to see them fix the ePub rendering they broke on the last update. Prior versions displayed side loaded ePub fine but this version refuses to acknowledge line breaks between paragraphs. If you turn kobo styling on it registers two line breaks between paragraphs. They worked fine in the prior version.

But better than the android version, don't even have the option of setting th text to justified.
A few questions:
1. Are you talking about version 5.3 of the application.

2. If possible, can you provide links to the epubs you are side-loading that are not functioning correctly, if they are free content that is. If not, please let me know the title / author of the book and where it was obtained from.
I want to try and replicate this issue in-house but obviously need the epubs to be able to do this.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:49 PM   #13
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Still no luck with the syncing even after the latest update to the iOS apps. I read a couple of chapters of a book (Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson) over the weekend on my iPad, while connected to wi-fi. Just now, I fired up the Kobo app on my iPhone, and it doesn't recognize the new bookmark.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:19 PM   #14
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Not sure if this has been requested before but I would like cloud bookmarking with sideloaded or third party epubs. My kindle does this.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkus View Post
A few questions:
1. Are you talking about version 5.3 of the application.

2. If possible, can you provide links to the epubs you are side-loading that are not functioning correctly, if they are free content that is. If not, please let me know the title / author of the book and where it was obtained from.
I want to try and replicate this issue in-house but obviously need the epubs to be able to do this.
I am running 5.3, but it is on iOS 4.2 (not upgrading to 5, too many issues IMHO).

I downloaded the mobi and used Calibre to convert it. I can email you the converted epub is you like.
http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/1...Mars/index.htm

Funny thing is, on the Kobo wifi it is correct, using the Bluefire or Stanza app the formatting is correct. Just on the iOS app with Kobo styling off it doesn't space between paragraphs properly. What I mean is, the book is written where a space occurs between paragraphs, or sections, when a scene changes.

An example from the ebook is;

Quote:
"Yes sir, " Conner replied, and immediately began passing along strings of orders to the senior advisors in the room and across the system via AIC QM.
Alberts decided to take a stroll around the West Wing and wait for further developments. The end of his era was going to come soon and he feared now with much less praise than he had hoped for. His legacy was changing dramatically by the second.

"CAG on deck!"
"At ease." Lieutenant Commander Jack Boland stepped up to the podium in the front of the briefing room. The large gray conference room was more than thirty meters wide and twice that deep and could hold a seated audience of more than a thousand people in the stadium seating. The room was crowded and standing-room-only at present.
"All right, here is our game plan fresh from the Looney Bin, up the food chain, and White House blessed," Jack started, sarcastically. "Before I go into that I want to make certain that everybody has been briefed on the new Seppie Stinger mecha that is comparable in capabilities to the Marine FM-12s. Everybody has been briefed at this point, right?" Jack paused and saw affirmitive nods and grunts and saw no hands go up.
But on iOS it gets displayed as;

Quote:
"Yes sir, " Conner replied, and immediately began passing along strings of orders to the senior advisors in the room and across the system via AIC QM.
Alberts decided to take a stroll around the West Wing and wait for further developments. The end of his era was going to come soon and he feared now with much less praise than he had hoped for. His legacy was changing dramatically by the second.
"CAG on deck!"
"At ease." Lieutenant Commander Jack Boland stepped up to the podium in the front of the briefing room. The large gray conference room was more than thirty meters wide and twice that deep and could hold a seated audience of more than a thousand people in the stadium seating. The room was crowded and standing-room-only at present.
"All right, here is our game plan fresh from the Looney Bin, up the food chain, and White House blessed," Jack started, sarcastically. "Before I go into that I want to make certain that everybody has been briefed on the new Seppie Stinger mecha that is comparable in capabilities to the Marine FM-12s. Everybody has been briefed at this point, right?" Jack paused and saw affirmitive nods and grunts and saw no hands go up.
Using Kobo styling it works fine, but that styling method forces a blank line between all paragraphs, and two lines between paragraphs that should have one. It is more correct, but the large line spacing is a real pain.

Using Kobo styling;

Quote:
"Yes sir, " Conner replied, and immediately began passing along strings of orders to the senior advisors in the room and across the system via AIC QM.

Alberts decided to take a stroll around the West Wing and wait for further developments. The end of his era was going to come soon and he feared now with much less praise than he had hoped for. His legacy was changing dramatically by the second.



"CAG on deck!"

"At ease." Lieutenant Commander Jack Boland stepped up to the podium in the front of the briefing room. The large gray conference room was more than thirty meters wide and twice that deep and could hold a seated audience of more than a thousand people in the stadium seating. The room was crowded and standing-room-only at present.

"All right, here is our game plan fresh from the Looney Bin, up the food chain, and White House blessed," Jack started, sarcastically. "Before I go into that I want to make certain that everybody has been briefed on the new Seppie Stinger mecha that is comparable in capabilities to the Marine FM-12s. Everybody has been briefed at this point, right?" Jack paused and saw affirmitive nods and grunts and saw no hands go up.
Are you on the development team? Do you have the ability to provide suggestions to the dev team? I'm asking as I posted on getsatisfaction regarding the android app, and I sent an email as suggested but no response. Currently I feel the android app is very sub-par in comparison.
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