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Old 09-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
jackie_w
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[Android App] Calibre Companion Wishlist?

Hi chaley,

The clue's in the title, is there a CC wishlist thread? I only just bought the app and I must congratulate you on a slick experience so far.

I anticipated connection problems - didn't have any

I thought CC was only useable whilst wi-fi was enabled on my phone. I now see that once the books are downloaded I don't need wi-fi enabled (I won't bore you with the details but our 'house rules' say that wi-fi over-the-air has to be disabled, except briefly, when absolutely necessary. Not to mention that in our house 3G is actually faster than wi-fi!).

I love the grouping/sorting abilities. My preferred reading apps are Mantano/ezPdf which CC handles easily.

Anyway, to the point of my post, if you do have a wishlist it would be nice to add these cosmetic requests for consideration:
  • ability to have all thumbnails the same shape/size - like the Sony device interface plugin
  • ability to show book lists as a 'gallery', i.e. larger thumbnails only, no text, but still in the specified order
  • for everything to work over 3G just as nicely as it does over wi-fi (OK this one isn't cosmetic )
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
Hi chaley,
And hello back. It has been a while since we have traded posts.
Quote:
The clue's in the title, is there a CC wishlist thread?
No, but this one could be that.
Quote:
I only just bought the app and I must congratulate you on a slick experience so far.

I anticipated connection problems - didn't have any
It is hard for us to believe how much time and effort we have put into making connections "just work". It has been 100 times harder than I ever thought.
Quote:
I thought CC was only useable whilst wi-fi was enabled on my phone.
The "book manager" part of CC is certainly usable when not connected. I assume that is what you are referring to.
Quote:
Anyway, to the point of my post, if you do have a wishlist it would be nice to add these cosmetic requests for consideration:
-- ability to have all thumbnails the same shape/size - like the Sony device interface plugin
I confess to confusion. The thumbnails in the list view are scaled to the same size. The covers in book details are scaled down to a height of 160 pixels, aspect ratio respected. What thumbnails are you referring to?
Quote:
-- ability to show book lists as a 'gallery', i.e. larger thumbnails only, no text, but still in the specified order
How would you lay this out? Left to right, top to bottom? Would you include any text at all? How would you switch between views?
Quote:
-- for everything to work over 3G just as nicely as it does over wi-fi (OK this one isn't cosmetic )
This one is more complicated. The issue is that the computer running calibre must be visible over 3G, which in almost all cases means that it must be visible on the public internet. Is this true for you? Your computer running calibre has an external IP address?

I certainly don't have any "religious" objection to permitting connection over 3G to computer running calibre. The problem is that for at least 99% of the users, it wouldn't work. These users won't know how to open their home network, or perhaps they don't want to open the network (I fall into the second camp).

We would consider adding some option that would permit connections over 3G, but I am certain that doing so would result in people checking the box then complaining that CC doesn't work. I am open to suggestions on how to provide the functionality while avoiding complaints from people who don't understand the consequences. Any ideas?
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:28 PM   #3
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The "book manager" part of CC is certainly usable when not connected. I assume that is what you are referring to.
Yes, that's what I meant.

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I confess to confusion. The thumbnails in the list view are scaled to the same size. The covers in book details are scaled down to a height of 160 pixels, aspect ratio respected.
I mean all thumbnails scaled to same height (160) and same width - aspect ratio not respected. I realise that this is sacrilege to some, but on the Sony & PRST1 device interface plugin customisations you/Kolenka kindly provided a checkbox for whether to preserve aspect ratio or not. Personally, I prefer the uniformity of all having the same dimensions.

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What thumbnails are you referring to?
How would you lay this out? Left to right, top to bottom? Would you include any text at all? How would you switch between views?
By a 'gallery' view I mean cover images only, no text at all, in a grid format, starting top left and filling as many rows as it takes. The beautiful colour and hi-res on these android devices mean that you can read authors/titles quite well at smallish sizes (but a bit bigger than the tiny one currently in CC). I would envisage switching between listview/gridview being done by two buttons (or a single toggle button) which could be accessed in the menu bar on any screen where CC is currently displaying the tiny thumbnail/author/title(series) info (which is what I'm calling listview). A grid choice of 2-across, 3-across, 4-across, 5-across would be nice. Now I don't know what the overhead of sending/holding all those image variations would be, so it may be totally impractical.

Mantano and Moon+ both have an optional grid view. So do the Sony x50/T1/T2 e-inks (3x3). Mantano has a choice of small (5 across x 4 down on my phone), medium (3x3) or big (2x2) It may be that you would prefer to leave this kind of cosmetic feature to the reader apps themselves, but speaking for myself, I would much rather use CC as my sole "book manager" and use the reader app purely for the rendering.

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This one is more complicated. The issue is that the computer running calibre must be visible over 3G, which in almost all cases means that it must be visible on the public internet. Is this true for you? Your computer running calibre has an external IP address?

I certainly don't have any "religious" objection to permitting connection over 3G to computer running calibre. The problem is that for at least 99% of the users, it wouldn't work. These users won't know how to open their home network, or perhaps they don't want to open the network (I fall into the second camp).

We would consider adding some option that would permit connections over 3G, but I am certain that doing so would result in people checking the box then complaining that CC doesn't work. I am open to suggestions on how to provide the functionality while avoiding complaints from people who don't understand the consequences. Any ideas?
I just asked my husband (the instigator of the wi-fi "house rule") how best to answer this. He told me to apologise to you for even asking as I clearly don't understand the requirements of 3G vs wi-fi

Thanks for listening, and once again, congratulations on a fine app
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
I mean all thumbnails scaled to same height (160) and same width - aspect ratio not respected.
I didn't even notice this since long ago I decided to change all of my covers to 800x600. Aspect ratio on the TV I respect but on a cover, if it is close I'm fine with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
I would envisage switching between listview/gridview being done by two buttons (or a single toggle button) which could be accessed in the menu bar on any screen where CC is currently displaying the tiny thumbnail/author/title(series) info (which is what I'm calling listview). A grid choice of 2-across, 3-across, 4-across, 5-across would be nice.
This would be nice, I can see using this view once I got to an author.

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Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
Now I don't know what the overhead of sending/holding all those image variations would be, so it may be totally impractical.
Moon+ actually extracts every cover (full size) when it imports the books to its database. This is quite an overhead in space used but it seems to make grabbing them very quick.

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Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
It may be that you would prefer to leave this kind of cosmetic feature to the reader apps themselves, but speaking for myself, I would much rather use CC as my sole "book manager" and use the reader app purely for the rendering.
I too am using CC as my book manager and while I am ok with the functionality, visually appealing is a must for most folks.

You already know my desire to control the size of the Icons and fonts and maybe be able to change the background color and font color as well. If I could change icon and font sizes I'd be set, but I attached some examples of what Jackie was referring to.

Attached here is a sample grid and list view captured by my Nexus 7 from another app as an example. I wouldn't use either of these views for navigating, but once I got to the author, series or specific tag screen I would prefer a list view about the same size equivalent as what is attached but obviously with the great title, author and series info you already have formatted.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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Last edited by DoctorOhh; 09-18-2012 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #5
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Heard loud and clear.

We can't do anything about a "grid view" until we make some progress cleaning up preferences control. This is when we would start dealing with fonts and styles.

As we don't use the cover in the book, we need to allow the user to specify the cover size. People with devices that don't have much memory would continue to use small thumbnails, but devices with more memory could use bigger. @jackie_w: we could enable/disable aspect ratio when making the choice.

Current plans are to do the "pull" client (the OPDS client). The preferences stuff should come after that. Of course, Steven might decide to do things differently.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:03 AM   #6
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Current plans are to do the "pull" client (the OPDS client). The preferences stuff should come after that.
Sounds great, are you considering prepopulating URLs to some of the more popular OPDS feeds?

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Of course, Steven might decide to do things differently.
Those darn kids just do whatever they want.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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We can't do anything about a "grid view" until we make some progress cleaning up preferences control. This is when we would start dealing with fonts and styles.

Current plans are to do the "pull" client (the OPDS client). The preferences stuff should come after that.
Personally, I agree that working on core stuff like functionality, reliability should be more important than visual appeal, but I think the latter shouldn't be underestimated when it comes to people deciding to buy. The fact that there's a market for Live Wallpaper apps indicates this.

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Originally Posted by chaley View Post
As we don't use the cover in the book, we need to allow the user to specify the cover size. People with devices that don't have much memory would continue to use small thumbnails, but devices with more memory could use bigger. @jackie_w: we could enable/disable aspect ratio when making the choice. Of course, Steven might decide to do things differently.
Anything which lets users make their own choices sounds good to me

If you find the time to enhance the visuals at some point, that would be great.

P.S. I forgot to say, I particularly like the feature which lets you view a book's full synopsis (and all the rest of the metadata) without having to open the book. I haven't come across another reading app which does that.

Last edited by jackie_w; 09-18-2012 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:24 AM   #8
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I'd like to add a wish to this list. At this moment I can't install Calibre Companion, because I cannot pay for it. Where I live, credit cards are not as common as in other countries, such as the United States. I'm one of many people who doesn't have one. Could you therefore add PayPall as a payment method?

You might consider adding PayPall as a method for supporting Calibre as well.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #9
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You might consider adding PayPall as a method for supporting Calibre as well.
A Support Calibre Paypal button is what this page is all about.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:52 AM   #10
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A Support Calibre Paypal button is what this page is all about.
I just saw the credit card logo's on that page, so I never bothered to click
Hint taken

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Old 10-03-2012, 06:54 AM   #11
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I just saw the credit card logo's on that page, so I never bothered to click
If I didn't already know, I would have assumed that Paypal wasn't an option too.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #12
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I kinda thought it was obvious I added a little paypal logo to the line of credit card logos.
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