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Old 05-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #31
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Another update: the latest version of Sony reader for iPhone just added last-page-read syncing between devices, including Reader for Mac. Unfortunately it seems to only work with books you purchased from Sony. So, the same situation as with Kindle.

I "bought" a free book from the Sony store, and it shows up on my Mac and my iPhone, and the last-page-read syncs. Then I imported some DRM-free books from my hard drive into Reader Mac, and loaded the same files into Reader iPhone using iTunes. The syncing doesn't work.

I would love to be proved wrong here! I don't have much experience with Sony. Does anyone know of maybe some other way you could load books into your Sony library, so that they could sync between the iPhone and Mac? Or any other app or solution, to be able to sync last-page-read (and ideally bookmarks and annotations) between iPhone and Mac, for DRM-free books?
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:43 AM   #32
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Busy week... another update, the latest version of Google Play Books now supports uploading your own non-DRM e-pubs. They will sync between the iOS app and the Google Play web-reader. It's not perfect, but it's a big step forward in my quest!

Advantages:
- last-page-position (not furthest-page-read), highlights, and annotations will sync quickly both ways between the iOS app and the Google Play online web reader app, even with your own non-DRM epubs that you upload!
- text can be copied/pasted from the web reader into a document, useful for people doing research/writing. That might seem obvious, but for example the international version of the Kindle desktop reader does not allow copying text.
- books can be read on iOS even if you're offline, eg. in Airplane Mode. Highlights and notes can still be accessed and added offline, and will be synced along with reading position the next time you go online.

Disadvantages:
- you must be online to use the web reader on the computer. There is an app you can install in the Google Chrome web browser that lets you make your books available offline, but then you're not able to see your highlights and notes, nor add new ones. Also, when you go online again with the Chrome app, highlights and notes sync both ways with the iOS app, but there seems to be a bug with the reading position, which only syncs one-way. So for the most part you'd want to avoid the Chrome app and use the web reader, which does sync reading position in both directions.
- the web reader (and Chrome app) doesn't support searching your uploaded books. WTF, this is Google?? Fortunately, the iOS app does...
- the text in the iOS app is quite ugly, because it's center justified, and doesn't support hyphenation, so you often get giant gaps between words. They could at least give an option for left-justified text. Also the font sizes tend to skip between tiny and huge, but you can sometimes compensate by selecing a different font.
- there's no support for organizing your books into collections or folders.
- I don't see a straightforward way of syncing highlights and notes to an e-ink reader - maybe a Nook running Android or something? I don't know much about that.
- covers for your uploaded books are blank in the iOS app.
- I don't see a way to back up or transfer your highlights and notes.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:47 PM   #33
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And... to whoever suggested ibisreader...

Quote:
Shutdown notice: May 17, 2013
Ibis Reader will be shutting down soon and is no longer accepting new users. Existing users should download their books by selecting the “Download this book” link on the left side of any reading page under the table of contents.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
Busy week... another update, the latest version of Google Play Books now supports uploading your own non-DRM e-pubs. They will sync between the iOS app and the Google Play web-reader. It's not perfect, but it's a big step forward in my quest!

Advantages:
- last-page-position (not furthest-page-read), highlights, and annotations will sync quickly both ways between the iOS app and the Google Play online web reader app, even with your own non-DRM epubs that you upload!
- text can be copied/pasted from the web reader into a document, useful for people doing research/writing. That might seem obvious, but for example the international version of the Kindle desktop reader does not allow copying text.
- books can be read on iOS even if you're offline, eg. in Airplane Mode. Highlights and notes can still be accessed and added offline, and will be synced along with reading position the next time you go online.

Disadvantages:
- you must be online to use the web reader on the computer. There is an app you can install in the Google Chrome web browser that lets you make your books available offline, but then you're not able to see your highlights and notes, nor add new ones. Also, when you go online again with the Chrome app, highlights and notes sync both ways with the iOS app, but there seems to be a bug with the reading position, which only syncs one-way. So for the most part you'd want to avoid the Chrome app and use the web reader, which does sync reading position in both directions.
- the web reader (and Chrome app) doesn't support searching your uploaded books. WTF, this is Google?? Fortunately, the iOS app does...
- the text in the iOS app is quite ugly, because it's center justified, and doesn't support hyphenation, so you often get giant gaps between words. They could at least give an option for left-justified text. Also the font sizes tend to skip between tiny and huge, but you can sometimes compensate by selecing a different font.
- there's no support for organizing your books into collections or folders.
- I don't see a straightforward way of syncing highlights and notes to an e-ink reader - maybe a Nook running Android or something? I don't know much about that.
- covers for your uploaded books are blank in the iOS app.
- I don't see a way to back up or transfer your highlights and notes.
I checked that out a few days ago. I detest the app on my iOS devices, and yes... no covers... what the? I also couldnt see any way of backing up notes (or even making them in the apps, but thats nothing, I probably missed something obvious).

I'm back to iphone and ipad only. I use my iPad 99% of the time in its Logitech keyboard on a table, so its almost like reading on a computer, rather than a mobile device.. and then, its iBooks. When Kris gets Marvin and syncing happening with the coming iPhone app, it will be that. Still doesnt address the issue of actual computer reading though.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:59 PM   #35
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I do a lot of research & writing, so not being able to access my books, highlights, and notes on my laptop, or to copy/paste quotations from them, is very inconvenient. I guess a lot of people read only on mobile devices these days, but I did just read a statistic saying at least 50% of people still read on their computers.

One other option to keep an eye on in the future is Txtr. I tried it a while back, but it just didn't work at all. I gave it another shot yesterday, and I was able to upload an epub and read it on both the iOS and Mac apps. It syncs page position and bookmarks, but although the iOS app supports highlighting and notes, the Mac app doesn't - neither does it support selecting/copying text. Also you must be online to use the Mac app at all. So that puts it a distant second to Google Play at the moment.

The Mac app has a button for "connect to eReader", but I don't know what that supports. The help documentation is dreadful - poorly translated German, and so out of date that it doesn't even mention the desktop app, only the web reader which apparently doesn't function anymore. That's pretty much always been my experience with Txtr - broken software and bad documentation. I wish they would get their act together.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #36
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Its extremely frustrating, I do understand. I have been using Kitabu and the free Bookreader (which to me is a better app, the paid version probably better still)... perhaps they would consider writing an iOS app as well...
http://macbookreader.com/wp/

Might be worth asking.

[edit] I'd say the ereader referred to is "Beagle", their e-ink offering (which takes AA batteries! Interesting)
http://au.txtr.com/beagle/

Last edited by kyteflyer; 05-21-2013 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:32 PM   #37
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Readmill is worth considering. You upload your content in epub or pdf (Adobe DRM is supported but not the B and N so far). Sync between ios devices, etc. Very basic reading features, social features. Not sure what their business model is or if they have plans for Android, etc.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:31 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyteflyer View Post
Its extremely frustrating, I do understand. I have been using Kitabu and the free Bookreader (which to me is a better app, the paid version probably better still)... perhaps they would consider writing an iOS app as well...
http://macbookreader.com/wp/

Might be worth asking.

[edit] I'd say the ereader referred to is "Beagle", their e-ink offering (which takes AA batteries! Interesting)
http://au.txtr.com/beagle/
I am also looking for the same solution. BookReader is great on the mac. But, it has no ipad version, unfortunately. The workflow on non-DRM epub reading is so mess now. Annotations on one app don't show up on another. This so sad. Have anybody tried Bluefire reader and Adobe digital editions if they work via Dropbox?
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:31 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsem View Post
Readmill is worth considering. You upload your content in epub or pdf (Adobe DRM is supported but not the B and N so far). Sync between ios devices, etc. Very basic reading features, social features. Not sure what their business model is or if they have plans for Android, etc.
It's not possible to use Readmill on a computer. Like iBooks, it's iOS only.

I imagine they're interested in bringing it to Android and the desktop in the future, but they haven't announced anything yet.

Last edited by sumguy; 05-22-2013 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:09 PM   #40
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...Have anybody tried Bluefire reader and Adobe digital editions if they work via Dropbox?
The last time I checked, no, bookmarks and annotations don't sync between Bluefire and Adobe Digital Editions.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:41 PM   #41
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So, a year and a half after starting this thread... iBooks for Mac! I finally have a solution for what Kindle, Sony, Google Play, Kobo, Nook, and every other product on the market failed to do: sync bookmarks, highlights, and reading position between my laptop and reader devices, for 3rd-party non-DRM ebooks.

After installing the new (and free!) OS X Mavericks, I can now sync with my iPhone - you don't even need iOS 7, it works with my 3GS that's left behind on iOS 6. I've only played with it for a few minutes, but so far it looks like it will be worth the wait! Thanks Apple. I'll be selling my Kindle and putting the money towards a new iPad mini with retina. I'll miss the e-ink screen - but not that much... the ability to actually read my book when I get on the subway, instead of flipping around for ten minutes trying to figure out where I left off, more than makes up for it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:31 AM   #42
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Another update: I've been happy with iBooks on my Mac and iPhone, but still haven't managed to save up enough for an iPad, and my old Kindle is still in my drawer. I read a post from JFHey about using an Android emulator to install the Kindle Android app on my laptop, which would allow me to see my highlights and notes, and sync reading position. So I thought I'd give it a try. The short answer is, it's klunky, the text looks awful, and you can't copy/paste between Android and the laptop. But otherwise it does actually work! And it's free, and should work on PC and Mac. So that's something. I don't think I'll be using it, but in case someone might find it useful, here's what I did:

1. install Genymotion from http://www.genymotion.com/
2. install Virtual Box from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
3. run Genymotion and install a virtual Android machine. At the moment Android 4.4 machines aren't working with Kindle, so use a 4.3 one instead. I used the "custom 10 inch tablet" one. Start it up.
4. download the "ARM Translation Installer" zip file from http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2528952
5. drag and drop the zip file onto the Android screen, it should "flash" (install) it. Then click the power button, close the window, and re-open the virtual device.
6. download "com.amazon.kindle" APK file from http://apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader/ and drag and drop it onto the Android screen. (Alternatively you can install Google Play according to the guide above, and install the Kindle app that way).
7. run Kindle and sign up/in to Amazon. Tell Amazon to deliver your Personal Documents to your Android device.
8. read books.

Last edited by sumguy; 02-24-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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