Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book Readers > Alternative Devices

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-11-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
Thumbs up E-book app evaluation on the HTC Touch Pro 2

Background

I recently decided to upgrade my cellphone, which wasn’t making it in the web-access department. I also use a PDA for personal and business use, and lately, I’d gotten a bit tired of carrying around two devices wherever I went. So, I finally decided to get a smartphone, combining the two devices into one and (hopefully) simplifying my life a bit.

Since my PDA was Windows-based, and since I had a lot of legacy files and apps I hoped to transfer from old device(s) to new, I decided to limit my smartphone choices to Windows-based units, to make the transition easiest. I also decided that I was ready to move up to a physical keyboard device… not that I couldn’t (and didn’t regularly) use on-screen keyboards, but I’ve discovered that finger-based on-screen keyboards leave a lot to be desired—if you’re not using a stylus, you’re beating yourself up for no reason.

With all of this in mind, I finally decided on the HTC Touch Pro 2, a meaty little device in the Droid-iPhone-class that would satisfy my needs. Provided, of course, that I could get my favorite apps into it… which is where this document comes in. So, here is a play-by-play of my process of taming this phone for me. I will break up the thread just to keep the posting sizes more manageable.

(Note: I thought I was going to be able to provide photos with this thread, but I am one lousy photographer, and I had to give up on that idea. Sorry!)
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
Hello, lover!

For some of us, there’s just nothing like getting a new gadget—the unboxing, the unwrapping, the manuals, the accessories, the plugging in the battery, the charging before use (and waiting like a kid on Christmas night who knows what’s under the tree waiting for him)—it was the usual ordeal, which I’ll sum up this way.

The boxed HTC TP2 includes, besides the phone, one battery, an extra stylus, a USB-to-mini-USB cable, a US-standard wall plug that you can plug the USB end into, and a number of international plugs which, if you’re lucky, you’ll actually get a chance to use before they get lost or thrown away. The TP2 accepts a Micro-SD card, installable by removing the back cover to expose the slot. Exposing the slot revealed that there was no card included with the device, so you’ll want to get your own to provide some extra storage space. (I was actually surprised at this, since it seems every other device provides a 1- or 2-GB Micro-SD card standard. But it’s just as well, since I knew I’d be putting a larger one in, and now I don’t have to worry about one more 1-GB card I won’t use.) The box also includes a manual, a quick-reference manual, a quicker-reference poster, the usual disclaimer paperwork, and two CDs with ActiveSync and other programs for your computer (none of which I needed, as my existent PDA programs worked just fine).

Phone phreaks will love this: Once I had the phone, I couldn’t activate it! See, I live in a valley with lousy cellphone reception, and couldn’t get a connection to activate it. That had to wait for the train ride to work the next morning, where I ran through a phone recording prompting me to select the phone by its ID number, verify the phone number and my social security number, agree to the alteration on my plan, and watch as Verizon did the work for me. Then I went through the rest of the menu, pointedly not setting up e-mail, voice message, yada-yada-yada… I figured I could go through those later.

As I’d hoped, the interface was very familiar, a combination of Windows Mobile in a touchscreen environment, slightly altered to mimic the finger-control conventions that the iPhone has introduced to the market. The device had no trouble reading the Micro-SD card I pulled out of my PDA… though I’ve discovered that some apps do not read folder hierarchies at all, they just read folders alphabetically. So I went through the folders and renamed them to keep them in proper display order (fortunately, my folders don’t drill in too deeply).

Also, the screen and text quality was bee-yootiful! My device came with the ClearType setting already on: ClearType adds a bit of blur to the edges of text, taking away that jagged edge that tends to upset eyeballs. Though everyone’s eyes are different, I advise everyone using a Windows-based PC, phone, PDA or what-have-you to use the ClearType setting… it makes a huge readability difference. I found that screen text was readable even at sizes that strained the legibility of my HP PDA, which also had ClearType, and which I could read from all day long (and often did).

Outside use was a mixed bag: Direct sunlight could easily overwhelm the screen; but I discovered that finding adequate shade, or choosing your viewing angle in relation to the sun, usually solved the problem nicely. My best results came with my back to the sun, allowing the screen to reflect off of my shaded chest, to provide a bark background for reading.

Best of all, the TP2 had a much-superior web browser than my former phone, and the easy screen-size-adjustment slider, physical keyboard and on-board stylus made navigation much quicker and easier. I immediately put this to good use by checking out some of my favorite websites, and was pleasantly surprised at how much better the experience was. I presently added the Skyfire browser, which reads Flash, and allowed me to access YouTube, Hulu and my local commuter train tracking map.

The primary reason for me to get the phone having been satisfied, the second thing I did was to access the web to download some e-book reading apps.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
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…
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2010, 04:12 PM   #4
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
ePub apps: Joy.

The next app I went for was Freda, an ePub reading app. (I was planning to get two ePub readers in particular, Freda and Zulu Reader. I went for Freda first simply because it would add no additional folders to the phone, and as I’m still finding my way around it, I wanted to go the easiest route first.)
Again, downloading the app directly onto the phone was wonderful, and installing it from the CAB file was easy (fortunately for my bad memory, opening the File Explorer took me right to the last folder I’d opened, and there were the CAB files). Unfortunately, after a successful installation, the app would not open, because the phone did not have the latest .NET software installed. This ended my Freda install for a few hours, because I had to install the .NET SW from a PC, and I could not do that until I got home.

So, I went for app #3, Zulu Reader. Zulu also required .NET 2.0 or better, but apparently the TP2 had that on-board, because it opened up the app and allowed me to search for my ePub files. Zulu worked properly right out of the box, though it needed to have the Zulu-installed folders I’d moved over from my PDA emptied and reloaded by the app to display all of my files. Still, I could read with a finger-swipe, and all of the controls and menu items worked as desired. You can also open the keypad, switching to landscape mode, and use the arrow buttons to navigate (page up and page down only, not left and right).

Later that evening, I installed the .NET v3.5 framework, which allowed Freda to run. Like MobiPocket and Zulu, the text quality was beautiful, and unlike MobiPocket, the Freda tools all worked as intended. I can tell I'll be spending much more time with these apps in the future.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
PDF: Don’t go for the reflow

Hey, I’m a PDF user… mostly through business, but it comes up in personal life as well. So I checked out the Adobe Reader LE that came packaged on the TP2. But I was immediately disappointed when I discovered it would not do reflow… even on a screen as clear as this, reflow is crucial.

There were supposed to be upgrades for the app, so I headed for the Adobe site. (Sure, there are third-party PDF readers, but they generally can’t do reflow, either. Only the Adobe apps I’ve tested can do reflow, so I don’t even check out the others.) The Reader for Pocket PC listed as being designed for WinMobile 2003, and didn’t look like it had been optimized for touchscreen phones, but I knew that version could reflow, so I downloaded it to give it a spin.

Once I was home, I ran the EXE file and downloaded Adobe Reader. I opened it to (again) one of my books, which I knew for a fact was tagged for reflow, and this time, it opened and reflowed perfectly. The text was not as crisp as it was in other readers, but it was still legible. Slightly increasing the font size helps. I was able to access all of the menu controls, and advance the pages, with the expected finger-swipes.

But the really bad news came when I tried to close the file, and the TP2 hung up for a bit (okay… a worrisome 10+ minutes, refusing to shut down the app, or itself) before I finally forced the issue by pulling the battery. I tried again with another novel-sized file, and had the same result. Next I tried a short-story (less than a tenth the size of a novel file), and again it locked up before closing… so I can’t recommend using Reader 2.0 for any size of reflowed PDF at all. Very sad, as Adobe Reader does now work on devices with a decent amount of processing power, unlike the old days… but who wants to turn it off by yanking the battery? I soon removed the Reader 2.0 app, and left Reader LE on… though I honestly don’t know what, if anything, I’ll ever do with it.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2010, 04:14 PM   #6
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
eReader: Dodging the DRM-bomb.

Installing eReader was as simple as going to the eReader site, downloading the eReader CAB file, and tapping it. The app loaded, and opened no problem. It prompted me for my eReader login and password, which I provided, and saw my online library of books. The default manual popped up first, which I tested, and discovered that the app allowed me to advance the pages by tapping on the screen. Tap on the bottom of the screen, you moved forward… tap on the upper half, and you moved back a page. But swiping my finger across the screen resulted in highlighting blocks of text, then opening a menu of text manipulation options. I had access to a control that allowed me adjust other settings… but first, I wanted to see how the books in my saved library looked, so I opened the online library to access my purchased books.

Then came the rub.

Upon opening an older book, I was asked to input my name and credit card number used to purchase the book, to unlock it. Uh-oh. When did I buy it? Five years ago. Was it on my existing credit card? No. What was the old number? It looked like this was going to be one of those cases where DRM was going to nail me. As I was not in a position to do a personal past search for the info at that point, I had to back out of that book, and return to the default screen.

As I had already saved various eReader books on my storage card, I copied the files and moved them to the Peanut Press folder that the app installation had created. The default screen then showed all of my books in menu, and I was able to select and open one without DRM (one of mine, in fact). Then I went back to the eReader website, hoping to find a way out of my unlock dilemma. Opening my account, I was essentially able to re-download my books against my current credit card. Loading them into my TP2 library (and deleting the old files), I could then enter my current login and CC. Doing that once reset all of the other books to open automatically… problem solved. (Whew!)

Once I had a book opened, I was able to return to the menu and reset the display to include small margins and a white background (I’m not into “parchment”). I got used to tap-screen-changing in no time, and found myself reading comfortably. Text rendered beautifully on the screen, as it had with other apps… I could read like this all day. eReader does give you the old options of changing font and backgrounds, though it doesn’t help much in direct sun. You’re still better off finding a shady spot to read.

Barnes & Noble is supposed to be releasing a new version of the eReader for Windows Mobile. I obtained a version and installed it, and the app opens my B&N library, and a list of books I can download, from their website. However, none of the books in my online library would download on the TP2; I got messages that state “Title not currently supported on B&N eReader for this device.” Also, the app gave me no way to access any books I already had stored on my device. And unfortunately, there was no way I could find to register my reading device on their website (unless I owned one of their supported devices, or a Nook… WinMo devices are still not supported.

I did discover that I could go to my library and redownload the PDB files manually, place them in the old reader’s Peanut Press directory, and open the file with the old reader. The app would prompt your login and password (credit card number) for the file, then open right up. So, no cool within-the-app downloads, but you can still get your books in there manually. As long as they are still PDB.

So, I have an old eReader that won’t be updated, and won’t read ePub. I have a new B&N eReader that is not yet supported, won’t open any books in my online library at all, nor read the books I already have loaded. Untill B&N officially releases their app and supports WinMo devices, this leaves me with the ability to read existing books on the old app, but not to buy any more.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2010, 04:15 PM   #7
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
MS Reader: What do you mean, it’s not on here?!?

Nope: Strange as it may seem, there was no MS Reader on my new Windows smartphone. I looked twice. Says a lot about Microsoft’s dedication to the platform, doesn’t it? Anyway, I decided to download it anyhow, since I still
have a few lit files of books, and would like to test any that I create.

So I went to the Microsoft page to download MS Reader. The Reader page has an app for Windows Mobile 6, but I was again surprised to realize they did not have a CAB file for the app… I’d have to save it to my PC and use ActiveSync to load it. I don’t know, maybe it’s a control thing. I ran the EXE file, and it installed easily enough. When I opened it, the app forced me to choose a font size, then displayed the LIT books I had stored.

When I first opened a file, I saw the cover, and below it, the number “314.” Obviously not a page number. Further examination revealed that the app did not respond to finger-swipes or taps to advance the page. Just like MobiPocket, I found myself opening the hard keyboard and using the arrow keys to advance the page, and in this case, I was forced to read in landscape mode. I also could not access any general menu controls, but I could tap on a page and get page tools.

In checking out other pages, I did discover something about the mysterious number at bottom: Apparently the left and right arrows that are supposed to display on either side of the page number had somehow become a “3” and a “4”. As the number changed between them, the 3 and 4 stayed put. They did nothing, including responding to taps to change the pages.

Later, I tried MS Reader again, and I discovered that the “3” and “4” had become the proper arrows again. Further examination revealed that you could advance the page by pressing the arrows, allowing you to read in portrait mode without the extended keyboard… much better. Possibly the TP2 needed a restart to finish loading the app. The type was good and clean… but the pages did not respond to finger-swipes, and with the left and right arrows so close together, page-turning required careful placement of your finger (or stylus) to accomplish.

Again, Microsoft is now developing Windows Mobile 7, so older OS devices can look forward to being significantly ignored. So, even if MS is actually interested in updating MS Reader—and I’m not sure they are at all—they won’t be doing it for pre-Series 7 devices. At least I can read my legacy LIT books… but perhaps one more reason to go ePub in the future.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
More tests? Nah.

I suppose I could have tested any number of other readers, but I decided to stop at these most popular apps that covered the most popular formats. At any rate, it gives a good idea of how well the Touch Pro 2 works with the apps. Take note of the apps, like MobiPocket, that absolutely required a keyboard to be used: Obviously, if your touchscreen smartphone does not have a keyboard, these apps may be non-starters for you. And I’d avoid Adobe Reader 2.0 altogether… it is simply not ready for the TP2, and by extension, probably not for other touchscreen smartphones either.

I was glad to see both ePub reading apps worked well on the TP2, clean and easy to use, as I expect to be spending more time reading ePub files in the future. This may give me incentive to finally convert my Mobi files to ePub, in fact. And while I’m at it, every other errant format I have lying around. That’s probably the best news of all, since we can all look forward to a future where I and others are reviewing only ePub apps, and ignoring all the rest.

Overall, I'm glad I got the Touch Pro 2, and I'll be happy to use it as my e-book reader. I probably won't expect to see much further development for it, though, except possibly in ePub apps. The rest will probably stay about the way they are... but at least they are usable as they are.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2010, 11:25 PM   #9
ondabeach
Groupie
ondabeach doesn't litterondabeach doesn't litter
 
ondabeach's Avatar
 
Posts: 193
Karma: 192
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Vanuatu
Device: HTC touch Diamond, Ipaq 3115
Nice work Steve.

Did I tell you you'd love the tp2 or what???? HTC really are masters of their art. Not exactly cheap but you definately get your money's worth imho.

Will you be sharing your more in-depth experiences as you get into Zulu and Freda or are you hanging up your reviewer's hat for now? I'd love to hear your impressions and suggestions now you're switching to reading ePub on your phone.

If you are still running a pre-Vista version of Windows you can download ZuluReader for PC from my site, it has a library manager that has a split screen to show eBooks in your PC and in your device and use it to synchronise the two libraries.

Cheers,

Steve.
ondabeach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2010, 10:54 AM   #10
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
I wasn't planning on adding more detail to the Zulu and Freda trials, mainly because both of them worked as well on the TP2 as they did on my HP PDA.

But since you asked...

I'll say that the cover displays in Zulu look great on the TP2 screen. Text is crisp and clear, with comfortable margins, easy finger-swipe to change pages, and the ability to switch from left- to full-justification, and change fonts and sizes is still there.

Freda is equally clear on-screen. Finger-swipes or arrows can be used to change pages, and although you can't change justification, you can change just about everything else. Freda seemed to confuse the covers on some of the books I had (Lost Horizon somehow acquired the cover to The Lost World), but I won't completely blame the app, since I was throwing a lot of files around trying to get apps working, and I probably confused the smartphone a bit on my own.

As far as performance, I have to rate both ePub apps equally... it's pretty much up to the user to choose which features and controls appeal to them personally.

Such a shame that you can't read DRM'd ePubs in there... but if you can get your e-book in a format that allows you to jailbreak it and convert it into ePub (not that I'm recommending anyone actually do that, mind you... ), you'll be happy reading it on either of these apps.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2010, 05:06 PM   #11
Jim Chapman
Addict
Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 229
Karma: 2000424
Join Date: Oct 2009
Device: Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone
Steve,

Thankyou for the informative write-up.

Just one point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
... although you can't change justification ...
In fact, (if I understand correctly what you're asking for) you can to this in Freda. The option is concealed in a rather obscure location, though - it is at:
Options>Book Properties,Para Layout.
Select 'Obey Style Sheet' to follow whatever layout the epub file indicates, or pick 'Justify' or 'Align Left' to overrride that.

By the way, Freda v2.0 is getting closer to release. Expect performance and GUI improvements, features for accessing on-line libraries, etc. ...

Cheers,

Jim
Jim Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2010, 05:18 PM   #12
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Chapman View Post
Just one point:

In fact, (if I understand correctly what you're asking for) you can to this in Freda. The option is concealed in a rather obscure location, though - it is at:
Options>Book Properties,Para Layout.
Select 'Obey Style Sheet' to follow whatever layout the epub file indicates, or pick 'Justify' or 'Align Left' to overrride that.
Ah... so it is! Most humble apologies, o Sensei!
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2010, 12:25 PM   #13
Jim Chapman
Addict
Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Jim Chapman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 229
Karma: 2000424
Join Date: Oct 2009
Device: Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Ah... so it is! Most humble apologies, o Sensei!
Really it's my fault for putting the option in such an obscure place and giving it a stupid name. For Freda v2, options will be grouped together in a single place (and, indeed, will have a finger-friendly UI, help text and so forth).
Jim Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2010, 03:48 PM   #14
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
Now might be a good time to mention that I've also been using the TP2 as an RSS reader. I tried RSS Hub to see how I'd like the process. Calling up individual items is easy enough, and text (again) is clear as a bell. I like the fact that I can swipe my finger along the magnification strip under the screen to resize the text as I need to. Tapping on an item automatically opens the item page, and tapping on "More" will open your default browser and give you the content fairly quickly.

However, the screen won't respond to finger-swipes, only taps to open the item. To scroll down, you have to use the scroll bar on the side of the screen with a fingertip or stylus. Not quite ideal, so I'm checking for other RSS readers that are a bit better.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2010, 10:26 AM   #15
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
Eval update: B&N Reader

I recently re-opened the B&N Reader, to re-familiarize myself with its current features (Yes, this is still the beta reader app). I discovered that some of the books that I hadn't been able to download before, could be downloaded now... apparently B&N is still working on converting some of its books to function on the reader.

I opened a book that I have been reading on the eReader app, and I can say that when comparing the readability and features of the two apps, I prefer the B&N app. Page-turning was much easier (the eReader app regularly mistook my page-turn tap for a text-select tap, and opened a menu of action choices instead of moving to the next screen), and fonts offer a number of choices and sizes, and look great.

No bookmarking is available, though it remembers where you closed the book... so as long as you don't need to mark multiple passages, you'll be okay.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 06-08-2010 at 10:41 PM.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
e-books, htc touch pro 2, smartphone

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trade HTC Touch Diamond (unlocked) woodie Flea Market 1 05-12-2010 04:07 PM
Buy Looking for HTC Touch Pro CommanderROR Flea Market 10 05-26-2009 07:47 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:04 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.