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Old 06-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #1
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Disappointed by Android ereaders: any ones with GOOD text formatting?

Aldiko used to be my favorite Android ePub ereader app. With its ebook stylesheet suport, it did an excellent job with text formatting. Pages looked close to how a more powerful ePub e-ink reader rendered them.

Then Aldiko was upgraded from version 1 to 2, and all formatting hell broke loose. Version 2 is a regression and has many formatting issues. I am really amazed at how even a newbie software developer can miss such obvious issues in testing. And, if they didn't miss them, how they consider them features. I don't care for the Adobe DRM support in version 2, they screwed a perfectly good app.

I tried other Android ePub ereading apps such as FBReader, Moon+ Reader Pro and Cool Reader. But none of them render well even basic formatting such as indentation of blockquoted text or bullet lists, let alone images (it probably takes a rocket scientist to figure that image zoom is a useful feature on a smartphone screen). They seem more interested in providing stunning page turn animations and slick presentation rather than paying attention to ebook formatting.

I also installed Google Books. Although I can not yet purchase ebooks from my country, Italy, I was hoping to try its formatting capabilities with the books I already have. But I haven't figured yet how to load a local ePub file into the app, assuming it's possible.

Before giving up and downgrading to Aldiko 1, are there any Android ereading apps with good text formatting support?
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
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I am really new to Android and haven't looked at this issue, but have you tried running
the file through Calibre? It can often be set to make the correct compensations for the
way your reader responds to the file.

The nature of PDF can cause problems in itself. Some PDF files are little more than an
image of the page. Some have been constructed to allow for PDF-Reflow. PDF ebooks
can be formatted to match the display and page size of a particular device, and look
great as a result, but only with the font size at a particular setting and/or where reflow
is disabled.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
I am really new to Android and haven't looked at this issue, but have you tried running
the file through Calibre?
The ePub files I tried with the above mentioned apps have been checked with both epubcheck and the Sigil validator, which found 0 issues. They most likely don't need further work with Calibre. I expect an ereader app, especially a paid one like Aldiko (I bought the Premium version), to correctly render basic formatting in ebook files with no validation issues and no advanced formatting (e.g. tables, equations).
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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Mantano has gotten some good reviews. Haven't used it myself, but you can find more at the links below...

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=131997

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpCBSfErtdo
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
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I don't care about formatting or lame effects trying to emulate the physical media, like page-flipping animation, illustrations or paper texture. I enjoy FBReader for being a honest, straightforward good reader with plenty of personal formatting options, without focusing on such irrelevant features.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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Have you tried the nook for Android or Kindle for Android. They seem to respect all the format layouts just fine.

Also Moon+ now has a new "Preview" features that lets you view the publishers format.

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Old 06-09-2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Mantano has gotten some good reviews. Haven't used it myself, but you can find more at the links below...

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=131997
I tried Mantano and it looks interesting. It correctly renders the text formatting other ereaders break, but still has some issues with images. Images are displayed at full size and cropped by the page size, with non zoom in/out capability.

Other minor issues: a confusing user interface (several icons with no text command description, I would prefer standard Android text/icon menus) and bloat (7 MB download).
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #8
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Have you tried the nook for Android or Kindle for Android. They seem to respect all the format layouts just fine.
At first I didn't consider Nook for Android because of bloat (7 MB download). But, given that Mantano is equally large, I'd like to give it a try. But I suspect that Nook for Android is not available in my country, Italy. I can't find it in Android Market, and scanning the QR code at B&N's site leads to a Market error page.

Does Nook for Android require a B&N account for sideloaded ebooks?

I use Kindle for Android all the time and it is great. But it directly works only with Mobi/AZW files, ePub requires conversion.

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Also Moon+ now has a new "Preview" features that lets you view the publishers format.
Do you mean that it supports ebook stylesheets?
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by amoroso View Post
At first I didn't consider Nook for Android because of bloat (7 MB download). But, given that Mantano is equally large, I'd like to give it a try. But I suspect that Nook for Android is not available in my country, Italy. I can't find it in Android Market, and scanning the QR code at B&N's site leads to a Market error page.

Does Nook for Android require a B&N account for sideloaded ebooks?
Yes unfortunately you need an account to get B&N to work.


Quote:
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I use Kindle for Android all the time and it is great. But it directly works only with Mobi/AZW files, ePub requires conversion.
Yes ironically for non technical books Mobi/AWZ is still my format of choice. I'll even convert ePUB to MOBI so I can use the amazon reader. Moon is slowly catching up to the Kindle. Once it adds pan/zoom to images I will most likely stick with Moon+

Quote:
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Do you mean that it supports ebook stylesheets?
Yes that is what the "preview" mode does, uses the CSS for ePUBs. They just add that feature like a week ago and the dev, I believe released an update two days ago.

The only drawback is you cannot annotate or view annotations in preview mode.

One thing I will say about Moon+ and the Mantano folks they are quick to respond and do actually listen to the customers.

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Old 06-10-2011, 02:37 AM   #10
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As you liked Aldiko why don't you go back to version 1. That is what I did as like you I didn't like V2.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:50 AM   #11
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But I suspect that Nook for Android is not available in my country, Italy. I can't find it in Android Market, and scanning the QR code at B&N's site leads to a Market error page.
I confirm that Nook for Android is not available in my country.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:52 AM   #12
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As you liked Aldiko why don't you go back to version 1. That is what I did as like you I didn't like V2.
Before doing that I'd like to look around and see whether there are better and supported apps. If I downgrade to Aldiko 1, there won't be further updates in the 1.x branch.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:10 AM   #13
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Then Aldiko was upgraded from version 1 to 2, and all formatting hell broke loose. Version 2 is a regression and has many formatting issues. I am really amazed at how even a newbie software developer can miss such obvious issues in testing. And, if they didn't miss them, how they consider them features. I don't care for the Adobe DRM support in version 2, they screwed a perfectly good app.
Ah ! Tanks you. So i'm not crazy when i remember aldiko 1 DID have proper formating.
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