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Old 12-14-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
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Question Official Calibre ereader app for mobile devices?

There are a handful of ereader apps for mobile devices, such as FBReader, Go Book Reader, Alkido, Moon+ Reader, and Challenger for Android. But they don't support nearly enough ebook formats. They tend to support a proper subset of:

* ePUB
* MOBI
* PDF
* CBR
* CBZ
* TXT
* RTF
* HTML
* CHM
* FB2

Sure, we could convert many of these using Calibre, but many people desire to keep ebooks in their original formats (e.g., PDFs don't convert well). Wouldn't it be great if we had a mobile Calibre app that could view as many formats as desktop Calibre can? I'd like to use a program called "Calibre" to edit/convert/read ebooks on desktop, Android, and iOS, if possible.

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Old 12-14-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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I logged on to post the exact same thing, although my idea was slightly simpler. I have no problem using Calibre on my desktop to edit/convert. I would just like a universal Calibre ereader, which would connect to the Calibre content server and be able to display and render books in epub, mobi, pdf, html, txt (and possibly other formats). It would seem that the Calibre viewer already has the basic rendering code. An Ipad/Android ereader could extend this to add more bells and whistles like bookmarks, font choices, auto sizing with finger swipes, etc... Something like Stanza but with additional format support.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #3
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I know, right?

It's frustrating how FBReader doesn't support PDFs, and Adobe Reader doesn't support ePUBs/MOBIs, so you have to use at least three mobile apps to be able to enjoy your ebook collection, unless you are a glutton for punishment and forcibly convert every file into ePUB or PDF.

File sync integration between desktop Calibre and mobile Calibre would be useful, though I prefer to keep my Calibre Library in a Dropbox folder, Dropbox has excellent mobile sync support.

I just need a mobile ereader that can view, and registers the correct mimetypes for, more than 3 ebook formats. You wouldn't believe how many comic book mobile reader apps fail to register mimetypes; when you try to open a CBR or CBZ in Astro or Dropbox, Android just sits there going "I dunno how to open this".

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Old 12-14-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
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Calibre Viewer actually only reads ePub files. Any other format is internally put through a conversion to ePub before viewing.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcandre View Post
Wouldn't it be great if we had a mobile Calibre app that could view as many formats as desktop Calibre can?
As itimpi pointed out the calibre viewer is essentially an ePub viewer.

I get around the problem of multiple readers by using Calibre Companion (CC) android app to manage my connection to calibre and manage the books on my device. CC allows me to direct the various formats to whichever directory I wish. All ePubs, mobi, PDFs and CBZ files go directly to their own directory.

CC also allows me to launch for reading any format in whichever reader I want. Every time I open a ePub it opens in my chosen epub reader. PDFs open in the preassigned PDF reader. Mobi, text etc... files open in their respective readers. This way I always open books in the readers best suited for the format involved.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 12-14-2012 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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Moderator Notice
Moved thread from Development forum. Read sticky at the top of the Development forum before posting again in the Development Forum.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 12-14-2012 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:10 PM   #7
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Thanks. I'll try that for my daughter's Asus, but it still is no help for my Ipad. Is there a similar Ipad app or any plans to port Calibre Companion to Ipad?
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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Thanks. I'll try that for my daughter's Asus, but it still is no help for my Ipad. Is there a similar Ipad app or any plans to port Calibre Companion to Ipad?
You might want to try the free eBook Search app for iOS.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:40 PM   #9
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Thanks. I'll try that for my daughter's Asus, but it still is no help for my Ipad. Is there a similar Ipad app or any plans to port Calibre Companion to Ipad?
We want to do an iOS version of CC, but at the moment we have no concrete dates. It won't be in the next few months.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
You might want to try the free eBook Search app for iOS.
Thanks, I'll give it a try. It will certainly be a help, but I still wish there were a fully integrated solution.

CalibreCompanion and ebook Search recommended seem like fine utilities, but why can't one of these book readers get it right. All I want is something that will grab books from Calibre/OPDS/Dropbox, handle the 6 or 7 main formats (epub,pdf,mobi,txt,html, lit?), in a uniform, neat process (like Calibre does on the server side).

I'm currently using ShuBooks, which will connect to Calibre and handles Epub well, and pdf not so well (which I'd prefer to read in GoodReader). And doesn't handle mobi at all. I was using Megareader which also handled Epub and Pdf pretty well, but it's stopped working with Calibre, won't connect, and gives error. Stanza which was great with Epub and Pdf stopped working on my Ipad after IoS 5 came out, even after the update which supposedly fixed it. GoodReader is great with pdf and has a back door way to connect to Calibre via browser, but I can't get it to work.



Why is this so hard?

It is obvious from looking through these forums that there would be a great demand for such.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #11
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Why is this so hard?
Because the problem and programs are complicated. For example, we have put in excess of a person/year into Calibre Companion's programming and we aren't finished yet. The enhancement request list is a mile long and there are "little things" like an iOS port to consider.

A multi-format reader that is integrated with CC's network functions and that meets the incredibly diverse reader app requirements would be at least as hard and probably harder than CC. People seem to have strong personal reading app preferences, which means that maintenance and support loads could skyrocket. I don't think we could price the app high enough to justify the opportunity costs, especially since there are free apps that meet many (most?) needs. It is very hard to fight with free.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:09 AM   #12
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Just for some perspective, calibre itself has over 300,000 lines of code (estimated at 82 man years of effort http://www.ohloh.net/p/calibre) and has been developed over six years.

And calibre is based on a relatively mature, stable and powerful platform - the personal computer. Making a "calibre for mobile" app given that mobile platforms are fragmented, underpowered, unstable and immature is not something that is likely to happen any time soon.

More likely what you will get will be frontends for calibre, like calibre companion or the calibre content server.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:26 PM   #13
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I didn't mean to play down the effort involved, and I had sort of left the original suggestion of creating one into a general venting. There are multiple readers that do most or, at least, of what is required, several of them are commercial. What most of them need is either adding a connection to Calibre or the ability to handle a couple of other formats. So what I meant by 'Why is it so hard' was really why one of the existing ereader app creators, who have most of the main structure in place, can't add handling for additional formats or Calibre server support.

I agree that the demand is probably not sufficient to support the costs, since most (90+%?) are probably perfectly happy just getting their books from Amazon or Itunes, and have no need for serious library/organizer/multi format readers. While I am a very experienced programmer, I have never programmed anything for the Android or IoS platforms, so I have no idea what's involved. I know there are open source renderers for several of the popular formats, and some non-open source options as well, but I have no idea what it would take to port them to Android and IoS.

Anyway, like I said, its mostly venting at this point. I will certainly get CC for my Android and ebook Search for my Ipad. That will go a long way toward filling in the gaps. I do love Calibre, and I certainly appreciate the great effort Kovid and others have put into it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #14
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I was using Megareader which also handled Epub and Pdf pretty well, but it's stopped working with Calibre, won't connect, and gives error.
I do not have any trouble connecting MegaReader to the Calibre Content server. If there are issues for you then it might be worth contacting the MegaReader developer (Patrick Thompson) for help as I have found him responsive to getting any identified bugs fixed.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:52 PM   #15
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All I want is something that will grab books from Calibre/OPDS/Dropbox, handle the 6 or 7 main formats (epub,pdf,mobi,txt,html, lit?), in a uniform, neat process
There are quite a few reader apps in Android that on the surface fit your bill. I use Moon+Reader Pro and it supports epub, pdf, mobi, chm, cbr, cbz, umd, fb2, txt, html, rar, zip or OPDS formats. I only use it for epub so I can't speak to how well it handles the other formats. A couple of key points about the app.

• Support online ebook libraries and personal calibre ebook server.
• Backup/Restore options to cloud via DropBox, sync reading positions between phones and tablets.

I also bought a Nexus 7 android tablet specifically because I knew that chaley and his son were developing Calibre Companion (it was in beta at the time). I previously had Sony ereaders and chaley put most all of the fine touches on that driver that caused the Sony devices to be better integrated with calibre than any other devices. He also did most of the implementation of the template language and the metadata plugboards, so I had no doubt that the integration of CC with calibre would be exactly what I was looking for. I wasn't disappointed. I use CC to manage the books on my tablet and launch the books in whichever reader app I choose.

Good luck with your search.

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