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Old 10-10-2006, 05:09 PM   #1
flumbo
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Some suggestions for Software Updates

Update: Use also the Wiki to add your wishes: http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Sony_Reader_Wishlist

I've been using my reader for 9 days now and think some things can be improved in the next software update. Sony seems to look in these forums, so maybe we can all provide a list to help.

1. Screen Orientation. For some reason, sony decided to put both page turn controls on the same side of the device. The reader screen should be able to rotate to any orientation to allow holding it and turning pages with the right hand.

2. Naming documents, authors, genre. The connect software should allow you to rename documents within the interface. Having to reopen the document in word to change the title is inconvenient. It would be nice (and probably be good for business) if the Connect software was actually usable to organize my book library.

3. Drag to Library. For some reason you can't drag a document into the main document list to add to the library. You have to drag it to the little "library" icon.

4. Automatic Page Turn. Enable an automatic page turn option that every other reader software has. Place a small status gauge as a visual of when the page will turn. Adjust speed with the joystick or page turn buttons.

5. RSS Feeds. I've only downloaded feeds a couple times and it doesn't seem to work very well.
  • Half of the stories from Wired were in unreadable, tiny 2pt text.
  • It isn't clear how to immediately update the RSS feeds.
    All the feeds are underlined as links, but clicking on them doesn't give the user any feedback. The Bullet icon next to the feed name is clickable, but doesn't show any hand or feedback when clicked. If you click several times because you aren't sure if it is working it adds muliple instances of that feed to download in the Status area.
  • Give items being downloaded a user-readable name. Are we supposed to know that "Downloading 30193_10102006_0713" means "Downloading Engadget RSS?"

6. Lockups in Connect Software. The connect software is constantly locking up. I assumed at first that it was trying to convert a file, but 2 hours later it was still locked up. Seems most stable when started without the reader plugged in first, but usually locks up when the reader is plugged in. I've seen the same problems on two different computers...

7. Add support for unencrypted .prc or .pdb books. Most of my books are still in this format from my PalmOS days. I can still read them on my PPC. These should be usable on the reader as well.

8. Status indicator. This was a poor choice in iTunes and is a poor choice here. Every other icon on the left indicates a location where books are stored, why should the status of current operations be hidden there? There seems to be plenty of room on the top or bottom of the screen to give a message that says "transfering book 1 of 3".

9. Connect store.
  • Move the "cart" navigation element out of the middle of the menu. Convention is that "cart" is not usually part of the main site navigation or at least isn't hidden in the middle. It took me a while to find it.
  • The author name in the "top 10" lists should be clickable.
  • When browsing a sub-category (sci-fi, mystery, etc) the results shouldn't be in a small frame. I missed the "page 1 of 15" the first few times I browsed because you have it only below the book list (not everyone will be browsing full screen)-- add it to the top also. Allow a "view all" option.
  • There's plenty of white space available-- a short description would be helpful. Move the "add to cart" button closer to the book information or give each title some visual separation so it is easier to line up the button with the book title.

10. Buying in a browser. I know Sony thinks their Connect software is cool, but for the past couple weeks I've been traveling and have occasionally borrowed public or client terminals. It would have been nice to buy a book without having to load software onto a computer.

11. Delete from the device menu. Allow users to manage items on their device without having to hook up to a computer. If I finish a book and want to clear out the title, why can't I do that from the reader?
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:37 PM   #2
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1. I wish the joystick could turn the page as I hold the book with my left hand and am used to turning the pages with my right hand.

2. Some type of subfolder navigation ability.

3. Fit to screen for reading on the laptop.

4. Automatic synchronization option.

5. Some sort of button or key lock so that the pages aren't turning whilst the buttons are inadvertently being pushed.

6. Ability to read htmls natively or at least to allow a conversion of said files.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:53 PM   #3
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Add a "Go To Page" option, both in the Connect Software (How did they miss this? I didn't even realize they had until the last day or so!), and within a book on the Reader. Adding it to the "Book" menu would be perfectly servicable, I think, and the existing number keys would obviously serve just fine.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:02 PM   #4
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How about text search? I think their remarks on this were that they'd considered it, but decided against it based on focus group feedback. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks that's almost mandatory?
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flumbo
I've been using my reader for 9 days now and think some things can be improved in the next software update. Sony seems to look in these forums, so maybe we can all provide a list to help.

1. Screen Orientation. For some reason, sony decided to put both page turn controls on the same side of the device. The reader screen should be able to rotate to any orientation to allow holding it and turning pages with the right hand.
I would really like this to happen! Seems like a very simple change but would be quite useful to right handed people.

The other thing I'd like to see is an option to go to landscape and have the pagination redone rather than splitting a page and showing dimmed out text at the top or bottem.

I am getting used to portrait reading with the button on the left but I think I'd do landscape if it didn't have the anoying dimmed out text.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:46 PM   #6
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0a) Add Unicode support for books
0b) Add Unicode support for Reader's UI

...

100) Add clock to status bar, sync it with PC, make it optional.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:52 PM   #7
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RTFD inline graphics support. This is my only major issue at the minute. It'd be nice if I could have the covers/maps at the start of my books.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:31 PM   #8
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I second, third and fourth the clock comment! I really wish there was a clock on the reader, down next to the battery or something.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:36 PM   #9
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Unless I'm dumb and missing something, there's no option to "unmount" the reader in the software. And the Reader doesn't give any indication of when it's ok to disconnect (i.e. not transferring anything).

Not that I've had any problems, but I can see many of my family being quite confused by having the Reader flashing a big "Do Not Unplug" symbol when it's really ok to unplug.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:43 PM   #10
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Once () Status Icon stops spinning, you are good
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:05 PM   #11
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Yeah, figured that out. But as much as I like my family -- they're not going to notice the small spinny status icon in the software unless someone specifically tells them to look for it. They're going to be staring at the blinking "Do Not Unplug" symbol.

I would think Sony would have had the screen on the Reader change to indicate "connected, ok to unplug" and "transferring, do not unplug" -- just to make it painfully obvious to those who aren't computer inclined.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:10 PM   #12
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A lot of the complaints I have would be pretty easily solved by just copying iTunes.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:33 PM   #13
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Improve the support for non-english PDF docs

Sony Reader couldn't display the whole PDF document(Chinese) created by Adobe Acrobat (or PDFCreator, PrimoPDF, ScanSoft PDF Create! etc.), but it does work fine when I just print some pages of the same document using the same PDF tools at the same PDF settings. A really strange bug here. Adviced by Slava, I used pdfFactory to print the same doc to PDF, everhthing is fine! Sony Reader is incompatible with Acrobat in non-english PDF output?!!

Also found something that maybe interesting:

If a PDF document could not be displayed in CONNECT Reader in PC, it's also unreadable in SONY Reader. Thus I guess SONY has the same PDF viewer (maybe same core) in PC and Reader. I check the directory where CONNECT Reader installed in my PC and found this dll file: FskDocumentViewerAdobe.dll, version is "1.0.0.20", name is "Embedded PDF Viewer for Sony Connect Reader", and comes from "Adobe Systems Incorporated"

That is why I got confused. It looks like Adobe is the provider for SONY Reader's PDF viewer, but Sony Reader is incompatible with Adobe's Acrobat in non-english PDF output?!!

Last edited by each; 10-10-2006 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaping Gnome
I second, third and fourth the clock comment! I really wish there was a clock on the reader, down next to the battery or something.
When the Reader is on but not turning the page, all it does is monitor for button presses. When you shut off the Reader isn't it completely off? That's why battery life is so good. I'd rather have a long battery life than another clock.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:14 AM   #15
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I'd like to see the Connect software support a 'sync' directory. Any files I drop in that directory should be synced to the reader (replacing the existing file if the name is the same). Conversely, if a file is synced from that directory and then removed from the directory, then it should be removed from the reader. This should happen automatically when the reader is connected.

The motivation is that by doing this, we can almost create our own sync capability in parallel with the Connect library. In particular I'm thinking of the PDF files I'm creating from RSS feeds with the rss2book tool I posted.

The alternative is a sync SDK, which would be better for me, but the directory approach has the advantage that it doesn't require any kind of sophisticated programming skills.
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