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Old 08-05-2022, 06:37 PM   #1
zmix
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Pocketbook Era FW version 6.7.775 Issues and Observations

I just purchased the Pocketbook Era Reader, and I think it’s a beautiful device.

It automatically updated to the latest firmware last night, version 6.7.775 and I have discovered some small inconsistencies in the implementation.

I’ve done quite a lot of work in product development and Beta-testing so please forgive my possibly too thorough and too "bug reporter" style notes. Most of these are actual, repeatable bugs, some may be Day 1 unfamiliarity issues...


Interface Bugs:

When you set the orientation for left handed use (buttons on the left) the home screen and the “Logo” screens are upside down. If you use the positional “G-Sensor", the home page is correctly oriented, but the Logo / Power off screens are still upside down.

Pressing the menu/power button while reading brings up a menu of options. Pressing the button again closes that menu. Selecting one of the options on that menu, like “Settings” brings up layout and kerning options, but I expect that pressing the menu/power button again will close that menu, as it does the previous menu, and return me to the book. Because it does not, it feels like the button is broken. I think this button’s behavior should be consistent and toggle a menu open/close.

In the “Configure Tap Gesture” menu there is an option in the Appearance sub-menu “Hide a status bar”. This should read “Hide Status Bar”.

Interface Enhancement Requests:

It would be nice if the physical page turn buttons could be configured by the user, I find that when holding the reader in my usual way, with the bottom edge resting on my little finger, my thumb sits exactly on the lower page turn button.
Reaching up to the upper page turn button upsets the balance and requires me to re-grip the device. If the page turn buttons could be reversed by the user as a personalization option I would not need to change my grip simply to turn a page.
If implemented, this option should follow the left-hand and right-hand orientation preference, so that the upper and lower buttons behave as expected. Currently they do change their function when operating the Era horizontally with the buttons at the bottom, so it would be nice to extend this configurability to the user.

It would be nice to have the ability to save the layout options per-book. Some books have a unique layout and require several changes to make them legible.

It would be nice if the book cover images used in the logo screens could be expanded to fit the available display area, filling the screen.


Notes / Dictionary access:

I find the dictionary implementation a bit confusing. I am used to my Sony reader, where you simply double-click on a word and the dictionary appears with the definition of that word. In the Era you have to select the dictionary first and it occupies the lower part of the screen while displaying the confusing message “Select word for translation”. In this state is is impossible to select a word in the lower 1/3 of the screen. As a user, my goal is to understand the meaning of a word in the book, I find the number of steps required to do this in the Era frustrating.

Highlighting text is equally frustrating. On the Sony reader, you double-click and then drag your finger or stylus to highlight a section of text, you are then given the option to look it up in the dictionary or save it as a Note. On the Era, I find that I have to press the Menu/Power button, select “Note” then try to highlight the text.

It would solve both of these issues and just be very nice if “double-click” gestures were supported for the Dictionary and Notes functions. This would eliminate many unnecessary interruptions in the reading experience.


Bugs in Notes feature:

There seems to be a bug in the Notes export feature. If I select the notes for a single book, and within that select “All” then export, all notes do not appear in the generated .html file, sometimes only a single note, or a small portion of them appear.

When in “Note” mode and using the smallest font size (6pt) the text becomes compressed on the page and is somewhat illegible. Maybe if the icons at the top of the screen were reduced in size this would be less of a problem?

Note Editing Bug:

Select some text to create a note, then hold your finger on the note until the pop-up menu appears, and select "Edit". Move the bracket positions to change the content of the note. Press the check mark "Ok" to finish editing. Look at the notes in the list for that book and you will see that all of the originally selected text is still there, not the edited version.


Implementing the double click option for selecting text would also eliminate this issue entirely.

I find that I make a lot of mistakes when selecting text and I rely on the “Erase” feature, it might be a useful option to have the Erase mode revert to the Notes mode after it has been used, I don’t think multiple erase operations are a frequent occurrence.

If I navigate to the Notes folder in Internal storage (by selecting “Gallery” and then navigating up one level to Internal Storage and then selecting the Notes folder) it says “No Items”. If I connect my computer I can see the exported notes.

Page number display is problematic. Whenever I open a book it takes 15-30 seconds for the page number to appear at the bottom of the screen when using Display option “Pages”. (and the cycling three dots at the bottom of the page force a screen redraw at the user specified interval).If I select “Built-in page numbering” no page numbers appear (in an epub book).


Text to Speech:

In the Text to speech status bar the button graphics for “Pause" are non-standard and not immediately obvious. The conventional “pause” graphic is square in aspect ratio, the Era has two parallel tall narrow lines || .

I find the maximum Speech rate of 1.4x too slow, much slower that I would imagine the average person reads, and I think it would be nice to have at least 2x as an option.


Miscellaneous:

Is it possible to charge the Era while it’s plugged into a computer for data transfer? It would be nice to not have to make this decision every time you plug the Era into a computer.

Power On/Off timing is very hard to predict. When the device is off, if I hold the power button the device seems to do nothing, sometimes the LED on the side illuminates, but if I release the button then sometimes the device does not power on.
If I hold the button too lone the device seems to turn on then off again before I have a chance to release the button.
It would be nice if the side LED had a blink pattern to indicate booting ad another to indicate shutting down. I realize there is a “sleep” mode instigated by a double click on the power button, but I don’t understand yet when it might be advisable.
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Old 08-05-2022, 06:38 PM   #2
zmix
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That was day one..

Today I discovered 2 more items:


BUG: Finished reading Chapter 1 of the book "Gilliamesque". Put reader to sleep by double clicking power button. Reader powered off after 10 minutes as per setting. When I re-started the reader it opened the book at the front cover.

Feature request: Dictionary audio pronunciation rate should be fixed to 1x playback speed - independent of the text to speech speed preference.
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Old 08-05-2022, 08:48 PM   #3
cellaris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post

It would be nice if the physical page turn buttons could be configured by the user, I find that when holding the reader in my usual way, with the bottom edge resting on my little finger, my thumb sits exactly on the lower page turn button.
Reaching up to the upper page turn button upsets the balance and requires me to re-grip the device. If the page turn buttons could be reversed by the user as a personalization option I would not need to change my grip simply to turn a page.

I'm not exactly a fan of PBReader and hardly use it, but one of the nice things about it is that the (multifunction) keys can be configured in the personal settings. There are numerous possible combinations: For example, you can use all 4 keys to page up or page down. You can even do it with one and the same key: press to page forward, press and hold to page back.
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Old 08-05-2022, 10:42 PM   #4
cellaris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix View Post
Notes / Dictionary access:

I find the dictionary implementation a bit confusing. I am used to my Sony reader, where you simply double-click on a word and the dictionary appears with the definition of that word. In the Era you have to select the dictionary first and it occupies the lower part of the screen while displaying the confusing message “Select word for translation”. In this state is is impossible to select a word in the lower 1/3 of the screen. As a user, my goal is to understand the meaning of a word in the book, I find the number of steps required to do this in the Era frustrating.

Highlighting text is equally frustrating. On the Sony reader, you double-click and then drag your finger or stylus to highlight a section of text, you are then given the option to look it up in the dictionary or save it as a Note. On the Era, I find that I have to press the Menu/Power button, select “Note” then try to highlight the text.

It would solve both of these issues and just be very nice if “double-click” gestures were supported for the Dictionary and Notes functions. This would eliminate many unnecessary interruptions in the reading experience.
You have 2 options to open the dictionary:

- If you use it occasionally, long press on the word and then on the dictionary icon in the pop-up menu.

- If you use the dictionary constantly, you have the option to open it from the reading menu and enter the so-called "dictionary mode", in which you only have to click on the word to open the dictionary. It is used in combination with the page turning keys, as pressing the touch screen will always open the dictionary, and you cannot perform any other action on the screen. The dictionary mode remains active as long as you exit the definition box by touching the screen, and closes permanently if you exit by pressing the exit icon or by pressing a key that has a function activated in the reading menu.

Regarding the notes, it is more or less the same. The occasional mode is to long press on a word and drag over the area you want to underline, and then click on the pencil icon in the pop-up menu.
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Old 08-06-2022, 04:15 AM   #5
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Epub page numbering: I do not use built-in (Adobe-style) page numbering.

Per screen page numbering: when you open a book for the first time, the reader renders the whole book in the background, calculating page breaks and stores the image in a cache, so you won't see the page numbers till it finishes. Only the animated dots.
The next time you open the same book the reader opens the previously rendered image from the cache, so page numbering is displayed instantly. But change the layout (like font size) and the reader has to re-render the book again.

Chapter progress display is calculated everytime you open the book, again displaying those animated dots.

After the update I simply could not turn on the device for 15 minutes, because I pressed the button too short or too long.
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Old 08-06-2022, 11:42 AM   #6
tomsem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellaris View Post
You have 2 options to open the dictionary:

- If you use it occasionally, long press on the word and then on the dictionary icon in the pop-up menu.

- If you use the dictionary constantly, you have the option to open it from the reading menu and enter the so-called "dictionary mode", in which you only have to click on the word to open the dictionary. It is used in combination with the page turning keys, as pressing the touch screen will always open the dictionary, and you cannot perform any other action on the screen. The dictionary mode remains active as long as you exit the definition box by touching the screen, and closes permanently if you exit by pressing the exit icon or by pressing a key that has a function activated in the reading menu.

Regarding the notes, it is more or less the same. The occasional mode is to long press on a word and drag over the area you want to underline, and then click on the pencil icon in the pop-up menu.
I have lower right corner tap zone configured to put it in 'dictionary mode'. When done looking things up, tap the 'exit' icon on the lookup panel and it goes back to normal/highlighting mode.

I love how configurable the UI is. I discovered I could replace the Audiobooks button on Home Screen with KOReader launch button.

Of course it makes my head hurt to try to remember the different gestures and tap zones for both PBReader and KOReader.

The drag gesture to adjust brightness doesn't work consistently for me.

Last edited by tomsem; 08-06-2022 at 07:28 PM.
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