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Old 03-15-2020, 08:51 AM   #1
jukin
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I'll pass

As this is a paid app I need it to be able to be as user friendly as the original app. After how many months of development I think the development's crawled to the finish line. I have not delved deep into it as I could not get past the user interface. Frankly, it sucks.

No shelves.
Just a plain white background.
Grid display is books displayed in a central column, not a grid at all.
Settings a small percentage of what was in the original app.
This clearly an app where the developer(s) did their own testing i.e. only tested from a developer perspective not a user perspective - never a good idea.

Like I said, I haven't gone into the functionality because the user interface and lack of options did for me. I am frustrated that a perfectly good version of CC as been turned into poor imitation of its former self and it's a subscriber service?

Why could you not have just used the original app? If you always intended to make this a subscription model then you should have opted to pay Kovid (or whoever) for the rights to the full app.

I suggest that people who are disappointed with this app may want to consider a subscription to Scribd - read most published works and tons of audiobooks for $8.99 a month. It's not a plug just something I've done myself to be able to read great books without having to rely on apps like CC. Plus, like Amazon Kindle app, your reading/listening position is kept in the cloud so you can continue reading/listening on any connected device.

Again, I am not touting Scribd but as CC was pretty much unusable I subscribed and I am very glad I did. Just a heads-up.
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:12 AM   #2
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Disliking certain aspects of the update is fine. But why compare CC to services like Scribd? They don't provide the same benefits, and aren't comparable in that way.

CC is a companion app to the Calibre program. It's not a book retailer/source. If you compare it to other book source options, of course it will fall short, because that isn't what the app is for.

Editing to add...you can change the grid view by adjusting the size of the icons. Picking "small" gave me 4 across on my iPad Pro. "Regular" gives 2 across, "medium" gives one column. Seems those options need tweaked to give a smaller change between sizes.

What else has changed? I just compared my updated app to the old version on another device. Other than moving the Settings/Gear button to the bottom right of the screen, all options and setting choices are the same.

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Old 03-15-2020, 10:24 AM   #3
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The reason I compared it to Scribd is this. I used CC for at least the last 5 years and did nearly all my reading via it. I loved what it gave me. When it became a new product, I gave up on it in the end. I tried finding an alternative but could find none that were anywhere close to what CC was and so decided to go in another direction. Hence, instead of buying books I subscribed to Scribd. I only mentioned it as an possible option that people might want to consider if they were ready to give up on CC and other such apps.

I tried the new version to see if the changes made had been worth the wait to me. They aren't. My intent was not to suggest an alternative to CC but rather a new way of accessing books that was a lot cheaper than buying them and then being frustrated in trying to get a client/server model like CC/Calibre that fulfills your needs.

I still don't see why the new CC had to be such a different product to the original. The original was great and had been field tested for years by thousands of users. Why so much development over such a length of time for a product that was pretty much where it needed to be at the start?

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Old 03-15-2020, 10:40 AM   #4
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CC isn't a reader app. It even says that clearly in the description in the App Store.

I don't see how it has changed that much. Other than the grid view not being great, the rest looks and acts just like it did before this update.
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:41 AM   #5
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CC isn't a reader app. It even says that clearly in the description in the App Store.

I don't see how it has changed that much. Other than the grid view not being great, the rest looks and acts just like it did before this update.
I'm thinking that some here are simply looking for sticks to beat the developers with. It frustrates me since I've seen more than one app driven into abandonment by a few dogmatic posters who insist on declaring jihad against it because it isn't exactly the way they want it to be.
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Old 03-15-2020, 12:07 PM   #6
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I'm thinking that some here are simply looking for sticks to beat the developers with. It frustrates me since I've seen more than one app driven into abandonment by a few dogmatic posters who insist on declaring jihad against it because it isn't exactly the way they want it to be.
Sure, but complaining about a feature the app isn't designed for, and comparing it to apps that do totally different things is ridiculous. And it seems to me that the OP hasn't really looked into the app settings at all.

I'm not thrilled with the direction the new developers are taking with CC, but users trying to make the differences something they aren't isn't right either. It's like complaining you can't get 8 people into a Honda Fit, when it was never designed that way to begin with.
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:18 PM   #7
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well trying to be reasonable here...

"Why could you not have just used the original app? If you always intended to make this a subscription model then you should have opted to pay Kovid (or whoever) for the rights to the full app."

1. Nothing to do with Kovid, the previous developers were Multipie - easy to find as some help pages still point to them, and
2. they sold the full package - all the code, - all the rights - all platforms - not some subset - To Sam Cohen.

The IOS app had to be re-written ( and the android one will have to be also, if they choose to work on that) because operating systems and thus Apple, Google pre-requisites have evolved, the old app versions are non complaint now.
Arguably the previous owners picked a good time to sell, but as the price was confidential we don't know if Sam overpaid, underpaid, or got it at fair value.

Having said all that, if they try to take Android down a "subscribe or else" route, I'll drop it and use something else. Not so much Jihad, as " I paid for a lifetime licence already"

and as for bugs, its too soon to say if the initial release quality is better, worse then expected or par for the course. much will depend on how quickly the bug fixes now flow.

Not testing whether it works as a library manager with wifi and cell both OFF seems a big oversight. & Beta testers also apparently missed that one.

& for the record, I predicted that they would miss their Q1 2020 release target but they didn't

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Old 03-15-2020, 01:23 PM   #8
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I'm curious...how do you use CC for reading?
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:35 PM   #9
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I'm curious...how do you use CC for reading?
He did not actually claim that. He said he did his reading VIA it.
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:41 PM   #10
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well trying to be reasonable here...

"Why could you not have just used the original app? If you always intended to make this a subscription model then you should have opted to pay Kovid (or whoever) for the rights to the full app."

1. Nothing to do with Kovid, the previous developers were Multipie - easy to find as some help pages still point to them, and
2. they sold the full package - all the code, - all the rights - all platforms - not some subset - To Sam Cohen.

The IOS app had to be re-written ( and the android one will have to be also, if they choose to work on that) because operating systems and thus Apple, Google pre-requisites have evolved, the old app versions are non complaint now.
Arguably the previous owners picked a good time to sell, but as the price was confidential we don't know if Sam overpaid, underpaid, or got it at fair value.

Having said all that, if they try to take Android down a "subscribe or else" route, I'll drop it and use something else. Not so much Jihad, as " I paid for a lifetime licence already"

and as for bugs, its too soon to say if the initial release quality is better, worse then expected or par for the course. much will depend on how quickly the bug fixes now flow.

Not testing whether it works as a library manager with wifi and cell both OFF seems a big oversight. & Beta testers also apparently missed that one.

& for the record, I predicted that they would miss their Q1 2020 release target but they didn't
It works fine as a library manager with wifi and cell both off. I tested it myself and just retested it. The OP never responded when I asked him what he's seeing. If I were to guess, I suspect it's more to do with the number of ebooks than it is with wifi and cell both off. I have a bit under 4000 ebooks and it worked fine for me. When I did beta for the original CC for iOS, the number of ebooks was a big stumbling block. The original developer had to do some work to handle a large number of ebooks.

I agree that it really depends on how fast they are fixing bugs and pushing out new releases. Obviously, having 6 months between releases isn't going to hack it. I'm hoping that they fix the bugs that I reported fairly quickly, but that is certainly something that I will be watching.
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Old 03-15-2020, 08:58 PM   #11
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I agree that it really depends on how fast they are fixing bugs and pushing out new releases. Obviously, having 6 months between releases isn't going to hack it. I'm hoping that they fix the bugs that I reported fairly quickly, but that is certainly something that I will be watching.
I don't have any iDevices, and only a few apps on my Android devices. I regard the near constant stream of undocumented updates as a signal that the apps are developed by a bunch of 'cavalier amateurs' - that includes Google apps - why does a Photo app need updating twice a week.

The tone of the reaction to CC's change of ownership stems in part from the fact that the original developer's, Charles Haley and his son (name escapes me), used 'professional' change management practices - offering users options, i.e. do you want/like: this, this, or this; documenting changes, sometimes before even doing them; beta testing with open feedback etc.

Another factor is that Charles is a major contributor to the development of calibre, Kovid's posts in the calibre forum often reference custom columns, column icons, the template language… as being in chaley's bailiwick. As a result he was always 'top dog' in knowledge domain he shared with CC users.

I guess what I'm saying is that CC's original developers set an extremely high bar within the CC user community regading what they expect of CC developers. Very few, if any, Android or IOS app developers can be expected to match those expectaions - either by inclination or capability.

FTR I don't use CC, but I have recommended it to a number of friends and acquaintances - regretfully in some instances.


Re subscription charging - maybe a free book a month would be a 'fun thing to do' - e.g "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift, or "The Cleopatra Ode" by Horace might get people away from Sci-Fi and Chick-lit for a moment

BR

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Old 03-16-2020, 07:52 AM   #12
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I don't have any iDevices, and only a few apps on my Android devices. I regard the near constant stream of undocumented updates as a signal that the apps are developed by a bunch of 'cavalier amateurs' - that includes Google apps - why does a Photo app need updating twice a week.

The tone of the reaction to CC's change of ownership stems in part from the fact that the original developer's, Charles Haley and his son (name escapes me), used 'professional' change management practices - offering users options, i.e. do you want/like: this, this, or this; documenting changes, sometimes before even doing them; beta testing with open feedback etc.

Another factor is that Charles is a major contributor to the development of calibre, Kovid's posts in the calibre forum often reference custom columns, column icons, the template language… as being in chaley's bailiwick. As a result he was always 'top dog' in knowledge domain he shared with CC users.

I guess what I'm saying is that CC's original developers set an extremely high bar within the CC user community regading what they expect of CC developers. Very few, if any, Android or IOS app developers can be expected to match those expectaions - either by inclination or capability.

FTR I don't use CC, but I have recommended it to a number of friends and acquaintances - regretfully in some instances.


Re subscription charging - maybe a free book a month would be a 'fun thing to do' - e.g "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift, or "The Cleopatra Ode" by Horace might get people away from Sci-Fi and Chick-lit for a moment

BR
I think that a continuous stream of undocumented updates tends to reflect unstable code. I would expect that once the code has stabilized, then releases settle down to occasional simple feature enhancements and general adjustments as the underlying OS has new releases.

I tend to differentiate between the Android code base and the iOS code base. My understanding is that CC for Android has been around for quite a long time. CC for iOS hasn't been around nearly as long, and I think there was only the original release and a couple of bug fix releases. I have no idea what the user base for the two products (CC Android and CC iOS) are.
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Old 03-16-2020, 08:05 AM   #13
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i was wondering about user bases also. Google play store shows a healthy 50K+ installs, but that is not the same as 50K users. e.g. In my case, apps i bought a while ago have probably been downloaded ~5 times already as I change devices.
so maybe only 10K sales. Some of those will be inactive - bought it, didn't like it... cases, but there are over 4000 reviews so at least that many people liked (or disliked) it enough to rate it
the above is not a good predictor of whether another 10k sales to new customers is possible or likely though.

amazon figures will be tiny, compared to Google, Amazon don't sell a lot of apps, most of mine were collected when they ran the free app of the day scheme, or bought with given-away amazon coins.

anyone have the Apple store figures?
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Old 03-16-2020, 04:11 PM   #14
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i was wondering about user bases also. Google play store shows a healthy 50K+ installs, but that is not the same as 50K users. e.g. In my case, apps i bought a while ago have probably been downloaded ~5 times already as I change devices.
so maybe only 10K sales. Some of those will be inactive - bought it, didn't like it... cases, but there are over 4000 reviews so at least that many people liked (or disliked) it enough to rate it
the above is not a good predictor of whether another 10k sales to new customers is possible or likely though.

amazon figures will be tiny, compared to Google, Amazon don't sell a lot of apps, most of mine were collected when they ran the free app of the day scheme, or bought with given-away amazon coins.

anyone have the Apple store figures?
Not for downloads, but there have been 115 ratings.
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Old 03-16-2020, 04:36 PM   #15
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Not for downloads, but there have been 115 ratings.
So the " how many ratings " comparison suggests android ownership is over 400x iOS ownership.
Yet they prioritised iOS development.
Strange, if true
Even if that is out by a factor of 10, it points to android owners being 40x iOS owners.
Maybe the whole iOS update and subscription thing is just a test run before tackling the main market

I am surprised because I am pretty sure that for all apps, apple is way larger than google
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