eReader On The iPhone- An Overview

On July 12, 2008

Yesterday I posted briefly about my excitement at discovering eReader had released an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Fictionwise, their parent company, had previously indicated that software for the devices would be coming but that it would not be until some time later in the year. And yet, here it was.


The process of loading the reader on my iPhone was simple- just like loading any other app.













After putting in my user information I was taken to my eReader “library”. One of the nice things about eReader is that once you buy a book it remains on in your library” ready to be downloaded to your current device’s bookshelf. If you want a book that is not already on your shelf all you need to do is go to eReader’s website and purchase the book or books you want. They will then appear in your library the next time you check from your iPhone/iPod Touch. (If you sign up for the eReader newsletter you will get some good discounts on future purchases.)

It is a simple process to get your books from “library” to reading.













You tap on the book you want and are asked if you want to download it. Once you say “yes” it quickly downloads to the device. Over WiFi it took mere seconds.













Once you select a book you are asked for the unlock code. It is usually your name and the credit card number used for the purchase. If you forget your code you can find it and/or reset it on the eReader site.













Then you are good to go. Turning a page is as simple as flicking the screen- a motion we are all well familiar with by now.













The settings are limited but there are enough to make reading on the device a pleasure.


There are four font sizes ranging from tiny to HUGE…









and three font-types. Thus the likelihood of your finding a combination that works well for you is rather high. Books can be read either in portrait or landscape.

While not the size of a Kindle or SonyReader, reading on the iPhone is, over-all, a pleasant reading experience. My biggest complaints are things that have always been an issue for me when using eReader.

The Site. The site itself is slooooooow. Logging in takes forever. Searching for a book takes almost as long as it took the author to write it.

The Books. I briefly had a Kindle a few months ago. I loved the selection of books and the prices were amazing. Unfortunately, I hated the device itself. eReader, on the other hand works on a wide variety of devices but the selection is okay but not great and the prices are much higher than on the Kindle. For example, James Patterson’s new book is under $10 on the Kindle and, while available for eReader, is almost twice the price. That’s a big difference. Big enough, in fact, to allow for the purchase of, say, an extra iPhone game.

In all, the eReader for works well. If you are like me and like reading on a device that is small, light, convenient and always with you, it is certainly worth a look.

I’m not selling my SonyReader just yet but it may find its way to eBay some time in the next weeks.

Quick Take:

Value: Very High
Would I Buy Again: In a heartbeat
Learning Curve: Low to Medium
Who is it for: Anyone who wants to use their iPhone or iPod touch as an ebook reader
What I like: Interface, stability, execution (especially for a first release), OTA downloads
What I Don’t: Lacking (for now) some of the advance features found on other version

Final Statement: This wasn’t expected until the fall and yet here is is. For a first, and I suspect hurried, pass it is terrific. I can only imagine what future updates will bring. eReader for iPhone means that eBooks finally have the potential to go mainstream.