Friday, December 28, 2012

Basics still omitted in reading apps

Update: the zoom function does work in the alternative iPad browser iCab. But how many even know it exists?

I'm amazed that nearly three years after the iPad's introduction, we still have apps which miss basics.
Apple's Safari for iPad still does not have any way to enlarge text! Other iPad browsers have had that for years now.
(It does now have the Reader function, but that only works on 75% of pages which need it.)

And the otherwise interesting Google Play Books Reader, which lets you buy and read books in PDF formatting, which gives access to many books which are a lot of work to break down into ereader formats so the publisher hasn't done it. Many books about fine arts creation for example. But: it has a glaring omission: it has no zoom function! I just can't believe this, a zoom function is essential for any app which reads PDF, because those pages often have tiny text in columns. I mean, even the Kindle 3 had a zoom function for PDFs. And the web version of the Google Play books do have it, so they know it's a good idea. (Sadly the web version does not 'play' well with Safari/iPad, you can't move around on a page you have zoomed into, it just goes to next page instead!)

Please, Google, give the Play Book app for iPad a zoom function!
(For scanned-pages PDF books. You can change the text size in ordinary ebooks, ePub, fortunately.)

Just look at this page. I can just read it without any zoom function, but it's really not that pleasant for middle-aged eyes.
And if you try on a smaller, 7-inch reader, forget it.


ttl said...

Engadget says that Google Play Books does have pinch zoom. But then it doesn't mention iPad specifically. Could it be that it only works on the iPhone?

ttl said...

Here's the link:

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Not on the iPhone either. (I have the newest versions of the app.)

I don't have text-to-speech either. I'm looking forward to getting that on iPad, hopefully soon. As far as I know, it would then be the first ereader app to get that, apart from Blio, which is not that great (the voice).

I think Engadget is talking about the Android version, they have a little link under the article to an Android web site. They ought to make the platform they are talking about more clear up front.

By the way, in Play you *can* change text size in text books, it's only an issue with scanned pages-PDF-books.