November 11, 2008

eBook reader on the iPhone

Original Post from March 10th 2008.

Here on the Teleread forum is an update on the plans of Zachary Brewster-Geisz who wrote the reader (open source, GPL) for jailbroken iPhones. The article is based on an interview with him (here) at the "iPhone world" blog.

It's a fairly simple (but it should be, no?) reader application for iPhone (and I assume iPod Touch) that currently takes books in TXT and HTML formats only.

It will be interesting to see if the recent SDK & Developer program & App Store announcements from Apple will have it, or improved versions of it, appearing as an official application on the App Store in the future. Based on it's Open Source roots and the motives of the author, I'd expect it to be a free app on the App store.

That (together with some work on the new formats and some Mac OX X and/or Windows converters) could cause a surge of activity among people creating (or making available!) free content. Alongside all those options for Palm, Sony, iRex etc on content webs we may see iPhone appearing.

Implementing .epub is probably a bit of a larger task than the author is currently tackling, but there are other open source implementations underway, and so we may see that appear as an option.

I'd be surprised if Adobe is not readying Adobe Reader, Digital Editions and .epub reading capability for the iPhone, not to mention Apple itself....

The opening up (in a way) of the iPhone as a development platform will I expect engender a whole series of apps for it in this general area, and then we'll see how they survive, merge, die or thrive and which ones (and formats) come out on top.

No comments: