Thursday, January 27, 2011

OverDrive Apps Updated, Plus Project Gutenberg eBooks on Mobile Sites

Today, OverDrive released updates to the OverDrive Media Console apps for iPhone (iOS) and Android, which include the addition of one-click, automatic downloads and other enhancements to user experience.

At the same time, we’ve updated the mobile ‘Virtual Branch’ sites for libraries with a Project Gutenberg collection, enabling access to the 15,000 DRM-free EPUB eBooks on iPhone and Android. This gives users a chance to download an eBook directly to their iPhone or Android every time they visit your mobile site without waiting lists or holds.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the improvements that went live today:

One-click, automatic downloads

When an iPhone or Android user clicks on the download button on your mobile site, the OverDrive app, if installed, will launch and the download will begin automatically. This update reduces the number of steps previously required to download.

Project Gutenberg on mobile sites

Prior to today, only the Android app had support for DRM-free Open EPUB eBooks from various online sources. Now the iPhone app can be used to read Open EPUB eBooks, as well.

With the support for Open EPUB eBooks enabled, we’ve added the Project Gutenberg collections to the mobile sites. Now a user always has access to an eBook from your library’s ‘Virtual Branch.’ Project Gutenberg eBooks are prominently featured on the ‘Browse’ page under the heading ‘Browse Public Domain eBook Titles.’

Additional enhancements for Android
 The updated Android app also features a new user interface that includes a lending countdown calendar when the user is in “Library” view.

In addition, we’ve also updated the eBook reader in the Android app to allow users to lock the page orientation to portrait or landscape view, regardless of how they rotate the device.

Additional enhancements for iPhone

The iPhone app received two performance enhancements, including improved page load when reading an eBook or changing the font size. The eBook reader was also updated so that the ‘Reader Settings’ that appear at the top of the page will automatically fade away after 5 seconds.
Most of new features outlined above can be adjusted in the ‘Settings’ section of the iPhone or Android app, so users can customize their reading and listening experience. We also have other enhancements in the works, so keep checking back for updates.

Click here to go to the Digital Library Blog for more information on these exciting new features. 
(Dan Stasiewski, OverDrive -January 27, 2011)

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