Monday, December 20, 2010

Mobile eReaders Just Got Smarter

Ebook reading has moved from being restricted to one device, to being interoperable and enjoyable across multiple devices. We now have to acknowledge, not just the emergence of the cloud, but a new breed of mobile app readers which are emerging and quietly slipping into the market.

First there is TXTR which is focused at the iOS and Android devices. The app can play on iPhones, iPads the Samsung Galaxy tablet and Android smartphones. Txtr has teamed up with Holland’s largest ereatiler,, to sell into the Dutch eBook market. The app allows readers to buy new titles and ‘side load’ existing ePub titles protected by Adobe’s DRM. The key is the capability to support Adobe’s ACS4 DRM which means that files bought on many sites can now be securely read on many mobile devices.

Another ACS4 mobile reader has been developed in the US by Bluefire Productions and has been adopted by one of the US’s largest book retailers, Books-A-Million. The app was released only at the end of November and is already turning heads. It allows users to easily customise their reading experience by choosing the background colour, font size, and either portrait or landscape format,is free and again importantly is fully compatible with ACS4 encrypted titles.

These new generation of DRM enabled mobile readers could prove very popular and have the potential to free users from single application readers and further stimulate the demand for iPad and Android tablets next year. They also offer resellers the opportunity to create branded mobile offers and engage fully with the market, sell ebooks through platforms such as Google ebookstore and do so without having to have a dedicated reader.


Anonymous said...

Bluefire and txtr were the first apps to offer such universal compatibility, but there is a new kid on the the block, the iFlow Reader ( and it is now the best of that breed. It can ingest any epub with or without Adobe DRM and it will very soon support library loans. It also has its own built in store.

Martyn Daniels said...

Actually i know of two others that are also going to offer these services and rentals are part of the ACS4 offer so yes retail rental and library loans are all possible through these new players.

The interesting question now is how many the market can support as all need to earn and often their value share models don't fit snugly in the space.