Friday, July 19, 2013

2.2: Annotation for your summer!

Hey guys,

How is your summer going? Lying on some beach and reading your favorite novels with fabrik reader? Cool! My summer is kind of busy, but I think the efforts tend to pay off. So here it is: Fabrik Reader 2.2!

The most significant improvement in this version is the support for annotation, as well as notes (of course they are synchronized, like everything else with fabrik reader). Also some small UI tweaks have been made. Check out the following screenshots!

The last picture is a summary view of all your notes in a book. You'll see it by clicking the orange note counter in the right bottom corner of your book cover. As for the annotation toolbar, I'm sure you know what to do with it, so just poke around and have fun.

I've also redesigned the icon (again!), and here it is, hope you like it better than the last one :)

I think now with the support for annotation and notes, fabrik reader is somewhat feature complete. Personally I can't really think of any major feature that's missing. I'm aware of many small bugs and glitches here and there though, and don't worry, fixes will keep coming. I've also created a place for you guys to submit issues or feature requests: So if you see anything out of ordinary, or you have some exciting new ideas, you know what to do :)

That's it. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fabrik 2.1: Google Drive Support

Hey guys,

This time it's really simple: Google Drive support is finally coming! With a new splash screen!

So if you're synching with Dropbox right now and want to switch to Google Drive, just press menu, and select Cloud, and you'll be redirecting to this splash screen, in which you can choose to link to Google Drive.

I'm trying my best to make Fabrik as perfect as it can be. So, as always, if you run into any problem at all, please contact me. I may not be able to response in time, but I'll definitely read your message and put them in my (very long) todo list. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fabrik Reader 2.0: Here we go!

Hey guys,

I bet you all miss me :)

It's been three month since I last blogged here. I have to admit that I'm really really lazy when it comes to blogging and social networking and stuff. But, I've been really busy coding and designing, so after some really hard work, here it is, a brand new Fabrik Reader 2.0.

Now, first impression:

Hope you like it :) And please ignore the HTC brand, they didn't pay me... It's just that I have an one x, so obviously my screenshots can be perfectly aligned with an one x photo.

The UI redesign is just an appetizer. The biggest change in version 2.0 is a brand new render engine, which can handle CSS. So now your epub books will look much much better than 1.x. And if you don't like the style that comes with your book, you can choose to override it with two pre-defined styles: Web and Old Fashioned, which is basically left aligned modern web style and old fashioned print book like style (see the screenshots below). BTW, you got page number instead of percentage under each page now!

Feeling good, huh? Let's bring up even more good stuff: tagging your books! In version 2.0, you can give your books tags, and you can later filter your books by the tags you defined. So you never have to worry about how to organize your massive book collection. See those nice little tags in the dropdown navigation menu?

Also in version 2.0, a new reading theme has been added, and it is even more easy on your eyes. Page turn animation and text selection have also been optimized.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that it's not all great news. Begin from Fabrik Reader 2.0, I decided to drop support for Android version 2.x and 3.x. According to the statistics on Google Play, only 5% users are using Fabrik Reader on Android 2.x and 3.x, and the number is decreasing every month. So I think it's time to stop supporting the old android, it's simply too much work to maintain the backward compatibility. Besides, this new render engine is kind of hungry for resources, I don't think it can run smoothly on old devices any way.

There is also some unresolved issues with this new version. First, the css support is not perfect, only a subset of css 2 is supported. Second, the book rendering takes too much time and cpu resources, which means if you keep opening books, it could drain your battery. I'm still working on it and trying to figure out ways to optimize things. 

That's pretty much what I have to say about this new version. Oh, just one more thing, I'm pretty sure there is going to be bugs, since so much code has been changed. So, if you see anything wield, any book that can't  be opened, or have any other thought at all, please let me know!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Widget! Widget!

Hi guys,

A new version has been uploaded today, and now two widgets are available! The first one is for android > 3.0 users, which according to flurry is the majority of Fabrik Reader users. And it looks like this:

Personally I would like to stack it in another direction, but I didn't find any way to do that so... 

And this little 1x1 book cover widget here, is for everybody:

So basically now you can create kind of "a short cut" for any of your books in your "desktop". Hope you like them :)

I think I'll create more widgets in the future, but right now I really want to focus on the new render engine (btw in this update I also fixed a major bug in the current render engine which will cause missing paragraph). It's definitely what's coming next, but it'll take some time. It's like writing a tiny web browser, you don't need to know anything about programming to understand that it's not an easy job to do. So please be patient, and I'll move as fast as I can!

Thank you for your support, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Brand new Icon, and translation!

Hi guys,

Today I've also done some re-designed of the icon, and here it is:

So what do you think? Better or worse than the one we're using now? Let me know!

Also I've finally put together all the texts that needed to be translated in order to get Fabrik Reader localized. And this is the part that I'm going to need your help! I've already got Fabrik Reader translated into Chinese, and it shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes. So if you want to help translate Fabrik into your own language(THANKS!!!), please keep reading.

This is the link of the market description: I'm sure you know how to translate that :)

This is the link to the resource file to be translated:

You can open it with any text editor. And when you do, just translate what's between the <string> tags, like:


For example, the 4th line in the file is:

<string name="menu_recent">Recent</string>

If you're translating it into Chinese, you should get:

<string name="menu_recent">最近</string>

Just one more thing that you should know, sometimes you'll see this: %1$s, that's just a place holder for the actual value, and you should put it in the right position. For example, in the following line:

<string name="dialog_opening_book">Opening book \'%1$s\'...</string>

It means that Opening book 'the-actual-book-name'...

And that's all! After you're done, just put the file in your Dropbox public folder and comment the link below. Thank you again!!!

Oh, just one more thing, you could try to come up with a name for Fabrik Reader in your own language if you like! Just comment and explain the name to me. Let me explain the name Fabrik Reader here first. It's really simple actually: I wanted you to have the feeling that you're reading a book made of Fabric, just like what the Chinese people are doing in the old times, well, at least the rich ones are :) So what do you have in mind? Let me know!

BTW, bookmark/widgets are also under way. So stay tuned! An update should hit the market very soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Back with a Poll! What do you want most in the next version?

Hi guys, long time no see!

I know it's been a while since the last update, and I'm sorry about that. I've been caught up by another project that will finally come to end very soon. So I'll be back to my favorite project ASAP!

In the meantime, I'm been doing some thinking about what to bring to you guys next. There is so much to do(I really want to make a GREAT product here!), but I'm developing this all by myself, so...

I want to make sure that I always deliver what matters most. And that's why I created a little poll on the Fabrik Reader facebook page (please please like it first!). But before you go there and cast your holy vote, please allow me to explain the options in detail here:

(If you want bookmark, or widgets, consider it's done! They will be the first to be delivered in the next version!)

1. Fabrik Reader Social Network:
    This is my personal favorite! I've always wanted to have a socialized ebook reading experience. That means while you're reading something cool, you can leave some comments and talk about it with other people who also enjoy it. You can also share what you're reading, what you plan to read. You can see what other people have read, or is reading right now. You can follow the people that have sharp opinions, or have the same taste of books as you do, and talk to them, get book recommendations from them. You can find out trending books and what others are saying about them. You can... Isn't that fantastic? Like a book club in your pocket (I know it's a cheesy line...).

2. OPDS support.
    Not much to say about this one.

3. Google Drive Support.
    I know I've been promising this for a long time... It's just that the Google Drive SDK is really hard to use compare to Dropbox...

4. Better Render Engine.
    For now Fabrik Reader doesn't really support things like html tag format or css. So I think a better render engine would be good. After all, it's an ebook reader, is it not?

5. iOS Fabrik Reader.
    I know most of you are probably hard core Android guys, but the Dropbox sync feature will be more shiny with multiple platform support. So how many of you guys want to see Fabrik Reader on iOS?

6. Other
    Please comment if you have any other thoughts!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

v1.3: having a big library? Sorting by title, author or recently read!

Hi guys,

Today Fabrik 1.3 is out there, and this time it's for the people who has a big library. Because now you can sort your books by title, author or the most recent time that you read it!

Before this version, you are already sorting books by recent. Now if you are on android >= 3.0, you'll see a dropdown list next to the icon, and from there you can choose to sort books by title and author. If you are still on android 2.x(time to upgrade your phone, pal, and I think I've already said that before...), you can press menu button and you'll see a sort option. Books will be sorted alphabetically if you choose sort by title, and a nice little bookmark will show up as a separator between books starts with different letters. If you choose sort by author, your books will be grouped by authors and authors will be sorted alphabetically. This way your books from a single series will be grouped together (because they share the same author apparently).

Another improvements is that now Fabrik Reader honours the metadata in your books, both epub and mobi format. So it'll show the actual book title instead of the file name. Also you now have an option to use system backlight settings if you don't want to adjust screen brightness manually.

That's it for 1.3. Another things that you should know about, Fabrik Reader is now on Facebook: Please go ahead and like it (I'm pretty sure you actually do ;) Your likes will help promoting Fabrik Reader, and it's all of you great users that make me going further and further. So, thank you! And Enjoy!