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!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

v1.1, text selection and dictionary integration (finally!)

Hi guys,

    Long time no see! A lot things has happened since my last post, and we're almost crossing 10,000 downloads now, and it's only been a month from the 0.1 beta release. What a month!

    It's been a while since we have a major version update. Today, I think it's time to do just that. So here it is, version 1.1, with the hardest feature I've ever done since 0.1 beta: text selection. And when you got text selection, it also means you got the long waited dictionary integration as well.

    Trust me, text selection is easier said than done. It's mainly because Fabrik use its own text render engine, which means I cannot simply use the text selection feature that comes with android. I had to re-implement the whole stuff (and maybe I don't need to? please let me know if you got a better idea). And that's a lot of calculation, a lot of scenario to consider and a lot of code. It's more or less working now, but definitely not stable. Yet I really want you guys to have this feature as soon as it's available (buggy than nothing I think). So please consider this feature experimental, and let me know if you saw any bug so I can improve it.

    Text selection looks like the screenshots above, when you long hold on a word, it gets highlighted, and you got two handles to drag around to change the selected area. And as you can see, a popup panel with three buttons will show up when you select some text. The first button is the search button, which will try to search whatever you selected. And if you got ColorDict (a nice free dictionary app) installed on your device, the search button will bring up ColorDict, otherwise it'll just start googling. The share button is for sharing, obviously. If you read some great paragraph that you wanted to share with your friends, just select them and client the share button. The last button will copy whatever you selected to clipboard, I'm sure you know how that works.

    Alright, let's stop here. I really need to head out and get some fresh air now. Enjoy your quality reading time!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crossing 5000 downloads, and checking in!

Hi guys,

    As many of you might notice, Fabrik Reader is already out of beta, and just crossed 5000 downloads yesterday! I want to thank you all for your great support! I definitely won't go this far without it.

    There are a few things I like to say, so here I go:

    As you might notice, I haven't been rolling out updates in the past few days. The reason is really simple: I got some days off and came back to my folks' place to spend some time with them. And I only got an old laptop here so no way I can keep developing on that. Everything will be back on track once I got back home.

    About the ads, I know some people don't like that, and my reasons is also simple: some extra cash will definitely support me better and keep me going forward so you guys will have a better app to use. And again, I promise that there will NEVER be ads in the reading view, so even if you want to keep using it for free, the distractions by ads should be minimum.

    Some people want to see page number instead of percentage. Here I want to explain to you a little bit about why that's very difficult. You see that page number is actually related to your screen size/font/font size/line spacing, and the only way to know how much content can be shown on a page is to render it(or at least do the calculation of rendering in the background). So let's say you jump to 40% of your book, if you want to know the page number you're on right now, we have to render all the 40% of the book in the background just to know how much pages they are, and if you change font/font size/line spacing, the calculation will have to be done all over again. That kind of calculate is just too heavy for a mobile device. I'm still trying to figure out other ways of doing this, and until I do, I think we have to stick with percentage.

    The last thing I want to say is, if you encounter any issue, crash when reading, book files that does not render correctly, etc. Please send me an email with as many details as possible, like what device you are using, your android version, the book file that you are having trouble with. So I can fix them for you effectively.

   As always, enjoy!