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!