Sony enter the world of ereader Apps……. Finally. But is it any good?
Sony have finally given in and launched an ereader App for use on any device that runs under Android 2.1 (which includes a wide range of smart phones, tablets and I believe, the iPod).
You can download this App from most App stores now, and it claims to synchronize with the PRS-650. Though quite how that works is a bit of a mystery to me, as the 650 has no form of internet or 3G connectivity to achieve this with.
In the press release that I have received, they claim the following functions;
- Make bookmarks and highlights with the Reader Daily Edition
- Adjust font size – as you read
- Synchronize your reading position
- Purchase books available from the online Reader™ Store
- Comes with 3 classic titles and 3 Bestseller excerpts
- Edit bookmarks and highlights
Of course, like most Apps, it is free, just go to most App stores and look for an App called “Reader”, download and install it and off you go.
Not everything is beautiful in the garden, however………………..
Sony obviously are claiming it to be the best thing since sliced bread, and obviously anything that improves the rather clunky method of getting ebooks from Sony has to be good, but there seem to be rather a lot of unhappy people out there who have downloaded this App, and are experiencing rather a lot of trouble in actually using it… It seems to freeze solid for quite a few people, refuses to download ebooks and various other problems.
I hope that it is a case of Sony releasing this App too quickly, without having taken the time to properly field test it for bugs, and that in short order there will be a new and improved version for you to download, one that works as it should.
Sony still have a few things to lean from Amazon…. and others……
But those problems to one side – I am sure that Sony will sort them out in short order – it is good that Sony have made this move to increase the range of devices that support their ebook store and devices. Sony make ereaders of such a high quality that they should in fact be the market leader as far as ereaders are concerned, but owing to two major disadvantages, they have had to allow Amazon’s Kindle to take that position.
So far not one Sony ereader has ever supported any form of internet or 3G connectivity, and whilst it is actually very simple to use their online ebook store with your Sony ereaders, you do still need to have a computer connected to the internet to achieve this, which is archaic and for a lot of people, extremely irritating, especially when compared to the incredibly well designed system that Amazon have put together for their Kindles.
The second disadvantage that Sony have is simply the prices they charge… all their ereaders are considerably more expensive than the direct model for model competition, and even though any Sony ereader will keep on working for much longer than any of their plastic cased competitors, at the point of sale this is a real disadvantage for them.
Perhaps Sony is getting the idea?
I truly hope that the release of this App is a sign that Sony have finally seen the light, and decided to take on the competition, and that the next generation of Sony ereaders come with exactly the same solidity, but with the simple addition of both WiFi and 3G connectivity. Not a large change to make for them, but one that would completely change the entire dynamics of the world’s ereader market, since in spite of not having anything like as broad selection of ebooks on offer, their ebook store actually works very well and for a company as large as Sony, it wouldn’t be too hard to make their ebook store one of the largest in the world……. should they choose to do so.
But as Michael Evans of Macfilos.com has said on many occasions, Sony is a hardware company primarily, and are good at what they do, but Amazon is essentially a software (books and so forth) company, and have simply produced the Kindle to increase their grip on the book market. Thus the two companies have started from opposite ends, as it were, and Sony seems unwilling – so far – to broaden their base beyond a certain point.
But this may well be changing now, we shall see.
Share with us:
If you have already tried this App, do let us know how it went…. Was it any use, or did it suffer from the problems I have described above?