isilo experience on iPhone 3g
Let me start out first by saying that I have used isilo for years on the Palm OS and have been very pleased with the simplicity of the user interface as well as the ease with which I have been able to convert other documents to the isilo format. I have always favored it as a document reader for novels and research material.
However, despite my fondness for the program and the pain I feel in writing what I am about to write, I must say that my experience on the iPhone version of silo has been less than overwhelming.
The main document list is arranged in the simple and easy-to-use order I have come to associate with isilo across multiple platforms. It works very well. The method used to transfer files to you iPhone is also very good. It is simple, easy to understand, and can be done quickly if I am rushed. The implementation of the document reader, however, is where it falls short, especially for reading novels.
When I attempt to read a document, the scrolling lags as I try to move down the screen. I believe this to be a side effect of the tap zones on the screen, as the scrolling shows no problems if my thumb is moving before it hits the screen. I would however, like the ability to touch and drag the screen as if it were an actuall scroll. I think the idea for the various tap zones on the screen are a very good idea in theory, but the way it has turned out leaves just I bit to be desired. Though I realize that this is merely a minor nitpick, it is a bit of an anoyance to someone who does a lot of reading, such as myself.
I also have been having problems where I might accidentilly tap the time bar at the top of the screen and have the document immediately scroll to the top of the screen. This was at first only a minor annoyance in smaller documents, but developed into a large problem in my novels, as I could be very near the end of a 600 page book and have this happen.
I really like the "full screen" feature because I do a lot of night reading due to my job, and can eliminate the things I don't need, change the font color to a darker color, and dim the screen so as not to ruin my night vision. A problem, however, with the current layout of isilo is that the the time bar is currently always visible at the top of the screen and is always silver, which looks very bright in the dark and does horrible things to my night vision.
I have seen other readers, such as "good reader" or "stanza", that fix many of the above mentioned problems by making the screen always operate in full screen mode, making you tap in the center of the screen to bring up controls and other options (similar to the way the default video player works on the iPhone). This has proved to be very useful for my purposes and "stanza" has become my reader of choice for novels.
Please do not misunderstand me, though. I believe that isilo is still the easiest format for me to convert my documents to, and I have many important documents in isilo format that I could not legally convert to anything else even if I felt there were a better format. I think that the user interface for isilo is still very good, and that it beats the heck out of many other readers out there in terms of ease of file transfer.
All said, I believe that isilo is worth the ten dollars just because I can keep my important documents now that I have an iPhone. But still, I can't help but wonder why it is that it can be so easily matched or surpassed by free and $.99 apps.
I have to second this thread. I got an iPhone partially with the hope that it would make a better supported e-reader than my previous Winmo device. And while that is true for native e-reading apps like Stanza, Isilo support is fairly dreadful. Reading a single contiguous file is a very frustrating experience. I'm afraid Isilo is quite behind the curve against its competitors and for the price it charges, it really should offer a more standout experience. If the files I use weren't proprietary and specific to my interest, I would have migrated some time ago.
Some points worth considering for future inclusion to make Isilo a player in the IOS e-reader space:
- swipe to change pages - no brainer. More well thought out touchscreen controls in general.
- desktop wireless syncing app eg Stanza's
- slide to increase/decrease brightness
- smoother page rendering
- links to online bookstores within app
Last edited by Jasong; 06-28-2010 at 06:24 AM.