Oyster Brings Subscription E-Book Service to Apple's iPad
Subscription e-book service, Oyster recently released an updated version of its popular reading and lending application with a new design and iPad support, less than a week before Apple’s expected iPad hardware refresh. The update addresses what many earlier users of the service pointed out as the most important omission at launch: lack of native support for Apple’s iPad and iPad mini. The 4-inch Retina displays found on Apple’s smaller iOS devices are less than ideal for novel-length reading at home, whereas the iPad models’ larger screens are a more natural fit.
Apple is widely expected to unveil a thinner, lighter edition of its 9.7-inch iPad and a Retina display-equipped iPad mini at a special event next week, both improvements that make the devices even better suited for reading.
Oyster’s iPad version provides a new, darker user interface which the company said is designed to enhance night-time use and a full-screen browsing mode for the company’s lending library. The app also takes advantage of the iPad’s larger display to enable browsing and reading in landscape mode. Synchronization between a user’s device is included and functions similarly to that of Apple’s iBooks – both a user’s library and their reading activity will be mirrored between devices. It’s unclear whether the synchronization happens via iCloud or a proprietary mechanism, though in either case it remains transparent from a user’s perspective.
Along with its new iPad app, the New York-based Oyster, which many describe as “Netflix for e-books,” officially opened its $9.99 per month subscription model to the general public recently as well. Oyster has been in private beta following its launch on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch in September.
Those of you interested in downloading version 1.1 of the app can do so from the App Store. The download comes with a free 30-day trial of the service for those of you who aren’t subscribers already.