Posted on by & filed under html5, ibisreader.

We’ve just released an updated version of Ibis Reader with some new features, performance enhancements, and many bug fixes. The new features are all in the mobile version, though some bug fixes affect the desktop web experience as well. Here are some highlights:

Improved pagination and position-tracking

We’ve changed the method of moving from page to page and remembering where you left off. Books should load faster, and it should be easier to understand whether you’re moving forward or backward in the page.

Relative book length and reading position in My Books

In your list of books on the device, we now display some hints about the length of the book and how far you’ve read in it:

The My Books view showing the length and reading position in the book

Also on this screen we tried to make it more clear that your “Online Bookshelf” is a link. Many people were confused by the old layout, which made that link seem more like a title. Clicking on the Online Bookshelf link will take you to the cloud library and allow you to pull down individual books to read on the current device.

Online Bookshelf cover images and metadata

For new books that you add starting with this release, you’ll be able to see cover images in your online bookshelf.

Cover images are now visible in your Online Bookshelf

Improved iPad reading screen

We made the margins more generous on the iPad screen and added the page title (in portrait mode).

iPad screen showing book title

High-resolution (retina) screen support

We refreshed many of the icons and images to take advantage of the high-resolution screen in the iPhone 4 (and likely iPad 2).

Galaxy Tab support

We made some changes to ensure that Ibis works with the Galaxy Tab, as previously all our tested Android devices were phone-sized. We’ve chosen to give the Tab a phone UI rather than the iPad UI, in part due to screen size but mostly because Android simply does not support the smooth animations and transitions that iOS can.

Ibis display on the Galaxy Tab

Known issues

One consequence of the pagination change is that existing positions within a chapter have not been retained, so if you were reading a chapter before this update, you’ll be reset to the start of that chapter. We regret the inconvenience, but it will start position-tracking in the new method right away.

Some versions of Android don’t report their screen size correctly, either at all or after the device has been rotated. We’re going to be working on improving our Android UI in the coming weeks.

Getting the update

As always, just visit your installed Ibis Reader icon (iOS) or go to on your mobile device. Due to the way HTML5 works, you may need to refresh more than once to see the update. You should receive a notification that your database was upgraded: close and restart Ibis and you’re ready to go with the new version.


We received a lot of help in testing the new release from our friends and colleagues. Your support is always appreciated.


9 Responses to “Ibis Reader update: retina screen support, faster pagination, and more”

  1. Liza Daly

    Ibis Reader works with Android 2.2 and above on any device. (It should work with 2.1 though there are some bugs.)

    We don’t intend to release a packaged app for any platform as this is an HTML5 webapp. Just go to on your Android phone and follow the instructions from there (generally you’ll just bookmark it).

  2. Frank Lowney

    I am very much looking forward to being able to add a custom OPDS catalog that is used by the mobile client as it is by the desktop/laptop client. I want to be able to tell my students to aim their mobile Ibis Reader at my Calibre-served OPDS catalog. Supporting OPDS password protection would be lovely too.

  3. BookGenie

    Can you buy books in Ibis reader? it will be nice to know more about this reader. Some publishers ask us which ereaders to choose?

    What type of books are best read on ibis? only novels?

  4. Liza Daly

    We don’t sell books on the main site, but some of our partners who have licensed Ibis are going to use it for commercial books.

    Ibis should work well with non-fiction content as well as fiction.

  5. Justin White

    How about some HTML5 Offline Application love for the non-mobile site? Or just allow nme to get to the mobile site from any device; ie: put the mobile site on a subdomain (, instead of behind UA sniffing or whatever you are currently using to serve different pages to the mobile WebKit clients. This way, I can get sweet offline access on my Google Chrome OS netbook. I also really like the pagination on the mobile site. Even on a bigger screen, it feels more natural to flip through pages instead of scrolling through entire chapters. A two-page paginated view for widescreen devices would also be a great addition. That would also make my widescreen monitor with wireless keyboard a great “lean-back” reading device.

  6. Liza Daly

    Hi Justin,

    That actually is the mobile domain. The site will in fact work just fine with Safari (that’s how we develop), although the screen dimensions will be off. We could make that more usable if people requested it.

    Unfortunately, Chrome does not support offline storage in the way that we need: you can’t store more than 5MB. That’s about enough for 2 ebooks. Discussion here:

    Despite their statement that unlimited storage is “coming soon,” when I retested recently it was still 5MB.

  7. Justin White

    I just noticed the mobile sub domain. I could’ve sworn when I bookmarked Ibis, it was right from My mistake.

    I’ve heard of this issue with Chrome before. Hopefully it’ll be fixed up soon. Meanwhile I’ll take advantage of the mobile domain, since I tend to only read one or two books (one novel, and a technical book) at a time.

    Keep up the good work guys!

  8. Justin White

    One fix for the Chrome storage issue could be to package the mobile site in a Chrome Web App (hosted app in Google’s parlance). It only takes one JSON encoded manifest file and a couple icon resources, and you can then specify unlimited offline storage space, plus you get a spot on the new tab page in the latest Chrome releases. It’s much like a web clip (homescreen bookmark) for web apps on iPhone and Android.

    On a side note, the mobile site is _very_ slow (almost unusable) on an iPhone 3G. I know Apple pretty much considers this handset obsolete, but I received a brand new one from an Apple Store less than a year ago. I don’t know if you guys can do anything to speed it up, but I’d rather use the normal Ibis site and scroll, than wait for things on the mobile site on my iPhone 3G.

    Great work all around though!