100 things, Digital Publishing

02 ebook testing kit

Various ereader hardware stacked upon each other

I have just finished up a consultancy project building an ebook that i’ll talk about soon. The photo above shows the kit that I used to test the ebook at various stages. I produced two files in the process: EPUB for most devices including the iPad and a Mobi file for the Kindle hardware and app version.

  • Laptop with various reading software – Adobe Digital Editions v2.0, Kindle app, ibis reader, Kindle previewer (lets me test all versions of the hardware on the computer and saves buying hardware).
  • iPad with the Kindle app and ibooks (i used 3 iPads v2+3)
  • Google nexus7 with the Kindle app, Aldiko reader (lame) and Moon+reader (also lame), ibis reader
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Nook Simple Touch
  • Kindle 2nd Gen – it was kicking around so why not?!
  • Kindle previewer (allows you to test in all versions including the Kindle Fire)
  • Kindle Touch
  • Sony PRS-350 (thanks Stephen) – great to see how e-ink handles colour graphics
  • iPhone 4 with the Kindle app, ibooks and also ibis reader
  • HTC One X with Kindle app and ibis reader

For each device, the ebook displays and behaves differently so it is essential to test on the devices that you think will be used. Mr Andy Clarke said it best:

Designers need use only a subset of devices, because what matters most is that we develop an affinity for how our designs work on any type of device when we hold it our hands. To be clear, how a menu feels when used on a smartphone is a very different issue from whether it technically works on a particular make or model of smartphone. That’s why designers don’t necessarily need to buy a myriad of smartphones and tablets, just those they need to develop an affinity for.
Andy Clarke, Encouraging Better Client Participation In Responsive Design Projects

Sound simple right?! I got the list partly from what I have been using anyway and then from The mobile read wiki which has popular community input.

I will write more about ebook building, testing and frustrations in future posts.

By the way, my favourite reader is the now in limbo ibis reader which I read on my mobile phone or nexus7.

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