image Bookeen’s long-delayed upgrade for the Cybook Opus and the Gen3 is out, with two flavors available—one for the aging Mobipocket format and another for ePub, including the Adobe-DRMed variety. In addition, Bookeen is claiming greater-than-expected sales and says it will have a CES booth (12245) in Los Vegas.

Now back to the fun stuff. Both versions of the upgrade can display the HTML and TXT formats. Plus, the second flavor includes the FictionBook 2 format. Go to this password-protected support area for the downloads. The readme PDF is here, without a PW needed.

imageVia a memory card I effortlessly installed the Adobe upgrade on a 64MB, 200Mhz Cybook Gen3, a long-term loaner from Bookeen (ultimately destined for return to Bookeen or as a library or university gift).

On the whole the news was good despite some problems that might be more related to my older unit than to the upgrade.

Page turning may have been a bit faster than with the earlier software, although this was still E Ink territory. Occasionally when I pressed for a page turn, the Gen3 didn’t register, but that’s probably a hardware glitch with the old Gen3s and may have been fixed (anyone care to weigh in with the latest?).

Certain  large e-book files took perhaps 20 seconds or so to pop up, far, far longer than with my Kindle 2. Some users doing the Cybook upgrade have reported lockups, just as earlier. I’ll welcome reports from TeleRead community members.

Titles from Feedbooks displayed gloriously in ePub and PDF, although the latter from other sources may be a challenge if they’re not customized for the Gen3’s small screen. I tried Google books. Because of Google’s ePub coding, apparently, I could not vary the type style, although I could change size.

The embolden feature (and more on font choices): Yo, Amazon?

Here’s what I liked most of all about the upgrade: Bookeen’s retention of the “embolden” feature, which lets you boldface all of the text, for greater visibility with E Ink, which, alas, has much-lower contrast between the screen background and the text than LCDs do.

On top of that, Bookeen lets you choose from Verdana, Palatino Linotype, Georgia, Courier New, and Futura Black fonts, though I could use only the default font with Google.

When, just when, will the Kindle allow the same user choice in presentation that Bookeen does? Same for most other e-book vendors.  Why are they so, so disdainful of e-book users’ typographical needs compared to Bookeen?

As for justification, yes, Bookeen offers it, at least in ePub, but the software still cannot do hyphenation. Justification is not perfect in some cases, such as with Courier, at least on occasion, but at least it’s there.

Verbatim: Most of the Readme for the upgrade

Latest features (1.5 & 2.0)

· (Bookeen exclusive!) Fast-Ink algorithms: offers the fastest user interface ever (works on all Cybook hardware).

· (Bookeen exclusive!) Browsing mode: while reading and also in the “Library”, keep next/prev. page button pressed to enter ultra-fast pagination mode (works on all Cybook hardware).

·Folder view (“Library”): allows browsing within self-organized folders.

·User interface now available in 14 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Slovenian & Czech.

·Virtually infinite menus (was previsouly limited to the display visible height).

·Buttons “+” & “-” plugged to size increase/decrease or zoom in/out.

·Delete feature (“Library”, also plugged to Gen3 4th button).

· Improvement: reduced power consumption.

·Bug fixes: overall stability (esp. card detection, random freezes).

Latest features (2.0)

· (Bookeen exclusive!) 12 font sizes: from very small to very large (works with ePub, HTML, FB2, TXT).

· (Bookeen exclusive!) Customizable font family: you can add your own TrueType fonts within the “Fonts” folder (works with ePub, HTML, FB2, TXT).

· (Bookeen exclusive!) Text justification: layout can be switched between leftaligned and justified text (works with ePub, HTML, FB2, TXT).

· (Bookeen exclusive!) Text emboldening: allows setting text in bold for maximized contrast (works with ePub, HTML, FB2, TXT).

·Crop margin: option for PDF files (auto-zoom in other words).

·FictionBook (FB2) format now supported.

·Automated character set recognition for HTML, FB2 & TXT files (works with Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Chinese, Japanese & Korean).


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