It’s been a pretty cool week for the folks at Scribd and those of us who love the service. They’ve added new content, and the latest updates to their app rock.
Let’s start with the new content. Honestly, I was shocked to get the advance press release that Scribd had landed some audiobook content from Penguin Random House. As the biggest of the Big Five, I thought they would be the last company to join a subscription service. (Now eyeing you, Hachette.) Granted, it’s only 9,000 audiobooks, but still, I think it’s a significant acquisition. Could we dream of some ebooks next? If PRH allowed even some backlist titles into Scribd, I might never need to purchase a book again. (Oops, people-who-want-me-to-buy-books, please ignore that last sentence.)
Seriously, though, I’ve felt for some time that Scribd was a fantastic deal, and more audio content just makes it better. Think about it. A basic Audible Gold subscription is $14.95 a month and gets you one book. Scribd is $8.99, and is all-you-can-listen, plus ebooks and comics? With the PRH additions, that’s over 45K audiobooks to choose from. Way more than I can listen to in a lifetime.
So what about those app updates? Both the iOS and Android apps were updated on Tuesday (or at least that’s when they appeared on my devices). The timing was ironic. Thanks to the urging of David Rothman, I’ve been experimenting with night mode in reading apps on my iPad. eInk is best for my eyes at bedtime, but night mode works pretty well. However, the stark white on black found in most apps is still hard on my eyes. Instapaper recently added a dark gray night mode, and I love it. I was thinking about emailing the folks at Scribd and requesting a dark gray option. Imagine my delight when the update went one better. A background gradient slider! Brilliant! My eyes are loving it.
They also added a few new fonts. “Modern” looks enough like Georgia to make me happy. I’m not crazy about the sans serif options, but then I’ve never liked sans serif fonts in ereading apps.
They also smoothed out the page turns in the iOS app! There had been a noticeable hitch in its get along when turning pages. I got used to it, but I’m glad it’s gone.
Fair warning. There is a pretty big bug in the iOS update. It wipes out all your downloaded books. They are aware of it and fixing it as soon as they can, but for now, be prepared. I only had six books downloaded, and it was easy enough to reload them, but it was a hassle. No issues with the Android version, however, and I would assume it’s also not a problem in the Kindle Fire version, but I can’t test that.
That glitch aside, it’s been a pretty good week for fans of Scribd. I would have been content with the background gradient. Everything else was just gravy. (Bacon gravy, maybe?)