IMG_0649Smartphones are penetrating more and more widely these days, but there are still plenty of people out there with feature phones or other small-screened devices. And while there are cloud readers (such as Ibis Reader) and free e-book sites that work on smartphones and tablets, they tend to be media-intensive applications, requiring a decent amount of screen real-estate and memory.

Enter, a cloud e-book site designed to work with small-screen devices that don’t have those sorts of specs—for example, basic feature phones. (Why do they call those “feature phones” when they really don’t have any?) The site acts as a cloud reader for free public-domain e-books, with over 600 currently available for on-line reading in small chunks encoded in basic xhtml. (Though Project Gutenberg also offers a public domain e-book site for mobiles that features just a few more titles.)

As the picture at left shows, it’s at least marginally readable on a cell phone. I’m not sure I’d care to read a whole e-book that way (particularly since web browsing sucks down my prepaid minutes), though.

Still, cell phones have a long history of use for a variety of web-based tasks in places where nothing else is available, such as parts of Africa. And it also works for other small web-enabled devices like Nintendo DS handhelds. (I tried accessing it on my iPod Touch but the text was all but microscopic since Mobile Safari was treating it like a full-sized web page. Not sure how to change that.)

Of course selection is limited to the public domain titles posted on the site. I wonder if the Ibis Reader folks could be persuaded to come up with a way-stripped-down version of their upload-your-own cloud reader based around the same no-frills, tiny-chunks philosophy?

(Found via Daemon’s Books.)


  1. Good story, it feels good to know that people have found and enjoy the site. Apologies on the size of the text in your iPod Touch, I had similar problems using a friends Android based Phone. (I eventually figured out how to zoom… but until then it was very hard to read.) I am presently trying to find a way to detect these devices (like Android Phone and iPod Touch) that do this and send the text to them in an appropriately larger text. (If possible.) Hope you and your readers enjoy. (The site is now over 750 texts, and growing.)

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