How should web pages and ebooks be formatted for iPhones and other mobiles?
#1  Falbe Publishing 08-15-2008, 08:55 PM
Hello MobileReaders,

I want to research how to offer some web pages and ebooks for use on mobile devices, such as the iPhone, Blackberry, and such.

I'm assuming that a mobile-optimized web page would simply be a very plain and simple html page without graphics. I simple html file as an ebook might work well too.

I welcome any information and opinions on this subject. Thank you.

#2  flumbo 08-15-2008, 10:50 PM
Probably your answer will depend upon how / what application your users will be using to read on their device. Ereader now supports just about every mobile device platform including the iphone. So, putting your books into ereader format wouldn't be a bad choice. Plus their reading software is free, so the barrier to entry is low.

Some reading software does support reading html files, plain text files, and rtf, but I personally find that html files cause more problems than they solve on small devices. Just make sure that whatever format you choose is

1. Reflowable and resizable-- your user shouldn't have to scroll from side to side as well as up and down to read the text.

2. Has fonts that are adjustable in size-- Mobile device screens are of varying sizes and resolutions, so stay away from formats that lock the font to one size. My aging eyes find ridiculously large fonts a better option on small devices.

Unless you must control every aspect of the layout, pdf is generally a bad idea for small screens. I understand that there is now a version of pdf that will reflow, but it seems to remove any advantage of creating the document as a pdf to begin with.

It looks like you work for a publisher. If so, your options may simply be dependent upon whether your company has decided to use DRM or not. I think staying away from restrictions is always a good choice for your readers and brings goodwill to your company.

#3  thebrave 08-22-2008, 07:15 AM
I would tend to think that just the build in browser is "not enough"
- lack bookmark & autosave
- lack configuration...
and go toward java/native programs...

Except if you consider "advanced" (aka supports javascript) browsers where requesting next page would save the current state and where the user would be able to change text appearance.

And I think you will have to go toward many "device specific" frontends.

#4  Alexander Turcic 08-22-2008, 08:36 AM (still in beta, focused on less-than-iphone capable devices)

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