Classics App Brings Stylish eBook Reading to iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by MacRumors, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    There's no shortage of ebook applications for the iPhone, with a tedious number of one-off individually packaged book applications found on the App Store.

    A new eBook application called Classics takes it to the next level by incorporating a remarkably finished interface with custom bookcovers and 3d page-turning animations with the swipe of a finger:


    The eBook application will be available for $2.99 in the App Store "soon", and includes 12 "classics" including Alice in Wonderland, Call of the Wild, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and more. They also promise that the collection will keep growing with free software updates.

    Article Link: Classics App Brings Stylish eBook Reading to iPhone
  2. maplestar macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    looks like an amazing app if they could only get more books.
  3. tom5304 macrumors regular

    May 7, 2005
    I'm using Stanza now, and it seems like an easier interface than Classics.

    First, on the Classics web site they are only showing their app in portrait mode. Second, I'm pretty sure I'd prefer Stanza's method of page turning, which involves just touching the page margin, rather than swiping. With a relatively small screen and many pages turned, I'd rather touch than swipe.

    Anyway, for $2.99 I might give Classics a try, but they'll have to offer some options like landscape mode and one-touch page turning.
  4. usasalazar macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2006
    Good Effort

    Better to stick with Stanza - It is free and it is wayyy better.

    I guess I like Stanza because it has a vast selection of titles to choose from and allows you to view magazines and newspapers.

    I do think that competition is good for all apps but to pay $2.99 for a lesser amount of content seems silly. I understand that the interface is slicker and perhaps over time the price would be justified.
  5. phillryu macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2001
    Our navigation controls are a combination of swipes or single taps on either side of the screen to go forward or back. The landscape mode, however, I can't promise for Classics. Let me know if you have any other questions though. :)
  6. impino26 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2008

    ive never heard of alice in winterland. is it a sequel to alice in wonderland? :D
  7. bluenoise macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
    Yes...It's the one where Alice follows the rabbit down the bunny slope, not the rabbit hole.
  8. ThatWasAwkward macrumors member


    Jan 23, 2006
  9. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    This app will do extremely well

    Half of what makes iPhone apps successful is the eye candy. The other half of the formula is usefulness. Think of how many times we have excitedly told someone: "I just downloaded this great app. Check it out!"

    Whether it served a relatively mundane or limited purpose like Koi Pond, iBeer, Photoboard and Level or offered the utility of Shazam, Briefcase and Color Expert, they exhibit a similar WoW factor as Classics. Even if you personally prefer to use another eBook reader in private, this is the one you'll show off to people. :D
  10. tk421 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Personally, I think this app looks very nice. If the function matches Stanza's, I'd definitely be willing to pay $2.99 for the slicker presentation. The page turn is very cool, and it sounds like it would function with just a tap as well.

    The one thing I see that's nice about Stanza that this app does not have is the large selection.

    Posts like this don't add much to the discussion. Why do you like Stanza, and how does that relate to this?
  11. maknik macrumors regular

    May 17, 2006
    The nice thing about Stanza is that you can add your own books with the desktop app. The drawback is that this is a bit of a pain, especially getting the author and title correct. It would be nice if you could easily add your own books for "Classics," especially if it could use the title/author to get the cover off of Amazon, the way cataloging apps like Booxter do.
  12. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Just like Stanza; which is great, thanks for registering and letting us know. I know myself and my friend is going to buy it simply for the aesthetics, it looks lovely is its something that should be been done year ago by ebook readers. Thanks again.

    It has that personal/character touch which Stanza doesn't have, I love the idea of a bookshelf instead of the drop down list. Not to totally knock Stanza either as I like it but this isn't a case where I like one clearly over the other and I must only use one.
  13. tom5304 macrumors regular

    May 7, 2005
    Okay, so it sounds like taps will work. Thanks for that info.

    And who knows, maybe the portrait mode would work. I'll try it on Stanza to get a feel for reading in portrait mode.

    Stanza isn't perfect. Sometimes it opens me up to a completely different page in the book. And, navigating chapters, etc., could use some work.

    Like I said, for $2.99 I'd give Classics a try. Once more books come online it will become more attractive.
  14. Harpo macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2006
  15. spyker3292 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2005
    I don't like reading in landscape mode, it just doesn't feel right! Portrait mode is easier to hold in one hand and looks more like a book (imo). Now if only Classics had the ability to download new books from a database as huge as Stanza's...... But hey, classic books are a great read too :D.
  16. faustofernos macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL (Edgewater)
    Good idea

    Good idea, but annoying page turning sound. That would drive me crazy. I rather just tap my way to the next page. I wonder if that's customizable?

    Anyone know if this causes eye strain to read like this?
  17. spyker3292 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2005
    You could just hit the silent switch on the side of your phone. That should work.
    On an iPhone? Using Stanza it's fine, the iPhone autodimmer feature helps a lot too. Still, it's nothing compared to e-ink.
  18. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  19. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    I currently use Stanza, but I don't like it. All of these eBook applications think that to differentiate themselves, they have to include more and more outrageous interfaces. If this app performs anything like Stanza (that is, horribly), then it's defective by design.

    Stanza has a terrible UI. Scrolling isn't smooth at all, CoverFlow is non-standard and stutters a lot, and turning the page causes a reload whilst the text is reformatted. It also doesn't handle equations in PDFs very well, ignores newlines in favour of its own formatting, and doesn't handle pictures.

    What I don't like about these applications is that they focus on UI like that's the big problem preventing this from taking off - it's not. If they want to make a good eBook reader, they should take the time to develop fast and intelligent algorithms for best formatting and make the actual reading of books easier. Especially newlines - don't just ignore them! They can have a lot of contextual meaning and make reading the book that much harder.

    For example, I was reading an engineering paper in which equations were put on their own line for easy reading. Stanza completely ruined it by lumping all the equations together as though they were inline text, which was lumped together with actual inline text.

    On Classics: Those books are all public domain (IIRC). I'd like to see a way to acquire new books. Admittedly, Stanza does this very well by formatting the store well (although it could do with improvement), and makes acquiring public domain books free. It could do better by consolidating sources (making one acquisition portal, with the ease of use of Apple's on-device stores) and caching source information.

    I like the idea of having the eBooks go through the 'filter' of the developers so everything appears just right. I may buy this, although I'm more in to medieval and ancient literature. Paradise Lost is probably the one I'd enjoy most on that list (despite being neither medieval nor ancient).

    EDIT: What does "introductory price of $2.99" mean? Will additional content require further purchases? Will there be non-free updates? I don't want a repeat where I bought Band for £X for the piano, and a few weeks later, Pianist was released that was even better than Band (by the same people), as a whole new app and a whole new purchase.
  20. Fotek2001 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    London, England
    Well, I was excited by this until I saw Phil Ryu's name at the bottom of the page on the Classics website and a feeling of dread stole over me...

    You may remember Phil from such abandoned projects as MyDreamApp so I'm inclined to suspect that after a flash bang first release, Classics will also end up abandoned and forgotten by the developer. :rolleyes:
  21. Fotek2001 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    London, England
    Oh, you can also add ResExcellence to the list of abandoned Phil Ryu projects:

    Last updated last November 2006...
  22. ThatWasAwkward macrumors member


    Jan 23, 2006
    Sorry, I didn't realize you were part of the Forum Police. Let me answer your questions one at a time.

    1. How does [Stanza] relate to this?

    Gee, I don't know, maybe because it's an app that does the exact same thing?

    2. Why do you like Stanza?

    Because I can read books with it. Obviously.

    While we're asking each other to justify their posts, I guess you could elaborate on "The page turn is very cool, and it sounds like it would function with just a tap as well." Especially in light of the fact that Stanza has animated page turns and functions with just a tap as well as a swipe. Why are you going to throw away $3? Oh, for "slicker presentation". That makes sense.

    I'm not trying to start an argument. All I'm saying is get over yourself. It would be easier for you to ignore posts that don't add anything of value for you than to respond to them.
  23. fastbite macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    I agree! It does look great but a Phil is just a gimmicks guy. So I'm sure that after the first lot of books -- Zilch!
  24. spyker3292 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2005
    Well in the corner it says "This collection will keep on growing. Just make sure to keep up with our free software updates!". I'm guessing this price will just change after a few weeks or something (just like tons of other apps have). Price changing seems to be quite a fad in the app store, with tons of apps changing price every day.
  25. phillryu macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2001
    Classics is a serious attempt to prove comments like this wrong. And in the end, I would hope that our $3 app would be more satisfying than say, a McDonalds cheeseburger or something else similarly priced. ($3!) If you don't buy in initially, that's fine. If you still haven't checked this out a year down the line, when it's packed full of books. well, I'll be worried. then. :p

    A few notes:

    Currently the 'page flip' sound does not have an option of its own. (As others have noted, you can still silence it with the volume changer on your phone.) Once the app has a little more demand for a dedicated settings or options page, this'll probably be one of the first options in.

    Portrait reading is probably better than you are expecting. I personally do prefer landscape in a lot of cases for web browser reading, but that tends to be because of the way websites are laid out, and with total control over how our books are presented in Classics, we're not running into the same issues.

    And for questions about reading comfort in general, it's perfectly comfortable reading a few chapters at a time. If you're looking to knock off 20,000 leagues in one sitting, however, you might want to dial down the brightness setting on our phone. (And find somewhere really comfortable to sit. :)

Share This Page