“No Plans” for Official eReader App for webOS; Growing List of Alternatives | webOS Nation

“No Plans” for Official eReader App for webOS; Growing List of Alternatives

by Jonathan I Ezor#IM Thu, 04 Feb 2010 1:30 pm EST

Contrary to what Jason Robitaille wrote a few months ago, eReader may not be coming to webOS after all. jeffro77 reported the following recently in the PreCentral Forums that the eReader.com support folks wrote to say that "There are no plans to create a version of eReader that is native to the webOS platform."

While eReader as well as a webOS version of Mobipocket Reader have been eagerly hoped for by webOS e-book fans, particularly those of us who have previously purchased secure e-books from sites like Fictionwise and eReader.com (now sister sites, owned by Barnes & Noble) and read them on our previous Palm phones and PDAs, this news is disappointing but not disastrous. That’s because there is a growing number of e-book reader programs for the Pre and Pixi.

The most notable e-book application is homebrew graduate pReader by Jappus/MHWsoft, available for free in the App Catalog. pReader bypasses the current limits of the Palm SDK by converting e-books via the cloud [NOTE: CORRECTED] from their native format into a standard one readable by the Palm and Pixi, and the latest versions can decrypt most secure eReader and Secure Mobipocket format books. pReader is also great for unencrypted Mobipocket books, like those from the Baen Free Library or contained on the Baen CDs. The initial processing can be slow (although much faster than in its earliest homebrew versions) but once finished, books open quickly, and formatting and cover images are preserved. pReader is not the only choice for Pre/Pixi users seeking to do some reading. In the App Catalog, one can also find the free Shortcovers, which links to the Kobobooks.com (formerly Shortcovers.com) eBooks store/site, as well as the $4.99 Popelli Reader (also a homebrew graduate). For those users who use MotionApps’ Classic, the PalmOS versions of both eReader and Mobipocket Reader still work fine, including for secure e-books, which can be loaded either via USB mode or HotSync. One may also find unsecure e?books in PDF, Word or HTML formats that can be read via the Pre’s browser and document viewers.

Still, one hopes that the note jeffro77 shared via the forum is not the last chapter in the eReader story, and that other e-book options (such as a Amazon Kindle client like that currently available for the iPhone and iPod Touch) become available especially after Palm releases its PDK this spring. For now, pReader is probably the most versatile of the webOS e-book readers, and given its price (free, that is), it can’t be beat on value.