Readera finally has synchronization

In recent years, I've been reading a lot more e-books. However, I've tended to stay away from PDFs and other non-proprietary formats when I could. This is weird, because it's the opposite of my usual preference.

The reason is, quite simply, convenience. The Kindle and Nook apps are free, easy to use, and offer good (or, at least, sufficient) support for the two things I care most about: text zooming and synchronization.

While changing text size is a basic feature for mobi and epub most readers, it's awkward for PDFs because they do page-based text layout. So you can zoom in on a page, but it's not generally possible to change the font size and reflow the page, which makes reading less pleasant - particularly on a phone. Now, if you have a 10-inch tablet, that's not really an issue, as the real size of the text will be about what you'd get in a physical book.

This leads to the second feature: synchronization. Sometimes you just don't want to carry a tablet around. But if you find yourself waiting for something, it would be nice to read your book. And since you always carry your phone, why not read on that? It may not be as good, but it's fine for 15 minutes here or there. And the proprietary apps are great for that. But DRM-free e-books, not so much. You can always use a file synch app to get copies of them, but syncing the last read page is a different question.

It turns out that Readera Premium now has me covered on that. I've been using the free version for a while, but never really needed the premium features. However, it looks like they recently added file and progress sync via Google Drive to the list of premium features. This alone was enough to make me she'll out the $11 for it.

So far it works pretty well. When I fired up the premium version on my tablet, it searched for files on my device and created.a library. Unfortunately, many of the files it "found* were phantoms - they'd long since been deleted, but for some reason Readera thought they existed. Apparently this is an artifact of how they scan the device. The main issue was that this seemed to interfere with the sync. I removed those and was able to sync the handful of real files I cared about.

Next step: install and run the premium version on my phone. It went through the same scanning process, adding the local files to my library, but no sync problems this time. And best of all, I was able to open up the PDF book I'd been reading on my tablet and it opened to the correct page!

So now I can read any book anywhere. That'll be nice for books like the one I'm reading now, which is out of print and not available on the commercial platforms. I'm not crazy about it using Google Drive (as I don't use that for anything else), but for progress sync, I'll take it.

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