Ibis Reader: An Innovative Mobile Web App

Ibis reader has launched, and it’s super cool. We heard from the brains behind Ibis–Liza Daly and Keith Fahlgren at TOC last week. Their goal was to develop a Web-based eReader app that could store books in the cloud and be easily accessed on a mobile device. The reader launched last week, and they’ve done an amazing job.

Here’s the coolest thing: for the iPhone and Android, Daly and Fahlgren have found a way of turning Ibis from a Web app into a native app without going through the App store. All you do is send your mobile browser to the Ibis site (www.ibisreader.com). Once there, you’ll be asked if Ibis can use 50mb of your phone’s storage space, then you can download the app with it’s own icon and storage space. Very cool, and no Apple app-store approval required.

Ibis gets its books through Feedbooks. You have access to all kinds of cool public domain books plus original Feedbooks titles. Presumably more books will be available soon. Plus, you can import your own books from anywhere–including online by entering a URL, or by uploading from a PC–as long as they’re EPub.

The only downsides so far are that the app is a bit slower than you might be used to–page turning can take an extra couple of seconds, for instance. Plus Ibis itself doesn’t have a huge selection through Feedbooks, but then you’ve got access to everything else. Overall, very, very cool. Look at Wired’s Gadget Lab for their detailed writeup.