i've used it extensively and can say it is a mile ahead of the overdrive app.
but i would say that as i am one of calibre's trustees and have been involved
in developing the app from the beginning.
it has been designed to make it as easy as possible to use for both blind and
partially sighted impared people.
it is possible to use the app using just one finger swipes and taps although
there are a few things you can do using 2 or 3 fingers swipes.
so for example when you launch the app you will be asked to enter your 6 digit
membership number which you can do by touching each digit of your number and
double tapping with one finger.
the numbers on the screen are layed out like a telephone keypad and take up
most of the screen so are both easy to find and see for partially sighted
once you enter the 6 digits of your membership number it will then ask you to
enter your 4 digit pin number in the same way.
once they are entered you will be put on the main menu which goes down the
screen as follows.
you can navigate this menu with one finger swipes up and down and you can go in
and out of each section with one finger swipes right and left.
my books section is where the books you are reading will appear after you check
the categories section will give you a list of all the categories available
which you can navigate by swiping up and down with one finger again to move by
one item at a time, but if you know you need to move down or up the list by
quite a lot to find what you want then you can do 2 finger swipes up and down
to move by 10 items at a time and if there is more than 100 items in any list
then you can do 3 finger swipes up and down to move by 100 items at a time.
the lists are alphabetical so this makes it easy to home in on what you want.
once you locate the category you want a one finger swipe to the right will list
all the books in that category and again you can use one two or three finger
swipes up and down to navigate the list.
when you find a book that interests you just do a one finger swipe to the right.
this will play a sample of the book so you can hear what the reader sounds like
and perhaps recognise if it is the one your looking for.
when the sample finishes a small menu will appear asking if you want to check
out the book, return to the category list you were in before, or return to the
again you navigate the list with one finger swipes up and down and a one
finger swipe to the right will activate your selection.
so if you want to read the book just swipe right on the check out the book and
the speach will tell you the book has been checked out and it will then appear
in the my books section.
the next 3 items on the main menu all work exactly the same apart from what
they are searching for.
so when you go into any of authors, readers, or book search you are shown a
keyboard which you can use to enter what you are searching for, and just like
when you were logging in slide your finger around the keyboard and when you
hear the letter or number you want do a one finger double tap to enter it.
you don't need to do the taps on the actual letter or number on the screen the
double tap will enter the last letter or number that was spoken before you
lifted your finger to do the double tap no matter where you tap provided it's
not near the top of the screen as this is where it shows what you have entered
and this can be spoken to you by touching the screen near the top.
and once you have entered what you want if you place a finger on the bottom
right corner of the screen you will find the search button and again you do a
one finger double tap to activate it.
the screen that comes up will show a list of all matching results and again you
navigate it with up and down finger swipes and the one finger swipe to the
right will play the sample and then present you with the same short menu
allowing you to check the book out or return to the results list or the main
as you would think the authors search allows you to search for a particular
author, the reader search will allow you to search for all books read by your
favourite reader, and the book search will allow you to search by book title.
the next item on the main menu is return book.
doing a one finger swipe to the right on this will show a list of books that
you have checked out at this time, and if you no longer want that book just do
a one finger swipe to the right on the book and you will be told the book has
been checked back in and it will be removed from your my books list.
the next item on the main menu is history and you enter it in the same way and
you will see a list of the books you have already read.
the next item on the main menu is settings.
when you enter settings in the usual way there is a list of 7 items at the
the first 4 are colour theme choices for people who are partially sighted and
as with everywhere else a one finger swipe to the right on the one you want
will activate that theme and remember it until you choose to change it.
the next 2 items on the list allow you to choose the keyboard layout so you can
choose to have either a ABC layout or a QWERTY keyboard when you are doing
again a one finger swipe to the right will activate the one you want and
remember it until you change it.
the last item on the list is about and a one finger swipe to the right will
bring up a list that you can navigate with one finger swipes up and down and
tells you information like:
version of the app
what operating system you device is operating on
the operating systems version number
what your device is
your membership number
and finally some technical information which may be taken away in the near
when you have finished reading this information a one finger swipe to the left
will take you back to settings and a second left swipe will take you bback to
the main menu.
and finally the last item on the main menu is log out and a one finger swipe to
the right on this will log you off meaning you would need to re-enter your
membership and pin numbers the next time you want to use the app.
i think the only other thing i need to tell you about is actually playing your
once you have at least one book checked out you go to the my books section and
do a one finger swipe to the right and you will see a list of the books you
have checked out.
to start playing a book again just do a one finger swipe to the right and it
will start playing.
to pause the book you can do one of two things.
you can either tap the screen once with one finger and it will tell you the
book is paused and doing a one finger tap again will resume playing or you can
do a one finger swipe to the left to exit the book and go back to the my books
when you exit the book your position in the book is remembered automatically
and the next time you go into that book you will resume where you stopped
this works individually on every book you have checked out.
when you are listening to a book you can change tracks with a one finger swipe
up and down and it will tell you which track you have moved to.
if you want to fast forward or rewind you can do a 2 finger swipe to the right
or left which will move you by a preset amount of seconds, but if you happen to
be in the first 15 seconds of a track a 2 finger left swipe will take you to
the previous track.
if you want to set a sleep timer on my Iphone i just activate siri and say set
a timer for example 15 minutes and 15 minutes later the book will stop reading
and it will remember your position automatically again.
the app will use whatever voice you have set as the default voice for your
device, this is not for example the voiceover voice that you are using although
they can be the same but unless you have told the device to use the same voice
as you use for voiceover it could be different.
the app has the same functionality on both apple and android devices.
hopefully i have covered everything but if you have any other questions please
pete gurney <pete@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, 5 Jul 2017 09:31:14 +0100
"Barry Hill" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "barry.hill3" for
Anyone tried the new Calibre talking book app? Is it good? Better than
Overdrive? For more info: