Linux Journal Android App and EPUB Now Available

We invite you to test drive Linux Journal's new Android app and EPUB version of the magazine. We've made the September issue of LJ available for free in both formats:

  • Download the Android app w/free access to the September 2011 issue.
  • Download the September 2011 issue EPUB file.

Please enjoy and as always, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Special note to Linux Journal Subscribers: You will have access to all future issues of LJ in both formats (not just this September issue). When you are notified of your next issue (on October 1), you will be directed to a page where you can also download that issue's EPUB file. Beginning with that October issue you will also be able to use your subscriber ID to login to our Android app and read entire issues directly in the app. Both of those features will be turned on, if you will, on October 1 and we will notify you as such. In the meanwhile, please download the Android app to read your September issue today (no subscriber ID required today) and/or download your September issue in EPUB format.

______________________

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Amazon Fire

jimwallaceusa's picture

I'm on an "in between" device. I can use the Kindle format on my new Fire, but it is an Android device. Amazon doesn't have the LJ app on their app store and Google won't let me get it from the Android Marketplace without jumping major hoops. Any chance of getting it on the Amazon app store?

Android reader - unusable

Phil_Salkie's picture

Has anyone actually tried to use the android LJ app on a phone? It makes me want to throw my phone through a wall.
Try reading the "print view" version - it has no links, no navigation abilities, basically it's like reading a 1970 era microfilm without a Fast Forward button. Unusable.
So go to the navigator, that brings up articles in a text format which can display in one of only two font sizes. Try reading one of those articles - halfway down, the viewer will misinterpret your scrolling finger gesture and switch to another article (usually the previous one.) You slide it back to the one you were reading, and it's back to the top of the article!
So, you try again, and while you're reading, you turn your hand a little and it switches from portrait to landscape - and YOU'RE AT THE TOP AGAIN. After a few minutes of that, I was ready to cancel my subscription...
The usability of the digital edition app for a digital-only COMPUTER SCIENCE MAGAZINE should be of the utmost importance to the publishers! It is the face by which the quality of the content will be judged. Get your app vendor to step up to the plate or ditch them - you'd honestly do better to whip up a quick app that uses the stock HTML renderer on some locally cached content than to subject your subscribers to this horrid reader app.
BTW, when the comment submisson system on the mobile version of the site says "This name belongs to a registered user", dontcha think it would be nice to put up a "LOGIN" box so I could log in and use my actual name?

Linux Journal Android App and EPUB Now Available

Christian Brenner's picture

How you handle going digital is exactly the reason why I will renew my subscription in the upcoming days.

Not happy with the change

peter allmaker's picture

There are actually times when I *like* getting away from my monitor. One of those times used to be to read LJ. I cannot download right to my Nook. I do not need the inconvenience of download and transfer for something that used to be a simple, relaxing pleasure.

I have both led and coped with a lot of change since I punched my first cards. It is not always just about technology but about appropriate technology. I feel like I did when they took Byte away. Sad.

Sorry to vent. Goodbye.

Thank you, Christian! We

Webmistress's picture

Thank you, Christian! We appreciate that.

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her on Twitter or at the Southwest Drupal Summit

Works well on Sony Reader

u.hertlein's picture

The epub version works well on Sony Reader.

A few points for improvement though (some have been mentioned before):

  • font size of the Contents page is too small to reliably hit the links
  • article pagination: it would be nice to start each article on a fresh page
  • a 'Contents' link at the beginning and end of every article
  • previous/next article

But in general: Well done, reads almost as good as the paper version!

App Update: October Issue Now Available

Rebecca Cassity's picture

Thank you all for your patience, we have been working with our app developers and have found a temporary solution to the problems we encountered with the Linux Journal app this morning. You should now be able to read the October issue, however at this time you will NOT be required (nor able) to login.

If you already tried to view the October issue and were unable to login you may need to clear data from the app, or uninstall and reinstall it -- this seems to vary depending on the device you are using. (Some of our testers did not have to do either.)

We will continue monitoring and responding to comments here, if you find further issues please just let us know and we'll do our best to resolve them as quickly as possible.

Thank you!

Rebecca Cassity is the Director of Sales for Linux Journal

Epub comments

zeugma's picture

I'm glad you decided to do epub versions rather than just PDF. I downloaded this month, and copied it to my nook, and it seems to work OK, in that you can read just about everything, but the graphics aren't really there yet. It really looks like a 1.0 version, especially when you compare it to some other epubs that I've checked out on my nook. I suspect y'all will get better at this with practice.

I'm giving this 'electronic-only' magazine the benefit of the doubt for now. I know you've had a lot of folks cancel subscriptions because they really wanted the paper version. I'm pretty partial to the physical magazine format as well, and would have preferred for it to continue as it was, but I figure I should give it a chance.

Have you looked into a submitting your Android app to B&N to offer it as a Nook app? I realize that may not work, because they apparently want to sell me the October issue for $5, when you're basically making it available for free while you get your sea-legs under you.

Keep working on it. I'm sure it will get better.

Another thing that would be interesting to consider is a Linux version of your reader. Would that not be fairly apropos?

Offline access

ve1aic's picture

OK, the app now works well for Sep & Oct but I notice it now appears to download the whole issue.
I assumed this meant one could read the issue offline, but when my phone is in airplane mode I get a "Cannot Connect" screen that will not let me do anything.
I see there are files downloaded onto my sd-card for data/linuxjournal/yyyymm for each issue. These would appear to be all the articles..but the app won't allow access to them without an internet connection.

Still new and perhaps other bugs but looks promissing on my Galaxy S.
Tks,
Ron

Once downloaded, you should

Webmistress's picture

Once downloaded, you should be able to view the issue without a data connection or in airplane mode. I am able to. Tha said, I have experienced the error that I believe you are seeing in the past when the app was first released, but there have been updates since that should have fixed this issue.

I am so sorry for the inconvenience, but could you try uninstalling and re-installing the app and see if you can read it offline then?

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her on Twitter or at the Southwest Drupal Summit

Works fine

ranti's picture

Thank you, linux journal staff and developers, for working on this; I appreciate the time and effort spent during this weekend to fix the problem. The October issue was shown on the app and I just have to click the 'Read' button to download and read it. Nice. Hopefully the login mechanism for the next issue would a smooth one.

Should you need a help from your subscribers to do a quick usability test for the app, please do not hesitate to contact me.

ranti.

I have been forced to switch

waterhead's picture

I have been forced to switch to the digital version. :(

I installed the Android app on my Xoom tablet. It asks for my account email address, but then says that it doesn't exist. I know my account is good, as I can login through a browser. Did you guys switch the paper subscribers to digital yet?

Also, I will not renew my subscription when it runs out. I only want the paper version, as I hate trying to read from a screen. You really should give us the option for a refund!!

So do it

carlfink's picture

You do have the option of unsubscribing and getting a refund. Just call 888-66-LINUX (54689). I mean, as an LJ reader and writer I'd rather you didn't, but you certainly can.

Digital-only distribution - really ready?

jnihil's picture

Sounds like the digital-only subscription is having some distribution issues from what I'm reading in this thread. Is LJ really ready for this? I'm not too keen on subscribing if it's going to give me grief...

Email address not accepted for Android app Subscribe

ve1aic's picture

The Android app worked great on the free (Sept) issue but with the Oct issue it wants my email address to 'sign In'.
So I enter the one I subscribed with (and did get email notice of issue etc & am subscribed until 2014).

The app replies "We could not find xxx@xxx.xxx in our records."
From a previous comment I see that the Epub/Pdf setting is not related and all other info on my account appears correct. I know its day-1 for this issue but no other comments on this so far. What's up?
Tks- Ron

p.s. I was able to download the pdf manually to my pc but I prefer to use the Android app.

We're working on it this very moment

Carlie Fairchild's picture

Ugh -- I can't stress enough how sorry we are this isn't working this morning. We knew about this at midnight last night and have been working on it pretty much since. We look to be about an hour or two away from a fix. I can't apologize enough.

I've been set up as a subscriber in the LJ database for 15 years now and it tells me I don't have access too. If it's this frustrating for me, it's clearly got to be frustrating for you too, especially not having all of the data about what's going on that I have. We're on it and will have it resolved in some fashion here shortly so you will have access to the October issue.

Thanks and ping me for any help you need -- that goes for everyone here. carlie@linuxjournal.com

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

Email address not accepted for Android app Subscribe

wfraga's picture

I just subscribed a couple days ago. This problem is still present

Successfully logged-in

wfraga's picture

I just successfully logged-in with my email today. I hope the problem is resolved for good.

annoying isn't it?

Deadguy's picture

Same issue here. I guess we're not in there records. I bet we will be "in there records" when it's time to renew haha

I will point out that the .mobi works great with the kindle app, but I really like
the LJ app better because it's pretty close to actually thumbing thru a real magazine.
hope it's fixed soon!!

Same experience

ranti's picture

The app showed me the October issue but did not tecognize my email address. I'd also like to point out that the email I received announcing the October issue does not have a link to download the issue. Or, at least, I couldn't find a link to it anywhere on the email.

ranti.

Enhanced Digital Edition for epub format?

Anonymous's picture

Should I be subscribing to the "Enhanced Digital Edition" to gain access to the epub and PDF format?? The subscription page isn't very clear to me.

Good question -- either works

Carlie Fairchild's picture

That is confusing and thank you for bringing it up... we're going to change the text now that you pointed that out.

Short answer in the meanwhile is that either option gets you .epub, .mobi, and Android app access (iPad and iPhone both coming very soon too). You also get access to our PDF back issue library with either option.

The option really is "how do you want your new issues delivered to you each month". Plain PDF or do you want the fancy bells and whistles (e.g. streaming videos included, share with friends option available, etc., etc.) enhanced digital edition option?

Sorry for confusion.

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

Nice

ranti's picture

Want to share that I just installed the app on Lenovo K1 tablet. The magazine displays nicely. I also appreciate that the epub allows me to just display the actual content and hide the ads; I am sure it makes reading the article using a screen reader easier. Thanks!

android v 1.5

funnyjenny's picture

any possibility of running this app on android v 1.5 ?

My two cents: EPUB readed

blackraider's picture

My two cents:

EPUB readed with Aldiko in a Samsung Galaxy SII looks good but can be enhanced if the fonts for text and code be different.

Thanks for the feedback.

Webmistress's picture

Thanks for the feedback. We're still working out some kinks. The font actually should be different for code. I use Aldiko as well, and for me the code is a different font. We'll continue to work on making sure the experience is as consistent as possible.

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her on Twitter or at the Southwest Drupal Summit

Offline reading

dvenema's picture

Thanks for the Android app. Works great on my older HTC Magic. Opening the magazine in the app, you can see a progress bar of the download process. However, will the full magazine be stored permanently on my device and ready for offline reading?

Good with Kindle

jnihil's picture

I have the 6-inch Kindle Keyboard and the epub format looks great.

I prefer PDF at this time

ssj152's picture

as I have LJ issues 001 and 132-209 in that format and switching would require changing how I access them on my iPad. I also have issues 001-152 in HTML, which I would like to convert to PDF (or possibly EPUB) Of course, if YOU put out ALL past issues out in EPUB format, readable on the iPad, I would have no issue with EPUB.

I would vastly prefer DRM-less ebooks as I'm sure that DRM will eventually will cause me problems, requiring it be stripped from my collection. I do NOT steal or give away copyright publications. I respect the licensing on the material I read. DRM assumes that I am a thief and I find that insulting.

Please note that not all EPUB publications are equal.. I have several that won't read on my iPad. I also have several that download directly to another reader and cannot change that. I would very much like to have ALL books & magazines on my iPad. I ask only that you do your part to use "standardized" EPUB conversion to make your product as compatible as possible.

Thanks,
Stuart J

Suggestions for the new digital only magazine

dowdle's picture

I was a long-time print subscriber and am a digital subscriber. I pretty much have every issue except for #1. I bought the first year or so as backissues when you still had an office in Seattle.

Since you are digital only now, I do like the idea of you making the magazine available in various digital formats for as many devices as possible... but I'm primarily interested in the PDF version.

The only suggestion I have is that you rotate the format of the magazine 90 degrees so it is landscape rather than portrait since most people have their computer monitors wider than tall... but then again there are lots of portrait style devices but all of them can be rotated easily whereas reorienting a computer monitor is more painful.

One reason I prefer the PDF over other digital formats is because it looks exactly like the print edition did. Since there isn't a print edition any more, it doesn't have to look like that... but I think it looks more professional if it is designed as if it were a print magazine rather than as if it were a website... as long as you take care to make the navigation as easy a possible. Also please consider keeping content in fixed size pages so in-page scrolling isn't necessary.

With the PDF version I primarily read it from cover to back cover and don't jump around. For in-PDF navigation the fact that the table of contents pages have individual content links works well enough.

The main thing to consider is the length... now you don't really care how many pages the magazine is... other than an obvious download size limit where you don't want to make it too big. I'd say anything under 50MB is good.

For including videos, perhaps you can embed external content so video files would not have to be included with the magazine download making it too big... or forcing you to keep your videos very small.

So far as the website goes and the web reader... I think it is fairly well done. To the guy who complained about the website being dreadful... could you please give an example of a magazine website that you like?

--
TYL,
Scott Dowdle

I would say please do *not*

Anonymous's picture

I would say please do *not* try to recreate 'pages' using epub. The format is intended to reflow, so any idea of page-breaks makes no sense. I am quite happy that certain headings break to a new 'page' (ie - appear at the top of the screen when jumped to from a link), but for epub, flicking/scrolling is where it's at, for me. The 'page break' metaphor is a printing restriction that doesn't need to be recreated for electronic devices, IMO.

epub no good on okular

Nathan123's picture

The epub copy looks terrible on Okular 0.12, SuSE 11.4. The graphics are all way too big. Is there another app that I should be using other than this? (It is ironic that the linux mag looks bad on linux)

BTW I will really miss the hard copy, and might not renew. I feel that a magazine is to be a leisure/enjoyable activity, but sitting at a desk is really not so.

I do not ever see myself reading a mag on my phone. I did however just get my hp touchpad. Any recommended apps for reading on webos?

ePub just fine in Calibre

carlfink's picture

I was able to easily read (and convert) the September issue in Calibre. Give it a try.

OYO E-Book reader

FrankW's picture

Just tried the ebook version on my OYO ebook reader.
Works perfectly. I could download it directly from your website with the readers built in wlan - so no need to switch on the main computer. That's convenient.

But still .... I don't know. I like ebook readers for novels or stories where you read page after page. But I can't get used to reading things like magazines or reference book on the ebook reader. Flipping back and forth is just too slow and confusing.

I still prefere the printed version.

How long will issues be available on your website?

bobgus's picture

Will LJ issues be available on your website for more than a month? I may get an android or ios device in the future and will then want to update my stored issues to the new format.

Bob Gustafson

Does your Android App run on Linux?

bobgus's picture

Does the Android App run on Linux?

I have several nice Linux machines, but nothing that runs Android or IOS

Bob Gustafson

Here ya go

Carlie Fairchild's picture

This is the best option for you, I believe:
http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/free-sample-issue

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

epub tested on Bookeen

sc's picture

This is just to let all you know that EPUB works very well on a Bookeen Cybook Orizon, there is just a little problem with some inline images that are partially under text

Stefano Canepa aka sc: sc@linux.it http://www.linux.it/~sc
Three great virtues of a programmer: laziness, impatience and hubris.
Le tre grandi virtù di un programmatore: pigrizia, impazienza e
arroganza. (Larry Wall)

DRM Free eh? [On iPhone 4]

Luiswu's picture

I get this error in Stanza any way I try to bring it in. "This book is encrypted with proprietary "Digital rights management" (DRM) and cannot be read by Stanza."

Thanks for the find

Carlie Fairchild's picture

So alas we found the problem, thanks to your note. We did not add any DRM options on to the EPUB however it turns out InDesign automatically adds in an "encryption.xml" line which we have since removed. Most readers ignore this line but Stanza does not. I just tested our new version and all seems to work well now. Can I send you an updated file to try, sans the encryption.xml line?

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

iBooks on iPhone

Rebecca Cassity's picture

I experienced the same problem with Stanza, and quite honestly, am completely baffled by it. However, I did find that iBooks worked very well to view the EPUB version. We'll keep working on the Stanza problem to see if we can't get that working properly too.

UPDATE: The issue with Stanza has been identified and we will attempt to correct it before the October issue is released.

UPDATE 2: We have identified the problem with Stanza, but the fix for it was more complicated than expected and we were unable to make these adjustments before the October issue was released. This is still very much on our radar, but in the meanwhile we would recommend iPhone users use iBooks. (And look for our iOS apps coming in a few weeks.)

Rebecca Cassity is the Director of Sales for Linux Journal

DRM?

Vesa's picture

I just downloaded EPUB version and converted it for my Kindle with Caliber. It looks really nice, and I'm considering about subscribing to your Journal.

What is your position on DRM (Digital Rights Management). Will EPUB version be copy protected? I'm not planning to distribute my copy of magazine to anyone else, but I need option to convert magazine for my e-book reader (now Kindle, later: who knows).

No DRM

Carlie Fairchild's picture

There won't be any DRM, no.

As a side note, we'll be distributing a .mobi version for Kindles too -- this week in fact. We're just cleaning up little tweaks from the conversion. Better us do it for everyone than you folks each have to do it individually.

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

LJ epub version

Zio's picture

Well, I just love it, really love LJ on my ebook reader!
It's beatifully formatted and easy to read on my 9" Asus DR900.

I really like epub, much more than the pdf version, also because this way I am not forced to read it on the computer screen (which I hate).
The only suggestion I'd probably give is to insert a newpage just before starting a new article or a new section, just like it happens in print.

All in all this is probably the best comfort for losing the beloved printed LJ magazine, after so many years of page turning :-)

Looking forward to reading the oct issue.
Thank you and keep up the great work!

Pagination

Carlie Fairchild's picture

Agreed on the pagination. We were just talking about that too. We'll get some pages inserted before new articles in the next issue, I suspect (or soon if not then).

Good feedback and thanks for the kind words.

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

Hi Carlie and thanks for your

Zio's picture

Hi Carlie and thanks for your reply.

BTW, I also tried the Android app and it works great!
Thanks for that too.

Ciao

Android App

Anonymous's picture

I've tried it on my android phone. It's a good app. It has a navigator so I could get to articles I interest in. It's good when I zoomed in, it'll lock focus on the left side, but why is it not the same on the right side? and, i think it should be able to zoom in deeper.

EPUB version is looking pretty good

mrfumblethumbs's picture

Have tried the EPUB version on several desktop apps and my KOBO. Looks good! A couple of the desktop apps rendered it a bit funky, but they tend to do that with a lot of things, so I rarely use them.

One gripe : it would make things more readable to have a blank line between paragraphs rather than squeezing each paragraph up against each other.

Oh, and I miss the advertisements, too. Maybe for the EPUB version you could put them all at the end rather than spaced throughout the main text? Many e-readers have smaller screens and many of the ads would take up a lot of the space available.

I am looking forward to seeing the October issue.

PDF

Grant Root's picture

I'm looking forward to getting access to the PDF version, since the EPUB version isn't converting for me in Calibre.

The EPUB works great in my viewer program, but I do a lot of my reading at lunch or other places away from the computer. The Android app is nice, but I'm not sure I'll want to do all my reading on the tiny screen.

Calibre works great for me

carlfink's picture

I was able to convert the ePub version to .mobi (for the BlackBerry) easily, if not quickly, using Calibre (0.6.42). One issue I noticed: the convert-to-PDF functionality doesn't work on my machine, so if PDF format is enabled the entire conversion fails.

The ePub version also reads just fine in Calibre's viewer.

I consider this a giant step up from the terrible PDF version. At the reduced price, this may not be so bad, although I for one would still prefer dead trees.

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState