updated 11:30 am EDT, Thu July 14, 2011
Blio arrives on iOS devices
Blio has pushed out its reader app for iOS devices (free, App Store). The release is the first for a non-Windows platform and gives iPads, iPhones, and iPods the same complex-layout reading as on the desktop. IT supports formats such as cookbooks but can still make text selectable for highlights and text-to-speech.
The reader is built to be connected and lets users check Google, Wikipedia, or other web pages without having to leave the reader app. Reading itself is intelligent and has a dynamically zooming view to properly capture the text and images from section to section. Audio plays a strong role both through direct audiobook support as well as accessibility options to let the poor-sighted navigate the whole interface.
Text support includes both purchased Blio books as well as regular ePub, PDF, and XPS.
The app needs at least iOS 3.2, though the accessibility features need at least iOS 4.2. In-app purchases give access to alternative spoken voices for $10 each. Unusually, Blio has a "get books' button to go shopping despite Apple's ostensible limits on referencing outside book stores. Android versions are expected to come later.