Oyster is Looking to Hire an Android Developer

oyster logoThere’s a new job listing on the Oyster website today. This one-year-old startup, which launched an all-you-can-read subscription service a couple weeks ago, is in the market to hire an Android developer.

That’s good news. Oyster’s widely-lauded service offers a great value at $10 per month but it’s not available on Android, nor did Oyster have any plans to release an Android app when they launched.

I’m still waiting to get a response from Oyster, but I would bet that they’ve changed their mind. I think this is a sign that Oyster has noticed the complaints made by blogger after blogger and commenter after commenter after commenter after commenter about the lack of an Android app and realized that they goofed.

Oyster currently offers an iPhone app and is working on an iPad app. The service is not available on any other platform – not even your web browser.




Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Jean K22 September, 2013

    I’m still not impressed. When I tweeted to Oyster and their competitor that I was not interested in coughing up a credit card number to evaluate their service, I got the following reply:

    @JeanKaplansky All invited users get a chance to browse thousands of titles from our library and see features before signing up!

    O really? Web site features maybe, but not the actual reading system UI. I couldn’t get past the cc screen to see anything, and dismissing the screen took me back to the very beginning.

    Plus, the response to my tweet came off very arrogant compared to Oyster’s competitor who leaped at the chance to start an actual dialog with me by providing an actual email addy with an actual person on the other end…

    Needless to say, I’ll still be passing on Oyster. Their competitor has made a more than favorable second impression with their on the spot customer service for someone who isn’t even a customer yet.

    Oh. And the Oyster UI, which I have only seen via the pictures from blog reviews? The Oyster reading UI pales in feature comparison to the competitor, too.

    Just my $.02.

    1. Susan M22 September, 2013

      I chatted with them on email and found the Oyster customer support to be really great. They were speedy, helpful, and answered all of my questions.

      And as for ereatah (the competitor), it’s not unlimited! On oyster I can read more than 2 books!

      1. Nate Hoffelder22 September, 2013

        eReatah is selling you the ebooks, not selling you access to the ebooks.

        1. Susan M22 September, 2013

          Oh didn’t realize that. So when you leave the service you still can get access? So then why is it a subscription model at all??

          Also, does ereatah function like amazon where you “don’t really” own the book at all, but rather just get a license to use it ?

          Thanks Nate

          1. Nate Hoffelder22 September, 2013

            It’s a subscription model like Audible or a book club.

            And you’re supposed to be able to download the ebooks but that option hasn’t been made available yet.

  2. Sunita22 September, 2013

    This is good news. I paid the $9.95 because I thought I’d be able to put the app on my old iPod Touch. But it only runs on iOS 6 or 7. I should have looked for that info, but I didn’t notice it in anything I’d read about the app, so I’m not sure the Oyster people have made that clear.

    I could have read it on my iPad, the 1x render isn’t that bad, but I find it too big to read fiction with enjoyment. And even if my Touch had worked, you can only read in portrait, which is a weird limitation IMO. So I cancelled my subscription.

    It’s sad, because I’m their perfect customer. Despite the crappy browsing interface I was able to track down a lot of books I’d read.

    1. Nate Hoffelder22 September, 2013

      It requires iOS6? I didn’t see that either.

      1. Sunita22 September, 2013

        I tried to install it on my Touch, which is running the latest version of iOS5, and it said it was incompatible (or whatever the error message is). I was bummed.

        I just went to the Help page and read the FAQ and there’s nothing about system requirements. Apparently it didn’t occur to them. They also don’t point out that you can read on the iPad at 1x, which fills most of the screen, rather than 2x, which gives you a much smaller view.

  3. Mark Nardy22 September, 2013

    I think the author of this blog perhaps doesn’t know the kind of work it takes to build new technogy products. You don’t just flip a switch and build an android app, web app or DRM system, parent system etc. those projects take time right?

    Apple iBooks doesn’t have a web app and didn’t have a desktop app until this summer. That took them 5 years… And it’s Apple!?

    1. Nate Hoffelder22 September, 2013

      Except that I know that the apps can be licensed from Bluefire, Datalogics, and elsewhere. For example, Ereatah (Oyster’s competitor) launched the same week with an Android, iPad, and iPhone apps built by Bluefire.

      I wanted to avoid bashing Oyster but IMO Oyster made a mistake when they chose to develop the apps themselves, and they made a second mistake when they focused on just the iPhone app. They had nearly a year to get the apps developed as well as 3 million in capital. They could have pulled it off.

      1. Dave22 September, 2013

        Having tried the eretah app, it’s terrible. Pretty much unusable. Who cares that it’s on a lot of devices right now? I haven’t tried Oyster books but I look forward to them coming to Android.

        1. Nate Hoffelder22 September, 2013

          Yes, the eReatah ebookstore is terrible. The website is just as badly designed as the ebookstore that was built into the app. But the reader part of the app was licensed from Bluefire, and that’s a lot better.

  4. […] enough, there’s no news today on when Oyster will launch an Android app. They recently advertised the position on their website, but the actual release of the app is of course at least 6 months […]


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