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Scribd Launches Semi-Functional App for Windows RT, Windows Phone

scribd[1]Scribd’s brass band must be on vacation at the moment, because last week they launched a couple new reading apps with no fanfare (or at least I missed it).

This blogger belatedly learned yesterday (via WPCentral) that last week Scribd released apps for both Windows RT/8 and for Windows Phone.

Update: The apps went live in late June, but Scribd didn’t announce the apps until 15 July so I have changed the date on this post.

The new apps enable readers to access user-uploaded documents and read ebooks from Scribd’s 400,000 title strong ebook subscription service. Alas, the apps don’t let users read the ebooks offline; an internet connection is required.

Have you tried them?

I haven’t had a chance to try the apps yet (no Windows Phone and no interest in booting my Surface tablet), but it looks to me like someone made a quick and dirty version of a Scribd app by taking the existing browser-based reading app and then shoving it inside another app. This is similar to the way that Microsoft has been making WebApps for Windows Phone, but in this case the Scribd app was an official release by Scribd.

That is more than a little annoying, but on the upside Scribd now offers an app on a platform where their leading competitor, Oyster, does not. And frankly, having a limited function app is better than nothing.

If you count the option of reading in your web browser, Scribd is offering two ways to read subscription ebooks which Oyster cannot match (yet), and what’s more Scribd is also making the service available globally. According to Scribd, they now have 80 million users who use Scribd to upload, share, and read documents. Scribd has not revealed how many of those users are paying customers, using Scribd’s premium hosting service, nor do we know how many are subscribing to read ebooks.

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Anne June 24, 2014 um 1:39 pm

I just tried it on my Windows phone. Only 4 font sizes (not big enough for me) and I didn’t see a way to download the book to the device for off line reading. I didn’t try really hard, however, as the text was way too small. Uninstalling.

Anne July 15, 2014 um 5:38 pm

The other Anne also tried, and then uninstalled.

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