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Sony Releases New Sony Reader App for iPad, iPhone With Epub3 Support

sony reader logojSony launched a new version of the Sony Reader app for iOS earlier this week, and for the first time the app now offers limited support for Epub3. But only if you buy ebooks in Japan.

As odd as it may sound, Sony has released a new reading app which is only available in iTunes Japan, and it appears to only work with the Sony Reader Store in Japan. If you try to download the app from the US iTunes you will get the older app, which was made by Bluefire.

While the Sony Reader Android app has had limited support for Epub3 since early 2013, their iOS app has lagged behind and was only updated this week. According to my source (and confirmed in iTunes), the new app only added support for the Epub3 fixed layout spec.  This is going to enable readers to buy from a catalog of 20 thousand manga and magazine titles.

sony reader app itunes japanI don’t have any info yet on when Sony plans to release this app in other markets or add more support for Epub3, but I do know that the new app offers less support for Epub3 than Sony’s Android app. That app supports media overlay, fixed layout, and javascript interactivity.

Sony has been pursuing their own ebook agenda for the past several years, and that includes opening several ebookstores in more markets (Australia and Germany, for example) and continuing to invest in developing their reading apps. But it does not include joining in the ereader arms race with Amazon, Kobo, and other companies; instead Sony has released basically the same ereader for 3 years running.



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