Overview

E-Book mobile applications are getting very popular especially after the launch of Amazon Kindle. Nowadays, people are more interested in using a minimal number of devices rather than using multiple devices. E-Book applications cuts down readers’ device cost, avoids the usage of multiple devices, provides flexibility in using various device models like phone, tablet or iPad as we like.

The Challenge

Our challenge was to Customize the third party e-book reader kit to include several new complex features and modify much existing functionality to meet the Client requirement. We had to make sure to avoid unauthorised access of e-books using rooted and jailbreak devices. Also there were requirements to solve the several known issues in the reader kit. We also had the challenge of adding a real-time page synchronization across the iOS and Android Platform and also to control the CPU memory usage of the reader kit.

The Process

Our team had to build a mobile application in such a way that offers the best user experience since the application has to be kept open for such a long duration by the user.

  • To build an e-book reader mobile application that allows users to read books most efficiently
  • E-book reader must support the most globally used file format epub
  • Integrate the payment gateway (Stripe) for the book purchase.
  • Device authentication to limit the no of devices used by the same user
  • Offline mode: Purchased books are saved in offline mode so that users can access the e-book anytime without network connectivity.
  • Real-time syncing of the page, so whenever the user opens the app, the reader resumes the last read page from where he stopped even if the user is using a different device.
  • Integrate with the Ingram system: Users will get a hard copy of the book whenever an e-book purchase is made.

Considering the complexity involved in incorporating an efficient reader kit, our team decided to build the app on Native technology for iOS and Android since most of the reader library won’t support Hybrid technology. Here the main challenge we had was to decide which reader kit/ library to be used, how to incorporate the customization and how to protect the file from unauthorized access using rooted/jailbreak devices.

Reader Kit

Finding the right reader library was the first challenge we faced. Our team did a lot of analysis on choosing the reader kit. And finally, we choose the Folio reader kit, which is one of the well-known reader libraries.

Customization

Our team has done a lot of code modifications in the root area’s of the library for incorporating many complex features to meet the client requirement which was not available on the reader kit by default.

Our contribution to the reader community

During the testing phase, we discovered many critical issues with the reader kit. Few of them were already posted in the Repo by other developers. We were able to provide a major contribution in fixing those issues involved in the reader kit and we created a separate branch so that the code is open for others in the reader community

Unauthorized Access

E-books are paid one, so we were very alert in handling those files. Since leaking of any such file will affect the credibility of the book. We have taken care of all security aspects, especially file access issue on rooted and jailbreak device by blocking the downloading feature on such devices.

Technologies Used

  • Swift for iOS and Java/Kotlin for Android.
  • OneSignal For Push notifications

The Result

Our team was able to build a complete app that would satisfy the needs and wishes of every person who is an ardent fan of e-reading. Reading books has never been more easier. Our client expressed their satisfaction in our work and they were only more than happy to publish the iOS and Android version of it. Though the challenges were many, our happiness lies in the fact that this is another success project for our team. Another feather added to our hat

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