several people reading at tablet

Two new beta versions of the R2 Reader open-source development kits and test applications have been released by EDRLab last week:

R2 Reader for iOS

Version beta 4 was released on the iTunes store.

R2 Reader for Android

Version beta 2 was released on the Google Play store.

What’s new

The main improvements of these two implementations are:

  • a better OPDS support (both OPDS 1 and the emerging OPDS 2 feed format).
  • support for right-to-left languages, like Arabic and Hebrew.

Many other improvements and bug fixes are also part of this version. Part of this work was to re-organize the source code so that developers of end-user applications can work more efficiently on these Readium-2 development kits.

The complete source code is available on the Readium Github space. Here is the iOS / Swift codebase. And here is the Android / Kotlin codebase.

What’s next

We are reaching the end of the beta evolution, as drafted in the Readium-2 roadmap. The OPDS and right-to left functionality are even already present in the current beta versions.

What we have to do now to reach the “V1” level is dealing with fixed-layout publications, bookmarks, plus add support for the CBZ format.

By the way, one may question the choice of supporting CBZ (a publication format dedicated to comics) in an EPUB reader. By doing that, we just want to show that the Readium-2 architecture enables support of multiple input formats, not only EPUB. CBZ is a simple format, easy to implement, acting as a test bed: soon enough, people will enjoy audiobooks and enriched comics / mangas / bandes dessinées from every Readium-2 based reading application…

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