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iPhone app submitted, awaiting approval

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Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 1:31pm Top

The LibraryThing iPhone app was submitted to Apple yesterday. It's now awaiting approval.

The average consideration time is six days now. But we'll see. They may even reject it for some stupid reason, like when our public library app was rejected for not having an age warning, because you could look up the catalog records of racy books in it.

We'd like to save some surprises, but, basically, it's limited to checking your library and cataloging new stuff. No Talk, Groups, etc. and we moved Recommendations to the second release. But we hope it's a minimal app, not a half-assed app. Compared to other apps we looked at, cataloging is SUPER-fast.

Sep 9, 2015, 1:32pm Top

Hmmm, I may have to finally get a smart phone! :-)

Fingers crossed for approval.

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 1:34pm Top

Good luck getting approval, and hopefully this means an Android version is only a year or two away! (I'm not being sarcastic. I understand the reason for doing iOS first; what I hate is iOS only.)

Sep 9, 2015, 1:35pm Top

Forget the Queen. This would be a modern milestone.

Sep 9, 2015, 1:35pm Top

We do have definite plans for android. Just want to cut down on the drag of double-development during the quick turnaround stage of early dev.

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 1:42pm Top

I'm not being sarcastic. I understand the reason for doing iOS first; what I hate is iOS only.

Much is about reaction. If it's worth it, we'll do one. Much of the work is done by virtue of doing this part, and we have Android developers on staff. (Not DEDICATED developers, but people who've done Android before.) But half the problem will be solved by a web version of the catalog soon.

Sep 9, 2015, 1:43pm Top

What are the reasons for doing iOS first?

Sep 9, 2015, 1:45pm Top


Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 1:52pm Top

>7 DuncanHill:

It's tricky. Factors included:

* There are a more Android phones out there, but iPhone users use apps more. Android is more ubiquitous, iPhone more passionate.
* Android development and testing is harder, insofar as you're targeting literally hundreds of devices, with dozens of different OS variants—Android users don't upgrade as often too—technical abilities, etc. It's a messy development target.
* We have more iPhone dev. experience.
* We're 7/3 iPhone ourselves.
* iPhone-then-Android is the most common development pattern.
* The version we're making will work on tablets as an iPhone app, but we can make a strictly-iPad version easily. Android tablets would be another bridge.

Edited: Sep 23, 2015, 6:40am Top

Also, I want to stress the fact that the app isn't "done" when it's released.
We are already working on the next update and we hope to be adding features to it very quickly. But we wanted to get a minimally full-featured app (oxymoron?) out to members and grow from there. The idea is that it has the features that 90% of people are going to use 90% of the time right now:
• browsing their books
• searching their books
• adding books to their library (via text search or ISBN/barcode scanning)
• changing collections for books
• rating
• creating covers for books

Sep 9, 2015, 2:49pm Top


Sep 9, 2015, 3:06pm Top

Yay from me, too! As soon as it is released, I'll be downloading it :)

Sep 9, 2015, 3:19pm Top

Is it available for offline use? I have an iPad, not an iPhone, and it's wi-fi only. I do own a phone, but I don't use it for data.

Sep 9, 2015, 3:31pm Top

Wifi works. Cellphone works. No purely offline use.

Sep 9, 2015, 3:42pm Top

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy.

/Buddy Holly

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 3:47pm Top

>13 Maddz: I'm not sure what you mean by "offline" use, if you're using wifi on your iPad. But I can confirm that it will work just fine on wifi alone—on an iPad or iPhone.

ETA: And Tim beat me to the punch. >14 timspalding:

Sep 9, 2015, 4:26pm Top

Will it show your catalog when offline?

Sep 9, 2015, 4:40pm Top

>14 timspalding: and >16 lorannen:. Ever tried to get wifi in the basement of a book store or buried in the middle of a huge warehouse that has multiple floors and the one wifi router is a million miles away? Don't even think about trying ATT, Verizon, Sprint etc. Think offline, offline, offline, . . .

Sep 9, 2015, 4:42pm Top

And there are bookstores without wifi.

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 4:56pm Top

>17 JerryMmm: >18 ulmannc: >19 MarthaJeanne: Yeah, I get it now—and am very familiar with the lack of wifi in the world (my cell carrier's data coverage in my town is a travesty). I just misread at first.

Sep 9, 2015, 5:59pm Top

It will NOT show your catalog when offline. It depends on connectivity to the network.

Offline use is a particularly hard nut to crack when it comes to LT member libraries. It's pretty easy to handle most libraries but we have members that have upwards of 10k books. Instead of holding up development because of the limitations caused by those libraries we decided to make it a connected app. This has it's drawbacks but it also has positives. We may offer offline use in the future, just not in the first version. This version is just the beginning though.

I hope that you will all enjoy using the app and we've worked hard to make it not only immediately and obviously useful but also beautiful.

Sep 9, 2015, 6:12pm Top

There are Windows phones in existence, too.

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 6:26pm Top

I don't want to raise expectations. iPhone development is expensive—it's consumed a large part of the last year of ConceptDawg's time, plus another, external, developer. That real money. Major new features, like offline work, add up quick, and an app for another platform, like Windows, might cost almost as much as the original iPhone version. Then you have support, updates, etc, and the math doesn't make sense for a company our size.

So while we hope to improve the app, and we hope to make an Android version, we're not making any promises.

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 6:31pm Top

There are Windows phones?

(just kidding)

But I wouldn't hold your breath for a Windows version. They have something like 2% market share.
And that's just phones. If you include iPads in the iPhone share (they can run the same app) it's not worth talking about.

Sep 9, 2015, 6:38pm Top

>23 timspalding:

Perhaps documented and supported APIs would be more appropriate. Just a thought.

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 6:44pm Top

>24 conceptDawg: What point would there be in using the app on my iPad? If I have wifi I can use the regular site.

It's a bit of a hassle, but currently I can export my catalogue and see it in Excel offline. The only advantage would be if there were easier offline catalogue searching.

Sep 9, 2015, 6:56pm Top

>25 suitable1:
We are developing a set of APIs. The app is using them and they are developing as we develop the app. We are eating our own dogfood for this one. Hopefully once we have them nailed down we can open them up to public consumption. We're not promising anything. But it's certainly in the cards.

Sep 9, 2015, 6:57pm Top

>26 MarthaJeanne: Well, a vast, vast majority of iOS users aren't tied to Wifi.

Sep 9, 2015, 7:01pm Top

But why use a limited app on the iPad? My point is that the site works fine on the iPad, so why settle for less?

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 7:06pm Top

>29 MarthaJeanne: I think that, depending on the iPad—not to mention personal preferences in question—the app might work better/faster. The app can scan ISBN barcodes, for one, which you can't do while accessing the site on your iPad browser. For me, at least, that makes all the difference.

Sep 9, 2015, 7:09pm Top

Well since you're commenting without seeing the app it's hard to say. :)

But in our experience so far, for simple cataloging people have enjoyed using the app more than the site.
Think of the site as a a complete automotive garage: every tool you could possibly imagine.
Then think of the app as a handy toolbox that you take in your car: it'll get the job done for most of the issue you have but if you want to get really into the engine you'll want to use the tools in the garage.

That being said, that small toolbox can (will) grow to include the most-used tools in the garage.

One tool that the app has that the site doesn't is barcode scanning. Adding a complete shelf of books (>100) took me about 15 minutes last night.

It also has a really powerful cover editor and uploader.
For a bunch of examples of covers that were taken, edited, and uploaded with the app you can check any of the covers for this account: conceptComics (catalog)

The app is just another OPTION for members. You certainly don't have to use it.

Sep 9, 2015, 7:23pm Top

But you'll probably be cataloging at home, not at a bookstore. At the bookstore you'll probably just want to access your wishlist or check if you have the book already and for that would the app be any better than the main site?

Sep 9, 2015, 7:50pm Top

>31 conceptDawg: Just so I can look at my list so I don't buy that silly book again. I love giving duplicates away but I love even more buying something I don't have! Anybody want to loan me an iPhone so I can play when it arrives (just kidding)? Yes, the Electronic Luddite does have a phone that doesn't require smoke signals to send messages. It's an android. . .

Back to my old faithful spreadsheet!!

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 7:58pm Top

>32 jjwilson61:

I would think the app would be loads better, because the main site is so tiny on a phone screen that you have to scroll back and forth and up and down looking for the part of the page where you want to click a link. I find it so hard to use on a phone that I only do so if desperate.

Sep 9, 2015, 8:13pm Top

This is soo exciting and something I've looked forward to for years!! Except that I am an Android user. ;(

I do get why you launched iOS first, I'm used to that no matter how disappointing it is, but please please please release an Android version as soon as possible. Checking LT on my phone is wonky and doing anything in my catalog is almost impossible because the top menu bar sticks in place and throws everything off.

I would really love to see Talk show up in the app but won't complain too loudly about it. A mobile version of talk pages that didn't force me to zoom and scroll so much would solve the problem outside of the app but it'd be nice to have them in the same place.

Good luck with the launch and remember that Android apps make great Christmas gifts. ;)

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 8:19pm Top

I have to say I find the site easy to use in Chrome on Android on my Samsung Galaxy S3.

Sep 9, 2015, 8:50pm Top

So, the problem with APIs is that we are actually forbidden from offering our data in this way. It's irritating that our competitors ignored the legal terms around Amazon data, but they did, and later they got bought by Amazon. It puts us in a bind. If we offered a full-fledged API, we'd run the risk of triggering Amazon's recourse—yanking all their data from the site. While we could handle the latter, it would be a major, major issue for us, and not something users want to happen.

So it has us in a bit of a bind.

Sep 9, 2015, 9:20pm Top

>1 timspalding:

Anything we can do to help with Apple's decision? Write a mail? Click on something? Upvote something? :)

Edited: Sep 9, 2015, 9:25pm Top

Buy everything announced today at the keynote. :)

Sep 9, 2015, 9:30pm Top

I was talking about using it on an iPad not a phone.

Sep 10, 2015, 12:49am Top

Like others have mentioned, my main use of an app is to check what I already have so I don't buy it again. This is where the unofficial Android catalogue app was so useful; if I saw something in a shelf of second hand books, I could do a search and check whether I already had it or not. Hence my query about off-line use.

For actual cataloguing and updating, I would wait until I got home and use my desktop machine. I dislike trying to work on a small screen (I have 7" tablets not 10").

Basically, all I'm after is the facility to download my catalogue and search it on the iPad without being connected to anything.

Sep 10, 2015, 1:42am Top

Sep 10, 2015, 10:43am Top

What did you write the app in Objective-C or Swift?

Sep 10, 2015, 10:54am Top

Just adding my voice to the request for an Android version.

Sep 10, 2015, 11:16am Top

Objective-C because it was actually started back when Swift was still in beta form (delays, delays, delays).
And we have years of ObjC development under our belts, there's a lot to be said for that.

Sep 10, 2015, 11:17am Top

Yep. We don't need any more requests for an Android version. It's certainly at the top of our list. We'll just see how things go.

Sep 10, 2015, 11:58am Top

Got it!

Edited: Sep 10, 2015, 12:48pm Top

>5 conceptDawg:

We do have definite plans for android.

>23 timspalding:

while {...} we hope to make an Android version, we're not making any promises.

>46 conceptDawg:

We don't need any more requests for an Android version. It's certainly at the top of our list.

I think the two of you need to have a chat about what your actual plans are!

Sep 10, 2015, 1:06pm Top


Sep 10, 2015, 2:26pm Top

>35 leahbird: at the bottom of each page is a link called Top bar: always visible. Click on that and the chocolate bar at the top will scroll away when you scroll down the page.

Another thing to try is another browser. I use Opera for android, and it doesn't force me to scroll sideways on Talk, even when zoomed in.

Sep 10, 2015, 3:01pm Top

>50 JerryMmm: Sorry, I didn't really explain that right. It's not the top menu bar that's causing the problem, it's the catalog menu bar. The top menu bar actually rolls over it when I zoom or scroll and the catalog list rolls under it, making all the buttons basically unusable. I switched to Dolphin on another user's recommendation which was better than what I was using before, but I might give Opera a try.

Sep 10, 2015, 3:08pm Top

>48 lorax: :)
It is at the top of our list. The problem is that list is written on some sort of thinner-than-air parchment and it has to be rewritten quite often. We hope to be able to write our list on a more substantial substrate after we get some feedback from the initial release.

Sep 10, 2015, 3:11pm Top

Talk is NOT in the very first version. We did have it in for part of our beta period but it needed some serious work and we didn't want to delay the release.

Sep 11, 2015, 4:46pm Top

Yay, an app! I'm waiting for the Android edition. :-)

I agree with >41 Maddz:. I can do cataloguing at home (wifi, tablet, website), but in a bookstore, I would like to check my collection offline. Maybe there could be an option to download/save your own most recent collection (at home, using wifi) for checking offline (in the bookshop)? Like the "save for offline use" button the geocaching app c:geo has. That is working great!

Sep 11, 2015, 4:54pm Top

I will say that as an android user I would be happy with the 99% that an online-only version can get me, since I rarely shop for books either in caves or in 1995 and thus generally have connectivity, and the alternative is the nothing that I have now. Please do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good and decide to take your ball and go home because a few people want an offline option.

Sep 11, 2015, 5:03pm Top

librarything.com/m/ still works if you're online.

Sep 11, 2015, 5:07pm Top

I don't need offline. Anywhere there is no cell service, there are no books to buy either.

Sep 11, 2015, 5:25pm Top

I don't need offline. Anywhere there is no cell service, there are no books to buy either.


Sep 11, 2015, 5:34pm Top

I appreciate the cataloguing aspects of the app because my books are nowhere near my computer, and I have a giant 17-inch laptop that is cumbersome to carry around. Using the app on my iPhone will be much easier than trying to navigate the full-featured website on my iPhone.

Sep 11, 2015, 6:01pm Top

FWIW, I'm Android too, and have a desire for offline use, either because I've had low-data plans that I feared running over (perhaps that's paranoid for an LT app?), or have been out of the country (even though I now have a plan here in Chile, the 3G here is often slow/congested enough to be totally useless at times). However, seabear's Offline Book Browser works perfectly for me for most of my uses. There have still been times I've wanted to check a more mobile-friendly Talk while away from the laptop, so that would be my preferred area of focus for any future development. But mostly I'm good.

Sep 11, 2015, 9:48pm Top

>60 omargosh: You expressed my sentiments exactly. My version of Chile is parts of PA and West VA and Western VA. The only thing that works in some of these places is text or you need to sit on top of a high mountain! Same thing applies in parts of Montana. Some of my best book picking has happened there!

Sep 12, 2015, 1:35am Top

Let's put it this way, I've just refreshed the LibraryThing browser for a weekend away. I don't have a data plan let alone a smart phone but I have a Nexus and an iPad. Usually the Nexus lives in the dock in the bedroom and is used as an alarm clock and I carry the iPad with me.

We're at a con today, and next door is a fairly large 2nd hand bookstore. As it's a charity shop, it doesn't offer wi-fi to customers. The wi-fi network I can log into is very intermittant; it's from the supermarket behind.

Hence I am carrying 2 tablets instead of one. Luckily both are 7"; I can't manage 10" tablets easily with my tendonitis. As I've just moved house, merged my library with my partner's, and have 16 boxes of books that are being disposed of, it's extremely important I don't buy any duplicates....

Sep 12, 2015, 7:30am Top

Thank you!!

Sep 12, 2015, 5:04pm Top


Sep 13, 2015, 6:13pm Top

This will be a great thing and very helpful. Thank you!

Sep 13, 2015, 7:59pm Top

I am incredibly glad you're doing this! Now to convince all my reading buddies to come back!

Sep 14, 2015, 3:55am Top

Barcode scanning will be a nice extra for those of us whose libraries are more than the length of a CueCat cable away from the computer. But the pony I'm really looking forward to (ca. 2025...?) is cover-page OCR for pre-ISBN books. :-)

One-step cover grabbing sounds nice, but it's probably not worth the effort: if there's a good way to take a usable picture of something with a shiny flat surface using an iPhone, I haven't found it yet.

Offline "do I have this book" functionality might be nice, but I can understand why it's difficult to do. And it's only marginally useful, really. You're not going to start going around scanning the barcode of every book you see in a shop, otherwise they'll take you for one of those antisocial types who fingers the wares only to order them from Amazon. And of course all the nicest bookshops are too small to have customer wifi, and located in foreign countries and/or network blackspots, so online lookup is only occasionally going to work. I expect an app that downloads the data without too much other clutter should be more efficient over dodgy 3G than trying to navigate th website, though.

Edited: Sep 14, 2015, 10:55am Top

>67 thorold: The cover capture works really well. You can angle the cover slightly away from the lights and the LT cover editor lets you do keystone correction and cropping. So the cover ends up being perfectly rectangular. I've taken covers of hundreds of books so far and 95% of them were a better cover than the book had before.

Sep 14, 2015, 4:22pm Top

This is great news! It'll certainly spur me to use LibraryThing again -- can't wait!

Sep 14, 2015, 5:09pm Top

Still waiting, alas. No word. No news is… good news? We're not sure.

Sep 14, 2015, 7:19pm Top

You might have a slightly longer wait seeing as iOS9 is out this week and the App Store will be dealing with approving updated apps. I hope not though :)

Edited: Sep 14, 2015, 7:41pm Top

Just a question: will it be iOS 7 (or iOS 5) compatible? I'd like to think that after five years of waiting that I'll be able to use the app on my iPhone 4s (I'm not holding out much hope for my iPad 1).

Be that as it may, well done! Trying to use the website on an iPhone or iPad is such a pain: a simple app is the way firwRd, and as it has scanning for barcodes... I do hope you let us do inventory work fairly fast, though - a phone would come into its own for that.

Edited: Sep 14, 2015, 7:58pm Top

>72 shikari: Our app-builder should probably confirm, but I'm pretty certain it'll be compatible with your 4s. For my part, I've been testing on a 5, and it's working great!

>71 ninthart: Yeah, you're probably right. Great timing all around, eh?

Sep 14, 2015, 8:48pm Top

Sep 14, 2015, 9:23pm Top

Ooh, shiny!

Sep 16, 2015, 6:03am Top

Put me in the pool with those needing offline access (not all of us are Americans shopping solely in B&N >> I literally don't know of a single place to buy books here that has wifi, and back stateside most of my shopping was done in local/2nd hand bookshops, certainly no wifi to be found. Even my library here the wifi connection is shoddy and you never know if it'll connect where you're standing, better to use their computers to search the catalog or sign on to one of the few regular-use ones, if they're open, for browsing). Also in the non-iPhone pool. I have a Jolla, which means most droid apps I can get & use.

But, this is progress, at least! :)

Sep 16, 2015, 1:30pm Top

Adding my voice to the others who:

* are android users
* would dearly love offline access to their catalogue. (but there's an unofficial app for that, so i'm covered. for now)

Sep 16, 2015, 7:05pm Top

My Android smartphone supports spreadsheets and other documents (I never use it for that, but it does). I suppose one could save an export to the phone, or choose the print option & put a PDF on the phone. Awkward, but not that difficult, all things considered.

After all, we don't have offline access to regular LT, unless we export.

Sep 16, 2015, 7:52pm Top

>78 PhaedraB:
True. And prior to downloading the unofficial app, I did indeed transfer a pdf onto my portable device. That's an eminently cromulent way of going about things.

I guess it's a general issue I have with this and similar tricks: it's a third-party, multi-environment (and probably multi-device) workaround to a native functionality that does not exist. Once an app gets introduced, the discussion has effectively moved on from "access LT only when you're logged on in a browser" to "access LT browserlessly on a device I always carry with me." At that point, partial offline access without any workarounds is suddenly very much possible (several other services whose apps I use offer that functionality).

(I'm also in the habit of requesting app improvements loudly and explicitly, and to state that current workarounds are insufficient/inelegant/cumbersome. Otherwise, nothing changes :) )

Sep 16, 2015, 8:07pm Top

>79 Petroglyph: At least you're consistent :-D

Edited: Sep 17, 2015, 1:31am Top

The app will require iOS8 but a 4S can run that.
We had to make some decisions about support for older OS versions and there are less than 7% of people running iOS7. After this month that number will likely be even smaller (people upgrading to new phones and the new OS). But, we don't make these decisions lightly.

Since the 4S supports iOS8 (and iOS9 would be out) we decided that it was a good target. It's one version back from cutting edge and supports every device released within the last FOUR YEARS. That's an eternity in the tech world.

Edited: Sep 17, 2015, 8:59pm Top

Oh, a shame. There's no way I can realistically run iOS 8 (oops, that's iOS 9 now) on a 4s 16 MB, judging by reports. But thanks a lot for letting me know. If I ever upgrade, I'll be able to take advantage of the app. But with iPhone 6 and 6s costing over £500, that's frankly not very likely. Four years is an eternity, perhaps, in the young tech world but I work on an analogue cycle of perhaps ten years — if I can :-)

Sep 18, 2015, 4:07pm Top

Hooray! I for one am thrilled and promise to (almost) never complain.

All this and LT Birthday/Anniversary cake, too? My cup runneth over...

Edited: Sep 19, 2015, 3:34pm Top

Same here. I want to only buy duplicates on purpose...not by accident! I am so freaking excited to have an app, that is easy & fast to get to when traveling & browsing bookstores.

I am SO excited about this! I've been waiting on an app since I first discovered Library Thing! We have a wonderful chain of used book stores here....lots of good deals....but I have so many cookbooks that I can't remember if this title and cover looks familiar because I have WANTED it so long.....or if I've already BOUGHT it! When it's finally available for download, please send us all a RED HOT ALERT!!!

Sep 21, 2015, 9:38am Top

Any news on the app?

Sep 21, 2015, 12:08pm Top

No. Ugh.

We're still in review. I'm worried iOS9 and the recent tumult over a hack of Chinese iPhone apps has slowed them down.

Sep 22, 2015, 10:52am Top


Sep 22, 2015, 11:04am Top

Hopefully it's just a delay due to external factors and not anything about the app itself!

Sep 22, 2015, 1:43pm Top

I think they're not going to approve it until they've cataloged ALL the Apple Computer bobcats.

Sep 22, 2015, 1:49pm Top

>89 timspalding: Well, we can help with that! CATALOGUING FLASHMOB!

Sep 22, 2015, 1:51pm Top

Those are bobcats?

Sep 22, 2015, 1:57pm Top

Sep 22, 2015, 2:29pm Top

El Capitan is released a week from tomorrow. Could also cause delays.

Sep 22, 2015, 2:36pm Top

Sep 22, 2015, 3:27pm Top

Is that a bobcat or a cheshire cat?

Sep 22, 2015, 4:19pm Top

>95 JerryMmm: A Bobshire cat, of course!
>94 timspalding: LOL

Sep 22, 2015, 4:31pm Top

In the interest of serving the most people, I vote for development of a responsive/web-friendly page over Android development. And I have an Android phone and tablet. Plus, mobile-friendly page will boost your Google rank.

Meanwhile, could you just remove the "font size="1"" from the HTML on librarything.com/m/ ? Pretty please? It makes it completely unusable. The declaration in the CSS can be worked around. Though it's still amazingly unnecessary.

Edited: Sep 22, 2015, 4:35pm Top

I suspect that the engineers in Cupertino are still reeling at the thought that there might be people out there who have bits of wood screwed to their walls with books on them.

At this very moment, one of them is doodling away at the first designs for the iBookshelf, a beautifully-machined piece of aluminium that does the job so much more elegantly. Admittedly, it only holds one book, which is glued in place at the factory and can't be removed by the user, and it needs a special connector to attach it to your wall ($49 extra).

Sep 22, 2015, 4:41pm Top

>97 timepiece: Thanks for the feedback. With regards to librarything.com/m, I can tell you that it's going to be replaced very soon. Unfortunately, that's all I can say about it at the moment.

Edited: Sep 22, 2015, 4:51pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Sep 22, 2015, 5:46pm Top

Looking forward to the Apple iOS app. Been waiting a long time, especially since I tried to "unlock" the CueCat for general use and failed - no longer works. Come on, Apple!

Sep 22, 2015, 6:05pm Top

>94 timspalding: Come to think of it, I actually do have a bobcat pelt, along with a coyote pelt and a reindeer hide or two. I wonder if I should catalog them...

Sep 22, 2015, 7:45pm Top

>98 thorold:

Next year it will come in chrome gold and be slightly bigger. (Or, smaller.)

Sep 22, 2015, 8:28pm Top

I don't understand what you are saying about no android app. I do have an app on my android phone. It downloads my catalog and then I can search by author, tags, etc. It is perfect for keeping me from buying duplicate books as long as I remember to download the latest version of my catalog.

Sep 22, 2015, 8:53pm Top

>104 kcanderson: It is an independent app not developed by LT. I use it as well and it does help on eliminating the duplicate 'thing' . "You are not a true collector unless you have bought the same book twice more than a few times!!!" I don't know who told me that but in my unscientific survey of known collectors, it is a true statement.

Sep 23, 2015, 12:52am Top

There are both Android and iOS apps developed by LT users. They don't do what this will do (and I'm looking forward to the Android version - mobile is useful, but apps are usually much easier to use), but they do do offline access, which is the piece missing from the official LT app (so far). I don't think I'll give up my Offline Library Browser even if/when there's an official LT Android app - we'll see what it does when it comes, of course.

Sep 23, 2015, 5:31am Top

I guess now that I have a phone that can do most Android apps I should look into that one. Since according to Tim in the RSI iOS thread, "cell coverage is everywhere" therefore offline is useless to him. Who cares what everyone else needs, eh.

Sep 23, 2015, 8:13am Top

Ummm. For iOS users, there's an unofficial offline app already - it is paid, yes, and I haven't tried it out, but at least it exists?

LT Catalog by Jomnius

Sep 23, 2015, 9:55am Top

I am an Android developer and the concerns about testing on thousands of devices are just not true. And some Android users are very passionate about apps. It is more of an income disparity than passion. Also I've worked fro companies that do iOS and Android and is much easier to develop for Android tablets than for iPad. All you have tio do i make the layout a bit different for a tablet on Android, none of the functionality has to change.

Sep 23, 2015, 12:37pm Top

Oh, yes!!!
Am I reading this correctly?

Easy upload of book covers (take a pic with my phone and pretty much hit a button)! Woo hoo!

Barcode scanning with my phone! Yes!

Easy phone ISBN entry and lookup! Woop!

Sep 23, 2015, 3:03pm Top

>109 mikez23: I've developed quite a few apps for Android and iOS and I have to say that you are over-simplifying the issues on Android with regards to devices. It really depends on what technologies and OS versions you are targeting. The fragmentation of Android isn't a myth. It's not the end of the world by any means, but it certainly isn't a myth.

As for the tablet thing, you can do the same thing for iPads too. People just don't because, well, in general it's frowned upon in the iOS community because....well....not to be too harsh but iOS users/developers tend to be more demanding about app design—they expect apps to be customized for the format; there's less expectation of that on Android tablets because it's never been stressed. On the iOS side it's actually part of the HIG. There is definite iOS bias by developers going on there though, so it's not because Android/iOS is better/worse.

I know that this is a religious conversation so I'll just end by saying that I pray to both gods.

Sep 23, 2015, 3:09pm Top

Not being a developer, I'm curious about this submission process.

I take it you pull up to the window (figuratively), drop it off, and then are left waiting by the phone?
No ability to log into some account and track progress of the submission?
No confirmation the application was received or all necessary stamps, forms, taxes, documentary evidence was received and is in order?


Sep 23, 2015, 4:14pm Top

>112 elenchus:

It's a black box. A black box we're staring at all day long.

Sep 23, 2015, 4:29pm Top

So very Cupertino.

Sep 23, 2015, 4:53pm Top

Exactly. Our worry is that we're caught in a perfect storm of IOS 9/9.1 and that Chinese xcode hack. Ugh.

Sep 23, 2015, 5:02pm Top

>114 elenchus:

But it's such a pretty black box!

Sep 23, 2015, 6:59pm Top

>116 lorax:

I resisted making that same crack, but it's so deserved.

Sep 23, 2015, 7:01pm Top

And shiny.

I'm reminded of an old architecture student joke:
If you can't make it well, make it big.
If you can't make it big, make it shiny.
If you can't make it either, make it both.

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 4:47pm Top

We’ve got good news and bad news about the app.

The bad news is that our app was rejected. The original version had links out to LibraryThing.com—specifically where members could upgrade to paid accounts. This was a major reason the app was rejected.

The good news is that—now that it’s returned from review with feedback—we know what we need to do to fix the app.

These fixes will only take a matter of days, and we’re resubmitting it with the changes early next week.

We're sorry for the delay, and are of course disappointed. I'll be sure to let you all know once it's been submitted again.

Sep 24, 2015, 4:49pm Top

So it's still two weeks away :-)

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 4:53pm Top

>120 bnielsen: Well, if you count Apple's review turnaround time, technically, you're probably right. But it won't be in our hands for those two weeks.

Sep 24, 2015, 4:57pm Top

Wait what? I've always known apple is ridiculous but... the official app of a place...is not allowed to link back to said place?! Are you kidding me? Are THEY kidding me?! -_-

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 5:04pm Top

So, to clarify, they objected to two things:

1. The app routed new-account action through LibraryThing itself. Lots of apps do this, actually. But we're going to change that--moving account-creation inside the app, and password-forgot too. That's fairly easy--1-2 days of work.

2. The app linked to LibraryThing, where you can upgrade accounts. We didn't say "upgrade your account" or anything. But it was possible, via following the "profile" and "edit account" links. Apple doesn't want apps doing that--it's the thing they argued with the Kindle app over. The cynical way of putting this is that they want their cut of any money the app might make.

We're working on our response. We may take away those buttons. And/or we may add in-app account upgrading. It's unclear if doing #2 will allow us to link in, at least from somewhere in the app. We're perfectly happy to give Apple money, but we don't want to be forced to remove all links to the LT site.

Frankly, we should have anticipated #2. I should have, at least.

Sep 24, 2015, 5:01pm Top

>122 .Monkey.: I hear you. One thing they also cited was apps not being allowed to link outside to things like FAQ. Which just strikes me as absurd.

Sep 24, 2015, 5:05pm Top

>123 timspalding:

If the FAQ could eventually lead to a purchase link.

Ultimately, complaining about this is fruitless. But we should try to figure out what they're going to do, before we submit again.

Sep 24, 2015, 5:06pm Top

Reason #973651472 that I do not touch their products with a 10ft pole!

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 5:14pm Top

Apple aren't saying that. What they are saying is if you offer paid subscriptions or upgrades via links out from an app but not in the app itself (and thereby incurring Apple's 30% cut), then that is verboten. Normal links back that do not try to go around this rule are fine. It's why you can't buy kindle books from inside the kindle app, or comics via the comixology app any more. It's the cost of being carried in the app store *if you charge money through the app*, and personally, I think that's fair enough.

EDIT: I was writing this reply when replies 123-125 were posted, which is why it's sort of repeating what Tim was saying.

Sep 24, 2015, 5:09pm Top

So why don't you just remove the upgrade from the App? If someone wants to upgrade, they can go to the web site and do it there -- the Audible app is like that - you cannot buy the books or change membership or anything money related from inside...

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 5:15pm Top

>128 AnnieMod: As Tim >123 timspalding: and I both mentioned, we have plans for how to fix this. It's a matter of putting them in place and then letting Apple review the app (again).

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 5:18pm Top

I agree with AnnieMod. Just remove any mention of paid upgrades. The likelihood of anyone using the LibraryThing app without knowing the website is pretty small, and even those that do will discover the site early quickly. Job done.

It's annoying to be rejected, but I'm sure you'll get there soon :)

Back to waiting (im)patiently…

Sep 24, 2015, 5:17pm Top

The Kindle app on Android lets you buy things. Managing subscriptions is hard to stop.

Sep 24, 2015, 5:21pm Top

>127 ninthart:

I don't particularly object. The trick is, the app requires SOME linking into the website, and the website has links. I don't think it's enough if you can do it BOTH places. The Kindle app has NO links to the Amazon website for this reason.

So why don't you just remove the upgrade from the App? If someone wants to upgrade, they can go to the web site and do it there -- the Audible app is like that - you cannot buy the books or change membership or anything money related from inside...

Because it links into LT.

Sep 24, 2015, 5:42pm Top

>132 timspalding:

I think an in-app upgrade might be the best way round this then. Just charge extra to get over the 30% Apple levy. I believe this is what Spotify does. Pretty much everyone subscribes via the site anyway, but it gets around the problem.

By the way, my reply >127 ninthart: wasn't aimed at you. I already had the impression you didn't particularly object by the way you didn't throw your toys out of the pram at being rejected :)

Sep 24, 2015, 5:43pm Top

>129 lorannen:

Typing while everyone posting and me getting distracted while typing :)

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 5:48pm Top

The problem is that we linked out to the Profile page from the app's settings page, there was a button to see your profile on LT.com.

Well, that profile page then has a link to upgrade. So we didn't necessarily LINK to the upgrade page, but it can be navigated to roundabout from a link we did provide. Yes, it's idiotic because it's the web and yada yada...but we can't fight city hall on this one.

And yes, there are absolutely no links out to Amazon.com from the Kindle app. Amazon solved the issue completely by doing that. We will likely resort to the same thing and just remove those links to your profile in the app.

We are making the changes and will resubmit as quickly as possible.

ETA: Oh, yes, we are likely going to do the in-app purchase of LT accounts too.

Sep 24, 2015, 7:39pm Top

I don't have anything to add to this discussion except substantial appreciation for your work to implement this. I am an iPhone user because it became the defacto default for my needs.

Although my use of LibraryThing is mostly a promise to myself, LT gives me great comfort as a tool waiting in the wings for whatever moment.

Program on, and thank you.

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 8:19pm Top

>97 timepiece: I've been saying that for over a year, but I'm told it isn't a reasonable thing to ask for. I decided to use a different site for cataloging so I can see my catalog when I'm out shopping. I still love LT, but now I don't have to worry about buying duplicates or forgetting what is on my wishlist.

Edited: Sep 24, 2015, 9:29pm Top

>137 JackieCarroll: I wonder whether we need anything like that at all. Surely all we really need when shopping is the ability to export a listing in PDF format. Then - problem solved. Perhaps the app might let us do that? We wouldn't need a link to the site, just a button that sends a list to our email address of a selected collection (or all collections).

Sep 24, 2015, 10:24pm Top

>138 shikari: The problem with that is big libraries - PDFs are somewhat complex to open and search on my phone, in my experience. I have over 7000 books (in various collections - not all owned), which makes a big file and requires some complex searches to check if I have _this_ book that I might buy.

But aside from the file being huge, that seems a reasonable way to do it.

Sep 25, 2015, 2:30am Top

>125 timspalding: Complaining to Apple is fruitless? ;)

Sep 25, 2015, 2:35am Top

>140 anglemark: You'd have thought he could a-peel.

Sep 25, 2015, 4:53am Top

Sep 25, 2015, 9:27am Top

>138 shikari: You can do that already if you are using LT in-browser on your phone. Just click the little "print" button at the top of your catalog and you'll be redirected to a printable version of your catalog. Then you can go to Menu > Print and save as a PDF.

Sep 25, 2015, 10:33am Top

PDF? I would think some kind of spreadsheet would be a much more logical format. You could change your sorting and all that. And between Excel, Google Sheets, QuickOffice, and DocumentsToGo (and others, I'm sure), I would think everyone could get an app.

I've never understood why people default to PDF format - it's the least flexible format out there. It's designed for print. Literally. Certainly not usable on mobile most of the time.

Sep 25, 2015, 10:51am Top

>144 timepiece: I agree. Almost anything else is better than PDF.

Sep 25, 2015, 11:53am Top

I tried it in Excel format, but I couldn't open the file. I'm sure it's me since it works for others. I'm not very good with files and stuff. I have Excel and the Google Docs equivalent on my phone, but it just won't open. Anyway, I've got another solution that works just fine, so it's no big deal.

PDF does sound like it would be hard to use. You can't sort it, can you?

Sep 25, 2015, 12:50pm Top

To use the Excel file on my iPad I had to first open it on my big computer, where I got rid of most of the columns. Wish I could remember what I did after that, as I need to update the April file.

Sep 25, 2015, 2:53pm Top

I beg yr pardon - I've got a problem which doesn't have any relation with this strain, but I hope to get an answer from the LT staff.
Just this evening, my catalog lost contact with the program. I cannot search an item from "my books" and the search window shows only author/titles and no more tags etc. Anyway, when searching the screen shows only the headings of the book catalog columns: Author / Title / Date etc and not the lists below. It's the first time I'm meeting with this problem after quite a few years of association to LT.
Thank you very much for an answer.

Sep 25, 2015, 3:54pm Top

If one clicks on a button labeled PRINT, wouldn't one expect to get a file format designed for print? Literally?

Sep 25, 2015, 4:07pm Top

>150 manatree: Of course. But I think they were suggesting using the export function to get a spreadsheet file instead.

Edited: Sep 25, 2015, 8:25pm Top

>143 norabelle414: Unfortunately the LT Catalog app seems unable to process my Unicode-rich library, and I've sadly given up on it (being able to see the first nine volumes of 4600 is of limited utility). I suggest PDF only because it's easy to work with: you can easily open it in iBooks or in a 3rd-party app and search without too much difficulty (>146 JackieCarroll: no sorting, no). Spreadsheet files need a spreadsheet app on the device and we don't all have one. And of course we can already export an xls file from desktop LibraryThing. But you can't search these files without a 3rd-party app, and the same is true (at least for me on iOS 7, let me know if that's changed) for text files in Mail and Safari (mad, maddening, but—unless I'm doing something wrong—how the iPhone/iPad works).

Sep 25, 2015, 11:10pm Top

>152 shikari: I'm not arguing against PDFs! I think it's a very useful format. I have trouble with spreadsheets on my phone as well. I was merely pointing out that you can already save a PDF of your catalog in your browser; you don't need to wait for the LT app to be approved in order to do that.

Edited: Sep 26, 2015, 8:43am Top

>153 norabelle414: Sorry, I didn't get your point before. Hmmm. Can one print to PDF now on an iPhone? I only have the option to print to AirPrint.

Sep 26, 2015, 10:47am Top

>153 norabelle414: Ah, sorry. I don't know anything about iPhones.

Sep 27, 2015, 5:24am Top

I'm especially looking forward to the option of taking pictures with my phone and loading them up straight from there - so much easier than using a scanner! I have so many books where I need to upload a cover, and I think from now I'll wait for the app before doing any new ones. I'm really excited about it! Fingers crossed everything will go smooth now!

Edited: Oct 5, 2015, 10:32pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 1, 2015, 2:32pm Top

Update: We resubmitted the app late last night. Currently waiting for review.

Oct 1, 2015, 3:33pm Top

Fingers crossed!

Oct 1, 2015, 3:40pm Top

C'mon, black box, treat us right!

Oct 1, 2015, 3:46pm Top

And toes. :)

Oct 5, 2015, 10:30pm Top

Any updates?

Oct 5, 2015, 11:35pm Top

Still waiting…

Oct 7, 2015, 10:24am Top

I am looking forward to trying the LT app and also the new APIs.
I sometimes entertain myself after I get bored waiting for one of my iOS apps to clear review by visiting the following site:

Oct 7, 2015, 10:59am Top


Oct 9, 2015, 3:54pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 3:59pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 9, 2015, 3:59pm Top

Sorry, timspalding *blush*

Oct 9, 2015, 4:00pm Top

No problem. Apologies on my part.

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 4:21pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 9, 2015, 4:27pm Top


Oct 9, 2015, 4:30pm Top

Probably something posted to the wrong thread. I wouldn't worry about it.

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 4:36pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 6:56pm Top

OOOoooooo, I think I see the app in the App Store!

ETA: *image removed*

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 4:45pm Top

I am downloading now!!
Edited to add: I has it, precious! Now I need to go acquire some books to add with the app!

Oct 9, 2015, 4:46pm Top

You weren't supposed to see that. Tim announced it in the Beta group but the app has a UI bug on iPhone 5s I think. He said that word leaks out he may need to take it down from the store until the fixed version makes it through the process.

Oct 9, 2015, 4:53pm Top

Oh, man! Well, I will await developments, then.

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 5:41pm Top

Yeah, the cat is out of the bag. Couldn't stop it.

So, yes, the app is now up. We won't take it down.

Unfortunately, there's a bug--it looks "letter boxed" on iPhone 5. That's terrible, because about half of all iPhone are 5s. We have a fix in, and updates are fast, but, well, it's Friday of Columbus weekend, so the Apple staff may not approve it instantly…

So, go and download it. If you have a 5, it won't look that great.

Either way, try to be excited when we truly announce it, on Monday or Tuesday. :) If you tweet, tweet it. If you Facebook, we need your help. If all you can do is scream out the window, we'd appreciate it.

Oct 9, 2015, 5:41pm Top

>176 jjwilson61:

try to be excited when we truly announce it

I'm practicing jumping up and down with glee as we speak.

Oct 9, 2015, 6:00pm Top

I have a 5 - seems fine to me. I look forward to it being even better when the fix is in :)

Many thanks to Tim & co!

Oct 9, 2015, 6:11pm Top

>180 tardis:

Do you have the black bars? I gather there are some versions of the 5 that don't have it.

Oct 9, 2015, 6:13pm Top

As I said in my deleted message >170 henkl: it's working great!

Oct 9, 2015, 6:14pm Top

Well, there is black on the top and bottom - the app doesn't extend full the height of the screen, if that's what you mean. As long as it works, I can live with that until it gets fixed.

Oct 9, 2015, 6:18pm Top

>183 tardis:

Right. It should go from top to bottom on all phones.

Oct 9, 2015, 8:46pm Top

Thank you! I think that this will finally give me the impetus and ability to finish scanning in my book collection.

I am sure you will get many feature requests, and I know y'all no doubt already have an internal road map, but I would like to make one request that hopefully might make it in soon....

Can we set the scan to "omit duplicates"? It is going to be easier for me at this point to just rescan everything and I have very few actual duplicates, so I would like to just say "omit duplicates" like you would with an import.

Thanks! And y'all keep up the great work.

Oct 9, 2015, 9:26pm Top

I will wait, patiently, until you announce it. Then I will try to shout it from the roof top. You will be the third app ever (of the third party type) on my iPhone (I have Kindle, and Square). I'm genuinely looking forward to it. :-}

Oct 9, 2015, 11:27pm Top

I like it! No black bars here even though I have an iPhone 5. Perhaps because I upgraded to IOS 9?

Oct 9, 2015, 11:50pm Top

I have an "old" iPhone 6 and the app is glorious and works great, right down to adding covers. Thanks you Tim et al.

Oct 10, 2015, 12:45am Top

> 187

No, I upgraded to iOS 9, and have the black bars, though I must say that they aren't very noticeable. When I first opened the app, I thought, "What was Tim talking about? I don't see any black bars!", and then I looked again.

Oct 10, 2015, 4:49am Top

Got it, looks good on an iPad Mini 2 in 1x. Could do with it being full screen, but I can live with the black borders.

A minor niggle - would it not be sensible to be able to switch between collections by tapping on the collection name and bringing up a drop down instead of having to go back to the home page and selecting there? It's mildly annoying to have to tap multiple times when you're in a book record.

My main wish is to be able to access my catalogue offline. Second hand bookshops and market stalls by and large do not have access to wifi, and my mobile devices are wifi only (apart from my ancient phone which is Pay as you go and hence not used for data).

While I approve of convergence in general, I don't want to make calls on a fondleslab and don't want to wreck my eyesight squinting at a tiny screen.

Edited: Oct 10, 2015, 9:28am Top

>189 lilithcat: OK. I see what you mean. I do have the black bars. No big deal except I guess they take up space.

Oct 10, 2015, 9:40am Top

Awww, this is so great!!! I just uploaded the first cover via the app, it merely took seconds! So much easier than all the scanning! I am really excited and can't wait to do more uploading when I have more free time on my hands.

I use an iPhone 5 and I think I wouldn't even have noticed the bars if I hadn't read about them here. It's good if it gets fixed, but it's not a major problem either.

I think the app really is an asset to LibraryThing!!!

Oct 10, 2015, 10:48am Top

Yaayyy!! I've been waiting years for this. It's so fast and easy!

Oct 10, 2015, 3:10pm Top

I don't know if this is an issue with the app, or iOS9, but when I do a search using cellular data rather than WiFi (which doesn't exist where I buy books, like today's outdoor booksale), I get a message every single time I start a search telling me I'm not connected to a network, and I have to click "retry" to get to search results.

This does not happen with any other site/app that I've tried, so I think it must be this app. It's really annoying.

Oct 10, 2015, 9:39pm Top

I have iPhone5 running iOS 9.0.2 and app does have black bars top and bottom, which do look bad when thinking how apps are supposed to work nowadays. This causes some screen estate problems, for example in barcode scanner view.

Bug 1: you are not logged in, but looking at login request view. Close app, open app, screen is blank. Press Next (that seems to refresh screen) and top of screen goes over top of device screen. Press Go to reset it back to as it's supposed to be.

Bug 2: could you please check TIFF file usage in app, looks like something forgotten

Bug 3: scan a book with iPhone5, you can barely see scanning result. Maybe the screen size fix will make it usable, but just a request to check it.

Ok, going back to iPhone6 now :)

Oct 10, 2015, 9:53pm Top

Bug 4: please check tableView cell recycling in Add to Catalog view. Just scrolling the list up and down seems to push thumbnail sizes towards zero. Basically in any list anywhere e.g. Recently added. Same thing, when doing pull to refresh. Extremely annoying, right after getting excited that book cover image is finally available.

Bug 5: offline usage has some minor UI issues

Oct 11, 2015, 4:25am Top

>195 jouni: I can confirm bug 1 also on iOS 9.0.2 and iPhone 6+

Oct 11, 2015, 11:55am Top

>194 lilithcat: I can't use this app because I have an android phone, but I used to have the search problem when using the Goodreads app in the bookstore. I discovered that if I turn the wi-fi off when I shop I don't have to search twice. If this works it's a decent workaround until a better solution comes along.

Oct 11, 2015, 1:07pm Top

>198 JackieCarroll:

Thanks, I'll give that a try!

Oct 11, 2015, 3:39pm Top

Thanks for the bug reports. We'll get on them and get them fixed. Being a 1.0 release we realize there will be some things that have fallen through the cracks but hopefully they will all be minor.

We'll also work hard to also include new features as quickly as we can.

Oct 11, 2015, 4:29pm Top

I'm glad this has now made progress and I hope an android app is now close as well.

Oct 11, 2015, 7:25pm Top

I just got a new 6s Friday, complements of my job, and this was the first app I installed. It looks good. I like the cover uploader. Its also amazingly simple to add books with the barcode scanner.

There are two things I would like to have on it: 1) A way to take inventory with it. 2) A way to sort my books on the view catalog screen. Even if I can only pick one catagory for the sort it would be nice.

Anyway, its great! Thanks!

Oct 11, 2015, 9:37pm Top

I downloaded the app earlier on my ipad, and it works very smoothly. I haven't added any books or covers through it, but I'll do so for the next book i buy!

Oct 11, 2015, 9:37pm Top

>202 QuesterofTruth:

Its also amazingly simple to add books with the barcode scanner.

Is it? Please explain it to me in words of one syllable, because I can't figure it out.

Oct 11, 2015, 10:06pm Top

>204 lilithcat:

Click on the barcode symbol at the right corner of the Add Books screen. If you had not done that before, it will ask you if you allow the application to use your camera. Then point the camera to the book, with the barcode showing in the area between the brackets - it does not need to fill the area or to be extremely centered from what I saw so far - just to be fully inside. Click "done". Book added.

Oct 12, 2015, 5:50am Top

Ooh. Ok, will go and visit the App Store now.

Edited: Oct 12, 2015, 12:25pm Top

>204 lilithcat: It really is pretty much as simple as Add Books->Tap Barcode button at the top->point your phone at the barcode. If you're having problems tell us what you're doing and we'll see if we can figure out a fix.

One caveat: if you have an OLD phone/ipad (iPhone 3G or iPad 2) then you might have problems because those cameras didn't have close-focusing ability. That's not something that any app can solve, it's a hardware/physics issue. They just can't focus on objects at close distances. Every device since those should do just fine, with newer devices doing slightly better because of sensor and lens improvements.

On my iPhone 6+ I can scan barcodes that are so small I have problems reading the numbers. I have one here that I've used for testing that is ridiculously small—like 1 inch total size—and it scans it.

I've noticed that the scanner does a slightly better job at finding the barcode if it's in the top half of of the square but it's pretty quick regardless. I can go through an entire shelf in a minute or two.

Oct 12, 2015, 12:26pm Top

>202 QuesterofTruth:
1) A way to take inventory
In your mind, what's the process there? We've thought about it and have something in mind but I'd like to get a completely fresh angle on it.

Oct 12, 2015, 12:31pm Top

>195 jouni:

TIFF file usage: Not sure exactly what you mean here. Do you mean using TIFFs for book covers via your photo library?

Also not sure what you mean by Bug 4 in #196. Do you mean the list of Recently Added books in Add to Catalog?

Oct 12, 2015, 12:36pm Top

>205 AnnieMod:, >207 conceptDawg:

Thanks! I tried it, and it works when the barcode is clear. I've just been to a used book sale, and many of the books are old with very faded and worn barcodes, and it doesn't work very well with those.

Oct 12, 2015, 12:41pm Top

Ah. Yes. That might do it too. The scanner is close to miraculous in the big scheme of things but it does have its limits. :)
Barcodes that are marred, faded, or have pen/pencil marks through them might also present problems.

Edited: Oct 12, 2015, 1:11pm Top

Hmm, tried a few more books*, and it works on some but not on others, even some with clear barcodes. I'm doing exactly the same thing!

I also noticed when editing that this doesn't capture language.

*It was $4 bag day at the sale, and I brought a very large and sturdy cloth bag, so I'll be at this for a while!

Oct 12, 2015, 1:11pm Top

doesn't capture language

What do you mean? Language is imported from the source if there is a language. If not, not. It works like LibraryThing generally.

Oct 12, 2015, 1:13pm Top

>213 timspalding:

I noticed when I used the barcode scan to add a book that the language didn't show up. So I tried adding it here using Overcat and the language did show up. Maybe because I edited the first entry to show it?

Oct 12, 2015, 1:17pm Top

Can you give me the book? I'll try it. Maybe it's breaking somehow.

Oct 12, 2015, 1:47pm Top

So what source is it using?

Oct 12, 2015, 2:22pm Top

Is it possible to view my catalog in order of reading dates?

Edited: Oct 12, 2015, 3:07pm Top

>202 QuesterofTruth: & >208 conceptDawg: I would love this function too. My phone is a heck of a lot faster than my crummy laptop with the CueCat plugged in. I love the inventory feature on LT now and would think the app functionality would be the same.

1. Snap pic of bar code
2. Mark book as present or prompt to add if not in catalog
3. Return to bar code scanning screen

ETA: Although inventorying with my phone won't be as cute as my 6 year old niece helping me.

Edited: Oct 12, 2015, 3:30pm Top

I can't seem to scan in my books. I'm on an iPhone 6. I can see the white rectangle on the gray background. It stays like that. I tried pressing the scan button and still nothing happens. What am I doing wrong? :(.

Never mind. I figured it out. I changed the setting to allow the app to use my camera. Now it works perfectly. Voila!

This technology is amazing!!

Oct 12, 2015, 3:47pm Top

>200 conceptDawg:

I know, it's it great. Progress!

Oct 12, 2015, 3:47pm Top

Please remember that, when we announce it for real, you have pretend to be surprised and enthusiastic!

Oct 12, 2015, 4:15pm Top

*practices surprised face in mirror* but I don't have to pretend to be enthusiastic ;-)

>219 leahbird: That's exactly how I would love that to work. My books are all over the house - I would really like a quick inventory option that worked that way on the app.

Oct 12, 2015, 4:32pm Top

>223 klarusu: How about adding a GPS location for the book while your at it (only half joking). At the very least it might be nice to be able to quickly modify the tag or comments (or whatever you use to locate your books) with the bookshelf you are currently inventorying.

Oct 12, 2015, 4:51pm Top

>224 jjwilson61: Considering the large number of books I have stashed in my office at work (my alternative enabling space), GPS location isn't so crazy ;-)

Oct 12, 2015, 6:20pm Top

Has anyone else added tags to a book in-app, and had them not update in your catalog when looking on a computer? That has been the only issue I've had so far. Except for the barcode scanner not working, but I have an iPad 2 so that's probably the issue.

I can't stress enough how much I love the cover uploader! I had so much fun uploading pictures last night as I inventoried!

Oct 12, 2015, 6:31pm Top

>226 AngelaB86:

Has anyone else added tags to a book in-app, and had them not update in your catalog when looking on a computer?

I did, but then I realized that I hadn't hit "save"!

Oct 12, 2015, 7:23pm Top

Hmm, I could've sworn I did, but I'll try again to be sure. Thanks!

Edited: Oct 12, 2015, 8:36pm Top

I agree with leahbird, with a few twists:

1. Select "Inventory." from main menu.
2. App shows the same screen as the catalog with the Title changed to "Inventory." Next to the search box is a barcode button (it could be added to the catalog page too I think.)
3. Users can search with text using the search box, click on covers or listed books to cycle through the inventory status for that book, or click on the barcode button to scan.
If just the cover list is shown then a small inventory circle (grey, green, or red) is shown over-layed in one corner of the cover. Clicking on the cover ONLY changes the inventory status.
If the List view is used, then the inventory circle is to the right of the cover. Clicking on the right side of the listing goes to the details page for the book (or whatever the catalog does) but the left side changes the inventory status.
If users search or use barcode scanner, it works similar to taking inventory on the computer: Mark book as present or prompt to add if not in catalog.
This could be done in the same screen (at least on my iPhone 6s there is enough room to have the scanner and the results on the same screen.)
4. Return to bar code scanning screen, if you were there and left to let user select a book.

I am going to be storing most of my books in order based on "Other call number system." It would be nice to be able to sort books (inventory or catalog) based on one of the columns available in the website view. Then I could take inventory by sorting my books the same way that I have them on the shelves and mark items without having to search.

Edited to add:


I may not be surprised when its announced, but I will definitely be enthusiastic, will that suffice?

Also I would be more than willing to pay for this app. Maybe I should just donate? (https://www.librarything.com/more/store -- at the bottom)


Oct 13, 2015, 10:50am Top

>224 jjwilson61:
You must have a huge house!

Any news about an android app? I would like to be surprised and enthousiastic, too! ;-)

Oct 13, 2015, 12:23pm Top

>218 Doondeck: Yes, there are a couple of ways to sort by reading dates. In "your books" you can click on the icon that shows two arrows, one pointing up and the other pointing down. This brings up a form that lets you choose any two things to sort by. Or you can use the "Settings" button to customize what columns display in "your books", and then simply click on the column header of the column you want to sort by.

Oct 14, 2015, 3:15am Top

>231 Foretopman: On LT, or in the app? Doondeck was asking about in the new iOS app.

Edited: Oct 14, 2015, 5:56am Top

Could you add a GPS feature that tells me where in the house the kids have left the book this time?

ETA : just remembered to get the app & am now sitting here in public with a huge grin on my face. Woo woo!!

Oct 14, 2015, 9:11am Top

>232 jjmcgaffey: oops. my mistake

Oct 14, 2015, 1:39pm Top

>234 Foretopman: I've (mis)answered questions too - when you jump to the new messages in a thread, it's easy to not realize what thread you're in. But it would have been nice if the app had sorting like that.

Oct 15, 2015, 9:13am Top

>235 jjmcgaffey: I knew what thread I was in; I made the unwarranted assumption that Doondeck didn't know what thread he/she was in.

Oct 15, 2015, 1:48pm Top

As far as I know, I wasn't in any thread. Just looking to get an answer. From what you folks say, there is no way to sort the catalog by reading date.

Oct 15, 2015, 3:49pm Top

>237 Doondeck: Erm, yes, you are in this thread, about the LT iOS app. So are you asking about the app, or about the regular site?

Oct 16, 2015, 6:30am Top

>237 Doondeck: Now everyone's confused! >231 Foretopman: explained how to sort by reading date (assuming you've entered it) on the LibraryThing site; there's no way (currently) to sort by reading dates in the iOS app.

>236 Foretopman: Or I made the unwarranted assumption that s/he did...

Oct 16, 2015, 5:19pm Top

I love the app; haven't had time to play around with it much yet, though. Will definitely be trying the cover upload and am looking forward to it!
My catalog in the app is sorted by entry date - is there a way to sort alphabetically? Catalog sorted by date isn't really useful to me ...

Oct 16, 2015, 9:06pm Top

I'm sitting on my couch and I am to lazy to get up and scan a book.
This is just an FYI. The LibraryThing app is now flanked by Instagram and Fallout Shelter.
Oh what a glorious thing to discover on a Friday. There goes my battery.....

Oct 16, 2015, 9:56pm Top

I used it at a book sale today, and it worked beautifully! Much quicker and easier than searching my catalogue in my phone's browser.

Oct 17, 2015, 4:01am Top

Get the dev. team that ported Adobe's Photoshop Touch to Android from iOS to port this.

Oct 17, 2015, 11:28am Top

>243 vy0123:

Why, is it really good?

Edited: Oct 17, 2015, 1:30pm Top

Add me to the list requesting sort by something other than entry date, please. Alphabetical by author works for me, if it has to be fixed, but user defined would be better.

(Hope I'm coherent; it's 1 a.m. and I've just watched Wales being pipped at the post by the Springboks in the World Cup quarter finals. I am not a happy bunny.)

Oct 17, 2015, 1:41pm Top

#245 - I have an android phone, so am waiting for the android app, but I too hope when that comes that it contains a user defined sort (or at the least alphabetical by author). Entry date is about the least useful fixed sort for the majority of users, I would have thought.

and yes, your message is perfectly coherent;)

Oct 17, 2015, 1:59pm Top


Oct 17, 2015, 5:15pm Top

#244 You can't tell the difference. I can't. The keyboard was better on Android until iOS performed WYSIWYG on the shift. That was when I switched.

Oct 18, 2015, 12:24am Top

Add me to the list requesting sort by something other than entry date, please. Alphabetical by author works for me, if it has to be fixed, but user defined would be better.

Can you spell out for me the "use case" a bit more. What are you looking to do, exactly? Browse your catalog? Give me a story about how this would be useful to you.

>248 vy0123:

I don't know. I haven't played with Photoshop Touch on either device.

Oct 18, 2015, 1:32am Top

#249 The point I failed to get across is the possibility for you port to Android as was done in the example app raised.

Edited: Oct 18, 2015, 2:28am Top

>249 timspalding: Well, I'm not highly technical, but I see the app, as opposed to the website, being useful to me when I'm in a bookshop trying to remember if I've bought a particular book before. If my catalogue is on the app, then I don't have to find a connection and wait for it to load each page of my catalogue that I want to check. I also don't have to print out a hard copy of my catalogue each time I update it and carry it around (not that I do that).

I'm assuming that once my catalogue is linked to the app, I can just whip out my phone, open the app and browse through it. But if the app is organised by entry date or not easily searchable, then it is (for me) as awkward to use as the website.

(ETA: I mean, if I can just look up the author or book title rather than remembering when I might have bought it, that would be more useful. I know different people have different criteria, and they use the settings on the website to sort by things other than author. Maybe the app could pick up from their preferred settings?)

I haven't tried using the app for entering new books onto my catalogue yet, but since I've already got the bulk of it on LT, using the website isn't a big hassle since I only need to put books on that I've bought recently.

Or have I got the wrong end of things?

Oct 18, 2015, 2:31am Top

And something else I was wondering about, which I haven't tested yet. I have two accounts on LT, and I share one with other librarians at the club library we volunteer at. I assume I can just log out of one and log in to the other on the app as well as the website?

Oct 18, 2015, 2:58am Top

I can't get catalogue search to work in the app (iOS 9.02, 5S and Mini 2) - whatever search term I try, even a term that is visible in one of the top few books in the "your catalogue" view just produces "no results". I tried it both on cellular and wifi. Does it have to do a special indexing step before you can search?

Barcode scanning and cover grabbing both work well for me, my only minor gripe with the cover grabbing is that the bars at the top and bottom of the camera window with the flash and shutter buttons come out opaque on the 5S, so they hide part of the picture and lining up covers involves a bit of guesswork. But the results look fine. (At least with diffuse natural light, and it doesn't come much more diffuse than a foggy October day in Holland...)

Oct 18, 2015, 5:43am Top

What about translations into foreign languages?
German? Spanish? French? etc.

I would like to help.
Who else?

Oct 18, 2015, 6:27am Top

Moi, naturellement.

Oct 18, 2015, 1:25pm Top

>253 thorold:
I had the same problem, but I was able to get results from Your Library, Currently Reading, Wishlist, Read but unowned and To read.

When I was checking to see if I already owned a book, I just went to Your library and typed in a key word in the title and it pulled right up.

Oct 19, 2015, 9:38am Top

>251 humouress:

Wouldn't searchability be more useful than different ordering, though? I mean, sure, if it's sorted by something where you know where what you're looking for falls in the ordering, search-by-browse is much faster than if it's effectively randomly ordered, but actually searching would seem to be far preferable. Is the catalog not really searchable on the app?

Oct 19, 2015, 9:41am Top

It appears to be searchable, however when I enter search terms, I don't get any results.

Oct 19, 2015, 10:02am Top

It looks to me like search works within individual collections, but not in "All collections." I've got the developers looking at it right now...

Edited: Oct 19, 2015, 10:57am Top

The search issue is fixed. Sorry about that but we changed something on the server while working on some other code.

Oct 19, 2015, 10:57am Top

>259 ablachly:
It's working perfectly for me now, both in All Collections and in individual collections. Search results popping up already as I type.

The app still says Build 55, so the problem was most likely an indexing delay (I initially tried it right after installing the app). Or the developers have changed something in the back end since yesterday.

Oct 19, 2015, 1:42pm Top

Okay, it's out!

See https://www.librarything.com/topic/199467

Fake your enthusiasm!

Oct 19, 2015, 1:56pm Top

Wow! Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!

Oct 19, 2015, 2:01pm Top

Put it over there, please :)

Oct 19, 2015, 2:33pm Top

Newbie question: do I re-acquire the updated app from the Apple Store, or does it update for anyone with the app already installed?

Oct 19, 2015, 2:35pm Top

I've already had one update.

Oct 19, 2015, 2:50pm Top

As with other apps, you need to choose to update it. If you go to the app store, it'll tell you what apps have updates. For example, Uber wants me to update…

Oct 19, 2015, 3:16pm Top

>267 timspalding: Ugh, Uber came pre-installed on my phone and can't be uninstalled. I get my small revenge by refusing to update it.

Oct 19, 2015, 3:18pm Top

Ah, I have to pull it, it doesn't push it to me. Thanks.

Oct 19, 2015, 5:16pm Top

For us Android users there is a nice little offline app so you can wander into those book shops and libraries where internet is problematic: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kinverarity.offlinebookshelfbr...

Oct 19, 2015, 5:29pm Top

>265 elenchus: Actually, there is an option in Settings that configures whether or not apps auto-update or you will need to do it manually. So I can't answer your question directly. Either way, you can check the app store and update if it needs it.

Oct 19, 2015, 5:30pm Top

Really? Is it default-on or off?

Oct 19, 2015, 5:30pm Top

Even if you have that option turned on it doesn't immediately update apps when they come out. iOS tries to be smart about it and does them in batches. It also only updates apps while you are on WiFi.

Oct 19, 2015, 5:30pm Top

>272 timspalding: I have no idea about that. I'd guess OFF.

Oct 19, 2015, 5:32pm Top

>274 conceptDawg: >272 timspalding: Nope, default on. I just disabled it after factory resetting my iPhone.

Oct 19, 2015, 5:33pm Top

Settings -> App and iTunes Stores -> Automatic Downloads
That setting handles automatic app updates (as well as the "buy it on a different device" option)

Edited: Oct 19, 2015, 5:39pm Top

>273 conceptDawg: You are mistaken sir. My apps get updated without my being on WiFi all the time. It's only the OS updates that force it. I am almost never ever on WiFi.

ETA: I love this app, by the way. I may even break my record, and write a review over on iTunes.

Oct 19, 2015, 5:39pm Top

Hm. Ok. I stand corrected then. I think it was wifi only in the first iteration back in 7.

Oct 19, 2015, 6:09pm Top

On my Android, there's an option to wait for wifi for updates. Mine also waits for it to be plugged in. But, yeah, Android, don't know anything about iOS.

Oct 20, 2015, 3:17am Top

Same for Sailfish, I have mine to "Check for updates: WLAN only" because I don't use data, so. Heh.

Oct 21, 2015, 5:50am Top

Great work on the app! Adding books works very well -- maybe now I'll actually start to use the Thing more.

Offline catalog would be a great addition -- one of my main pastimes when traveling abroad is to visit bookstores, and to be able to have my collection with me to check whether I have a book, that would be great (I don't have data connection when abroad). Even just a list of author names and book titles would be sufficient for this, no need to sync all the data. Also, being able to add new books offline and sync the additions when back online would be awesome.

I'd gladly buy this feature as an in-app purchase to support the development.

Oct 22, 2015, 3:35pm Top

>278 conceptDawg: There's a setting for updating using mobile data or only wifi, called "Use Mobile Data", in Settings->App and iTunes Stores.

Oct 22, 2015, 5:57pm Top

I totally understand, but I hope you will make an android version soon. Those of us passionate android users are jealous!

Thanks for your hard work

Oct 23, 2015, 12:01am Top

Don't worry. I really want to make an Android version too. It's not a matter of want, just a matter of available time. We'll see how it goes, because I can't officially promise anything for obvious reasons.

Oct 23, 2015, 1:38pm Top

Android as soon as possible please.

Nov 3, 2015, 6:34pm Top

I notice a lot of requests for "offline use." You do realize that to do this you would have to store your entire collection on the phone itself, right? To do the entire bib record plus the jpg of the cover would take more memory than most users have. It wouldn't work for any but the smallest collections.

Nov 3, 2015, 6:54pm Top

>286 mschuyler: I'm just looking ahead to the Android version, but what if you didn't include pictures. Would a list be manageable? I think I have plenty of data to use the app without Wi Fi, but I've been thinking of cutting back to a low-cost plan.

Nov 3, 2015, 7:56pm Top

>286 mschuyler: 4,000 entries times 10kb is 40 MB. Sure, covers would be a lot more space, but the the records are useful without them.

Nov 3, 2015, 9:09pm Top

Both the Android and iOS apps from LT members stored entire libraries. They did not include images because there was no practical way to harvest them (of any size). My library of more than 8,000 items fit in the iOS version.

The text portions could be saved and the larger images pulled in from the Internet.

Perhaps rather small images could be stored but that should be optional for people with limited storage space on their devices.


Nov 3, 2015, 9:41pm Top

It's not so much a memory issue as requiring a huge amount of new code. As things stand the searching, fetching, storing and some of the presentation are done outside the phone, in API calls to LibraryThing. Offline mode would require redoing all that functionality in native code. Quite frankly, I don't see it happening, with current staffing.

Nov 4, 2015, 5:02am Top

Offline mode is pretty much the only thing that would make an LT app truly useful to me. NOWHERE that I buy books has wifi, nor do I use a cell plan with data as I have no need to spend that kind of money on it.

Nov 4, 2015, 6:22am Top

For me it works allright on 3G.

Nov 4, 2015, 7:09am Top

>292 henkl: Right but that uses data. Data plans are expensive. Personally, I'd rather spend that money on books than a pointless phone plan.

Nov 4, 2015, 9:30am Top

>291 .Monkey.:

How much data do you get with your iPhone now?

Nov 4, 2015, 9:32am Top

I have been through about 5 different hand held devices and used various forms of spreadsheets, pdf's etc to store my list and found the Adroid ap called 'Offline Bookshelf' to do a wonderful job for what I want it for - to avoid duplicates. I agree that eating up data is not useful and wifi doesn't exist in many of the small shops I go to.

Even in large shops like the two in Jacksonville, Champlin Bookmine and the intown store, don't have public wifi(correct me if I'm wrong) and coverage in the stacks on both floors with ATT is hit and miss(miss mostly with an S4).

I need a keyboard that handles fat fingers for all other work - - - this is a recording? I think I may have written this before either in this thread or another one.

A vote for offline!

Edited: Nov 4, 2015, 9:45am Top

Development takes time. So, basically, doing offline for iPhone competes against doing an Android app.

So, pick one.

Nov 4, 2015, 9:48am Top

I vote for offline on Android!

Nov 4, 2015, 10:05am Top

>297 jjwilson61:

Offline on iPhone — 4 months
Android — 6 months
Android with offline — 10 months

That's a guess.

Edited: Nov 4, 2015, 10:10am Top

>296 timspalding: Do you really need to ask? ;) Android all the way!

ETA: Ugh, 6 months is so long. But not as long as a year (which someone said at one point) so I'm grateful. Please don't bother with offline until you have multiple platforms covered.

Nov 4, 2015, 10:18am Top

>296 timspalding:

So, basically, doing offline for iPhone competes against doing an Android app.

So, pick one.

After Android users have explicitly been told to shut up, now you're asking for a vote?

Nov 4, 2015, 11:23am Top

>296 timspalding:
My priority is Android, iPhone with offline, Android with offline. I have the independent app that works just fine for what I will use the offline capability for.

Edited: Nov 4, 2015, 12:00pm Top

Wait! Don't forget Windows phone. (two weeks)

Nov 4, 2015, 1:21pm Top

>302 suitable1:

Never on the Windows phone, I'm afraid.

Nov 4, 2015, 1:24pm Top

I'd prefer android app too. The unoffic ial offline browser works like a charm.

Edited: Nov 4, 2015, 1:28pm Top

Since we are in fact now apparently determining this by who shouts the loudest (after having been repeatedly assured that yes, everyone would like to do an Android app, we just had to be patient), I too would like an Android app, and don't care about offline.

Nov 4, 2015, 2:38pm Top

>303 timspalding:

Never is a very long time.

Nov 4, 2015, 2:46pm Top

>294 timspalding: No iPhone for me, Tim, and zero data. I have a Jolla with Sailfish, which means most Android apps work fine on it (and if somehow it didn't, my husband's phone is an Android so I'd just make him get it ;P). I need Android app and need offline use!
We pay what we use for our phones, which means our monthly bill (for the two of us) almost never exceeds €2. Using data would mean paying a lot, so we don't, there's just no need. On rare occasion it'll be turned on for a couple seconds to check on a tram/bus ETA, but that's pretty much it. It's not something we need, so it's not in the budget. Books, however, are, and I don't like buying doubles unintentionally!! :P

Nov 4, 2015, 2:53pm Top

How can you have an app work with no data plan?

Edited: Nov 4, 2015, 3:01pm Top

>308 Bookmarque: Hence offline use.

I assume your question was How can you have this LT app work with no data. Because plenty of apps don't need to be connected to internet/data to run.

Nov 4, 2015, 3:04pm Top

I guess you mean your phone could potentially run android apps if you sprung for a data plan. I understood you to mean that you ran other apps, but had no data plan, my confusion. Are you sure the phone has enough internal memory to house your whole catalog? I guess if images were stripped it might do depending.

Edited: Nov 4, 2015, 3:07pm Top

You can run apps with a wireless connection. You only need a data plan where you don't have wireless coverage.

Nov 4, 2015, 3:10pm Top

>310 Bookmarque: Uh no, I don't need data to run apps. I have plenty on my phone. A couple are only used at home on wifi, mostly though they're non-data-using apps. Apps don't intrinsically mean using any kind of data. I have map apps even, no data needed.

Nov 4, 2015, 5:18pm Top

Yeah, I suppose it's done that way too. You're the first I've run across though.

Nov 5, 2015, 5:25am Top

I have no clue as to what you two are going on about, though I ought to, really, I suppose *sigh*

>298 timspalding: Since I have an iPhone, you know how I'd vote ... but we'd better throw these Androids a bone ;0)

Nov 5, 2015, 9:19am Top

>314 humouress:

Since I have an iPhone, you know how I'd vote

If the situation were reversed, and we had an Android app but no iOS app, I'd definitely say "Work on the basic version of the iOS app first before giving the Android version every little bell and whistle someone asks for."

Nov 5, 2015, 9:35am Top

>315 lorax:

Speaking as an iPhone user, I agree with you. I think getting the app to as many LT members as possible should come before off-line use, although that would be great to have. Honestly, I hit a huge book sale just after the app was released, and, despite the fact that I checked my catalogue a lot (and I went every day of the three-day sale), I used only a smidgen of data.

Nov 5, 2015, 9:35am Top

>315 lorax: Right. It doesn't make sense at all to me to fuss and fiddle and make perfect an app for one small group while leaving everyone else out in the cold with nothing. iOS is made, okay, now work on Android, then work on improvements for both. Flip back & forth if that's your thing, but continuing to snazzy up the one without doing a thing for the other... not cool.

Edited: Nov 5, 2015, 10:16am Top

>314 humouress: I was being flippant, which is a thing I tend to do.

ETA : it seems obvious that the thing to do is Android, then offline.

Edited: Nov 5, 2015, 10:44am Top

Honestly, I hit a huge book sale just after the app was released, and, despite the fact that I checked my catalogue a lot (and I went every day of the three-day sale), I used only a smidgen of data.

Right. It's pretty minimal as far data usage goes. If you're using other apps, it won't matter. It's only if you don't use other apps, and have no data plan or a teeny-tiny one.

Conceptdawg: Does it cache covers for a time? That's pretty much all the data.

Lastly, I'd note that any code we do for offline use is going to be specific to the platform. Doing an Android version is easier than doing one from scratch because so much of what the app "does" is actually done on the back-end servers. But offline use would be all native code, which differs between iOS and Android. So, more time.

Nov 5, 2015, 10:48am Top

*has no data plan*

Nov 5, 2015, 1:22pm Top

Also has no data plan...

Nov 5, 2015, 1:42pm Top

>319 timspalding: Does it cache data/covers?
Yes, it caches covers and uses a FIFO expiration scheme once it reaches a specified limit or a warning (can't remember what the limit is at the moment).

We don't really "cache" data in the traditional sense, but it is very smart about how it keeps the data and when it needs to rerequest the data. In any event, the pure biblio data usage is VERY small. Covers are the only largish data in the app at this point.

Nov 5, 2015, 2:16pm Top

>322 conceptDawg:

Right. I scanned ten books, and it was less than 1MB of data. So people could scan 10,000 books in a month with only a 1GB plan. Looking at lots of books was more, but it seemed to level off quickly, presumably because it was caching.

Nov 5, 2015, 2:16pm Top

Do you serve the app extra compressed jpgs?

Nov 5, 2015, 3:53pm Top

Add me to the list of those with no data plan. Too expensive.

Nov 5, 2015, 3:59pm Top

>325 brightcopy:

Long time no see!

Nov 5, 2015, 4:02pm Top

Wow! Hi brightcopy! I am happy to see you.

Edited: Nov 5, 2015, 4:11pm Top

>325 brightcopy:

God, I don't know how I'd live without a data plan. Still, I feel like data plans are getting cheaper and cheaper, more and more ubiquitous. So maybe some day.

And, yeah, hey!

Nov 5, 2015, 5:32pm Top

I don't know how things are going in the US these days. I know when a friend on another site asked people what they pay monthly for their iPhone plans, the answers were like $130. I cannot even fathom that. I do know EU regulations have been getting stricter on what prices companies can charge, so texting rates have dropped slightly and international charges, but I don't know that data has changed much. I know if you do not have a plan with it, that you pay crazy rates. *checks site* Okay, looks like we currently pay €.10/MB.

Nov 5, 2015, 5:56pm Top

Same here Tim. But I question whether I need as much data as I have. I don't think you need gigs and gigs of data to use store apps, check in on Facebook, and check movie start times. The only reason I haven't cut way back is that I live in an area with a high probability of hurricanes and prolonged power outages, and my phone might be the only way to stay in touch with the outside world. I doubt that I could live comfortably without any data at all, though.

Nov 5, 2015, 6:02pm Top

I get all the data I need on my computer, I don't need to fuss with that on my phone, too.

Nov 5, 2015, 6:26pm Top

>330 JackieCarroll: What makes you think a cell phone tower would survive a hurricane?

Nov 5, 2015, 6:26pm Top

I don't have a computer. I had a Chromebook but I never used it, so I got rid of it.

Edited: Nov 5, 2015, 6:52pm Top

>332 jjwilson61: I can guarantee that there are a lot of things cell phone towers won't survive. Earthquakes, for example. I had a land line for the Northridge quake, and was able to get a dial tone after the first hour. Cell phone service resumed about two days after the first shaker.

ETA: Isn't it time that someone did a continue on this thread???

Nov 5, 2015, 6:53pm Top

>332 jjwilson61: B/c they do. Depending on the category, of course. Ike & Rita didn't destroy all the towers in the Houston area.

Nov 5, 2015, 7:08pm Top

>332 jjwilson61: Nothing is certain during a hurricane, but I feel safer with my cell. I'm fairly new to Florida and haven't been through a big storm here yet, but my daughter has been here quite a while. I was always able to call from North Carolina to check on her during a storm.

Back before the days before everyone had a cell I can remember calls to landlines getting dropped during hurricanes. I guess we'll see how it holds up. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone who has a landline in the immediate area.

Nov 5, 2015, 7:14pm Top

>336 JackieCarroll:

Be sure you have a generator. Aside from anything else, you'll need to charge your cellphone battery!

Nov 5, 2015, 7:47pm Top

>337 lilithcat: Car charger. I'm going to be optimistic and assume at least one of the cars will stick around. We also have rechargable battery packs for small appliances and lights. Let it blow!

Nov 5, 2015, 8:18pm Top

Any idea on how "offline" would work? I've used an offline version in a sqlite database mostly to see if it was worth the trouble and it wasn't. But that's because downloading an export file, generating an sqlite database and downloading it to the phone is a pain. But if it was a lot quicker and basically a one button thing it would be different.

Anyway, I can easily live without offline access.

Edited: Nov 5, 2015, 10:43pm Top

IF we do an offline version (big IF): then it would basically download all of the bibliographic data for all of your books and keep it stored on your phone. So it wouldn't need a network connection to search your catalog, look up information, etc.

You'd still need to "sync" to the main LT servers to get any books that you've added on the main site since the last time you synced the data. That could happen any time you were on wifi, of course.

Obviously, if you're offline you can't add books to your catalog either...because that inherently means a network connection to get the biblio data when you add the book. Of course, you could argue that you could do manual adds while in offline mode but that's an extreme edge case and I'm not sure we'd do it at first because it would mean adding a lot of code for handling syncing both ways.

The offline mode would likely not download all of your covers. There are variations on this theme that we could make work, depending on resources available to each phone.

That's the basic gist of an offline mode though.

>339 bnielsen: As far as how it would work to a user, it would be completely transparent to the user. No buttons to push at all.

Nov 5, 2015, 10:44pm Top

Of course, it's not as easy as adding a few lines of code for "syncing" between the server and the phone and, "Voila!" you're done. If only things could be that easy.

Nov 5, 2015, 10:54pm Top

For android you could work with seabear to see how he's done it.

Nov 5, 2015, 11:02pm Top

It would be nice to be able to turn off the covers in Your Catalog, since they account for most of the data usage. My family has a 500 MB shared data plan, which we generally manage to not to exceed. It doesn't take much to go over though, and I keep data turned off for almost all of my apps. We don't want to get a bigger plan, because we are already spending an obscene amount of money on cell phone plans.

Nov 6, 2015, 4:02am Top

I'd not miss covers at all for offline use, nor would I care about not being able to add then. That could always be done later. Hell I wouldn't even want to add then, I'd want to add where I had the time to put in all the info, which I wouldn't be doing on my phone while out somewhere.
The main point of an app for LT to me would be checking my catalog to prevent dupe buying when out at a shop or book market. Which I wouldn't do if I need to pay to use data in order to access it.

Edited: Nov 6, 2015, 11:29am Top

You'd still need to "sync" to the main LT servers to get any books that you've added on the main site since the last time you synced the data. That could happen any time you were on wifi, of course.

Well, it would need to synch any books that changed—presumably with some sort of checksum of the data.

It would be nice to be able to turn off the covers in Your Catalog, since they account for most of the data usage.

Okay, I think that's a good move. A very good suggestion—thank you.

CH, doable in next version? If so, default to the list view, no?

Nov 6, 2015, 12:40pm Top

>345 timspalding: Thank you! Without the covers, I would have no hesitation using the app anywhere, anytime.

Nov 6, 2015, 2:01pm Top

>328 timspalding:
God, I don't know how I'd live without a data plan.

I generally bring a book when I'm by myself and will find I need something to occupy myself with.

If I'm with another person, I talk to them.

If anyone really needs me in a time-sensitive way, they will call me or text me. Somehow they've figured out how to make these things work without the internet. Technological process marches on!

Still, I feel like data plans are getting cheaper and cheaper, more and more ubiquitous. So maybe some day.

Well, I pay between $100 and $150 per YEAR for my phone. I'm not a big texter so unlimited texting holds no appear. Ditto with minutes. I'm on a tmobile pay-as-you-go, as is my wife. We find that so many places have wifi these days. And for those that don't, there's no pressing need to get on facebook, or twitter, or instagram or tastyfrog or lemonwedge. In fact, they may as well not exist for us most of the time.

Long time no see!
Wow! Hi brightcopy! I am happy to see you.
And, yeah, hey!

Thanks, folks. I'm actually here on a weekly basis, I'm just uncharacteristically quiet. I just saw all the gawking over the technological primitives without data plans and thought I'd thrown my name in the ring. If a early-adopting, technophiliac, handsome and fresh-smelling person like myself can go without a data plan, anyone can.

Having said that, Half Price Books has wifi now. That's the source of about 99% of my used book purchases. More pressing for me is that I'm on android, so I continue to use seabear's wonderful app.

Nov 6, 2015, 3:16pm Top

>347 brightcopy: Hear, hear!

Nov 6, 2015, 3:38pm Top

Put me down as another one with no data-plan - I'm just a PAYG type of person. One pence per MB isn't bad for the kind of things I use data for. If I am going to be somewhere where I think I may need a lot of data I can buy an all you can eat package that lasts 30 days. I've not needed to yet. My annual usage is something like £20-30.

Nov 6, 2015, 3:43pm Top

>349 andyl: Yeah for the both of us it's something around €30/yr.

Nov 6, 2015, 4:33pm Top

My old plan had 2GB a month, and I never used more than a tiny fraction of that. I'm mostly at home with wifi, so occasionally checking my phone in the library or the supermarket was next to negligible.

Now my son has me on his family plan, so I don't have a clue what I use. He tells me to use what I need, and I can buy apps, too, as long as "don't go overboard." Kids are so cute.

Nov 6, 2015, 4:46pm Top

I think of PAYG as still being a data plan, though; you can in fact use data when you really need or want to, and for something that uses a small amount of data like checking "Do I already own this" on the LT app, it should be much less than the cost of accidentally buying a duplicate.

Nov 6, 2015, 7:03pm Top

I don't have a data plan. I still have a cell phone that is just a telephone.

Nov 6, 2015, 10:19pm Top

>352 lorax: Some pay as you go plans, even on smart phones, are dataless. My last one was. Now I'm using FreedomPop and getting 500 texts, 200 minutes and a half gig of data for free (which beats the price I had been paying for my pay as you go phone of $30 every 3 months). I use wifi at home, generally only turning on data when I'm on my lunch break at work, or on the bus on the way to and from work.

If my data weren't free, I wouldn't be able to afford a data plan, that's for sure.

Nov 6, 2015, 10:30pm Top

My last one was. Now I'm using FreedomPop and getting 500 texts, 200 minutes and a half gig of data for free

That should be more than sufficient for checking for work duplicates at a bookstore or book sale.

Nov 7, 2015, 12:27am Top

>355 lilithcat: Probably. I've got an Android phone, so I haven't used the app yet. For how much I use data, there are some months I never even reach the halfway point on my data.

My point wasn't about how much data I have, though, but that there are pay as you go plans that are dataless, even for smartphones, which is very helpful because data plans are usually expensive. And that there are ways to use smartphones without using data. Which don't help at all when you're somewhere where your wifi signal is weak, and the app has no offline use.

Nov 7, 2015, 1:20am Top

I'm typing on a public bus with free wifi provided. If the wifi is down I just set up a hotspot with my android telephone and use that. So most of the time I'm connected and able to get almost any amount of data for free or very little. However I'm a cheapskate on telephones, so I have a cheap android with a smallish screen, so I'm mostly concerned with screen real estate and speed. Also I buy/borrow/read/review a book a day or so, so offline data go stale real quick. Also my library is quite large, so I might take a print of my Wanted list before going on holiday but not of the whole library.

>347 brightcopy: A quiet Brightcopy? 'Fraid I need to check your papers and photo ID again, sir!


Nov 7, 2015, 3:27am Top

Huh. For here, for all the providers I've tried, if you have a smartphone (on a monthly contract), you must have a data plan - a tiny one is OK (or as small as they offer, which is getting bigger all the time), but you _will_ have a data plan. I haven't done pre-paid or PAYG since... a long time before smartphones, so I don't know about that. But AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and (I believe) Sprint all insist on a data plan for a smartphone. Feature phones can do without, but any smartphone must have one.

Wifi is good (my data plan is pretty small, though most months I don't come near using all of it), but it's not everywhere. Neither is cellular data, but it's in more places (around here).

I suspect that I will continue to use Seabear's app for quick checks of "do I have this", and the LT app if I actually want to add/edit something. Which isn't a bad division of labor.

Nov 7, 2015, 6:17am Top

>358 jjmcgaffey: That kind of thing is utterly illegal in the EU. Companies are NOT allowed to take advantage of people like that and force them into things they do not want.

Edited: Nov 7, 2015, 6:34am Top

If you get the phone 'free' from the company, you may be limited to the more expensive packages. i.e. with data.

Just checked. The leading Austrian mobile phone networks don't have monthly plans without data. If you only want telephone, you have to use a pay as you go service like I do. I end up paying less in a year than the cheapest monthly plans, but I use my cell phone very rarely.

Edited: Nov 7, 2015, 6:30am Top

>359 .Monkey.:

Noone forces you to accept the free phone. If you do accept it, the condition is to have the data plan. So even in EU, that would be legit. If you do not want the data plan, you can buy your phone. Then you can use whatever package you want on it.

PS: My plan includes data by default - you can use it or not, there is simply no plan that does not have the 1G of it -- they added it a while back on top of all plans. And as it is not an add-on but a free feature you are getting - so all post-paid smartphones have data plans - regardless if you want it or not.

Nov 7, 2015, 7:24am Top

Just had an advertising letter from my landline, TV and broadband provider trying to get me to switch my mobile to them. The cheapest plan has 250 Mb data and unlimited texts which ranges from £10 to £39 depending on which phone I choose.

Unfortunately, as I don't do social media and rarely send texts, it's all pretty moot to me. I top up £10 every 2-3 months depending on how much I use my phone to make outgoing personal calls at work. I've always taken the view that a mobile phone is for my convenience, and mostly refuse to hand out the number to all and sundry.

Besides, my current phone is an old Alcatel clamshell and the screen is way too small for my old eyes to squint at.

Nov 7, 2015, 9:36am Top

No one said anything about free phones, >358 jjmcgaffey: said if you have a smartphone (on a monthly contract).

Nov 7, 2015, 9:45am Top

Ooh; I like the way it tells you how many books you've got in each collection right on the 'Your Catalogue' screen.

Nov 7, 2015, 4:54pm Top

>357 bnielsen: If you're using your phone as a wifi hotspot, you're not using wifi, you're using your data. You can connect other devices to the wifi, but the phone itself is definitely using data.

When I lived out in the boondocks without any common form of Internet available, I used my phone as a wifi hotspot for everything. However, as I was in the land of one bar, it was slow and glitchy. If I wanted to do anything useful, I'd drive into town and use cafe or library wifi. I had free unlimited data though, which was a legacy plan from a contract I originally got when I purchased my less popular phone (a Palm). I kept the plan for awhile just in case I found myself in that circumstance again (very handy when traveling) but finally went for something much cheaper.

Nov 7, 2015, 6:20pm Top

>341 conceptDawg: Oh how true that is. Very exciting to see this app development happening, especially the ability to add books. Hopefully you can find the time to work on offline mode - it's tough to know where to stop. In fact the more I think about LT maintaining official apps for both iOS and Android, the harder it is to imagine - that is a lot of work!

Anyway best of luck with it. I wish I had an iPhone to play with this!

Nov 7, 2015, 6:54pm Top

To clarify, my payg plan has no data. And I bought my phone direct from google.

Nov 8, 2015, 12:30am Top

>363 .Monkey.: Yeah, that was my error. I'd always gotten the "free" (subsidized) phones, and when they insisted I had to have a data plan with my first smartphone it never occurred to me that it was a function of the cheap (not actually free, but a small fraction of the unsubsidized cost) price. By the time (with my current phone) I got away from the subsidized pricing (though still not to buying one unlocked at full price), I was hooked on data and didn't think to ask if I could do without (not sure whether my current financing plan still "requires" a data plan).

Nov 8, 2015, 1:06am Top

Have you tried developing your application using Xamarin? It's a great tool to have it on all platform! (iOS, Android and Windows Phone)

Nov 8, 2015, 4:15am Top

>368 jjmcgaffey: Understandable. Here there is no such thing as locked phones, that, too, is not legal! My husband couldn't understand back on my first visit, why we couldn't simply put one of his old SIM cards into my phone so I'd be able to have a working phone for just in case. It was quite a concept to wrap his mind around, haha. If I were being forced to pay for it I suppose I would try to use it, because otherwise it's a waste of money, but frankly I barely even look at my phone when I'm out, and the people who are constantly fiddling with them no matter where they are/what they're doing drive me nuts.

Nov 9, 2015, 3:21am Top

I just don't get the >9 timspalding: There are a more Android phones out there, but iPhone users use apps more. Android is more ubiquitous, iPhone more passionate.

Data to back these subjective claims up?

Nov 9, 2015, 5:44am Top

>371 LesMiserables:

Even if Tim's statement is correct there is no guarantee that a particular app will be used any more on IOS as opposed to Android. A lot will depend on how passionate the users are about their LT catalogue, and how much they shop for books when away from a computer - not necessarily how passionate they are about their phone.

Edited: Nov 9, 2015, 9:41am Top

>371 LesMiserables:

They are not entirely subjective claims. There are in fact more Android phones, but iOS users spend more time on their phones, consume more data(1), make more purchases, make higher-value purchases, buy more apps, download more free apps, etc. The gap is closing, but it, together with the fact that Android apps are more expensive to develop, is why there are more apps available for iOS, and why companies do iOS before Android much more often than the reverse.


I had to make a choice—a choice with major financial consequences. In spending a year and north of $100,000 I went with the option I felt was going to give us the most. If I am wrong, I am wrong. You can be sure, if we had done the reverse, people would be objecting too.

1. I don't have data to back it up, but I'd bet you anything Android users are much more likely to have no data plan, or a small one. I think we've seen that on this topic too.

Nov 9, 2015, 11:18am Top

>373 timspalding: Possibly. But are we not counting folks who use old iphones basically as ipod touches (like yours truly and a number of my friends).

Nov 9, 2015, 11:32am Top

>374 lorannen:

iOS is relatively more successful in that market—and in actual touches. And it's share of the tablet market is stronger than its share of the phone market, while, again, developing for Android tablets presents more device-fragmentation problems.

Nov 9, 2015, 11:46am Top

>375 timspalding: Right, I was just pointing that out as a possible group who is likely to be sans data plan. Sorry, I wasn't clear about that earlier.

Nov 9, 2015, 12:44pm Top

>375 timspalding: and >376 lorannen:. I'm patient as I only got my S4 the week or so before the S5 came out. Prior to that I was using an old HP iPaq because it was easier than hauling around a big wad of paper! Before that it was this little credit card size thing that sort of worked! I wouldn't know what to do with a modern piece of equipment. I'm the king of 'late adopters' better known as the electronic Luddite!

Nov 9, 2015, 8:22pm Top

I know this is completely anecdotal, but I'm an android user with unlimited data and plenty of apps. There are lots of us out there.

Nov 10, 2015, 1:32am Top

Most android users are in developing countries, and are probably not a good target audience for LT.

Nov 10, 2015, 7:50am Top

>379 JerryMmm: I know this is not quite what you are getting at, but for what it's worth I can tell you the vast majority of users who downloaded Librarything Browser from Google Play were from the USA. Minor contributions from the UK and Germany followed. I can't remember the order of the remaining countries but I'm sure they were mostly in the West, e.g. Australia, Spain, Canada.

Nov 10, 2015, 8:42am Top

which sortof proves my point. While we android users like to point out that we outnumber iphone by an order of magnitude, because the majority of those android users are from poor countries that advantage disappears.

I don't like it, but I understand the iphone first feeling of developers.

Nov 10, 2015, 9:17am Top

Iphone first is more about low-hanging fruit, though. Faster development, faster testing, and a decent marketshare. Android takes longer time because you have to support so many flavours, so iOS is a simpler target despite Android users being in the majority (also in the West).

Nov 10, 2015, 9:56am Top

Eh Jerry, I think you've gotten confused with the all pigeons are birds, not all birds are pigeons in your posting. Yes, those in developing countries are very likely going to have Android not iPhones, however that doesn't mean everyone with Android is in a developing country. Statistica's estimate is Android smartphones had an installed base of 1.6 billion units in 2014, which was 75% of the estimated total number of smartphones worldwide (ref.) So unless you think 50% of all the smartphones worldwide are in developing countries, no, it doesn't mean "that advantage disappears."

Edited: Nov 10, 2015, 10:23am Top

So unless you think 50% of all the smartphones worldwide are in developing countries, no, it doesn't mean "that advantage disappears."

That entirely depends on whether you consider China and India to be "developing"; I don't, but I also don't think they're a big market for LT.


However, Android remains more popular than iOS in the United States as well:


(Android has held steady at just over 50% for several years now. iOS has picked up share but mostly from the decline of Blackberry rather than at the expense of Google).

So yes, a significant fraction of Android users are outside of the US and Europe, but that doesn't mean everyone in those markets uses iOS - it's still a small advantage to Android.

Nov 10, 2015, 12:25pm Top

I've dabbled in both Android and iOS development, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. But I don't really think an app like the kind LT has developed is that much more difficult to develop in a cross platform way. There are a number of cross-platform toolkits that make this pretty easy. Sure, if you're developing a game or something very graphical, it gets trickier (though still plenty doable). But not what I've seen from the LT app.

Now, you have to actually learn those toolkits. So if you're an "iOS developer" who does all that stuff but has never gotten any experience using them, then by that metric it's going to be "harder" for you to develop cross platform. But then you could flip the conditions and say that iOS is "harder" to develop for because all you know is android dev.

Heck, I think you could make 99% of the LT app as a wrapped web app, with just some native code to do things like bar code scanning. The main reason 3rd party coders haven't made something at this level is that LT's 3rd-party accessible APIs are pretty useless when you scratch the surface.

Nov 10, 2015, 5:00pm Top

We know that iOS app (which I've installed on an iPhone 6 and an iPad 2 Mini and it is nice and I hope it will be filled out a bit more with the next release) does not have local storage for offline use today and won't in the near term. The Android app won't either, whether it is two weeks or months away.

Before that happens I think some basic web browser access to one's collection in a light-weight and aesthetically pleasing interface will be available. It is possible that the release of this will provide some functionality (catalog browsing, not book add) similar to the iOS app for everyone with some kind of Internet connection (4G data plan or WiFi). If one does not have some kind of Internet access, the iOS app won't do much either.

My question for the Android users is what you expect to get from this app (based on what we know is in the iOS). Are you looking for access to your catalog or some means of adding books? What are your use cases?


Edited: Nov 10, 2015, 6:31pm Top

Mostly adding books - which I'll do 99% of the time at home in my wifi. I'd love to have offline catalog access, but I have seabear's Offline Bookshelf Browser for that. Possibly adding covers - I'll have to compare the process and the results with my current scanner system. Depending on how it looks and functionality, I may do online catalog access through the app instead of the browser on my phone - that will be mostly on wifi (at my parents' house, in shopping centers, etc). At home I'm more likely to jump on the computer. Occasional access of the catalog over cellular data (without covers, it'll be quite reasonable), for checking on books when I _do_ have data connection. But the big book sales I go to most often - especially my library sale - I have rotten signal, bad enough that I miss most calls (texts usually get through, and voicemail eventually). So I'll keep using seabear's app for there.

And of course, this is how I think I'll use it when I don't have it yet. Prior experience says that once I have the app, I'll find new things to do with it that I don't do now at all because they don't work well enough.

Nov 10, 2015, 7:19pm Top

All I've ever asked for is a simple, lightweight page where I can see what I have and what I want. Web-based is fine with me, and from what I know of SEO, it also raises your rank in the search engines to have mobile-friendly pages. The only advantage that seems to make an app worthwhile is in scanning and adding books, and I only buy a few at a time, so it isn't a big deal to me. I see where adding books is a big advantage for some, but for a small-time reader like me, it's just not a big deal.

Nov 10, 2015, 10:35pm Top

>382 anglemark: I think the claim that iOS development is easier than Android is such a fraud because of these non technical but rather real world obstacles:

1. you require a Mac to run the compilation toolchain. That is an insignificant obstacle for hobbyists like myself who can't just go out and buy a new computer for that reason alone. No such restriction on Android: I've worked on my LT app using a PC running Windows and Linux, and I understand it's no different on a Mac. All the Android software is free, without exception.

2. At the time I looked into it a year or two ago, it cost upwards of $200 for an Apple developer account which was also a requirement. On the other hand access to the Google Play Store (which was a great convenience although not technically a requirement) was I think AUD$20.

The languages and SDKs for both are equally horrible IMHO. I looked into cross platform toolkits like brightcopy mentioned but they just seem too fragile and restricted. Things like the feature in my LT app where the first letter of the authors name comes up as you scroll would be difficult to near impossible to implement using the cross platform toolkits I looked at.

Anyway, I agree with the suggestions for a good mobile website and/or release of a half decent API for third party developers. But really, I'm just delighted LT exists at all :-)

Nov 11, 2015, 2:44pm Top

>387 jjmcgaffey: No need for me to add an answer to >386 Keeline: as you did a superb job. Used and antiquarian bookstores both have horrible reception and no wifi. This is based on selective and limited experience in NH, MA, VT, NY (up in the boonies), NJ, PA, DE, NC, SC, GA, FL, CO and WY. Don't know about MT as that was pre wifi and smart phone days for me!

The application >389 seabear: wrote (thank you, thank you, thank you) handles 95% of my needs. I would love to see private comments but I can easily live without them.

There is concern about having the latest version of your data. Redownloading takes about a minute and I have around 7000 entries. That seems to hold either on a rotten WIFI link or going out into the 'paid' airwaves. I don't even see a blip on my usage. I have 3 phones on a 2 GIG data plan and I'm rolling over about a GIG every month.

Nov 11, 2015, 3:21pm Top

That reminds me, have to renew my catalog on seabear's app.

Nov 11, 2015, 7:11pm Top

So do the LT app and seabear's app do different things?

Nov 11, 2015, 9:09pm Top

So, I think we need to release the internal API we used for accounts. We've been wary of it, because—strictly speaking—Amazon forbids us to offer an API to their data. But we got permission to make an app some time ago. I think perhaps, if we closely link everything to particular accounts, they might not object to us allowing outside apps access, with permission.

Nov 11, 2015, 9:34pm Top

>392 humouress: Yes. seabear's app is purely offline - it's a catalog checker. You have to download your catalog (it uses the More>Import & Export, I believe) - which means you have to log in to LT through the app, once (it remembers thereafter). Once the catalog is downloaded and exported, you can browse it, search it, click on a particular book and see series, comments, what collections it's in, etc. It's not wonderfully easy to see what collection something is in (which can be a problem if you use wishlist) - you have to click on the book. And searching is a little odd, because it does phrases - if you use a word from the title and part of the author's name, you get nothing because it's searching for "word word". But it's great for checking your catalog without any external connection (after the initial download). If you really want to edit something, you can - and then you'll get an email noting what changes you've made, and you can go onto LT somewhere where you have a connection and make those changes to the actual LT catalog, seabear's app has no way of putting the changes back onto LT.

The official LT app lets you make all the changes directly onto LT, and search, and so on - but doesn't have any access offline. So the two of them are very good complements.

BTW, there's also Jouni's app, for iPhone - it does pretty much what seabear's app does. Though there may be some problems with the current export. I don't really know, I don't have any igadgets so don't follow it closely.

Nov 11, 2015, 9:52pm Top

>394 jjmcgaffey:
Jouni's app has problems with UTF-8 conversion; you have to run it manually before loading the export into the app. I ran across some other issues too - I found apparent multiple copies of the same book in some cases in series instead of individual series entries.

Again, this may have been to do with UTF-8 issues.

Nov 11, 2015, 11:57pm Top

>393 timspalding: sounds good to me!

Nov 12, 2015, 8:30am Top

>396 seabear: I agree.

Nov 13, 2015, 11:30pm Top

Just curious, did you use the zbar library in your app?

Nov 15, 2015, 11:09am Top

Edited: Nov 16, 2015, 5:18pm Top

>398 Robert@sterbal.com: No. We did not.

Nov 27, 2015, 1:35am Top

Anyone know why the iPad app is only available in the US iTunes store and not to other English reading / speaking places like Canada and the Canadian iTunes store? I have been waiting for the app to come out and am now disappointed that I can't even download the app.

Nov 27, 2015, 1:18pm Top

I found it on the UK store...

Nov 27, 2015, 3:29pm Top

>401 DeannaHurst:

You're on the Canadian store?

Nov 27, 2015, 3:51pm Top

No, it's there. I asked on Twitter and a half-dozen Canadians confirmed it was there. But it may be fifth or sixth in the list.


Nov 27, 2015, 4:03pm Top

There isn't an iPad app, is there? I thought it was just the iPhone app that also worked on the iPad. Maybe if >401 DeannaHurst: changes to iPhone apps instead of iPad apps, it will show up.

Nov 27, 2015, 5:41pm Top

#405 by tardis>

Correct, there is no iPad-optimized app. After doing a search for LibraryThing.com, you would have to change the menu from "iPad only" to "iPhone only" to see it.

I obtained it from the U.S. version of Apple's App Store and run it on an iPad 2 Mini with success. I also have it on my iPhone 6.

When you run an iPhone app on the iPad, it is generally scaled up to fill the screen. However, finding these iPhone versions to install is not obvious and that user interface confusion is on Apple.


Nov 28, 2015, 3:15pm Top

>406 Keeline: All correct.

We plan on doing an iPad-optimized universal version but didn't want to wait to release the iPhone version.

Edited: Dec 1, 2015, 1:39pm Top

Thanks so much! I've been hoping and hoping for a LT app. I have an Android, sadly, but I'm really excited about even the existence of the iPhone version.

(I will also add my vote to the "does not need an offline option" category, as I do have data I can burn. It would be useful, but I probably wouldn't have space for it on my phone.)

Feb 21, 2016, 9:42am Top

If the API worked, anyone could make the Android app. And Web app. And every other platform. Apparently there is an API, but where? https://www.librarything.com/topic/168385

Feb 22, 2016, 3:38pm Top

At present, LibraryThing does not have an external API to the sorts of things you'd need to make a full app. Sorry.

Mar 19, 2016, 3:37pm Top

I was just wondering if there was an estimate of when an android version might be released

Mar 19, 2016, 4:17pm Top

#411 - I was just about to ask the same thing; would be good to know, even if only an approximate number of months.

Mar 19, 2016, 4:19pm Top

I think when they can raise the $100-150K needed to make the app, we'll have a good idea.

Mar 19, 2016, 4:21pm Top

>412 john257hopper: I think months might be optimistic.

Mar 20, 2016, 3:12pm Top

>412 john257hopper:

I would expect that TinyCat, which will be a mobile-friendly version of the catalog, will be available sometime in 2016. I do not expect an approximate date for the Android version, or even a firm commitment for whether they intend to make an android app, until 2017 at the absolute earliest. Projects here have a way of taking much longer than originally anticipated.

Mar 21, 2016, 12:13am Top

Thank you

Mar 22, 2016, 9:29am Top

>415 lorax: Well said. I asked Tim a month or two ago about the android app, and the hopes are 1-2 years' time.

Mar 22, 2016, 11:35am Top

>417 kristilabrie: I understand the whys and such of how long it will take and why. But it still makes me a bit sad, because while TinyCat will be okay and useful in some ways, it won't be an app where things can be added and such.

Still I will eagerly await the app if it ever does happen.

Mar 22, 2016, 4:12pm Top

You're not alone, I can assure you that! "If" is the easy part, "when" is the trick of course.

Mar 23, 2016, 9:39am Top

>419 kristilabrie:

"If" is the easy part, "when" is the trick of course.

You'll forgive longtime members if we don't believe an "if" until there's a "when", and sometimes even not until the "when" is "now", I hope.

Mar 23, 2016, 1:39pm Top

Of course, I totally get it. :) I should've added a disclaimer that, barring any LT staffers who get hit by buses in the next year or two, and various natural disasters.... Android is on the (eventual) plan. :)

Mar 24, 2016, 5:23am Top

Thanks for the responses, all. Time frame disappointing, but I get that you are where you are. Is there any mileage in a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo or an equivalent to raise funds for it (I would happily contribute), or would that not make any difference?

Mar 24, 2016, 6:06am Top

>422 john257hopper: Paying for desired features is such an interesting idea. I doubt it would happen in an environment like this, though. Too easy to complain about why one idea was chosen over another, or to feel like because you gave more money than someone else, you had a larger say, etc, or to even expect staff to be a lot more transparent about timelines and progress reports.

It's definitely something my private high school took full advantage of when it came to going to alumnae asking for donations. There were alumnae, with money, who students and staff would visit every year, to see if they would contribute to whatever the school's project at the time was (a new gym, redoing the outdoor area where we all ate lunch...who has a cafeteria in San Diego, fixing the roof on the nuns house that collapsed during a major storm, giving the chapel a nicer look, expanding the library, etc) and the answer would be no over and over until a project that they liked jumped onto the school's radar. There was one in particular who'd say "That's a worthy project, to be sure, but others will contribute to it." Then there was a project that the principal knew would win this alumnae over, and went out herself rather than allowing the staff and students to make the request "We're redoing the theater this summer." Half of the funding for the theater redo came from those 6 words. The gym, they got the money they were fundraising for, and started reporting on it in the newsletter, and an alumnae husband saw the newsletter and contributed enough money to add a weight room to the gym, because when his ten-year-old daughter was finally ready to attend the high school, he wanted to make sure that she had whatever she wanted to follow her sporty dreams. It was the same for each of the projects, there were alumnae who gave small amounts of money to whatever the school wished to use them on, there were other alumnae who contributed much larger amounts of money, but only to whatever projects were near and dear to their hearts.

Despite the issues I can so easily imagine, I'd probably do it too. I wouldn't mind contributing a few dollars here, a few more there, to pet projects that were things I really wanted to see, if the money stayed in some sort of limbo (where I could take it back if I changed my mind, or earmarked it differently) until the staff actually started working on the specific project the funds were earmarked to.

Mar 24, 2016, 7:28am Top

>82 shikari: You can totally run iOS 9 on a 16Gb iPhone 4s! That's my phone as well, and I was even able to install this week's 9.3 release. You won't get all the cool new features, but the basic OS software stuff works just the same. :)

Mar 28, 2016, 2:50am Top

>424 nerwende:: I finally took the plunge and, yes, it works! OK, there's an offset problem when scanning ISBNs, but I can live with that! My only complaint is that editing text is now a pain in the neck when the spell-checker takes hold of the end word - but that's iOS, no LibraryThing.

Mar 28, 2016, 12:23pm Top

Oh, sorry for letting this run on without answering. I was on vacation last week (Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks for some hiking/photography, if you're asking).

As for the android version: it's in the same boat as all LTApp development right now. Just slightly delayed while all of the developers help finish TinyCat, which will be out the door in the next few weeks (fingers crossed). After that is out and we kill any major bugs with it, I'll roll back to LTApp in earnest. We have at least one update in the works for the iOS version before we start doing anything with Android, but that's all I can say at this point.

I'd hope that we can have an android version out some time in Fall of 2016 but I'm not going to make any promises for or against that. If I did then one of you would come back and yell at me because I "promised."

Mar 28, 2016, 2:26pm Top

>426 conceptDawg:

That is the best news I've heard here in a long, long time. Not just the date, which is about two years earlier than I'd have hoped for, not just that there are in fact definite plans for an Android version, but that there is in fact going to be further work done on something, anything other than TinyCat in the foreseeable future. I'd be just as happy with bug fixes or ticking off small site improvements; it's an indicator that there's still work being, if not done, at least planned for something other than TinyCat. Hooray!

Mar 28, 2016, 2:45pm Top

>427 lorax: Hear, hear!

Mar 28, 2016, 4:58pm Top

>425 shikari: Me, too! I had a heap of books to enter, so I tried the LT app, which I already had on my iPad.

It took a (frustrating) while to get the hang of where in the window to place the barcode - somewhere halfway off the top (or bottom? I put the books in my lap to scan, so it was easier to have them upside down, with the barcode at the top end) - but once I got that, it went fairly smoothly. There were a couple of hiccoughs when th app couldn't find a book to match the barcode, but that's par for the course.

Just a small issue (already noted by someone else above) that although Amazon isn't recommended as the most reliable source for entries, it's the only choice on the app.

>426 conceptDawg: Nope, I wasn't asking. (Oh alright, I'll bite. Was it spectacular?)

>427 lorax: But yay for TinyCat! Sorry; I'm one of those asking for more features, to cope with the quirks of the small library I volunteer at *ducks and runs*

Edited: Mar 29, 2016, 7:14am Top

>429 humouress:: Quite agree about sources, but I think that's due to change. For all the stuff about Android, I can't believe we finally have a working iPhone app after all these years. But couldn't it have been self-funding (and so faster in development and with a bigger development budget)? If there's one app I'd have been happy to pay towards, it's a LibraryThing app. (Let me know if I've just forgotten paying for the app...).

Still, pleased to have a spare iPhone 4s with iOS 5 which my earlier (and expensive) apps still run on.

Edited: Mar 29, 2016, 1:26pm Top

We are going to add more data sources to the LTApp. But Amazon isn't the only source. Pick "Libraries" (and make sure that it's first in the list if Quick Find is on) and that will give you the equivalent of "Overcat" on the main site, mostly library sources. But even more sources is a priority for the app.

>430 shikari: As for funding, that's really not the major issue. It's developer bandwidth. Simply put, we are a small shop with limited human resources. Throwing more bodies at this problem wouldn't have made it happen any faster because they'd have had to get up to speed with the LT codebase...which isn't exactly small after 10+ years of development. We have an outside developer for the core mobile development and I manage the project as a whole, develop the LT API that interfaces, and the design/UI/UX. Actually, the development actually happened fairly quickly once we (me, primarily) had free time.

We haven't ruled out a paying version with more features, or in-app purchases for more features (but it's doubtful).

As for TinyCat, we really are pushing to get this finished. We were hoping for last week, but .... well.
The good news is that we are adding TONS of new features. Really. More than I had wanted, actually.
We joke that TinyCat has morphed into MediumCat.

>429 humouress: Yes. Yes, those parks live up to their hype. Really different from each other but amazing just the same. I don't have many photos posted yet, but you can see the album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/christopherholland/albums/72157666243992436
We went to Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef last year. They were equally amazing. (pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/christopherholland/albums/72157661280683520 ). As you can tell by the number of pics, I'm a bit of a photography nut.

Mar 29, 2016, 1:36pm Top

I just glanced at some of your albums, Chris. Nice work overall. I followed you on flickr...I'm Wicked Dark Photography.

Mar 29, 2016, 1:46pm Top

>431 conceptDawg: They're taking a while to download, but what gorgeous skies! Did you do anything, or was it all Nature's work?

Mar 29, 2016, 1:49pm Top

I suspect a bit of an overcranked polarizer. (sheepish grin - it's all individual taste) It's a pet peeve. Like blue waterfalls.

Mar 29, 2016, 1:52pm Top

>431 conceptDawg:

Will those LT API's be available to others too? (I'm still hoping to write an import tool that will let me manually add books directly from my own database...)

Mar 31, 2016, 2:48pm Top

>434 Bookmarque: Yeah. It's a polarizer. My other photographer friend gives me hell about it...so now it's become a thing. But at least I have a unique style. heh

>435 divinenanny: I don't have an answer for that one yet. But I've been asking about it. The plan is "yes" but I just don't know the timeline on releasing the APIs.

Mar 31, 2016, 2:50pm Top

>436 conceptDawg: Thank you, a planned yes is a very positive thing!

Mar 31, 2016, 4:17pm Top

I've reported it on bug collectors, but I seem to have lost some books that I'm sure I added when I used the app for the first time. :0(

Mar 31, 2016, 5:13pm Top

>438 humouress: I found and replied to your bug report, but, for future reference, it helps to include a link to bug reports when mentioning them on other threads. Here it is: https://www.librarything.com/topic/220623

Mar 31, 2016, 5:15pm Top



Edited: Mar 31, 2016, 5:22pm Top

>440 humouress: No worries! Just trying to make things easier to find.

Aug 15, 2016, 12:30pm Top

Any news on the Android front?

Aug 15, 2016, 12:44pm Top

>442 CSkidread: Two years, give or take.

Aug 20, 2016, 6:12pm Top

>443 PhaedraB: Hey, is that two years from the start of the thread or two years from today? ;)

Aug 21, 2016, 2:37am Top

>444 DanieXJ: Either, both, two weeks, two years...

Oct 28, 2016, 5:14pm Top

Android app is in development, see here: The LibraryThing iPhone App has arrived! topic.

Jan 7, 2017, 1:51pm Top

I just returned to this website and remembered why I hadn't used it in years: because the scanning was so cumbersome. Then I thought that in the meantime you should have an app for that, but no, at least not for the most common OS. (I checked goodreads and they offer such an app, so at this point it might be easier to simply switch and let Apple fans be happy among themselves.)

Jan 7, 2017, 1:52pm Top


Jan 7, 2017, 8:46pm Top

>447 axelanda:
Android may be the most common mobile OS out there, but it's also the most diverse, with the most inherent variation, hence the most difficult to code for (apps ought to function on a myriad of recent-ish flavours). That is why an android app sometimes is released after an IOS app (and is generally based on that version): IOS is much more uniform and, therefore, easier to produce.

Do remember that this website has nowhere near the money nor the staff to compete with the likes of Amazon subsidiaries: rolling out an app for both simultaneously would put a temporary end to development on pretty much anything else (or would push back the IOS release for a year or more to coincide with the Android release).

Jan 8, 2017, 3:18am Top

Last year I heard the street price for an app done in two weeks by pros can range $6k to $100k plus and is feature complete. LT could keep 51% ownership and profit share the Android version by letting an outside partner take all the risk in porting the IOS reference app at no cost. Maybe.

Jan 8, 2017, 9:21am Top

Time for a new thread? Maybe with a new title?

Jan 8, 2017, 11:33am Top

First of all, an Android app is in the works so any platform debates are of little help in moving that along.

Tim has explained why they did iOS first and has made the decision to devote scarce developer resources to make an Android version. Remember that it is a FREE app for iOS so there is no revenue generation to recoup the development expense. Additional lifetime subscriptions at $30 per user is really separate from the app.

A lot of people buy Android because it is cheaper or provided free from their carrier as part of the data contract (in the U.S. at least). Some get it by choice so they can customize it to their liking. Some get it because they are virulently anti-Apple.

Whatever the reason for the choice, part of the way that some of these phones and tablets are very cheap is that they don't always have the same hardware features (storage space, RAM, GPS, camera, screen size and resolution, etc., etc.). As such, developing for Android means having to contend with dozens of variations instead of a half dozen or so current models (iPhone, iPad). Even for iOS, one has to run the iPhone version on the iPad. There is no version designed for the larger screen (yet).

Sometime in 2017 there will be an Android app. Of course, once an Android version is available, the users of Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and PalmOS (just kidding on this one) will renew the clamor for LT support of their platform. Remember when people were selecting desktop computers or laptop computers and the advice was to determine the programs that were important for your work and life and select the one that runs it? The same could be said for mobile devices.

A little background might explain my biases on this topic. I like Linux very much so by extension I like Android. I've even done a little programming for Android in a course to familiarize myself with the practice. I have an Android device I purchased to do this programming. However, for actual use, I use an iPhone 6 and an iPad Mini 2. I have used this line since 2009. I am writing this on a MacBookPro. I have used one Mac or another since 1985.


Jan 8, 2017, 4:27pm Top

>452 Keeline: Why yes, I did have a PalmOS phone. But I broke it so I got an Android. :-D

Jan 8, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>452 Keeline: And there are at least two of us with Windows Mobile.

Apr 18, 2017, 1:31pm Top

That IS the official app. It's in alpha testing amongst our employees now. There are lots of unfinished bits so I wouldn't recommend it to members for testing at this point. We'll have a much better version ready in a week or so.

That being said, it is an open alpha so anybody CAN install it. If you DO end up installing it we'd appreciate feedback on any crashes (and there will likely be some at this point).

Apr 18, 2017, 5:13pm Top

>456 conceptDawg:

It's not going to turn your phone into an asparagus. But don't expect it to work well.

Apr 18, 2017, 5:33pm Top

Or possibly some sort of root vegetable, but one never knows for sure until it happens.

Apr 18, 2017, 10:42pm Top

Only "glitch" so far was it would not show my library after installing (just spinning as if loading) until I rebooted phone. Then it was fine.

Added several books to library, searched authors, etc. No worries.

Samsung Galaxy S5.

Apr 19, 2017, 10:13am Top

>458 conceptDawg:

Or possibly some sort of root vegetable, but one never knows for sure until it happens.

It would certainly be unexpected if the LT app could root your phone!

Apr 19, 2017, 11:54am Top

>460 lorax: That would be a turnip for the books.

Apr 19, 2017, 12:04pm Top

>458 conceptDawg: Running PotatOS, I assume.

Apr 19, 2017, 12:21pm Top

>462 lorannen:

TomatOS, actually.

Edited: Apr 19, 2017, 12:30pm Top

Apr 19, 2017, 1:31pm Top

>463 lilithcat: and >464 davidgn: Not a root vegetable! But also, I laughed a lot, because I was unfamiliar with Tomato.

Apr 19, 2017, 1:34pm Top

You say TomatOS and I TomahtOS, you say PotatOS and I say PotahtOS . . .

Apr 19, 2017, 1:41pm Top

>466 lilithcat: Alas, I can't find the full version, but my favorite rendition of this song is Christopher Walken's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a9BO_BN0Ro

Apr 20, 2017, 2:24pm Top

I downloaded the app on the 18th and there was an update the following day, though I'm not sure what changed. I have added a book, but I found that when editing the details, the edits didn't save, so I had to into the full website from the browser, i.e. outside the app, to make the changes.

Apr 20, 2017, 2:32pm Top

>468 john257hopper: Android app conversation is here. I know we got a little off-topic in this one!

That said, as mentioned in >456 conceptDawg: , there is no official release yet, so it's not unexpected that things aren't quite working properly.

Apr 21, 2017, 3:43am Top

In other words, tread gingerly. Or get an apple.

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