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Local Books iPhone application!

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Edited: Jan 6, 2010, 9:59am Top

Jan 6, 2010, 1:09pm Top

iPhone people.

Why, back in my day we looked things up in the phone book, and then we walked there, in the snow, uphill, both ways.

Jan 6, 2010, 2:12pm Top

At present Local Books does not show inventory from local bookstores and libraries.


But book lovers can't be happy in a world with fewer and fewer physical bookstores, and a rising threat to libraries.


And libraries, which far exceed bookstores and are almost everywhere, are absolutely critical.

One of these things is not like the other.

Jan 6, 2010, 2:23pm Top

Downloaded and will take it out for a test run.

Jan 6, 2010, 2:49pm Top

Love it. Used it to confirm that no, there were no other bookstores in the town I visited today. So, app makes me happy, lack of bookstore makes me sad.

Jan 6, 2010, 2:55pm Top

Damn. What town?

Jan 6, 2010, 2:59pm Top

Downloaded it, like it!
Pity it doesn't show kilometres, only miles.

Jan 6, 2010, 3:02pm Top

Michigan City, Indiana. There's one bookstore in a run down mall and another tiny, overpriced store in an outlet mall that yuppies from Chicagoland come to shop at.

Still better than the city I live in, we have zero bookstores.

Jan 6, 2010, 4:53pm Top

7: It shows kilometers if you are in a country that uses km, or if you set your iPhone prefs to use metric. The app follows Apple's guidelines there.

Jan 6, 2010, 5:20pm Top

Yeah this looks awesome. Any timeframe on an Android version?

Jan 6, 2010, 5:24pm Top

No plans for an android version at this minute, but that could certainly change at any time.

Jan 6, 2010, 5:51pm Top

I'm jealous.

Jan 6, 2010, 6:10pm Top

Android would be nice. :)

Jan 6, 2010, 10:06pm Top

9> From his or her profile, it looks like verenka is in Austria. So maybe there's a bug, or maybe verenka is visiting the US.

Jan 6, 2010, 11:21pm Top

Ditto on the requests for an Android version

Edited: Jan 7, 2010, 2:57am Top

ok, had my settings to UK, I thought they have changed to metric. it works on German > Austria settings. thanks!

Jan 7, 2010, 6:16am Top

Yeah. Interesting note: The UK is the one place where we have to do a custom action. The OS actually tries to do metric for UK so we have to override that to show imperial units.

Jan 7, 2010, 7:47am Top

Since we're asking, how about a Symbian version too?

Jan 7, 2010, 7:52am Top

>17 conceptDawg: That whole metric thing was a Napoleonic plot anyway!
Tested it for Ireland on my wife's iPhone: seems to require a very precise entry rather than just Dublin which brings back nothing...

Jan 7, 2010, 12:57pm Top

that sounds nice, but since I have an Android phone, I can't use it, which is a shame.

Jan 7, 2010, 1:26pm Top

19: That's because Dublin is a pretty non-specific name. You and I both know what city you're talking about but there's a pretty decent sized Dublin, Ohio in the US too. Although it should bring back something I would think. I'll look into it.

As for the Android, Symbian, Blackberry requests: We had to start somewhere and iPhone is the obvious choice. If things go well then I could certainly see us looking at other platforms.

Jan 7, 2010, 3:19pm Top

>17 conceptDawg:
I thought the UK had switched to metric? I certainly hear my British friends talking about buying fabric by the metre all the time!

Jan 7, 2010, 3:59pm Top

Road distance (and speeds) are measured in miles; there's no evidence of any attempt to change that. Most everything else... I've lived here 14 years and can't say exactly what the rules are. I'm pretty sure that legally shops aren't allowed to sell things in imperial units, but you often see things that happen to weigh 454 grams. Pubs can still sell beer by the pint, of course. (I think the islands would crumble and sink into the sea if you couldn't buy a pint of beer.)

Jan 7, 2010, 4:35pm Top

Remember when the United States switched to metric? ... Back in 1975? ... What do you mean you don't remember?

Jan 7, 2010, 5:02pm Top

Can we add this to the application?

Edited: Jan 7, 2010, 5:16pm Top

#25 - How do the people in the legal department at Target Corp. feel about LibraryThing using their logo? *wink*

Yes, yes, I know. You added an extra ring. And made it look a bit like a heart, which is kind of sweet.

(And, I remain very jealous of all you iPhone owners.)

Jan 7, 2010, 5:24pm Top

>27 clamairy:
Go get yourself an ipod touch. Phones are for weirdos. ;)

Jan 7, 2010, 5:32pm Top

It discloses the true purpose. We're assembling bookstore and library locations, so Amazon can target them with its space lasers.

Edited: Jan 7, 2010, 6:38pm Top

For Android inquirers: http://www.librarything.com/blog/2009/12/augmented-reality-for-librarything.php

I think the venue info is identical but Tim or Chris should confirm or deny this.

side note: Temporarily ignore that it says Layar is available for iPhone 3GS (though it matters much less now from our perspective) because the Layar people pulled the iPhone version due to some terrible crashing bug (:

Edited: Jan 7, 2010, 9:17pm Top

The difference is that Local Books includes events, favoriting, click to call, etc. It's a more integrated experience with the data.

The Layar data is, on the other hand, a little more whiz bang way to view what's around you. But it only includes the basic venue information.

Jan 8, 2010, 9:03am Top

>17 conceptDawg:
Metric for the UK would be just what I would want if I had an iPhone...

Edited: Jan 8, 2010, 10:53am Top

Metric for the UK? I suppose if you're walking metres may make sense if that's what you're used to, but if you're driving all road distances are measured in miles...

Jan 8, 2010, 2:45pm Top

I would expect the distances would be in kilometers when in metric mode.

Jan 8, 2010, 5:12pm Top

There isn't a "metric mode". The closest is the region setting, which I have set to UK. The native Maps app reports distances in miles, which is entirely reasonable since that's what road signs and car odometers use. I would expect Local Books to measure distances the same way as the built-in apps with the same settings (and it does).

Jan 12, 2010, 4:29pm Top

You know, I really am a total geek but I noticed that the "n members online now" seems to be about 50 or so higher than it was a week ago (and for a long time). Is that number sensitive to the iPhone / Local Books traffic? (if not, then this is officially off-topic, so apologies)

Jan 12, 2010, 4:37pm Top

>36 lquilter:

No. Actually, it's been creeping up for a while now. 300 used to be a standard max. Now about 400 is.

Jan 21, 2010, 11:26pm Top

So, maybe I'm missing something obvious, but is there a way to show all the local bookstores on the map rather than looking at them one at a time?

Jan 22, 2010, 1:49am Top

On the iPhone or site? The phone version doesn't have maps, except on each venue "page." It's a Google limitation, actually.

Jan 22, 2010, 3:26pm Top

I was thinking of the iPhone--it's pretty inconvenient to look one at a time. I want to know where there are groups of bookstores, and I want to plan out a logical route to get from one to another rather than jumping to whatever's closest at the time. Especially since Local still, as far as I know, has no way to sort bookstores in order of favouriteness. Too bad about the Google limitation.

Now that you mention it, though, I'd also really like to be able to see more bookstores by scrolling on Local itself. I'd like the page to load faster initially and then be more versatile. Geocaching.com manages to load places as you scroll around.

Mar 8, 2010, 12:43pm Top

It is something that we are thinking of adding. It was a technical limitation of the 2.x version of the iPhone OS. We wanted to target as many people as possible with the first version of the app so we targeted that OS version.

Hopefully we can make the next version 3.x-friendly and put in a global map.

Mar 8, 2010, 1:00pm Top

I don't suppose this will work with an Ipod Touch will it, as it doesn't have the GPS part or 3G, but does have Wi-Fi.

Mar 8, 2010, 1:06pm Top

42, not sure whether you're talking about the app as it stands or the suggested improvements mentioned in 40-41.

The app as it stands works with an iPod Touch. I've used it. The localization part of the app works depending on how well Apple can triangulate your location based on your wifi signal. But you can also search for locations by zipcode or name, and find bookstores on the app that way.

Mar 8, 2010, 1:11pm Top

Thanks, yes, I meant as it stands now. I will give it a go. Does it work anywhere - i.e the UK? How much is it?

Edited: Mar 8, 2010, 1:18pm Top

It's free. I don't know if it works everywhere. Well, it "works" everywhere, in that it covers all the locations and venues that are covered in Local (and there are venues from the UK in Local).

Whether Apple's localization via wifi works everywhere (a separate, non-LT issue) I don't know. Does it work for other apps for you in the UK?

Localization (and localization when using the LT app) has worked fine for me in Southern California, but in a smaller town in Canada, Apple/the iPod couldn't discern my location. Your mileage my vary.

Mar 8, 2010, 1:18pm Top

OK, thanks. I will give it a go. Even it I use it to search bu zip codes or names it should be useful.

Mar 8, 2010, 5:25pm Top

It works on my iPod Touch as long as there is wi-fi available. Otherwise, not.

Mar 8, 2010, 11:54pm Top

The UK has pretty decent coverage in LibraryThing Local so you should be able to get fairly dense results, especially in and around London.

Mar 9, 2010, 11:38am Top

Ok, thanks all.

Edited: May 15, 2010, 10:52am Top

OK so I guess I was slack and stayed with the one I was using from BETA testing. Now the provisioning is about to run out so I go to the iTunes store, search for "Local Books", find the app and discover...
"The item you tried to buy is no longer available.
The availability of the item changed while* you were using the store. The same item may be available for a different price or elsewhere on the store.

*Can't be the case, 'cos I just went back to check on the wording and got the same thing.

Jun 1, 2010, 3:24pm Top

Hm. I'll check on that. You should be able to download it.

Jun 23, 2010, 6:04am Top

I don't know if you did anything, but I just downloaded from the AU appstore no problem tonight.

Jun 23, 2010, 7:48am Top

Any idea why a venue would have a photo on LT and not on Local Books?

Jun 23, 2010, 8:44am Top

Venue photo updates are not working.

Jun 23, 2010, 7:58pm Top

That would explain it then. Thanks.

Aug 31, 2012, 8:03am Top

I was not able to find Local Books in the App Store. What gives?

Edited: Sep 1, 2012, 2:57pm Top

I guess it went away in the intervening 2 years. I'd forgotten about this (never used it, I'm on Android, but it's interesting). Tim said (in the 7 Years blog post) that one thing they're working on now is mobile - maybe this could be revived and/or integrated into the new app?

Sep 2, 2012, 6:04am Top

They've renamed it; it's now called "Readar". A bad name, IMHO, because it's very difficult to find when I search for by name -- iTunes shows everything with "reader" in the name. Searching for "LibraryThing" does work, though, and brings it up as the second hit.

Apr 23, 2013, 10:35am Top

What about an android version?

Apr 23, 2013, 12:08pm Top

Note that this thread was begun in 2010, and the app...well, at a minimum it's changed. They are looking at mobile right now, both iOS and Android; how long it will be until there's an actual app (and whether this one will be ported/recreated for Android) I don't know.

There are a few Android apps, from and for LT. LibraryThing Browser (from an LT user, and very new) downloads your LT library and lets you search and view it various ways - very helpful in a bookstore/booksale ("do I already have this one?"). LibraryThing Scanner (from a user, been around a while) is supposed to help you add books via your phone - I find it very slow and awkward, but it works if you need it. The others are pretty much library access apps - LibAnywhere and for specific library systems. Those are from LT itself, and work well _if_ your library system is on them - useless otherwise.

The nearest libraries to me in LibAnywhere are about an hour's drive away, vs my local one and a half-dozen others within 30 minutes. But that's because they haven't signed up with LT - I need to lobby them harder to use LibraryThing for Libraries and the LibAnywhere app.

As I understand it, they're planning to make a way to access and edit your LT library offline in a way that it can sync back to the website when you get back online. At least, that's what I'm hoping they're working on! It may be a pipe dream, we haven't had any details (that I'm aware of) of what they're planning to do mobile, merely the statement that mobile is high priority right now.

Apr 23, 2013, 11:31pm Top

I'm in Canada and it's telling me it's not available outside the US :/.

Edited: Apr 23, 2013, 11:54pm Top

They were talking about it when I was in high school, in the 60s! I wish they had gone ahead and done it and got it over with. We'd all be used to it by now.

I'm talking about the metric system, I thought it would post where I clicked Reply, but it came to the end. Sorry.

Apr 24, 2013, 12:40am Top

62> Yes, there's no threading on LT - it's all one conversation. To indicated what you're referring to, you can put the number of the message you're replying to at the beginning, as I did here. No problem - LTers quickly learn to hold dozens of half-finished conversations in their heads. You'll do it too. I figured what you were responding to.

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