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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:25 am

A couple of days ago I was contacted by a talented programmer based in Poland who goes by the handle "Galu" about some software he'd written called LoboReader.

He'd seen my post about BYTE magazine and thought it might interest our community here.

LoboReader provides a streamlined and user-friendly mobile reader for any of the magazines found on the Internet Archive's "Magazine Rack" for your mobile phone or tablet. If you've ever tried to read or even browse an issue of, say, Amazing Computing on your phone before you should give this a try.
LoboReader heavily reduces the clutter and makes navigation more intuitive.


Unlike the herky-jerky experience one finds today when browsing or reading archived PDF mags in The Archive, LoboReader provides a much more natural user experience.

The viewer on Internet Archive website was not very mobile friendly so I created an alternative web app that brings all the standard touch gestures (like double tap to zoom, swipe to turn the page etc.) and automatically saves the reading progress.
As a result you can then easily use gestures to zoom into any individual page with ease to get to the content you want to see. It's a pretty nice upgrade to the experience.
At the page level you can use normal gestures to zoom and pan each page. The Archive's experience is easily 10X more painful, and frankly I gave up on it unless in a desktop environment. Not anymore.

All you have to do is navigate to this link using your phone of choice. Once the page loads you need to add it to your Home screen and launch it from an app icon.

From there, you're in business any time you want to check an old issue from the comfort of your phone. Very nice!

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Posted Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:36 am

I can't get it to work. I am on Andriod and am using a third-party launcher (as is quite common). Also, my browser is Firefox and not Chrome, if that matters... I installed the icon but when I tap it, I end up back at the instructions page. What am I doing wrong?

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Posted Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:44 pm


The app is fully unofficial and open source. Here are the sources and important Readme and License information:

No data is collected by me, everything stays in your browser. It's simple client side code directly talking to the Internet Archive servers. The reading progress is only stored locally in your browser and I recommend to back up the data every once in a while, especially on Android (there's an CSV export feature in the "About" view; import is yet to be added :)).

kentsu: The welcome screen clearly states that the app requires the latest Safari 14 on iOS or iPadOS or latest Chrome on Android. Firefox / Firefox Focus doesn't seem to support the standalone Progressive Web Application anymore. I'll take a look at it but I think you can add separate app icon shortcuts from different browsers on Android?

There is probably a bug on Android with GBoard keyboard and search input in LoboReader - if you cannot accept your search query, please add a dot "." as the last character.

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Posted Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:09 pm

Galu, thanks. I now understand that the text on the welcome screen means that one MUST use Chrome. I thought you meant that as an example.

I can give Chrome a try -- I generally avoid using it. Thanks for your efforts.

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