Overview of PocketBook Cloud - a free cloud service for synchronizing books between readers, smartphones and computers

Greetings to all! In a recent review of the flagship PocketBook 740 reader, I promised to write a separate post about the PocketBook Cloud cloud service. Actually, you are reading this very separate post now.

PocketBook 740 - The first reader to support PocketBook Cloud. Therefore, I conducted testing with it. (Later, some other pocketbooks will also receive support for the service, I will return to this question below.) For convenience, I will break the post into chapters in which I will tell you what PocketBook Cloud is and why it is needed at all. In short, this is a service for those who live reading in the literal sense of the word and read books on any improvised device for any free minute. And this service allows you to synchronize books and reading positions between the reader, computer, smartphone and tablet. That is, to do what has been expected from Poket for a long time.

A more detailed version of the story about PocketBook Cloud is below.

Why create a PocketBook Cloud?

PocketBook has spent a lot of effort, resources and time proving the following thesis: ideally, reading books is from readers, since they have E Ink screens that are safe for eyes. But smartphones and tablets have much less secure color displays that hit the eyes with light, wearying eyesight. And yet, thousands of people still read from smartphones and tablets. Still, to overcome this trend by 100% will not work - a fact. And if you can’t overcome it, there is only one option left - to lead. That is why PocketBook has been developing its applications for reading books for iOS and Android for several years.

Practice shows that even those comrades who have pocketbook readers are often read from smartphones. Just because a modern user always has a smartphone with him (even, sorry, in the restroom), but in some cases you can’t take a reader with you.

What are these cases? Well, suppose you have a reader from which you read at home and in the subway. Once you went on foot for business — for example, in the housing office on the next street — and suddenly you had 10-15 minutes of free time that you didn’t even expect at all, and therefore you didn’t take a pocketbook with you. Someone in such a situation will immediately stick to VKontakte or Facebook, but many would love to read the book. PocketBook Cloud is designed for such users - for those who love permanent reading and enjoy it. Who know what a reader is, but for a number of completely objective reasons, they cannot always carry this device with them. And so sometimes they have to read from smartphones.

There are other situations when the pocketbook is most often not at hand: in the queue to the doctor, while waiting for friends at the club, and so on.

Yes, and at the workplace you can not read from the reader - the boss will come and give it on the ears. But from a smartphone or from a PC browser, you can read books almost openly, this will not cause suspicion. Unlike a reader, a device that management may not be aware of in principle and which will immediately cause bad interest.

In general, again: PocketBook Cloud - it is for those who live by reading. And who reads from all devices in a row. Mostly from the reader. But sometimes also from a smartphone and / or tablet, and in some cases also from a laptop and / or desktop computer.

How does PocketBook Cloud work?

The first step to access your PocketBook Cloud is to sign up for an account on BookLand.com. This is a branded book store from PocketBook. Previously, it could be called simply a catalog of electronic books (by the way, the largest in Russia - 2.5 million books, magazines, audio books and other content items in 18 languages). However, with the launch of PocketBook Cloud, the BookLand.com website transforms into a multi-functional cloud service platform for buying, storing and synchronizing literature between different types of devices - computers, smartphones, tablets and, of course, PocketBook readers.

After registration, the BookLand.com account information must be entered on all devices from which the user reads books. The PocketBook 740 reader has a PocketBook Cloud client.

In the case of a computer, a browser with the open BookLand.com site (or cloud.pocketbook.digital) is used to access PocketBook Cloud.

In the case of smartphones and tablets, PocketBook Reader applications are available for accessing the PocketBook Cloud, which I mentioned above in the text.

Books are added to PocketBook Cloud in the following ways:
- using a computer - you can buy them on BookLand.com (downloading files from a PC is not supported);
- from a PocketBook reader - they can be bought on BookLand.com or downloaded to a reader from a computer in any available way (cable, Dropbox, “e-mail books”);
- from a smartphone / tablet - they can be bought on BookLand.com or downloaded to a reader in any way possible (by cable from a computer, from the Internet, and so on).

As a result, books and reading positions are synchronized between all user devices. It looks like this. The user loads the book into the pocketbook in any way possible (see above), opens it and reads. In the process of reading the book is automatically downloaded to the PocketBook Cloud. Then, after some time, the user stops reading. For 30 seconds, nothing happens - the reader waits: what if a person returns to the book and continues to study it. If nothing happens, then the reading and bookmark positions are synchronized with the cloud. If user actions take place, then synchronization is postponed. And it happens 30 seconds after the last action of the reader user.

However, there is also a manual mode: after the user has stopped reading, he clicks on the synchronization button and data on the page on which reading has stopped is transferred to the PocketBook Cloud. Next, the user picks up a smartphone / tablet, logs into the PocketBook application and presses the sync button. After a couple of seconds, a book will appear there that he just finished reading on a reader. (Well, or the reading position will be updated if the book has been written to the smartphone’s memory earlier.) If you click on the book, it will open on the same page on which the user finished reading on the reader.

The reverse is also true: you can download the book to your smartphone or tablet, and then continue reading from the reader from the same place from which the user stopped reading on the smartphone or tablet. Pocketbook itself will offer to do this:

You can buy books on BookLand.com and then read them from your browser. On the same BookLand.com, as well as on a separate site cloud.pocketbook.digital. Files and reading positions are also synchronized with the user's readers, smartphones and tablets.

How much does using a PocketBook Cloud cost?

Not at all: the service is absolutely free. But! By default, the user is provided with 2 GB of space on the PocketBook Cloud for storing books. Later it is planned to provide the opportunity to buy packages with 5, 10 and 15 GB of space.

I think the vast majority of users will have enough and 2 GB. For example, take the complete works on Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. This is a huge publication with a volume of five thousand pages - and it is much more than the average book.

A file with this same edition in FB2.ZIP format weighs, scary to say, as much as 1.6 MB. And 2 GB is 2048 MB. We divide 2048 by 1.6 MB and get 1,280. That is, on PocketBook Cloud the user can store 1,280 of such voluminous books. If we are talking about ordinary small books, then they weigh an average of 300 kb. Divide 2048 MB by 0.3 MB and get 6,826 books. There is a suspicion that for many this will be enough not just for a month or for a year, but for life.

What are your PocketBook Cloud development plans?

Nevertheless, upcoming tariffs with 5, 10 and 15 GB of space have a right to exist. Along with the introduction of these packages, the service is planned to be developed in the following direction:
o downloading book files from its own library via the web interface in a group way;
o the ability to save any HTML-page from a PC browser to PocketBook Cloud;
o storage of audio books. And in this case, additional gigabytes will not be superfluous at all - an audiobook with a high bitrate can weigh, for example, 50 MB, or even more.

Just in case, let me remind you that PocketBook has a number of models with audio support - in particular, PocketBook 631 Plus and PocketBook 631 Touch HD. Other manufacturers do not realize audio capabilities at a normal level (well, except perhaps with Bluetooth, which implies the need to purchase the appropriate headphones), but the audiobooks can play audiobooks. For owners of such models, tariffs with 5, 10 and 15 GB make sense.

Which PocketBook devices support PocketBook Cloud?

The new flagship reader PocketBook 740 - times. In addition, firmware with PocketBook Cloud clients in the coming months will appear for two other top-end devices - PocketBook 631 Touch HD (2016) and PocketBook 631 Plus (2017). Well, of course, PocketBook Cloud will support all upcoming 2018 pocketbooks with Wi-Fi.

As a conclusion

A modern gadget (of any type) has three components - hardware, software and service. PocketBook readers always had everything OK with each of them: hardware is the best (both in terms of ergonomics, and, for example, in terms of screen quality, and warranty - up to 3 years when purchased in the PocketBook online store; such a long warranty says at least about confidence in quality), software - even more so (both in terms of convenience, stability, and support for book formats: as many as 18 versus 5-10 among competitors). The service component was also at the level. But there wasn’t enough such a proprietary solution - its own ecosystem that would link the reader, an online bookstore, a user's library on a computer and applications on mobile devices into a single connected system.

Partly the role of such a solution was played by the Dropbox service, but exactly what partly. Yes, with its help it was possible to "distill" books between a smartphone, a reader and a computer, but - without preserving the same bookmarks and reading positions. PocketBook Cloud is much more functional, fact. And use it much more convenient. (At the same time, Dropbox does not disappear from PocketBook readers.)
If you have any questions regarding the operation of PocketBook Cloud, welcome to comment - I will answer. And representatives of PocketBook, in turn, are ready to study ideas for developing PocketBook Cloud, which you can also leave under this post.