Customers of ereader.com have been waiting for a version of the eReader Pro program to hit the iPad. That wait is now over, as Barnes & Noble released eReader for the iPad last night. This app is not to be confused with either the B&N eReader or the newly released Nook reader app from the company. B&N bought the ereader.com business in March of last year, and it has quietly continued to operate it in the shadow of its main B&N online e-book store.
I have been a customer of ereader.com for years; I have almost 500 e-books in my purchased library at the store and those are not accessible with B&N’s other readers. The eReader Pro app has been available for almost every smartphone platform for a while, but the iPad version had been missing until now. This version is not pretty, which is in keeping with the eReader Pro philosophy of function over beauty. For that matter the lack of a flashy facade may be why it is so fast.
Users of eReader Pro on other platforms will feel right at home as the iPad app is very similar to existing versions. Access to the user library is done within the app, but purchases are made in a separate browser window. You can start shopping at ereader.com for books from inside the app, but it fires up the Safari browser for the actual shopping excursion. Books can be perused and purchases made in the web browser. It does provide a link after purchase to take you back to the reader app, which is pretty cool.
As on other platforms, the iPad app provides lots of display configuration options — fonts, themes, day/night display — and it is easy to set things up the way you prefer. Fans of the eReader Pro autoscroll feature — which scrolls the page up slowly to allow reading without page turning — will be happy to note this is possible in the free iPad version.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Irrational Exuberance Over E-Books?