Jun 19, 2007

Head2Head - Mobireader vs. iSilo

Introducing Head2Head
This is my first head to head review. I'll be covering more of these in the future. Basically a head2head review will take 2 similar applications marketed by 2 different publishers and try to compare all the features both applications offer. A table presentation will be applied to make things clear and easy to find.
In the end, I'll try to grade both apps on a scale from 1 to 10 and tell you which one I use (always or more frequenlty) and why. Sometimes you'll see a winner.

First up is a Head2Head between 2 major eBook reading applications: Mobireader for Symbian and iSilo. Both are very powerful, both are very widely used, both have their advantages and both may be of use at a certain time.

Head2Head: Mobireader vs. iSilo



eBook format support
prcall .prc.prc with no links or indexes
pdb.pdb with only text content.pdb books (links & images) only
Categoriesno, you can make reading lists on the pc & syncyes
RSS feeds supportYESno, edit: can be done via creating a file from your internet browser using iSiloX
Renaming eBooksno, only on the pcyes
eBook sortingno, only by nameyes, by name, date or size
eBook filteringno, edit: yes (prc+pdb, eNews, txt)yes (all, prc+pdb, txt)
eBook deletingyesno, edit: yes
eBook informationyesyes
One-click access to eBook storeyesno
Customization & Settings
Customizable shortcutsnoyes
Customizable librarynoyes (can show book size, date added, extension, icon)
Justificationyesyes (disable all layout)
Settings for all booksyes (one setting for all)no (every book can have its own settings)
Adjustable fontyesyes
Customizable colorsyesyes, in theory, but crashes everytime I try it
eBook reading
eBooks placed in one predefined folderyesyes
Full-size picture viewingyesno
Tables viewingfinenot very adaptable
Searchable indexyes, if available on the bookno
Find optionno (working on one)yes
Dictionary-like experienceyesno
Dictionary supportyes, select a word and you'll see its meaning in any of your eBook dictionaries, or in one preselected dictionaryno
Adding linksyes, add a link from one word/phrase to another word/phrase in the same/different ebookno
Full screenyes, one-time settingyes, but have to be set everytime
Copyno, edit: yesyes (lines, pages,…)
Adding bookmarksyesyes
Highlighting wordsyesno
Adding annotationsyesno
Page divisionyes, but not very specificyes
Go to pageyesyes
Go to % of a pagenoyes
PC experience
Desktop library clientyesno
Full sync of bookmarks, notes, highlights between pc and phoneyesno
RSS feeds reading and updatingyesno
Creating RSS lists and Books listsyesno
free eBookscan be foundare more available
Online eBook storeyesno official one
Device specific eBook encryptionyes (device PID)no

In Words
What I like about mobireader are RSS feeds, annotations & highlights, adding links, indexes, dictionary look-up, highlights, ability to read books on several types of devices from pc to windows mobile to s60, and sync'ing between all. They also offer really useful books and have a decent eBook Store. Heck I've spent over 190$ over medical books there, I must love this app to invest this much money in it! Still, I think a little more customization won't hurt, like shortcuts, library, fixed pages, find option and better RSS integration...
What I like about iSilo are the customizable shortcuts and library view, categories, aility to rename books, and the wide availability of free ebooks.

Mobireader score: 9.5/10
iSilo score: 8.5/10
The lack of annotations and highlights in iSilo can be overlooked. But indexes, dictionary look-up and RSS are just too much to give up on. Once you have them with mobi, you wonder how you've gone through all of your life without them. The dictionary feature will dazzle you, it's fast, it's effective, it's simple: just press 9, scroll to the word and press the middle button. It's something you will get used to quickly and that will save you a lot of trouble opening other apps or going through that 2Kgs dictionary of yours.

In a battlefield, it's a decent advantage for Mobireader, especially that it's free. But on my phone, you'll find both applications because in the medical field, iSilo offers some decent .pdb ebooks that can not be read by Mobireader.
In one word, Mobireader won't replace iSilo, and vice-versa.

Edit: I have edited this post after receiving feedback comments from Fabien Hertschuh (Mobipocket developer and moderator in the Mobipocket Forum) and Darren Chi (iSilo developer).

1 comment:

  1. 1. iSilo does not have text justification (even if all tables are disabled)
    2. iSilo does have a highlighting/annotation option
    3. iSilo pages can be dragged, mobipocket can not.


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