Tome is an app I am finally able to get a good look at. It is an app that provides access to Goodreads. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a site for people who like to read. Initially this app tried to use Facebook to connect with the Goodreads site since it is how you can connect, but it failed. Then when Tome was available it wouldn’t connect either, well not fully, it connected to some things. Anyway I am happy to say it works “mostly” correct now.
Let me preface this by saying that while I use the website, I am not a very active user of Goodreads. You will not get everything the website has to offer in the app, but it should satisfy you urge to make a quick update or comment quite well. The initial screen will provide updates from those on your friends list. People update reading progress, ratings given, books to-read, contests entered and quite a bit more information. You cannot see anymore than the 10 showing on the page (if you missed them use the website I guess). Your shelves are shown next. Some have created many shelves so will have more listed. I have read more than 169 books, I just haven’t bothered to try to enter them all in, even if I could remember all the titles from years gone past. Finally access to your friends, groups and search.
Click on a shelf and you’ll see the contents. For some reason many titles do not show the cover, though it shows just fine at the Goodreads website. It really ruins the look. Right-click gives you several options for ordering the books by title, author, date released or published, and by rating (either by your rating only or average of all). It loads fairly quick, but there is a slight bit of lag as you scroll to the right. I also had the swirly circle of dots indicating loading that appeared behind the books, perhaps looking for the covers it has been unable to display.
Choose a book and you’ll get basic information like author and release date. If you click on the author’s name you can get a short biography, a link to the Goodreads website for the author and related works You can rate it and see its rating, get a brief synopsis and see user reviews. I prefer this view rather than the one on the website, as you can see the most important information easily. Click on a review to see it all, though the only clue you have there is more is the ellipsis. The app separates any friend reviews for easy comparison.
You can comment on reviews as well as on status updates posted by your friends. As you should be able to see above I am typing in a response. The box is a decent size but for some reason the app chooses to ignore it. It just keeps it all in one line, making it difficult to review what was typed (I like to proofread before sending). There is quite a lot of screen real estate lost by having this box take up just a small corner of the app and then not even use the small corner fully. This option should be a pop-up window or some other thing like it, so you can use the rest of the space to show more of the content.
Goodreads is great for keeping in touch with your family and friends reading habits and/or helping to recommend a book for them to read. You can see your friend’s information, updates and bookshelves. It is a decent amount of access and information, but strangely on my large screen (1920×1080) the shelves column is cut off. I suppose it would be cut off more in other resolutions, but the I think this would be better viewed using semantic view and show a portion of each shelves books and then clicking on that shelf name will allow you to see more books. More informative and a more pleasing view. I should mention that for some strange reason, I was unable to view some friends, I got an error message.
Included as well in the app is access to your groups. I find space wasted here more than anywhere else. The group name and information takes up more than half my screen, and the most important part is tiny. You jump in and out of discussions ok, though it puts everything in one listing (not pages) so if you wish to jump to the end, you can’t as easily. Frankly I wish it more closely worked like the website. When viewing a thread you have almost half the page wasted with empty space.
Search – there is a dedicated search button which will bring up a search page or you can use the search charm. Nothing spectacular but gets the job done. Share – it doesn’t possess the ability to share (nor recommend books), though changes you make will be posted to Goodreads and therefore may be “shared”. Settings – none.
In the smallest snap view, it kept most of the functionality. In fact the previous design scrunched up nicely to fit into the snapped view. You don’t get to see reviews and some other things are missing, but most of the experience is available in this view.
The live tile will display a few status updates from friends.
If you are a “lite’ user of Goodreads, then this app should suffice. It has much of the core functionality of the website just either poorly arranged or not completely working. Those who use Goodreads regularly and are often commenting or participating in groups may find this app falls a few chapters short of completion. It will do, however, until or if Goodreads comes out with their own.
Category: Books & Reference
Download size: 763 KB
Publisher: Hactar Software