Tablet for Flash E-Books
August 9, 2011 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Will an Android tablet allow me to read eBooks provided through McGraw Hill Connect and Xplana?

My fall classes have assigned two eBooks - one which is purchased through McGraw Hill Connect and one provided by Xplana. Neither company seems to support iPads due to use of Flash, so I am considering purchasing an Android tablet.

Xplana has an Android app but it apparently doesn't let you read the book, just access additional content. I have Googled this to death, and also can't find sample books to test from these two providers.

Has anyone had experience with eBooks from either company on Android tablets?
posted by beyond_pink to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I'm not sure if these are eBooks and the only source of the content for you, or if they're supplemental learning materials. eBooks really don't come with a lot of wizbangs at the moment because the majority of eReaders can't support wizbangs. Not to mention the fact that I can't see them publishing eBooks without having physical copies as well. Not everyone (especially students) can afford an eReader. Physical copies wouldn't have wizbangs either.

A lot of publishers are making their content available for online use. Looking at the support pages for both McGraw Hill and Xplana.. they're very specific about the types of browsers and plugins you need. McGraw Hill goes as far as to label the operating systems, which is limited to Mac and Windows.

While there is a firefox app for Android.. I believe it doesn't do flash or embeded video.

I'm really getting the impression that these two publishers are aiming their accessability at people who are using computers and not eReaders. My best suggestion is a laptop or tablet with Windows 7 on it.

If you're still curious, contact the people are your learning establishment. Ask them what their requirements are for the classes.
posted by royalsong at 9:16 AM on August 9, 2011

Response by poster: They are eBooks and the only source for me - the idea of reading lengthy books on somewhat dry subjects on my laptop doesn't sound ideal. I am attracted to the idea of a tablet for easier portability and more immersion in the material. Unfortunately my school doesn't really have instructional technology staff who know about this sort of thing... I am tempted by a tablet if not just for note taking. Thanks!
posted by beyond_pink at 3:53 PM on August 9, 2011

If you identify the format of the ebook (are they .mobi? .epub?) then you can look online and see if you can view that format on a tablet.

Essentially, if the format can be converted by a program like calibre then you can convert it into a format that your ereader program of choice on the android tablet can view.

Somehow I suspect that these publishers are distributing content with DRM, in which case you're going to have to see if the publisher has their own reader that can be loaded onto your tablet. They just might! Check their website.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 6:40 PM on August 9, 2011

Response by poster: Unfortunately, I think these are not in a standard format like epub or mobi, you have to visit the publisher's website for access. I did order a tablet, so I'll update this thread once I test them out.
posted by beyond_pink at 7:55 AM on August 10, 2011

Best answer: Update: I bought an Android tablet (Asus Transformer) and I love it.

The Connect e-book is horribly formatted (like there's a giant menu on the left permanently taking up space - it's basically just a website) but anyway, it works when online.

Xplana wouldn't provide a sample book to test, so I rented the book through CourseSmart instead and it works well too. I had hoped the CourseSmart Offline feature would work on Firefox for Android, and it seems to get past the browser checker, but most pages won't load after downloaded. It is a fairly pleasant read in the CourseSmart Android app, though.
posted by beyond_pink at 5:36 PM on September 14, 2011

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