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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to point out that if you, or a kid, anticipates needing to use this eTexts.... a Fire might not be the best choice of devices. You MUST be on wifi/online to read the texts.

Although, even though the iPad is supposed to be able to read them offline - it failed totally on me last night. The reviews are CRAP for the iPad app, and I rarely agree with as bad as they are - people tend to exaggerate and such... however, the ones that say it needs an update for the retina screen - on target. I have an iPad 1 - and they look like crap. Nice fuzzy "low-res" scans is what they appear to be, they must really look HORRID on a screen with a higher resolution.

I was at first excited about eTexts - but then I saw that they weren't readable offline for most devices, and the quality was so poor.... I'm in the, "send me a dead tree book PLEASE". I'm rarely on wifi when out and about with my iPad, and i'm not going to pay $15-20 a month for 3g on it, or the hotspot on my phone.

My main advice if you are "forced" this direction is to SAMPLE THEM FIRST, take advantage of the return policy (don't think it will get better), and if the sample book in the app looks good - don't be fooled, the actual text you get might still be utter.... crap. I would never, at this point, willingly rent a Coursesmart textbook.

I'm going to copy and paste what I sent to the school librarian on it... mainly so you can see the issues I encountered. Oh and also note the Android versions they support - i'm not sure how that relates to the Fire either. BUt it indicates to me they aren't big on speedy upgrades :(

http://www.coursesmart.com/go/mobile (check out the chart).

So anyway, I feel the need to share this with the Fire community even though it wasn't asked about, and I don't have a Fire. I know that Amazon is pushing 8.9" Fires to Students this month and felt the heads up was warranted. Oh and because they are scans, I have to enlarge the text and probably would not go with a 7" device for them.

My issues last night (and ignore any grammar, spelling, issues... i'm still on the tail end of the migraine. UGH.)

Jan, I thought I'd share some more feedback on the eTexts.

I had a total uber-epic-fail last night with them at gymnastics.

On the iPad i had told it to download chapters 1-3 of the books back when I loaded it. Last night at gymnastics (no wifi) I pulled it out and the app was stuck in landscape. I have this happen often - but at home it works finally. Apparently, I could NOT get it to rotate while offline. I quit and closed the app (similar to an end task on android), and relaunched it. Three times. Every time I tried to rotate to portrait to change texts (you can only change texts in portrait mode - really???????), it turned the screen red and the text was on the right edge in a 1/4" narrow stripe. Um, ok.

So i gave up trying to switch texts and was reading the one that was loaded.... I got 5 pages or so into chapter two and hit a blank page that said, "this information not available offline".

Really??? But i downloaded it all i thought.....

So, my one quiet time of the day, I had to quit reading for my postings last night. Great. I was milking a migraine and knew by the time i got home I would be down for the count....

Once I crawled into bed I opened it. It logged in and started popping up with a gazillion error messages about features not being available offline (actual iOS errors I had to dismiss - it was about 6 of them really.....).

Overall, not a good experience for something that was supposed to let me read while out and about. If i had had paper texts I wouldn't be about to go read so I can get my postings done (the one class requires quotes from the text - hard to fake it! LOL!!). I did email my teachers and tell them I had an eText failure and a migraine. I'm not worried about the grade hit for being late.... but the fact that a huge chunk of it was out of hands is indeed frustrating.

So if I was asked TODAY.... I'd not vote for eTexts. I'm hoping I change my tune over the course of the quarter - but without an update to the iPad app i'm not optimistic.

And, the text clarity quality still.... sucks. LOL! (and that is probably the main reason I was not able to read at all last night - I could read a book in the kindle app with my headache, but the Coursesmart books were instant pain!)

Thanks for reading - hopefully your team views it as constructive criticism :D

Tracey
 

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Yeah, I tried some coursesmart texts last semester for some computer classes I was taking.
I definitely used the return policy & for one I wound up buying a DTB version & re-selling it back; the other I rented a DTB version.
I too would not recommend them & it will be a long time before I even consider trying them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My texts are part of my tuition - so unless the librarian tells me how to return them and request DTB, i'm stuck unless I pay out of pocket. I"m pretty sure that "THE US HEALTH SYSTEM: ORIGINS AND FUNCTIONS (EBOOK) " and I have no need to meet again after this quarter.... LOL! I might check into the rental cost for kicks, but I'm the typical "starving student" this quarter and am going to attempt to struggle through it.

What could be so great.... isn't.
 
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