Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pdf-To-Speech 8

We have listen to users' suggestions and the most commonly requested feature is speed. So the next version, version 8, will have an experiment Pdf reader that can be three times as fast on a Galaxy S or comparable phone, and can be twice as fast on a Xoom or comparable tablet.

The figure to the right shows how long it takes for the app to load the first page of Moby Dick, a 1047 page document. On average, the reader will now take about 3 seconds to read any random page on the document (images and other media can delay the reader).

The update is almost ready. The feature will be provided as experimental because there are many PDF creators, and it will take some time to verify the Fast PDF reader can process multiple types of PDF files. So be sure to give us your feedback.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pdf-to-Speech 5.0

We added OCR to Pdf-to-Speech. The app can now be used to read text in pictures that are embedded in a PDF document.

To use the feature. go to Settings and select Google Docs as the text extraction engine. A few things to note:
  • Google OCR is in beta and a quota is in effect, so the service may stop as the quota is reached.
  • Pdfbox, the default text extractor is better at reading Pdf's with columns than Google OCR.

Upcoming updates will allow the app to read jpegs and pngs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pdf-to-Speech 4.0 Release

Finally, version 4.0 has been releases. The major features added were:
  • Bookmarks. They include the option to add a comment as suggested by one of the users.
  • Tabbed GUI: The information was starting to get too crowded for a single minimalist screen. The tabbed GUI hopefully will keep things clear and still be minimalistic.
  • Search: The load screen includes a search option that will help you find files on the phone or on the web. The web search will only look for pdfs on Google. Notice that a similar action can be done from your desktop adding the keyboard filetype:pdf to the end of your search query.
  • Wait screen is gone: while the program was speed up, the real problem for users was not the wait, but being locked out of the app while the text is being extracted. The new implementation does this in the background, leaving the user free to exit the app, or browsing other tabs while the pdf is extracted.
Keep the feedback coming. There is a list of other features that will be added in the future. The major one expected in the next month is adding OCR to read the pdfs that cannot be read by pdf-to-speech at present. The OCR feature will also allow for reading of photographed text.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mouse Surfer

Today we released mouse surfer. The app will turn your phone into a computer mouse. The app fixes a couple of issues present in other android mice. First, it uses physics based movement so you can cover large spaces on high resolution screens. This feature is also really pleasing. It was inspired by way the GUI moves on the Android phones.

Second, the mouse self-configures. One problem with many Android mice is that they require the user to configure the mouse by setting in network information. This can be ok for some Android users; but if the mouse self-configure, all Android users would see the convenience in this. So the mouse will self-configure.

Self-configuration brings the mouse down to a usability level similar to a regular hardware mouse. The user simply downloads the driver, installs it and that it! the mouse will take a few seconds to configure it self.

The main use-case for the mouse it to use it to browse the Internet, watch Netflix, DVD, and flash based videos like Hulu.com and cnn.com. The mouse can be used for any other purpose. However, from experience, the mouse can be hard to use to draw, or to write very long papers, so don't throw out your old mouse just yet.

Get on the Android Market

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

PDF-to-Speech 4.0

There are some improvement we are considering for version 4.0 of PDF-TO-SPEECH.
  • First, we will give the app a face lift. The number of controls have grown as more features have been added to the app, and a GUI redesign is in order to reorganized the new options.
  • Second, we will add bookmarks. The automatic bookmark is already implemented. This one is the one that remembers where you left off when you close the app. The new bookmark feature will allow you to mark a place in the document.

Thanks to all our customers for constant feedback. Always feel free to let us know about issues and feature requests.