With the increasing number of smart phones, and tablet computers, it's important to consider how your content is server up to your web visitor. Although I'm only in the first phase of my own research, I've already identified some great tools.
My first find is open source (i.e. free) eBook conversion / server software, Calibre. The user interface is amazingly easy to use, and after watching the YouTube overview, there was no reason to read any manuals. In fact it may be a misnomer to think of Calibre as eBook software. A better description might be software which allows one to convert pdf files to the standard ePub format for mobile devices. However, Calibre takes the process one step further and allows you to convert for specific devices (i.e. iPhone, Blackberry, etc). Even better, the software comes with its own server software for delivering up books. Once again the server software is easy use. In a test at work, it took me just a few minutes to get the server online, and an equal amount of small time for a friend to access my server and download a book (no instructions from me). I've included some Calibre screenshots at the end of this post.
Now, like me you may not be independently wealthy ... you can't afford to purchase every latest mobile device. Thus, emulators can become your best friend. Here are some good simulators / emulators I have found during this initial research. Please add a comment with your own favorites:
- Android Software Developer Kit
- Apple Software Developer Kit
- Blackberry Simulators
- iPad Air
- iPad Peek
- Windows Phone Emulator
It's quite possible that you won't want to use the heavy duty SDK's. Thus, if you just want to view how a page renders, then I recommend a trip to Gomez. This site allows you to submit a url and view the results (emailed to you) on how your web content looks upon a Blackberry Storm, a iPad, an Android Chrome Device, and finally a iPhone.
And now the Calibre screenshots. Click upon any image for a full sized view.
eBook Manager User Interface
Mobile Server Root