Having an eBook reader on a computer is always a good idea, and is essential these days. Since we’ve got books and magazines on our iOS devices, the first step has been already made. I also guess that most of us keep downloaded PDF documents, manuals, and books in some kind of digital format, that are all siting right there on our hard drives. For the most part a good PDF reader will do the job, but that’s mostly because many people are not aware that there are some incredibly helpful eBook readers in the OSX App Store.
As you can see from the title of this article, we are going to take a look at Clearview. This is an application which can be used to organize your library of eBooks and also offers some reading features. It’s currently priced at $7, and could be found at the OSX App Store.
Once you take a look at these screenshots, or once you open Clearview for the first time, you’ll notice that its interface clearly resembles Google’s Chrome browser. As it turns out, that’s actually true since developers of Clearview used Chromium, which is the open source version of Chrome. In this case, this resulted in a nicely designed interface which isn’t really minimalistic, but close to it.
On the top you’ll find tabs for those books you’re currently reading, meaning that you can read more than one book at a time, which is great when doing some kind of research. There’s also left-positioned sidebar which holds a library icon, folders, reading lists, and bookmarks. Once you add a bunch of eBooks into the library, they’ll be presented as covers so you can choose several ways to view them, just like you would do with covers in iTunes. Once you click on a book you’ll get to see some page previews (if you’re using coverflow view, for example) as well as the table of contents.
Looking at Clearview’s interface you can see a small search field, used to search for books. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to search your entire library, but only titles of the books you own, which was disappointing.
In order to read an eBook, simply click on it two times and a new tab will open. I’ve tried several different eBook formats and didn’t have problems with any of them. It seems that Clearview is capable of rendering many different formats without any errors, which was a nice surprise. Once you open a new book you’ll be able to add bookmarks and different kinds of annotations. For example, there are options to add shapes, highlight, underline, and strikethrough, or to simply leave a note on a page. What’s important to say is that these annotations are saved in Clearview’s database, so they won’t appear in your PDF documents. Of course, this can be changed so you can permanently add new annotations.
There are a lot of nice things to say about Clearview. It comes with a nicely designed UI, successfully renders different formats, and offers a nice set of annotations. But for a price of $7 I’ve hoped that I’ll see some more advanced features like iCloud support, for example.