August 22, 2014

OverDrive Releases Updated Media Console App for iOS, App For Kindle Fire Also Available

share save 171 16 OverDrive Releases Updated Media Console App for iOS, App For Kindle Fire Also Available

1. OverDrive Media Console 2.6 for iOS Now Available

What’s New:

Support for iPhone 5 and new iPod touch.
-eBook reader improvements including sliding page transitions, multi-column view, bold fonts & image viewer.
-Redesigned audiobook player.
-In-app web browser for OverDrive-powered sites.
-Goodreads added to the sharing options.
-Anonymous usage data is being collected.
-Bug fixes and performance improvements.

2. OverDrive App for Kindle Fire Now Available in Amazon App Store

For the first time, OMC is available to Kindle Fire users in the Amazon App Store for Android, making it easier to access eBooks and audiobooks from OverDrive-powered libraries. (Previously, Kindle Fire users could side-load the OMC app.)

With OMC v2.6, we’ve further refined the browsing experience. Users can now browse their library’s digital collection from within the application—no need to launch a separate browser window.

The OverDrive blog post also mentions:

OMC v2.6 employs Google Analytics to compile anonymous usage data, which will help us as we develop future versions of the app. Please note, OMC does not collect personally identifiable information, and the app enables users to opt out of sending anonymous usage data.

New and additional tracking is not a real surprise. From a May 2012 Aptara Blog Post:

According to the company, OverDrive Read will embrace HTML5 and EPUB open standards to provide instant access to content across computers, smartphones and tablets. By utilizing standard web browsers, the platform also promises online or offline reading experiences that can be enjoyed without the need to install any additional apps or software.

The advantages of this strategy are expected to extend far beyond end user interactions, however, as digital publishers will be able to garner vital insights by seamlessly tracking readers’ search, selection and purchasing habits.

Note: We are working to learn more about the addition of Google Analytics to version 2.6 of OMC.

  • Were library partners told before OMC 2.6 was released about the data collection?
  • Why the need for this data now vs. early releases of the OMC? What will it do for future app development?
  • What data points are they collecting?
  • Will OverDrive provide directions, training about how to opt out?
  • Will they sell the anonymized data? Share with partners (both libraries and publishers)?
  • Is there a data retention policy?
  • Can OverDrive be more transparent about what they are doing?

UPDATE 10/24:
It has been more than 10 days and we have not heard back from OverDrive. I can’t say I’m at all surprised but I’ll ask again.

Note:Thanks to Matt Weaver for pointing out the passage from the Aptara Blog to us.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.