OverDrive Releases Updated Media Console App for iOS, App For Kindle Fire Also Available
1. OverDrive Media Console 2.6 for iOS Now Available
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.
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.
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?
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.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.