Subtext, makers of the iPad free social reading app of the same name, have launched a completely overhauled version of their application. The UI is sleeker and more informative, a brand new book search tool has been set, and more.
Last summer, Subtext invited me to be one of three “experts”—joined by series editor Anne Groell (who’s also our editor on The World of Ice and Fire) and Sean T. Collins of Boiled Leather)—to add notes to A Game of Thrones. It was a fun, interesting project, and we amassed something north of 1,000 notes covering the sublime (Sean’s entries are particularly thought-provoking) to the amusing (Anne has some good stories about the behind-the-scenes) to the trivial (well, that’d be my entries, filled with little facts and heraldry and quotes direct from GRRM). The feedback has been quite positive, I’ve been told.
A growing range of books are supported by the app, so that readers, experts, and writers can comment on and communicate with one another about the books they’re reading. It’s a fantastic way to bring books even further into the 21st century, by making them social. Want to argue why a character made a bad choice on page 633? Want to respond to an editor’s funny story about how the author worked his way to writing a particular scene as she did? Want to take argue with someone else’s gloss of the text? You can do all of that with the Subtext app. Or how about embed videos or images that you associate with particular characters, scenes, or events? You can do that, as well.
Books can be imported from various sources, or bought through the Google Books store, and there are nice, clear instructions for how to do it in the app. I believe an Android version is in development, so for now it’s just for iPad, and available only via the siTunes US store. If youv’e an iPad, I really recommend checking it out—I believe there’s a few 50 page previews, with the notes, so you can see what each book they have has to offer.