Useful Companion to iPad App 3/5
November 2017 Update:
App desperately needs iPhone X support. The iPhone X version runs with software bezels above and below the app which severely limits the amount of usable space. Most unoptimized apps run with these bezels but it seems worse on these types of apps. I mostly use VS on my 10.5” iPad Pro but I use it on my iPhone for quick reference. This is a 5 star app on my iPad but it really needs this update on the iPhone X. Everything else still stands.
I use VitalSource on my iPad to purchase all of my textbooks so I don’t need to carry several hardcover books in my backpack. Now all I need to do is carry my iPad and I have every textbook I’d ever need and have at all times. There are features you get with VS that you don’t have with regular textbooks such as the ability to annotate notes, bookmarks, and highlights which I suppose can be done on paper textbooks but the best feature is the ability to search your textbook. That has saved me countless hours of flipping between the index and back. This app really does make school just a bit easier. The iPhone app works well but I usually only use when I need to check something as a quick reference tool. I really do recommend VS. Also, many schools let you purchase VS versions of textbooks with financial aid if you prefer. If you have a laptop or tablet then go for it! It’ll make your life so much easier!
It's ok, please fix talk to text 3/5
Since going back to school online I now have ebook. This app is nice to have all books in one place and be able to highlight for later reference.
However, the talk to text is frustrating!! I need a speed between normal and 0.5. Also it mispronounces a lot of words (like caregiver) which is kind of funny but not very helpful. Hopefully will work on the talk to text before I graduate.
On my AP Euro book it glitches on pg 585-588 PLEASE FIX
It's ok, but NEEDS WORK! 2/5
It's great for having all your mobile textbooks in one place. The main problem is that it jumps around... a lot! Mostly when trying to highlight something, it will continuously land at the end of the chapter so I then have to repeatedly scroll back to the top. It is also sensitive! When I try to highlight something it will go left or right into the next chapter, so I once again have to find where I left off. Would give better rating if these extremely annoying issues were fixed.
Works great!! 5/5
Two thumbs up!
Dumbest app ever 1/5
I need this app because it is the only way to access my online text books but, of course it doesn’t work like it should. It picks and chooses what it wants you to read it won’t let you go to what you need to read. This app needs a serious upgrade.
There is nothing good about it. I promise. 1/5
By Aunty Sammy
I pay a couple of hundreds or more to get books monthly for my online courses that I can only access through this app. I cannot even read them on my computer, because the app keeps crashing. The app support offered little help & I was told to try to download it again. It didn’t work. I have to literally log on to the website, but reading is so frustrating. There are no shortcuts & it is so annoying that I can only use the mouse to get around. You have to be careful too cause for some reason it keeps jumping to pages. Oh and it only allowed me on my phone & my laptop & no other device. That is a rip off. If it were not for my online courses I would have ditched this app, gotten my money back for all the books I ordered & looked elsewhere. 👎🏼👎🏼👎🏼
By The Butthole King of Chicago
Bought a textbook for school and had to use this app. Slow (and sometimes just doesn't work) when moving through pages. Kept freezing. If you search for something in another spot in the book, you better remember what page you were on before you hit the search button because it brings you right to the spot you selected without any return or back button.
Bookshelf is the app equivalent of having someone fart in their hand and hold it on your face (aka-"the buttercup").
Text to Voice issue 1/5
The app works fine for the most part. The text to voice feature is great in theory but has many bugs. The main issue I have with this is the lack of an ability to start it reading from any point. If you stop it before finishing a chapter, you will have to start the chapter from the beginning again. This is a major flaw and essentially renders this option useless. Also, it is very buggy in how it actually reads the text. Needs some attention in order to actually be useful. If this worked as it should, I would definitely adjust my review.
Doesn't have a good audio system AT all! 2/5
I have not not once felt comfortable using the audio app because it is worthless! The reading options are so retarded as -
1) The voice can't connect half a word in the next sentence, jumps around paragraphs in highlighted standout para's.
2) speaks so fast in the normal mode and the only lower mode is 1.5 (prob for those who have a hard time understanding English). There's no 1.75. I'd suggest they have a slide option (like iPhone/iPad) in their audio speed which would encourage everyone to use it for the purpose with which you buy it and not feel it like a waste because of the robotic voice
3) I wish there were more voice options available where I don't have to listen to this robotic voice. It irritates me more and I end up turning it off and reading it later than listening to it while doing other activities.
I do like the way you can highlight what's important and read it. Def. needs a few changes and upgrades which haven't happened in at least 2 years of me using this app!
Don't waste your money 1/5
Buy a book, this app has been the absolute worst! Can't even see all the pages that my class is working on currently!
Too slow to actually read. 1/5
By Yet Another Resident
I’m using an iPad mini 3 (2015 model), there are about 3 seconds of lag to load each new page. Compared to competing apps or e-readers, this is just not acceptable for me. I would not recommend purchasing books through this app, and would strongly advise against purchasing textbooks that use this system for electronic access.
This app is the worst 1/5
This app is terrible. They only let you have like 2 devices connected and it’s severely a pain to have to disconnect a device to access the app on something different. I forgot my password and it took me FOREVER to reset it and have it actually stick instead of giving me errors all over the place. It’s not user friendly at all. I was forced to use this app this semester for one of my textbooks and will NEVER use it again. Seriously I never even write reviews and I’ve been so frustrated with this garbage app that I figured I’d finally let everyone know to stay away from it. Not only have I had issues literally every time I’ve had to use this thing but it’s always about “too many devices being assigned to the account” with literally no way of figuring it out or fixing it within the app. So then I’ll go to the app on my laptop only to find that I can’t sign in, or that the app is already disconnected on my laptop so it’s IMPOSSIBLE for me to have more than the 2 device limit... Oh and the cherry on the cake was when I went to the “write a review” area in the menu and it asked me if I liked the app. When you press “no” it makes you send them feedback directly (already did that), and if you press “yes” only then can you go leave a review on the App Store... This app seriously is the WORST. Do yourself a favor and avoid it like the plague.
By Highly disappointed individual
It seems the issue only comes up when I am using the app offline which is most of the time for me.
Really stupid and frustrating app 1/5
- change orientation on iPad and page often returns to top
- try to highlight text close to the edge boom you went to previous page, turn back and you’re back to the stupid top of the chapter
- you hold your finger too long on the page, it jump back to beginning
- did I say this stupid app loves to interrupt your reading and jump back to beginning
- No apple pencil support
- No multi tasking split screen functionality
- this app makes you mad
Not reliable 3/5
I use this app for the easy accessibility to my textbooks. However, since recent updates all of my books will not populate to my device. I’ve contacted customer support, uninstalled the app & other troubleshooting, but it’s still an issue. Thus I purchase the actual textbooks (@ a discounted rate) as a backup.
Read aloud voice 2/5
By Xbl grey goose
I can’t stand listen to the old Siri voice read to me and I’m sure others can’t. I changed the voice in my general settings but it did not change in the app. Please make it so we can change the Siri voice that reads aloud. Thanks!!
Horrible bright, white flashing when turning pages. Returning my ebooks because this makes the app unusable.
Could be better.. 3/5
I got this app to study for an online course I am taking. It offers different features that are useful, however, it constantly "jumps" to the beginning of the chapter, making the reading experience annoying. I don't know why this happens or how to make it stop, but anytime I am reading it suddenly goes back to the first page of the chapter. Also, once something is highlighted I can't find an option to remove the highlight if needed. I have highlighted some parts in error, and when I try to change it I can only find other highlighter options (like change the color) but nothing to delete it. Also the bookmarks don't work. It definitely needs some improvements..
THANK YOU!!! 5/5
By Tiffy B.
Thank you for definitions in-app (Google) & reading the book to me... this is wonderful!!
Freezes When Using the Read Aloud Function 2/5
My school required me to purchase ebooks that use Bookshelf. I use the read aloud function when commuting and the app freezes when I try to get back into the app to either pause or stop the reading. I have to force close the app in order to stop the narrator from reading.
Reliable and fast 5/5
By Clay Eickemeyer
I can read my textbook easily, even during times where I am offline, since the app has a handy cache of something. Not bloated with over-the-top features or buggy usage, never crashes on me, it just works. I also like how you don't have to turn each page (it's continuous) and the print is nicely sized.
Incredibly frustrating 1/5
Worked well until I tried to get a second book on my shelf and the app basically collapsed on itself. The books would never appear together let alone wouldn't be able to read them. App is quite user unfriendly and would never recommend this app. I'm better off carrying the 40 pound book than using this crappy app.
Needs fixing. 1/5
I am using the highlighting feature in the app as I study. It will not highlight what I want it too. Either it highlights a completely different sentence on the page or it highlights more than I want it to. It’s really annoying.
No way 1/5
The most difficult, unfriendly, and confusing app I have had the displeasure of working on, ever.
Easy to use, could do with some work 2/5
Overall an accessible and intuitive app, but I find the fact that I can't highlight text on pages that have image boxes or tables extremely frustrating. The table of contents option could also use some work.
Every time I open the app it just crashes. It's so useless!
Inkling has a better user interface 1/5
I should be able to able to navigate books by chapter. Pocket medicine is not structured like it was in inkling app.
Update is Great, but... 4/5
Since the update, I'm only allowed to read the book pages vertically. I would like the option to read it like a two page view. Sorry, I hope this makes sense. Please have that option back. Thank you so much!
Not user friendly 1/5
You can't view two pages at once in landscape mode. If you select a word, the page freezes and you can't turn the page until you deselect that word. You have to swipe across the entire screen to turn the page, you can't just flick your finger like other book apps. The only reason why I have this app is because I need it for school. Otherwise I'd use anything else.
So far not the best 3/5
Every time I turn the page a get a quick bright flash of the next page loading. Not sue how long I can read with this occurring.
Deactivate a device 2/5
I use this app for school to for my online books. However, I am unable to have the same username and such on three different devices. Depending on what I am doing will depend on the device. I would be nice to use my Mac, iPad, and iPhone to receive a book I paid for.
Does not work 1/5
Device activation limit
Great app 5/5
Stop making me accept terms and conditions! 1/5
I accept the terms and conditions, stop making me re-accept them every time I open the app!
Unable to create an account 1/5
I'm not sure how I am supposed to use the app if there's no option for me to actually create an account.
Not user friendly 1/5
Hard to add a book
No integration with the Apple Pencil or iPad Pro 1/5
I was excited to see that a textbook I needed for my class was offered from this app when I first bought my iPad Pro recently. Even though I had a hard copy of the book, I wanted to be able to use the split screen on the iPad to follow along in class with the textbook and take notes on the side. So I decided to purchase a rental. I was sad to see that this app does not have any updates involving the use of the Apple Pencil or the iPad Pro. Please include ways to highlight with the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro. It would be great to be able to write on the pages and highlight in one step rather than to select the text, drag my finger to the text, and then select highlight. Dragging the pencil over the text should be sufficient. I would be very happy to see that in the next update!
Could be great 2/5
Constantly crashing, freezing, and overall just not working. The app could be great if it actually worked or was reliable in any way.
Terrible app 1/5
We purchased an ebook that only uses this app to read the book. The app crashes every time we open it. Talked to the book company who said it's the apps problem. Waited on hold for 30 mins and never spoke to anyone. It just sent me into their voice mailbox. No response so far.
No Printing on Mobil? 2/5
As a teacher I was excited to get this app and then I went to print a comprehension sheet for a student and discovered there is no way to print. I'm so disappointed.
Highlighter won't work. Slow to load and crashes constantly
This app has been freezing up and crashing all day. I've reinstalled the app, logged in and out several times and nothing works. I finally had to rent the book on yet another app which cost me more money. I used to app to save money and to have the convenience of online availability but so far that hasn't been the case. Please fix this asap!!!!
Useful if it weren't so unreliable 1/5
With the latest update, I can no longer highlight at all, nor do the highlights even correspond to the actual spot on the page - they take me to the beginning of the section. As a nursing student who relies on highlighting, this is not useful.
No access to book videos 2/5
I bought both text and Etext and neither had access to required videos included in the book. After a lot of correspondence I was told to seek help with the publisher, who by the way sells the book at a similar cost. Both were purchased from a college bookstore. Poor judgement on bookstores and professors on the text required for class and syllabus which asked us to watch videos from text for discussions. Two star only because the etext reads out loud on app.
By Texas Shazoo
No kindle ereader support (only fire). Voice read back is awful and hard to use. The app constantly scrolls back to top of page whenever it wants. I will just get the physical books. Ext semester.
State of Our Educational Industry 1/5
By Jonny Bergquist
The app is painfully slow. There are dozens of ebook and PDF apps that do the job so much better that one ought not need to use Bookshelf, but, alas, my textbooks are half the price in digital form (though only temporarily accessible via a subscription model), and they are only available on this platform.
I don't blame the developers, necessarily. I place most blame on the industry; the publishers pillaging students' wallets in charging $200 for the exact same information as the last edition with only minor changes to homework questions, the teachers seeking for a kickback, the educational institutions pushing for expensive editions to make a profit in their campus bookstores. I'm just too "well off" to get government assistance, and make just little enough that I feel the burden of every dollar I have to spend on these books.
So for the developers: the page turning is very slow, and so are the interactive features like highlighting and copying. The one star is because those are the worst things about the app, and obviously most essential things I have to use. I do appreciate the attempt with "read aloud" feature, which could honestly save me hours by letting me listen to my books, but the voice is a bit difficult to bear listening to for any length of time. Something that sounds a bit more human would seriously help.
Also, sorry for the rant. If I have to keep using the app and future updates fix the main issues, I'll happily update my rating for it. I probably will not have changed my opinion on the textbook industry though.
The worst app 1/5
The worst app and the worst website in general.
They are supper deceitful and hustler
Book shows as webpage 1/5
The book shows up as a webpage. It has no figures, tables or pictures. How I wished I hadn't bought my book via the mbs book direct website. Don't use this until they upgrade it.