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Mobile Apps Mobile apps

When to use Offline Apps

RM Books has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices that enable users (students, teachers and admins) to download then later read their ebooks offline when they're away from an internet connection. Books that appear in My Books - those books the user has been allocated or has borrowed from the school elibrary - will be available to download into the offline app.

Read more about the offline apps here >>


When are the offline apps useful?

Offline apps may be useful in some scenarios as a back-up solution to the online reader, when an internet connection is not available.

They are useful for students to be able to read when they're away from an internet connection using mobile devices they own, such as their own tablets or smartphones.

Or, where the school is providing 1:1 access to devices in school and a student is allocated one tablet device for a long time period, say, a year.

Or, where the school is providing a solution for the minority of students who don't have an internet connection at home by loaning out a single device for a long time period.

When should you not use the offline apps?

Offline apps are unsuitable for scenarios where different devices will be used to access a user's RM Books account. For example, they'll be unsuitable to read books on the many different shared devices and computers students typically have access to during a school day. As a user can only register up to three devices for use with their account, students will soon find they can't login to the fourth (and so on) device and the offline apps will appear to no longer work.

Offline apps are also likely to be unsuitable where lots of students will try to download a book at the same time, such as at the start of a lesson. Unlike the online reader that downloads the content a little at a time, the offline apps download the books in full. Longer books with lots of pictures can be very large in size. Many students downloading large books at the same time may be constrained by your school's internet connection bandwidth and so the books may then take a long time to download.

As the offline apps download the book in full, longer books with lots of pictures and diagrams will be larger in size and will place more strain on the offline device being used to read the book. Depending how capable the reading iOS or Android device is, this may result in noticeable lags when opening books and turning pages. In contrast, the online reader fetches the book content little by little and changes the fidelity of the pages to cope with connection speed and device resolution, so in most cases the online reader will feel quicker and more responsive for larger books.

The current offline apps don't yet support the latest ePub3 format ebooks that have embedded audio and video.

For reading at school, users should use the online reader. This provides the best reading experience by supporting the latest ePub3 format books and displaying Book Notes annotations and quizzes that the teacher has set.

How the offline apps work

The offline apps are designed to provide offline reading on devices a user owns or has on-loan for a long time period.

Users can read offline via the apps on up to three different devices that they've registered to their account by downloading the app and entering their credentials. This limit is enough to cover, for example, an Android tablet that the school has loaned a student for the two years of her course, her own iPad at home, and her SmartPhone. This limit exists to protect publishers' content; to prevent a single user account's ebooks being read offline by different people. (Instead, multiple ebooks may be allocated out to groups of students in one go using RM Books' Allocate > Groups functionality for concurrent reading of the same title, or by Allocating copies of books into the school elibrary for students to take turns to borrow and read.)

The first time you use the offline apps you need to login with your RM Books account to register that device as one of your three devices. You need to do that when you're still online so your login credentials can be verified. Standalone RM Books users login using your username@schoolshortname, just like you do online. RM Unify and Glow users login using your username@scope or username@glow that you've given by their RM Unify or Glow administrators, and click the corresponding button "RM Unify" button.

Once the device has been successfully registered to your RM Books user account, when you open the app online you'll see a thumbnail of the book covers that correspond to those books in RM Book > My Books for your user. When you click the book it is DRM protected then downloaded in full to the device. Some longer books and books with lots of pictures may be quite large in size and take a while to download. Once downloaded, that book is available to read offline until its loan or allocation period expires or its loan is cancelled by a teacher.

Read more about the offline apps here >>