Oyster, which bills itself as the “Netflix of e-books,” has expanded the coverage of its service to include Amazon’s Kindle Fire line, Nook HD, and other Android devices. Users on those platforms can now install the Oyster app on their smartphone or tablet, and start reading.
The service, recently featured as GeekWire’s App of the Week, allows users to read as many books as they’d like from the company’s library, so long as they pay a subscription fee of $9.95 a month.
Oyster’s expansion is a strike against Amazon’s control of the e-book market. The Seattle-based retailer offers users free Kindle books through its lending library for Prime users and other programs, but the company has yet to offer a straightforward subscription service like Oyster.
That means there could be bad news ahead for Oyster and other entrants into the e-book subscription market. If Amazon chooses to offer a larger library for e-book subscriptions, its popularity could torpedo a bunch of other early entrants into the market.
Oyster’s catalog, which includes more than 500,000 books, still has a number of blind spots, but the company has been working hard to expand it. Right now, users can read titles from Steven King, Neil Gaiman, Anthony Bourdain and many others.
Oyster’s new release comes with a handful of feature updates for all users. The company has polished up the different themes in the reader, and has added another high-contrast theme designed for beach reading. Each theme comes with a day and a night mode as well.
In addition, the book detail pages, which include a brief synopsis of the book as well as user ratings, have received a facelift. Popular titles now include editors’ notes discussing what there is to like (or dislike) about the book in question. In addition, the book detail pages feature an approximate reading time, based on how long it took other Oyster readers to finish the text.