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iSilo Document Readers For BlackBerry Enters Beta

IsiloTablesLongAndWideStefano just let me know about a new commercial document reader for BlackBerry. The software allows you to convert PDF, HTML, and Word documents to take with you on the go with pretty good formating. This wont help with email attachments and actual word documents unless you convert them with your computer beforehand. The software will probably be available for $19.99 once it is out of Beta. During the Beta you can download it for free from this link.

Features from their website:

  • High text compression in iSilo™ format documents result in a 50% to 60% decrease in size, which is about 20% better than the Palm Doc format, allowing you to store more and larger documents on your handheld.
  • Hyperlinks make it much easier to navigate through a document.
  • Images add visual richness to documents, especially photo-quality color pictures.
  • Tables allow the display of tabular data.
  • Formatted text gives style to text for controlled emphasis.
  • VFS support on Palm OS® allows you to store and access documents on high-capacity removable storage.

Personally I think it is a case of too little to late. In a few months most devices should have Documents To Go with OS 4.5 and will no longer need such a solution. Also you can practically do the same thing with Mobipocket Reader for free. Mobipocket lets you convert PDF, HTML, Word, and other documents to be read on your BlackBerry at no cost. It might not have the formating features that are available in iSilo but free is free.

You can check out more screenshots at this link if you are interested.

6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Mobipocket and iSilo are two different beasts. Converting documents for Mobi is a major pain! That is probably why you’re likely to find just commercial titles for Mobipocket. I don’t know if converting documents to the iSilo format is easier, but look around the Web and see that there are lots of free user-contributed iSilo documents all over.
    Hum, I just saw there is a Linux version of iSiloX, the software that makes iSilo documents. If it is any good and easy to use, then iSilo is indeed a very welcome addition to the Blackberry arsenal. It’s always been popular among Palm aficionados. I always preferred Plucker, but we have to work with whatever is available. 😐

  2. iSilo on the Palm was tremendous. When I switched to the Blackberry, there were few document/ebook readers available. I’ve tried Mobipocket reader and its conversion utility and while they’re a decent solution, the client on the Blackberry seems to keep running in the background and it looks like it’s trying to maintain some sort of ota connection as my battery has been sucking lately.

    What Luciano says above is true, iSilo has been around for a long time and I’m sure there are tons of available converted books and such. Hop over to and you’ll get an idea. I am looking forward to iSilo for the Blackberry!


  3. Sorry for replying to my own post but I just had to add a few more points. For the Blackberry to become more of a viable device for professional use (reference material for doctors, lawyers, etc…) there needs to be a dataviewer on the Blackberry. Sure, I could surf the web for data or use Docs to Go to open MS Office documents but if you’re on the spot and need reference data fast, it’s also tied to the network filestore, something that is useless to us if we were stuck in a subway tunnel or deep in a hospital with a dodgy connection.

    If anything, I think iSilo comes just in time as Blackberry is hotter than ever. It’ll definitely bring more of a PDA to the Blackberry platform and woo the Treo crowd if it hasn’t already done so.


  4. You make a very good point, haephaestus. This is indeed a very popular program among professionals that need a lot of reference material on them, like doctors and lawyers. This is very good news for the Blackberry indeed.
    Download it and give it a spin, Ronen. It is one very nice program. Look at how it browses the media card files smoothly! I wish there were something like that for Plucker or at least plain txt files… :-(

  5. All that, plus a great solution for all the BB’s that will be left behind by OS 4.5. ??? Isn’t 4.5 only coming to 81xx, 83xx, and 88xx? There are scads of 87xx’s out there in the corp world (that can’t have camera and can’t justify “World Edition” 88xx upgrade cost), and I still see people everywhere with 7xxx devices.

  6. Holy cow, there are keyboard shortcuts for everything and they are CUSTOMIZABLE! I wasn’t quite ready for that one. :-) Why can’t other applications do that?

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