If you run Bloom on beta channel, you are a crucial part of the Bloom team. Your help ensures that folks who don’t have easy access to technical help get a solid product when the beta becomes the release version. Thank you!
On Monday, Bloom 4.5 will become the release version. But first, here’s what’s new in 4.6 beta, available now:
In Settings, we’ve added the option to use Kayah and Shan numeral systems.(Feature Request)
When opening a different collection, Bloom now offers you the last 9 collections you opened. (Feature Request)
We added a completely new WYSIWYG Quiz page. You can control formatting (Feature Request), location in the book (Feature Request), and the content of the heading. You can also record audio for all parts of it (Feature Request, Feature Request).
[EDIT 28 Aug 2019:
Note: while the new QUIZ features are there in 4.6, users won’t see these changes in Bloom Reader until Bloom Reader 2.0, which is still in alpha release. We are hoping to get Bloom Reader 2.0 to Release stage in October 2019. In the meantime, users of Bloom Reader 1.3 will still be able to use the quizzes, but they will appear at the end of the book, not show custom formatting, and not have audio.
You can now paste hyperlinks into books which will work when people use the digital version of the book(Feature Request).
You can now copy text from language translation speech bubbles.
The “Add Page” dialog now clearly indicates which template pages are available only with Bloom Enterprise enabled.
Books with many pages
We have improved Bloom’s ability to work with books that run into the hundreds of pages.
Sign Language Books
We have improved computer performance when working with sign language videos. Page thumbnails no longer include the first frame for the video (this was hard on memory and CPU).
In the Publish:Upload screen, we’ve added a place to identify the language of your sign language videos.
We added a “Text above Video” template page.
We improved the smoothness of Talking Book playback by now playing only a single audio file per page. This means that highlighting is now based on timestamps, rather than on starting up individual audio files for each sentence. Talking books created with 4.6 require a Bloom Reader version that is up to date (latest v1.3).
Bloom Reader Publish Preview
New, easier publish screen
We added a preview that lets you interact with the book before publishing to a real device.
We added new hints about publishing with USB and Wi-FI.
We’ve added the ability to limit Bloom shellbook downloads to BloomLibrary.org visitors in single country. If you need to publish books with that kind of restriction, please contact us.
New, cleaner ePUB publish screen
We added smarts to Bloom’s user interface to use different fonts, as needed, in order to display various non-roman languages. This is not related to what you see in books, just the Bloom interface. Bloom now ships with Google’s “noto” fonts for Arabic, Bengali, Devanagari, Thai, and CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean).
This version is the beginning of a multi-version effort to move Bloom’s UI to a more consistent and contemporary visual design language. We have chosen to move towards Google’s Material Design, which is what users will be familiar with from their phones.
Getting the Beta
If you already have a beta version, Bloom will automatically ask to update itself. Otherwise, Windows users can get 4.6 from the Bloom downloads page. The Linux version is available as well. As usual, you can have the Release & Beta versions installed at the same time, and open books on either.