Last week we saw that mobile device use increased to 22% of all checkouts of eBooks and audiobooks from OverDrive-powered libraries. Today, OverDrive is pleased to announce new features for its mobile apps that are sure to increase that usage even further.

With the release of OverDrive® Media Console™ v2.4 for Android™, BlackBerry® and Windows Phone, users can:

  • Return audiobooks as well as eBooks.
  • Find definitions while reading using the dictionary lookup feature. Users can also use Wikipedia search, too!

The system requirements are still the same. The free apps can be installed on phones and devices running…

  • Android v1.5 (or newer)
  • Touch screen BlackBerry OS v4.7 (or newer)
  • Non-touch screen BlackBerry OS v4.5 (or newer)
  • Windows Phone 7 (or newer)

OMC v2.4 for iOS —iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®—will have early audiobook returns and dictionary lookup for iOS v4.0 (or newer) available soon.

Users with OverDrive Media Console already installed will get a notification that an update is available. To get the update now, click here.

Brianne Carlon is a public relations specialist for OverDrive.

51 Responses to “Now available: New features for mobile apps”

  1. Andrew

    Will the desktop version of Overdrive Media Console be changing to allow early returns of audio books, or just mobile versions?

    • David Burleigh

      Hi Andrew — at this time, we don’t have any information on that feature for the desktop versions, though we do expect an upgrade at some point.

  2. David S.

    Good to see the app updated, thanks! Not sure if there is somewhere you collect and prioritize future improvements, but I really miss having a live widget for Overdrive. The Kobo app is a good example; it has the book cover graphic, title, % finished, and time since last read, all displayed on the Android background. Click it, and jump straight to where you left off in the book.

    • Michael Lovett

      Thanks, for the suggestion, David. I’ll pass the idea on to our development team. ~Mike

  3. Ann

    Hello. I have been searching and searching for an answer to this. I have an android tablet that I use overdrive on. I was excited to hear that it had updated to have a dictionary. My version of overdrive is fully up to date, but the dictionary function doesn’t seem to work. When I tap a word, it vibrates slightly, but nothing else happens. Can it not use this function with books downloaded from the library ?

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Ann- If you tap and hold on a word, a small window should open up with the word and a magnifying glass. Tap the magnifying glass to look up the word. Try holding after tapping…if that doesn’t work, you can contact support through your library’s “Help” link. Good luck! ~Mike

  4. Marge Colletta

    Hi Ann, Whenever I open my Overdrive 2.4 for the iPad when I select “Get Books” I have to Re “Add a Library”. The app no longer saves the library I got the book from. Can you help?

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Marge- Try following the instructions in this Help article, and if that doesn’t do the trick, you can contact support via your library’s Help link. Best, Mike

  5. Marissa

    I recently updated my mobile phone software to Android v4.0.3 and all the ebooks I downloaded to Overdrive v2.4.1 kept loading blank pages. I deleted and downloaded them again, but the problem kept recurring. And worse, this time, the books are downloaded, the pages seem to load, and I can even flip pages, but no text is seen on the pages. Is this a problem with the new Android operating system? will Overdrive be fixing it?

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Marissa- Sorry you’re having trouble reading eBooks on your Android device. Here are a few simple things to try to fix the issue:
      Open OMC so that you see the ‘Bookshelf’ screen.
      Tap the Menu button, then tap App Settings.
      Make sure that ‘Open in Full-Screen Mode’ is checked under ‘eBook Options’.
      Open an eBook in OverDrive Media Console (OMC).
      Tap the Menu button, then tap Reader Settings.
      Make sure ‘Default Layout (CSS)’ is checked. If it isn’t, try unchecking it and opening the eBook again.
      If you have ‘Spare Parts’ installed, make sure that the ‘Display Option’ is set to ‘Compatibility Mode’
      If these steps don’t solve the problem, please contact OverDrive support via your library’s Help link. Best, Mike

  6. Donna

    I have the same problem as Marissa. Whenever I start a new chapter or reopen a book I am reading I have to either check or uncheck (depending on its current state)the css option and then the text will appear. I have checked that full screen mode is enabled and cannot see comparability mode so guess I don’t have spare parts installed. Many thanks

  7. Julia

    A lot of the time, when listening to an audiobook, I press pause when I need to take a break. When I go back and press play again, the app often skips back to an earlier part of the book (usually where I pressed pause the time before). Seems hard to hold your place in the book.

  8. Nev

    Is it possible to run Overdrive Media Console in the background on my iPhone? I used to be able to turn it on, set my iPhone down and listen until I decided to stop. Or even listen while also checking my text messages. for some reason, now, I can only continue to list as long as the app is open. If I try to open a different app, the audiobook stops playing. And if I set the phone down, when the screen turns off, the audiobook stops playing. Is there a way to tell it to play, even in the background? Thanks!

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Nev. Thank you for contacting us. We’re sorry to hear that you are experiencing difficulty with OverDrive Media Console (OMC) and your iPhone. To correct this issue, I suggest following these steps:

      1. Completely power off your iPhone. You can do this by holding down the power button then using the red ‘Slide to power off’ slider.

      2. Once the phone is off, turn it back on be pressing the power until the Apple logo appears.

      3. After doing this, please play a title using OMC for iPhone.

      4. Let the phone automatically sleep to see if the playback stops.

      After you have completed these steps, titles should play normally. If not, please contact support via your library’s Help page. Best, Mike

  9. Linda

    I am also having problems with disappearing text when a new chapter loads. If I change the color scheme the text reappears. I’ve tried all the fixes listed above and nothing worked. This began after I upgraded my Android phone.

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Linda- To resolve technical issues, please consult the Help pages located on your library’s “virtual branch” website, where you’ll find troubleshooting resources and email-based support specific to your library’s OverDrive service. Best, Mike

  10. Shel Price

    I upgraded to a Evo LTE android phone yesterday and am having the same issue with disappearing text. I found changing the color scheme also restores the text until the next chapter.

  11. Jen Lizcano

    I posed a question on this blog and it is now gone and I have no reply. I am having trouble with Overdrive stopping randomly on my EVO LTE, no problem on my EVO 3D….

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Jen- Hi- To resolve technical issues, please consult the Help pages located on your library’s “virtual branch” website, where you’ll find troubleshooting resources and email-based support specific to your library’s OverDrive service. Best, Mike

  12. KC Andersen

    There really needs to be a “return” feature for the PC version of Overdrive. And the one that’s supposedly available through my iPhone app is worthless as far as I can tell, because the books I want to download are “not available for download from our mobile site. Please login to your account…..” I have the titles downloaded on my PC, I’ve read them, now I just want to return them so I can check out more, but the only option I have is to delete them from the OverDrive console, which apparently doesn’t serve as a book return, so I get to wait until it expires before I can rent another. Does that seem reasonable to you?

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi KC- The early-return feature varies by device and format. Please consult the Help pages on your library’s virtual branch website, where you’ll also find links to email-based support. Best, Mike

  13. Leah

    I have recently upgraded phone to android 4.0.3 with overdrive 2.6.1
    When reading a book and it loads the next section, the first page shows fine, when i swipe to get the next page, only a small part of text shows. I have to change the color scheme for it to show all the text. Is this a bug with this version?

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Leah- Please contact support via your library’s Help pages for troubleshooting with the OverDrive Media Console app on your Android phone. Best, Mike

  14. Jonna Ortiz

    I’m having problems with my books skipping.. The reading keeps jumping back to an early portion of the chapter.

  15. Suresh

    When will we be “really” supporting playing WMA on Android. The list of “OverDrive WMA Incompatible Devices” is just haunting. That list is ~95% of android phones.

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Suresh- The Android platform does not support DRM-protected WMA audiobooks, so it’s not possible to play WMA audiobooks using OverDrive Media Console for Android. -Mike

  16. Betsy

    Here’s the sequence of things:
    1. I got my Android tablet and began using a different reader for epub files. I could purchase and download books and import them into the other reader without any problem.
    2. I found out that to check out ebooks from my library, I had to have Overdrive Media Console. I installed it and have been checking out and reading library books.
    3. Now if I purchase a book direct from a publisher’s website, when I try to download an epub file, it downloads automatically into Overdrive Media Console. This is not what I want. It was annoying enough when it worked, but now I’ve purchased a book, Overdrive Media Console is taking over the download, and it’s giving me an error 3011.

    Can I make Overdrive Media Console work with only the library books and stop being the default for everything epub?

    This is probably not the right place for this question, but I couldn’t find anything in the help files or any other way to get help. Thanks.

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Betsy, You should have a section in your settings that lets you set the default app that opens up your files. This will let you choose what to open files with.

  17. Betsy

    Adam, that’s what I thought. I haven’t been able to find it, but knowing there should be one somewhere I’ll look harder. Thanks.

  18. Julie

    I have the OverDrive app on my tablet that I use to read books I have checked out from the library. Is there a way to have these same books appear on my phone so I can read on either device (I do this quite often whether one device is charging or I don’t have one and have the other). I am able to do this with the Kindle app and the book picks up where ever I left off last. Can this be done with OverDrive as well?

    • Adam Sockel

      HI Julie, Within the App on your device simply log in to your library account. You’ll be able to download the titles you have checked on out on any device. If it’s a simple reader, just sign in on your computer and transfer using ADE. Thanks, Adam.

  19. JP

    Hi, One feature I really miss from my kobo ereader was the offline dictionary. The app for my android tablet seems to only have an online dictionary which makes it basically useless for my reading patterns.

    Any plans to provide some kind of offline dictionary support? Alternatively copying the selected word to the clipboard would allow me to use a dictionary app to lookup a word.

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi JP, at this time there are on plans to add an offline dictionary to the app as it would increase the app size. You are able to copy/paste words though

  20. Ray

    Hello,

    A friend recently told me about overdrive. This has been a great “find” ;)

    There is one thing that would make a huge improvement…

    I’m wondering if the iPhone app had a variable speed playback option?

    If it was possible to adjust the speed from 0.5x to 3x in 0.1 or 0.25 increments, that would be a huge bonus.

    Most audiobook players have this feature, and it makes a huge difference.

    It would allow listeners to get through more books, and have those same books returned sooner so someone else can borrow them.

    Thanks again.

    Looking forward to your reply,
    Ray

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Ray, I will pass along your request. You are able to do this if you enjoy titles on your computer currently and I’ll see what our developers say. Thanks.

  21. Ray

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the fast reply.

    If I download audiobooks to my desktop, is it possible to transfer them to my iPhone and use the native music player (it has variable playback speed for audiobooks)?

    Thanks,
    Ray

  22. JP

    Thanks. I finally figured out how to copy words. Long press on the word brings up the dictionary pop-up, then a double press in the pop-up selects the whole word for copying.

  23. Kathy Wilkins

    I just purchased a Samsung Tablet Galaxy 2 10.1. I wasn’t having any trouble at all reading books from the library through OverDrive and now all of a sudden when I try to go back to the book to read it it keeps giving me the circle, like it’s trying to find it. This is getting aggravating. Is it the OverDrive itself? I uninstalled it and then installed it again. I can get to the library site just find and even to the page for the book. It gives me the cover and all when I hit “read” but that’s all. When it “goes to the pages” of the book it’s just the circle (which I guess is like a Microsoft hourglass).

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Kathy, I apologize for the issue. Click the ‘Help’ button on your library’s OverDrive page and then ‘Contact Support’. They’ be able to help with your issue. Thanks, Adam

  24. Grace Voight

    I am unable to look up words in the dictionary when reading books on overdrive. My ipad has been updated by Apple recently. Will there be an update issued by overdrive or apple soon that will again enable me to use the dictionary feature?

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Grace, Thanks for alerting us. This is a known issue and is being addressed. Thanks!

  25. zandrea

    Hi. I use OCM in conjunction with the Philadelphia Free Library… for each of the audio pbooks that I have checked out. the final chapter doesn’t download, yet my phone is saying that all 10 of the parts have completely downloaded. PLEASE advise.. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to get to the END only to not be able to listen to it. Thanks.

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Zandrea, If you go to the Philly library OverDrive page and click help > Contact Support our technical support team will be able to assist. Thanks!

  26. Pat Fitzgerald

    I’m not able to use the dictionary since I updated my iPad to ios7. I’ve tried redownloading OCM but no luck. Any advice?

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Pat, this is a known issue and it will be addressed in our next app update. Thanks!

  27. Ray

    H Adam,

    I just wanted to write back to tell you that I am impressed with Overdrive’s new variable payback speed option.

    You guys added it in within approximately 2 weeks after I asked for it in a post on this page.

    I don’t know if you were already working on it, but, am I ever glad it’s there now.

    To give you an idea of how useful it is, I just finished listening to my 7th book in 12 days. And yes, I do have a full schedule with work and studies.

    This is exactly why I wanted to have this feature.

    (It would be nice if you can go up to 3x in .25 jumps. There are actually some books out there that can be listened to at speeds faster than 2x)

    Thanks again, and I am really happy with this app.

    Best wishes,
    Ray

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Ray, Thanks for the kind words. I’ve passed along the thoughts about adding more variable speeds. I believe our dev. team was looking into this already as well. Thanks!

  28. Lisa

    It’s great having the dictionary function but I read in French also and am learning Spanish. It would be amazing to be able to change dictionary language instead of going back and forth to online translation.

    • Adam Sockel

      Hi Lisa- Great suggestion. I’ve passed it on to our dev. team.