This page describes the changes made in each new release of Reading App Builder. You can download the latest or previous versions on the Download page.

Reading App Builder 4.7

Release date: 12 September 2018

New Features and Improvements:

  • Open Multiple App Projects
    • Allows you to open several previously created app projects from your App Projects folder.
    • See File > Open Multiple Apps…
  • App Project Groups
    • Allows you to group related apps together in the tree view on the left of the App Builder screen.
    • See ‘Project Group’ on the App > Project page, or the ‘Project’ page of the New App wizard.
    • Right-click on a project group folder and select ‘New App…’ to add a new app to that project group.
  • New App wizard improvements
    • Added ‘Default Interface Language’ and ‘Interface Languages’ pages.
  • Zip files of Icon images
    • When adding icons on the Images > App Icon page, you can select a zip file of icon images (e.g. as downloaded from Android Asset Studio) rather than needing to unzip the file and add each of the images separately.
  • Allow turning off Full Screen mode on double-tap
    • See Features > Formatting > Go to Full Screen when the user double-taps the text.
  • Original source of book file
    • Right-click on a book row in the books table and select ‘Show Original Source’ to display the path to the original location of the book file (the one that will be used if you select ‘Update from Original Source’).
  • More Color Schemes
    • Added Dark Orange, Chocolate, Asparagus Green, Dark Olive Green, India Green, Pakistan Green.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • Search whole words was not finding words preceded by or followed by certain punctuation and spacing characters: quote marks, colon, semi-colon, zero-width space, and zero-width non-breaking space. (#52796, #55748, #56430).
  • Song indexes were not displaying the published chapter character.
  • App crashed when there was an empty book.
  • In audio-text synchronisation highlighting for right-to-left scripts, opening and closing quotation marks were not highlighted with the correct phrases.
  • In the book selector, if the book names were in a right-to-left script, the list of book names was not fully right-aligned.
  • If Contents item or screen titles included ampersands (&), the contents menu would not be saved or loaded correctly.

In the app builder:

  • Handle images in About box with spaces in filenames.
  • If you use File > Open… to open an already open project, the builder should select this existing project rather than opening a second instance.
  • Export to HTML included a link to the stylesheet tooltipster-shadow.css which does not exist (#58841).

Download this version

Reading App Builder 4.6.1

Release date: 15 August 2018

New Features and Improvements:

  • Word documents to SFM
    • Added ‘Export…’ button to the Source page of a book created from a Word document, to export the book as a text file with SFM markers.
  • Navigation features
    • See Features > Formatting & Navigation.
    • Several features added to configure book and page selection.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • Text was not showing underneath images in picture story books if the page had not been fully loaded.
  • Do not show the page selector in the book selector if the book is a song book (which will have its own index page).
  • The user’s choice of downloading audio automatically was not saved if the ‘Audio file download’ setting was not enabled for the Settings screen.

In the app builder:

  • If you enabled Firebase Crashlytics, the app would not build because of a missing library repository.
  • Remove the Viewer tab from app builders in Linux, due to incomplete support of Java FX.
  • A valid JDK path in Linux, java-1.8.0-openjdk-amd64, was being reported as invalid.
  • Book content was not updated when changes were enabled/disabled.
  • Changes were not applied in books with HTML content.
  • Use more sensible default values for some of the features.

Reading App Builder 4.6

Release date: 10 August 2018

New Features and Improvements:

  • Contents Menu
    • The ‘Contents Items and Screens’ page in the builder has been rewritten to make it more user-friendly.
    • Added Navigation Type setting to the ‘Contents Settings’ tab: you can choose for the app to show either an arrow or a menu (hamburger) button after the user selects from the contents menu.
    • Added Image Width setting to the ‘Contents Settings’ tab (a percentage of the screen width).
    • Added a ‘Viewer’ tab which allows you to visualise how the contents menu will look in the app.
    • Documentation: a new section about adding items and screens to the Contents Menu has been added to the ‘Building Apps’ document.
  • Optimised page loading
    • Moving between books could be slow in the app, especially with larger books. This has now been optimised, with the app loading page by page when needed rather than a whole book at a time.
  • App writer progress bar:
    • After you launch a build with ‘Build App’, a progress bar is displayed.
  • Book Viewer
    • There is a new ‘Viewer’ tab which allows you to visualise how each chapter will look in the app after interpreting all the formatting codes and styles.
  • About page
    • There is a new ‘Viewer’ tab which allows you to visualise how the About page will look in the app after interpreting formatting codes and variables.
    • Documentation: a new section describing the About page has been added to the ‘Building Apps’ document. This includes a list of allowable formatting codes, such as how to add images, change styles and fonts.
  • Footer
    • The footer at the bottom of chapters now respects any line breaks you have included in the builder.
  • Custom Styles
    • You can now add custom formatting styles. See Styles > Custom Styles.
    • These will allow you to use custom markers in SFM books for paragraph and character styling.
  • Firebase integration
    • See the App > Firebase page.
    • You can enable Firebase Messaging for push notifications.
    • You can enable Firebase Crashlytics for crash reporting.
  • Audio download
    • Option of writing .nomedia file to audio download folder
    • Timeout and show error message if waiting more than 10 seconds to connect to audio download server
  • Audio Files table
    • Added File Size column.
    • Added a status bar at the bottom of the table containing the number of files, total size and duration.
  • Runs on Windows with Java version 10, as well as versions 8 and 9.

  • Fonts: updated to Alkalami version 1.100.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • If there were no timing files for a chapter, pressing the back or forward section buttons on the audio toolbar would not move reliably to the previous/next chapters and between books.
  • The user’s choice of ‘Download automatically from now on’ was not being saved (#55444).
  • Picture story books with multiple audio files per page (e.g. Bloom books) were crashing when starting to play audio.
  • App stopped if changing screen orientation when viewing a picture story book with multiple audio files per page.
  • Scrolling of the text could fail on some devices when highlighted phrases were after an embedded image (#55445).
  • If only French was enabled as an interface language, English could be selected in the app if the device was in English. The app should only allow selecting an interface language if it is enabled.
  • Non-breaking spaces (~) were not handled in Contents menu titles and subtitles, meaning that the tilde character appeared.
  • Send FirstRun event in S3 Digest Analytics to capture first launch.
  • The number of sessions was not reported correctly in S3 Digest Analytics (always reporting 1).
  • Report audio event in S3 Digest Analytics even if not FCBH Audio (damId = unknown).
  • Include App Name in S3 Digest Analytics.

In the iOS app:

  • Use IPA Version Name in About box when using version-name (#57176).

In the app builder:

  • The app builder program would not start on Windows machines using the Java 10 runtime environment.
  • On the Audio page, tabs and tables were disappearing off the bottom of the screen.
  • Convert Audio wizard: remove the sampling frequency option since changing it caused problems, and added -write_xing 0 to the ffmpeg command to ensure file duration is read correctly.
  • Handle non-breaking hyphens inserted in Word documents (using CTRL+SHIFT+HYPHEN on Windows or CMD-SHIFT-HYPHEN on macOS).
  • If a paragraph in a Word document (docx) has a manual first line indent, \p should be used rather than \m.
  • When using initial content in a Word document to set the book name, truncate intelligently at word breaks rather than cutting in the middle of a word.
  • Word documents which had a space at the end of their filename, before the docx extension, could not be imported.
  • Component resizing problems at the bottom of the Features pages.
  • Story page > Picture and Motion tabs: images should be resized according to the available screen height (#58212).
  • If, when attempting to build an app, there was a warning about missing About page information, the builder was not going to the correct page after the warning message.
  • Writes a .log file of the build output to the Output folder (Mac & Linux – due to difficulty in copying the output from the build window on Linux).

Reading App Builder 4.5

Release date: 16 April 2018

New Features and Improvements:

  • Improved support of Word documents
    • Paragraph and character styles are imported.
    • You can create links to other books and chapters by selecting a word or phrase in the document and adding a hyperlink. The hyperlink format is “B01.8” (Book 1, page 8 – where B01 is the ID of the book).
  • Allow user to opt out of sharing usage data (analytics)
    • See the Analytics page or Features > Settings.
  • New version of Gradle compiler, 4.6.
    • This will require an internet connection when you build your next app.
  • Updated font: Awami Nastaliq 1.100.

  • Ubuntu: Support LTS 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)

  • Aeneas: Updated to version 1.7.3.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • Share App was crashing the first time when using newer versions of Android.
  • About box: Email and telephone markdown links were not shown.
  • If user changes the interface language in Settings, the app bar title should be updated to use the selected language.

In the iOS app:

  • Display the book name in the search index at the right even if there is only one book. (#54357)
  • Show the book button text with the font specified for the book collection.
  • Reduce the startup time by eliminating some duplicate processing (config).

In the app builder:

  • Ken Burns effects (pan and zoom) were not getting saved for a new picture story book.
  • Contents menu: Could not edit those items which did not have an image. Double-clicking on the item did not do anything.
  • Contents menu: “Other” layout was not being displayed properly.
  • Contents menu: When adding a contents item, the default title was not coming from the chosen book collection.
  • Story book: the maximum image height was not being saved if we had not moved the focus outside of the spinner text box.
  • If all apps were removed from the builder, the title bar needed to be updated to remove the last app project name.
  • Extract Audio Wizard: start and end times were not being written correctly.
  • Add/Edit Change: the dialog has been made wider.
  • Thumbnail images were not being generated correctly for book-specific illustrations, where filenames were the same for different illustrations in different books.
  • Audio Files table: Waiting too long before displaying the timing file during aeneas synchronisation.

Reading App Builder 4.4

Release date: 15 March 2018

New Features and Improvements:

  • App Analytics
    • Added three more Analytics engines:
      • Firebase Analytics
      • Amplitude Analytics
      • S3 Digest Analytics
    • Please see the Analytics section of the Building Apps manual for more details.
  • Book-specific footers
    • Footers (displayed at the bottom of each page) can be defined at a book level.
    • Go to the book Features tab, select ‘Use book specific setting’ for Footer, and specify the footer text in the Footer tab which appears.
  • About box codes for copyright and licensing details
    • Text copyright information for a book collection, C01: %copyright-text:C01%
    • Audio copyright information for a book collection, C01: %copyright-audio:C01%
    • Text license information for a book collection, C01: %license-text:C01%
  • About box code for inserting an image
    • Use the markdown code: !(alt text)[image.png]
  • Audio speed
    • Added 0.7x as one of the selectable speed options.
  • Convert Audio Files
    • Launch the Convert Audio Files wizard from the right-click menu on the Audio Files table.
    • Change bitrate, sampling frequency and number of channels for selected audio files.
    • Includes converting MP3 files to smaller 3GP files.
  • Extract Audio Files
    • Launch the Extract Audio Files wizard from the right-click menu on the Audio Files table.
    • Extract specific verses and verse ranges as separate audio files.
    • Includes splitting an audio file by section headings.
  • Allow setting the Maximum Gradle Heap Size to increase or reduce memory use when building the app.
    • See Settings > Build Settings.
  • Enhancements to the iOS app from previous releases
    • Audio playback speed (4.3)
    • Settings: Playback speed (4.3)
    • Show history (4.3)
    • Setting: Keep screen on (4.3)
    • Honor “Allow long-press selection to copy/share individual words and phrases” setting in Features > Annotations Page

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • Handle exception when changing audio player speed.
  • Add borders between items on the song list index pages.
  • When sharing files on Android 7.0 and above, the app crashed sometimes because of a Uri encoding problem.
  • When using Crosswalk, the universal APK (containing both ARM and x86) was not working reliably on all phones. Creation of the universal APK has been disabled.
  • Incorrect CSS was being generated for Graphite font features and language. Use font-language-override and font-feature-settings.
  • If you rotated the screen when in the Settings screen, and then pressed the Back button, the app would crash.

In the iOS app:

  • Make search results consistent with Android implementation including showing the number of results at the bottom of the screen. (#54357)
  • Perform substitutions in About dialog.

In the app builder:

  • Changes to the interface language order (by dragging rows) were not saved and not reflected in the Settings screen in the app.
  • The Timing Start column in Audio Files table was showing .00 rather than the actual decimal places.
  • The Browse button was not visible on the Files tab in the Settings dialog.
  • The iOS IPA filename was shown at the start of the batch file when building an Android app, and app version information was repeated.
  • In Changes, the \w character in regular expressions was not matching unicode characters.
  • The app builder toolbar could be detached by double-clicking, and it was not obvious how to get it back in position again.
  • On the Aeneas Phrase Boundaries page, the box for setting a percentage was not completely visible in the dialog.
  • If border images have transparency, show in the image viewer with a white background.
  • Need to check that a valid JDK folder has been entered before trying to install Android SDK packages.
  • Export to HTML: Incorrect CSS was being generated for Graphite font features and language. Use font-language-override and font-feature-settings.
  • Font features were not always encoded properly for XML in the appDef file.
  • Update the tools used to get the list of iOS Simulators available to make it work on macOS High Sierra.

Reading App Builder 4.3

Release date: 8 February 2018

New Features and Improvements:

  • Audio playback speed
    • Allow the app user to slow down or speed up the audio playback speed.
    • Available speeds: 0.4x, 0.6x, 0.8x, Normal, 1.2x, 1.4x, 1.6x.
    • See the new menu button (three vertical dots) on the right of the audio toolbar.
    • This feature is available only for Android devices running Android version 6.0 (Marshmallow) or higher.
  • New App Settings (for users of your app to modify)
    • Keep screen on (do not let the device go to sleep when you are using the app).
    • Audio file download setting (Always ask user before downloading, download automatically, or download automatically if using a Wi-Fi connection).
    • Audio playback speed (see above).
  • Changes Gallery
    • Press the ‘Add Change from Gallery…’ button on the app builder Changes page.
    • Select from a set of frequently used changes, such as “Replace / with zero width space”, “Replace << with «”.
  • About page verification
    • The app builder will now check that there is text on the About page before allowing you to build the app.
  • Enhancements to the iOS app
    • Implemented “Use the current system language of the device…” and “Use this language”.
    • Right-to-Left layout.
    • Song book index page.
    • Added copy icon to the action bar when selecting text.
    • Share App feature (requires Apple ID from iTunes Connect).
    • Handle multiple audio files per page (for Bloom books).
  • Enhancements to Security by Access Code for Android apps
    • Added the option of adding customisable user details (first name, last name, telephone number, etc.) to the ‘Add User’ screen.
    • View users that have been added on the ‘Users’ screen (menu item on the navigation drawer menu).
    • Require administrator to enter a PIN code before accessing ‘Add User’ and ‘Users’ screens.
    • Share button to enable sharing the IMEI number from the welcome screen.
    • Share button to enable sharing the access code after a user is added.
    • Share button to enable sharing a list of added users (see the top of the Users screen).
  • App Builder interface improvements
    • Display the settings in the Features > Settings table according to categories.
    • Allow checking/unchecking checkboxes in tables using the spacebar.
    • Changed the title of the ‘About Box’ page to ‘About’ (since it is no longer a box in the app).

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • If you had a contents menu and went into the Settings screen from the contents menu and changed a text display setting, when you tried to leave the Settings screen you would get an indefinite progress wheel.
  • If you pressed the Pause button when playing a page with synchronized phrases and if you paused near a phrase break, when you restarted the playback the next phrase was sometimes highlighted without clearing the highlighting of the previous phrase.
  • Search was crashing if the user interface language translation of the ‘Search_Number_Found’ string did not contain the %,d formatting code.
  • The USFM non-breaking space character ~ was visible in song indexes if it was used in song titles.
  • Song numbers in the song indexes were being displayed using the default numeral system, even when a different numeral system had been specified for the book or book collection.

In the iOS app:

  • Display all languages in Interface Languages if there are more than two languages (the table was too short before).
  • Hide play button in action bar if timing information is missing.
  • Do not show empty chapters (#54319).
  • Use localizations of settings headings for when interface language is changed.

In the app builder:

  • Some fonts were missing in the Windows installer.
  • Building iOS apps and running the simulator requires Xcode 9 or greater to be installed. (#53578)
  • If a picture story book was specified in an SFM file, Export to HTML was not displaying the images in the web browser.
  • Stop generating 50×50 iOS AppIcon (warning in build output).
  • Handle quote characters in App Name when building iOS apps.
  • Limit characters that can be in IPA filename (#53662).
  • Require Explicit App ID in Provisioning Profiles when building for Apple App Store.
  • Report error if Wildcard App ID doesn’t match Package Name for non-App Store builds (#53662).

Reading App Builder 4.2

Release date: 18 December 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Graphite font rendering with Crosswalk
    • Apps can include the Crosswalk viewer component and use it instead of the standard Android viewer.
    • Crosswalk is Graphite-enabled, so complex fonts which rely on Graphite rendering features can be displayed correctly.
    • See the Font Handling page in the New App wizard or Fonts > Font Handling > Crosswalk.
    • Apps built with Crosswalk require a minimum Android version of 4.1 and work up to the latest version (Android Oreo 8.1).
    • The following screens in the app can be displayed using Crosswalk: main text viewer, book selection popup, search entry, search results, about box, settings screen.
    • The following screens are not yet shown with Crosswalk: navigation drawer menu, share app dialog. The search entry screen does not yet support input buttons.
  • Fonts
    • Updated the following fonts: Annapurna (1.203), Awami Nastaliq (1.000), LateefGR (1.200), Padauk (3.003).
  • Enhancements to the iOS app
    • The user can now change the user interface language (for menus and messages) within the app, via the Settings screen.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • Improve the handling of book and page selector widths on the Android app bar.
  • Do not show the search and text size buttons if there is not enough room for them together with the book and page selectors (#52254).
  • The image on the Share App dialog in the Android app was not coloured according to the app bar. It always appeared in grey.
  • Song book indexes crashed if there were fewer than ten songs.

In the iOS app:

  • Settings: Do not show the Book Selection setting if there is only one book.
  • Settings: Do not show the Show Verse Numbers, Verse Layout, Show Verse Selector settings if there are no verse numbers in the app.
  • Highlight the last phrase of a chapter when using point timing files (labels with the same beginning and ending values). (#52049)
  • Display the correct note when tapping on note icon in content view. (#52256)
  • Settings: Use the correct translation for headers (sometimes they were switched). (#52256)
  • Settings: Do not show empty space when no summary description is provided. (#52256)
  • Settings: Do not show “Highlight synchronized phrases” when no timing information is available. (#52256)
  • Settings: Do not truncated long (multi-line) summaries and titles. (#52256)
  • When showing the “Language & Layout” in landscape mode, display toolbar with correct height. (#52256)
  • When a hardware keyboard is attached to iPhone (happens most with Simulator), allow text to be entered in the Search field. (#52049)
  • When going to a verse from annotations or search, set the audio play position (if timings exist). (#52049)

In the app builder:

  • Word document import problems:
    • Failed to import document that did not have a default paragraph style.
    • Did not transform images that needed to be rotated.
    • If a book was set to ‘Picture Story Book’, it might be set to ‘Default’ when the book is reloaded.
  • Table column widths were not scaled according to the screen resolution.

  • Missing label translation on Book collection Footer page.

Reading App Builder 4.1

Release date: 05 December 2017

Because changes have been made to the way project data is stored in RAB, we recommend you create a new app rather than trying to rebuild an app you started with a previous version of RAB.

New Features and Improvements:

  • Import Bloom Books
    • Bloom books can be added via the New App wizard and the Add Books wizard.
    • The import can handle Bloom book pages which have multiple audio narration files, i.e. one per phrase.
    • Bloom books with Ken Burns image effects (pan and zoom) are also supported.
  • Contents Menu
    • You can easily add items to the Contents menu for new books added in the New App or Add Books wizards. See the Contents Menu page of the wizard. Just select the checkbox to add the menu items.
  • Book-specific Images
    • Images loaded from Word documents and html files are now stored in book-specific folders in the project data structure rather than all being copied to the illustrations folder.
  • Navigation Drawer
    • The app bar menu has been replaced by a navigation drawer which slides in from the side of the screen.
    • To show the drawer, swipe in from the side of the screen or tap the hamburger icon (the three horizontal lines on the app bar)
    • At the top of the drawer is an image which you can customise in the app builder. See Images > Navigation Drawer.
  • Image Viewer
    • Double-click on a row in an image table (illustrations, icons, splash screen) to see a bigger image, which you can resize to see more clearly.
    • The image viewer is also shown by double-clicking on the image in the Contents menu item configuration and in the Story Pages Picture tab.
  • Audio Files table
    • Right-click on the header of the Audio Files table to turn on/off columns.
    • New column: Timing file last modfied date/time
    • New column: Start time of the first timing. This can help you identify those timing files which begin at 0.0 when you would have expected them to start a few seconds in.
  • Fine Tune Timings
    • The app builder can now watch for modified timing files saved in your browser Downloads folder and move them automatically to your project data folder.
    • To set the Downloads folder, see Settings > Files.
  • Changing the app Interface language (Android app only)
    • The user can now change the language of menus and messages within the app, via the Settings screen.
    • To define which interface languages the user can choose from, see the new Interface > Languages tab in the app builder. You can add additional languages here and enable/disable existing languages.
    • You can choose to set the default language to be the current language of the smartphone or tablet.
  • Right-to-Left layout (Android app only)
    • The whole app layout can be switched around so that the navigation drawer slides in from the right of the screen, the contents of the app bar are displayed in the reverse order (i.e. book name on the right), and audio controls are displayed with a right-to-left play button and seek bar moving from right to left.
    • Set the default layout direction in the app builder on the Interface > Layout Direction tab.
    • Users can change the layout direction within the app, via the Settings screen.
  • Audio settings
    • Audio features in the app builder have been moved to the Audio > Audio Settings tab.
    • Three new features have been added:
      • Choose whether to allow the user to turn on/off the audio toolbar.
      • Choose to show the audio toolbar when the app is launched.
      • Choose whether to highlight synchronised phrases. (This setting can also be modified be the user – see below.)
  • Settings within app
    • The Android app Settings screen has been rewritten and rearranged into categories.
    • Added a new user setting, ‘Highlight synchronized phrases’, to allow user to turn on/off the yellow highlighting when the audio is playing.
  • Default package name
    • You can set the default start of the package name for building new apps. See Settings > Defaults.
  • Copyright & Licensing
    • Copyright and Licensing information for text, audio and illustrations are now saved and displayed on the new Copyright & Licensing tab for the book collection.
  • Other Android app design changes
    • Book and page selector images have been changed to dropdown arrows to the right of the book name or page number on the app bar.
    • The About box is now a full screen page rather than a popup window.
  • Compling for Android 8.0 Oreo
    • Android apps are now compiled using the Android SDK platform library for the latest version of Android (version 8.0 Oreo).
    • You will need to update your Android SDK installation. The Android 5.0/5.1 platform has been used up until now and can no longer be used for SAB 4.0+.
  • Documentation updates
    • The documents have been updated with new information for RAB 4.1.
  • Other iOS app improvements
    • Swiping between books is now supported as an optional feature as it has been in the Android app.
    • If no timing files are associated with audio for the chapter being played, an audio seek slide control is displayed as it is in the Android app.
    • Picture storybook features are mostly completed.
  • Export to HTML
    • Improved styling of page/chapter number selector menu.
  • Update iOS app to Android features
    • Updated Settings dialog (except for user interface language and app layout direction).
    • Added ‘Language & Layout’ in navigation drawer.
    • Added customisable landscape image in navigation drawer.
    • The audio toolbar can be turned on automatically when the app launches.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Search did not work for HTML books.
  • On list selection popups from the Settings page, the Cancel button was not translated into the app interface language.
  • If a page has no audio, the audio toolbar should be hidden.
  • If the user is playing audio for a chapter and then selects the current page number from the page selector and restarts audio, two audio tracks were played (#51922).
  • If a timing file had been written using the Fine Tune Timings utility, the first timing might not be read correctly in the app due to a BOM (byte-order mark) at the start of the file (#51650).
  • Song numbers in the song list screen were sometimes split over two lines.

In the iOS app:

  • Allow pinch zoom on image annotations.
  • Adjust the size of the section header in the Search Results display. Occasionally, part of the characters in the header were being cut off.
  • Do not highlight first timing section if audio is turned off.
  • Fix crash on startup when installing on device.
  • Fix crash when including glossary with no chapters (#52077).
  • Fixed margin around switch language button in upper-right corner of text display (#51779)
  • Implement hide empty chapters feature (#52076)

In the app builder:

  • In the New App Icon wizard page or the Icon Gallery dialog, the user should only be able to choose one icon, not multiple icons.
  • The OK button was not working in the Devices dialog box.
  • The Run iOS Simulator dialog works with Xcode 9 and can build for just the simulator. (Mac only)
  • The Create New KeyStore feature uses new default key algorithm (RSA) and size (2048) to work with jar signing in JDK 1.8 u151+.
  • Thumbnails of images that were short and wide were cropped in the first column of the image tables.

Reading App Builder 3.5

Release date: 13 July 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Song book indexes:
    • A new Song List index page is available for song books, displaying songs by number and by title.
    • To enable this, set the Book Type of a book to be “Song Book”.
  • Enhanced Styles configuration:
    • Styles can now be configured at the level of individual books.
    • See the Styles tab for each book.
  • Language tag in HTML output:
    • You can specify a language code to be used in the HTML output as a tag, e.g. lang=”xyz”.
    • See the Styles tab for each book.
  • Spanish Interface
    • Additions and corrections to the app builder user interface in Spanish.
  • iOS app enhancements:
    • Added media clip annotations.
    • Added locking the orientation for books to portrait or landscape.
    • Added Ken Burns effects in Picture Story books
    • Added Subtitles in landscape orientation
    • Allow pinch zoom of image annotations
  • Crosswalk viewer component:
    • If the standard Android viewer component is not displaying your complex script correctly, there is now the option of bundling the replacement Crosswalk viewer with your app.
    • Note that this will mean an increase in app size of at least 20 MB, so do not enable Crosswalk unless you know you need it.
    • Three APK fies will be created: one for ARM devices (-arm.apk), one for Intel x86 devices (-x86.apk), and a universal APK for both (-universal.apk).
  • Fonts
    • Added Alkalami font, for Arabic-based writing systems in the Kano region of Nigeria and in Niger.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Border images around the text were not being scaled properly according to screen resolution.
  • Audio synchronization was getting behind a phrase each time a document contained a picture with no other text in the paragraph.
  • App sharing text was not translatable (“I can recommend this app”, “Share App via”, etc.)
  • Failed when trying to write analytics event when no chapter was selected.

In the iOS app:

  • Fixed app crash caused by font not being defined in app definition and in some cases where specified font could not be loaded.
  • Don’t display settings button in app if all settings are deselected in app definition
  • Scale borders around text area to match Android app border sizes
  • Set font for navigation bar menu items and text fields in settings screens
  • Certain sequences could result in the app attempting to download the audio for a chapter when it had already been downloaded.
  • If the user clicked on a URL link placed within the footer text, the web page would be displayed within the app. Attempts to download a file could crash the app. Now clicking the link will start the default browser.
  • Most of the popover menus did not display properly when run on an iPhone Plus model in landscape mode.
  • If the same name is used for audio files in different sources, only the first was recognized. Now use both the source id and the audio name to identify the downloaded file name.
  • Moved Text Size button to be under the “hamburger” menu when in iPhone portrait mode to prevent the “hamburger” menu button from being pushed off screen when the book name was very long.
  • App crashed if you played audio, went to book with no audio, went to full screen and pressed the “play” button which erroneously appeared at the bottom of the screen.

In the app builder:

  • Translations to app names not being saved between app builder sessions.
  • Not handling the deletion of book files properly or restoring book files that were deleted but not saved.
  • Minimum Build Tools version should now be increased to 25.0.0.
  • Android builds failed if the package name contained certain Windows reserved directory names in the package name (e.g. con, aux, nul).

Reading App Builder 3.4

Release date: 10 May 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Android SDK installation changes:
    • The SDK Manager GUI is no longer distributed with the SDK command line tools. There is instead a command line installer, which is launched from the new Tools > Settings > Android SDK tab.
    • Updated installation documentation.
  • Audio Synchronization:
    • Audio phrase ending characters can be defined per book and book collection, rather than just at the app level.
    • See the Audio Synchronization tab.
  • iOS Provisioning Profile and Signing:
    • The Signing (iOS) tab has been enhanced to provide information about the type, app id and team id associated with the selected provisioning profile.
    • Validation: Attempting to build an iOS app, SAB now performs a check to ensure that the Provisioning Profile and Signing Identity that have been selected may be used together and displays an error if not.
  • Updated Gradle Build compiler to version 3 to optimise building apps.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Image-only pages in picture books were showing as empty.
  • Numbers in the chapter selector should be displayed right-to-left for RTL book collections.
  • Crashed when playing back audio if audio seek bar container was not found.

In the app builder:

  • Word document import: digits in Word character styles caused problems.
  • For iOS, display an error message early in the build process if fastlane has not been installed properly.
  • Enable the DELETE key when running RAB on a Mac.
  • Updated default aeneas folder in RAB for Mac.
  • If there is more than one font family, show Custom as selected on the Fonts page rather than known font.

Reading App Builder 3.3.2

Release date: 28 March 2017

Bugs Fixed:

  • In the Add Contents Menu Item wizard, the Next button would not allow you to advance in some situations.
  • Added extra width for the Edit Contents Item dialog.
  • In the ‘Installing and Building on Mac’ document, the XCode tools install instruction contained an n-dash rather than two hyphens.

Reading App Builder 3.3

Release date: 8 March 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Reading App Builder for Mac:
  • Analytics:
    • Support for sending analytics data to Amazon Mobile Analytics (book views, audio files played, apps shared).
    • Allow multiple Analytics engines in the same app to allow sending analytics data to more than one account.
    • See the Analytics page for the app.
  • Contents:
    • You can choose to show the contents screen every time you launch the app or to go to the previously selected screen. See Contents > Contents Settings.
  • Styles:
    • Added a CSS tab to the Styles edit dialog to allow adding/editing CSS properties directly.
  • App Install Location:
    • Now configurable. See the App > APK tab.
  • Footers:
    • Footer styles can be set per book collection and the text direction of the footer can be set to be different from the direction of the main body text.
    • Allow line breaks <br/> in footers.
    • Allow horizontal lines <hr/> in footers.
  • Security:
    • Improvements to styling of screens used by the restricted access by code security mode.
  • Fonts:
    • Annapurna version 1.202 release.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Search special character buttons not showing right-to-left for RTL scripts.

In the app builder:

  • Parameters for aeneas tasks were not being written out correctly if system locale was French.
  • Book name and filename fields were too short for long filenames and book names.
  • Build path was often too long if the package name was long. Use a shorter path.
  • Style edit dialog should allow editing of all the currently defined properties.
  • Problems processing book files in EPUB format.
  • Do not try and show an EPUB file in the book Source preview tab.
  • Timing validation report, e.g. “Files with validation warnings” was not translatable into the current interface language.
  • Export to HTML not showing audio player for second and subsequent pages for picture story book with single audio file.
  • Text direction combo box was not translatable.
  • Corrected French spelling of ‘Abréviation’.
  • Missing French translations on the Audio Source tab.
  • If the About box font has been changed to a different font from the first font, make sure that the edit field is updated to use this font.

Reading App Builder 3.2

Release date: 24 January 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Build Multiple Apps:
    • New ‘Build Multiple Apps…’ added to toolbar.
    • Choose which apps you want to build and they will be queued and compiled one after the another.
  • Allow setting the maximum height of images for picture story books.
    • Prevents portrait images from taking up all of the screen, leaving no room for text.
    • See Book > Story Pages > Other Settings. Default is 45% of the screen height.
  • Updating books without needing to delete them and add them again:
    • Allow adding a new version of a book on the Book Collections screen to replace an existing book.
  • Audio seek bar:
    • Add an optional audio seek bar under the play/forward buttons
    • This is useful if there is no timing information for a chapter.
  • Avoid the need for the “Read Phone State” permission:
    • The app used to need this permission in order to pause audio when a phone call came in.
    • This is now handled in a different way to avoid needing this permission.
  • Documentation:
    • Updated Installation Instructions for installing the basic command line Android SDK tools.
    • Added a comment next to the Android Asset Studio link that it works better with the Chrome browser.
  • Fonts:
    • Updated regional font subsets with inclusion of Graphite support.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • When downloading audio files from the internet: if the download was completed quickly, the progress bar would not reach 100% and the user would not know whether it succeeded or not.
  • If ‘Search all folders for audio’ is not enabled, do not try to look in sub-folders of the named folder for files.

In the app builder:

  • Require Android SDK Build-tools of version 23 or later. Otherwise inform the user that they need to upgrade.
  • Unwanted blank line appeared at the top of pages imported from Word documents (from page 2 onwards).

Reading App Builder 3.1

Release date: 12 December 2016

New Features and Improvements:

  • Translated Strings within the app
    • Added Import/Export, to allow you to share menu item translations between apps.
    • Added ‘Reset Translations’ to the popup menu in the Translated Strings table to allow reset to defaults.
    • More default translations for Spanish and Portuguese
  • Regular Expression Changes
    • Added enabled on/off checkbox for each change, to make it easier to test changes.
  • Font updates
    • Padauk version 3.002

Bugs Fixed:

In the app builder:

  • Warnings showing in the build if Google Analytics is turned on.

Reading App Builder 3.0

Release date: 30 November 2016

New Features and Improvements:

  • Share App
    • Added optional ‘Share App’ item in the app menu.
    • Gives the app user the choice of:
      1. Sharing a link to the app on Google Play, or
      2. Sending the APK file to another phone via Bluetooth, Wifi transfer, email, etc.
    • See Features > Sharing to turn on this app sharing feature.
  • Audio file searching
    • Previously, the app would search all accessible folders on your device to find an audio file if it was not found in the specified default folder.
    • You can now turn off this feature on the Features > Audio page.
  • Reset colors
    • Added ‘Reset Color’ option to right-click menu to reset color to its default setting.
  • Regular Expression Changes – Show After Changes:
    • Added a ‘Show After Changes’ checkbox to the Book Source page, to allow viewing of what the source will look like after applying any regular expression changes.
    • This is shown only if you have specified some changes on the Changes page.
  • Icons
    • Added ‘Choose from Icon Gallery’ button on Images > Android Icon tab.
    • Allow selection of multiple images when adding custom icon images.
  • Image sorting
    • Sort images in size order when adding app icons.
    • Click on headers in image table to sort rows.
  • Export to HTML improvements
    • Style the Book and Chapter titles as buttons so it is clear they can be clicked to get the dropdown menu.
    • Added viewport meta tag for better responsive design.
  • Contents Menu
    • Keep track of the font size for the Contents Menu as different from the font size of the main text.
    • Prevent contents menu text flowing underneath the image.
  • Fonts
    • Updated Padauk to version 3.001.
    • Updated Annapurna to version 1.201.
  • Gradle compiler – updated to version 2.14.1
    • Note: the first time you build an app, Gradle will need internet access to download an update of the Gradle Android plugin
  • Documentation
    • Building Apps: added section on Sharing Apps.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Pressing the >> audio button before playing the audio for a chapter causes app to crash.
  • Images specified in the text as .tif files were not shown even if a corresponding .jpg file was present.
  • Duplicate items were showing in Contents menu.
  • Do not show the audio toolbar for landscape picture story books if there is no audio for the book.

In the app builder:

  • Add borders to tables (Audio, Styles, Contents Menu items, etc.)
  • Ensure selection background color is consistent across tables.
  • Turn off column re-ordering for some tables.
  • Do not show Menu_Access_Code on Strings page if security mode is not set to Code Required.
  • Could not change a document interpreted as a Picture Story book back to Default book type.

Reading App Builder 2.1.1

Release date: 1 September 2016

Bugs Fixed:

  • Picture story books crashed in the app if the user pressed the >> button before playing audio.

Reading App Builder 2.1

Release date: 31 August 2016

New Features and Improvements:

  • Contents Menu improvements in app builder:
    • New wizard for Add Contents Item.
    • Gets default title and image from book reference.
    • Allows selection of image from picture story book images.
  • Fine Tune Timings improvements:
    • Added additional ++ and – – buttons to allow moving timings forward/back 1 second as well as 0.1 seconds.
    • Added tooltips to +/- buttons and made buttons the same size.
  • Book selection:
    • Can disable book selection popup, e.g. for those cases where you just want users to navigate using the contents menu.
    • See Features > Navigation tab.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • When swiping between books was disabled, audio files were not selected properly for a book when coming from contents menu.
  • Stop audio playing when user moves back to Contents menu screen.
  • Do not show Audio icon while in Contents menu screen.
  • Do not show audio toolbar for books without audio.

In the app builder:

  • Add image motion in a picture story book, then select No motion. Motion was still present when building or re-opening app.
  • Audio files and timing files were not being assigned to a single line when ‘single file’ is shown as default in the Book > Audio tab for a picture story book.

Reading App Builder 2.0

Release date: 24 August 2016

New Features and Improvements:

  • Installing aeneas for audio-text synchronization
    • New all-in-one aeneas installer for Windows, replacing the complex manual install of each component.
    • Available on the Download page, under Audio Synchronization Tools.
    • Includes significant speed improvements for Windows users, cutting the synchronization time by up to 50%.
    • Added install check. See Tools > Check aeneas installation…
  • Improvements to Picture Story books:
    • New ‘Story Pages’ configuration tab in the App Builder for each book.
    • Turn on audio toolbar automatically when viewing story books.
    • When viewing the story book in landscape orientation:
      • The pictures are shown full screen and fade to the next one when the page turns.
      • A transparent audio progress bar is shown, which slides off the screen after
        a couple of seconds of playback, and slides back in when the user taps the screen.
      • Subtitles are shown over the pictures.
    • Optional Ken Burns effects (pan and zoom) to move the pictures as the audio is playing
      • Go to the new ‘Story Pages’ tab for a picture story book and choose
        ‘Specify start and end positions’ to modify start and end rectangles visually.
      • Additional SFM codes:
        • \imgms left top width height – for the start rectangle
        • \imgme left top width height – for the end rectangle
    • Include optional background music, including fading out the music at the end of the story book.
    • Choose either one audio file for the whole story book or one file per page.
      • If using multiple audio files, all are downloaded at start of book rather than one at a time.
  • Illustration resizing
    • Resizes images to contain in app to reduce app size.
    • See the Images > Illustrations page.
  • Lock screen orientation
    • You can lock the screen orientation to Portrait or Landscape for a book.
    • See the Book > Features tab.
  • Audio clips
    • You can insert short audio clips to be played when the user taps on a word, phrase or image.
    • To add clips in Word documents, insert a hyperlink with the filename of the audio file.
    • See section 5.5 in the Building Apps manual for more details.
  • Added link styles and removed generic \hyperlink style:
    • a.web-link – allows styling of web links
    • a.audio-link – allows styling of audio clip links
  • Word document import improvements:
    • Handle rotated images.
    • Read footnotes from Word (.docx) document.
  • Offline mode:
    • Attempt to use Gradle in offline mode if there is no internet connection, even if user has not selected offline mode in Settings.
  • Contents menu
  • Fonts:
    • Padauk font updated to version 3.0
  • EPUB improvements:
    • Include illustrations in EPUB documents.
    • Added web links to EPUB page for Readium and Gitden Reader.
  • New documentation:
    • App Publishing Checklist: Is your app ready to publish?
    • Running Workshops: Tips for running App Builder training workshops
  • Updated documentation:
    • Installation Instructions: added a section on copying Android SDK files from another computer
    • Building Apps: new sections on audio clips and picture story book enhancements.
    • Distributing Apps: more information on Google Play store details.
    • Using aeneas: new installation instructions for Windows users.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Problems with getting audio for the next chapter if the screen orientation had changed after the current audio was started.
  • Problem displaying two books with the same book id.
  • Do not show Up navigation button on Search screen.

In the app builder:

  • When reading Word documents with images, RAB did not take into account image rotation.
  • Changes to default translation strings for existing languages were not being saved.
  • Corrected web link to Android SDK tools to go to the downloads section of the page.
  • In Fine Tune Timings, make sure that the next timing is always after the current timing.
  • Text was truncated on some screens when using 150% text size.
  • Need to check for sufficient image sizes for Android icon when building app.
  • Explanatory text on Android Icon definition page needed to be clearer about which images sizes are required.
  • Build warnings on command line build were using a special character for bullet point.
  • Problem exporting to HTML two books with the same book id.
  • Icon image paths written in Windows not read correctly on Linux machines.

Reading App Builder

Release date: 31 May 2016

First release.