Is there a web reader on the Android version? If not, why not? Seems it would be pretty darn useful.

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
No - main reasons are Android web browser fragmentation (we can't rely on Android devices' embedded web browsers to behave consistently enough for a tricky feature like that that relies on precise pixel positioning of things to work) and the fact that our free Screen Reader + Chrome already gives you most of the same functionality.
 

tarakara

秀才
Just wondering is the Android embedded browser still not viable for web reader?

I find screen reader good for apps but web reader is nicer to use for websites as the page looks cleaner without green or white boxes filling up the page and having to adjust them while you can continue browsing without pressing extra buttons with web reader. Clipboard is also good but still require extra steps.

For web reader, the website looks exactly like original view and you just click on a word for instant lookup without clutter which feels more natural to use if you only need to lookup a few words on the page.
 
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mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
The fragmentation problem is still there, unfortunately; if anything it's gotten worse in the last 3 years.

Does sharing web links with "Pleco Reader" work for you at all? That's the one other form of this we support at the moment - send a link to Pleco and it fetches the content and tries to interpret it as text. We have added a built-in HTML+CSS parser for our 4.0 update - mostly to deal with the two narrow cases of a) EPUBs and b) importing Anki card templates, but it can handle straightforward web pages too - so once we port that to Android we'll most likely hook it into that sharing feature so that you can easily read simple web pages that way. (akin to a 'reading mode' type thing)

As far as a direct in-browser reading mode like we offer on iOS, that's not currently on our roadmap, no.

I'd love to find a way of doing a special 'experimental' Android version of Pleco with more limited hardware/software support; we could add all sorts of interesting new features - including a Web Reader - if we said that we were only supporting the latest 2 versions of Android and only on a Google Pixel with stock firmware and that we will not be entertaining any requests for bug fixes unless you're running one of our officially supported devices + Android versions. But that kind of feels like it would be replacing Android fragmentation with Pleco fragmentation :)
 

tarakara

秀才
I see, hope it could be added in future in some way.

Sharing web links to Pleco reader didn't work as most content are not captured (Weibo/Taobao etc.) It also requires quite a number of clicks to share at least on Chrome. Will be good if it manage to capture all content but I think web reader is still easier and faster to use as I usually just need to lookup a couple of words on a page and it does so instantly in web reader without affecting the rest of the original page look.

For ocr cast, it would be great if there’s an option to save the resizable box to a fixed size you set where you can move the box around without having to re-adjust much.
 
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mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
For ocr cast, it would be great if there’s an option to save the resizable box to a fixed size you set where you can move the box around without having to re-adjust much.
That one at least we do plan to improve, yes. (though it's not without its own fragmentation problems)
 
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