Ebooks are a popular pastime on smart phones. We continue our look at the some of the best iphone and android apps for book reading.
Iphone book reading Apps
This free app from book selling giant Barnes & Noble comes with five free “classic” e-books (which we’d probably save for those so-bored-you-could-poke-yourself-in-the-eye-for-amusement moments) and a free copy of Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary. Any titles you download are stored in the cloud, so you can access them from a Mac or PC as well as different handheld devices.
Kindle for iPhone
This app can be used by those who are Kindle-less, but really shines for those that have bought into the Kindle ecosystem, as it offers Amazon’s clever “Whispersync” feature. It allows for seamless switching between the Kindle device and Kindle for iPhone.
Highlights of the Amazon-owned app include the ability to slide your finger across the screen to turn the page — a real winner for those not quite prepared to turn their back on the paper book experience. The option to make the background black and text white, therefore allowing you to read in the dark, appears to have saved many a marriage if the reader reviews are to be believed.
eBooks by Kobo
One to watch, with its Borders team-up promising new e-reading hardware in the future, Kobo is a good looking e-library with a focus on new books and best-sellers. Its glossy, image-laden interface is backed up by discounts on current titles (“up to 65% off!” claims the blurb) while one new (and current) e-book is offered as a free download each week
Apple’s entry into the ebook space is very polished. With its excellent typography–especially when combined with the hi-res Retina Display screen, its ability to annotate text, and its flashy page-turning animations, iBooks (Apple, free) a compelling option.
The Nook app for iPhone is a major improvement over Barnes & Noble’s earlier effort, called Reader. Nook delivers all the basic reading and customization features you’d expect from a good ebook reading and app and integrates nicely with Barnes & Noble’s webstore.
Android book reading apps
This is an official app for the social reading network called Goodreads. This app comes in very handy when you’re browsing a ‘real library’ and quickly want to look up the reviews for a particular book.
While Goodreads allows you to lookup books by scanning their barcodes, Google Goggles lets you scan a book by taking its picture. Just snap a picture of the book and results for it show up instantly. You’ll get a synopsis of the book along with its search results.
This is an open source application that allows you to catalog your read, unread and to-read books. You can search for a particular book using Amazon, Google Books or LibraryThing and add it to your collection.
FBReader is an opensource e-book reading application that works across almost all the major platform, including Android. The free app sports a minimalist User Interface allowing readers to start reading their books instantly.