So much to read, so little time! These apps offer the best reading experience!
It's still summertime. You may be out and about a little bit more than normal. We hope you'll still find some time to relax with a good book. You may not always have space to carry a book around in your bag, but your Android device is certainly more than capable of helping you read on the go.
Check out some readers we think are pretty awesome. These will help you read not only books, but some will help you stay caught up on news and some of the best magazines out there as well.
1. Google Play Books and Play Newsstand
Chances are, these apps came preinstalled on your Android device, so why not check them out? They're really not too shabby, and you get to stay within Google's ecosystem with these apps.
Google Play Books gives you access to a vast book store. Some of the books are free. You'll also find some textbooks, although we'd like to see the textbook selection improve a bit in the future. You can read books offline, use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words, and have your notes and place in the book saved across different devices through your Google account. Oh, and you can upload your own PDF and EPUB files to your library. Nifty.
As far as Newsstand goes, it lets you sort which type of news you want to see. You can see general news, and you can also see business, entertainment, sports, technology and world news. Each section pulls from different sources. For example, for general news, you can pull up news from the likes of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. You can also choose just to scroll through news from a bunch of different sources on the same page.
Aldiko is simple and clean. It's easy to switch between night and day mode and alter text size and margins just by tapping on the screen when you're reading. You have access to the Feedbooks Store, and you can also add your own custom catalogs. Oh, and you can also import your own EPUB and PDF files with this app.
You may expect to see some banner ads on the free version. Get rid of the ads and gain widgets and the ability to highlight and write notes on EPUB files by upgrading to the paid version.
Much of Flipboard's allure lies in the fact that its user interface is pretty unique. When you swipe up and down, the page...er....flips to reveal new content. You can sort news into different categories, like business, tech & science, sports, arts & culture, etc. Flipboard attempts to tailor your news experience when you first open the app by finding out which categories you're interested in. Flipboard then displays stories relating to your interests using tiles on the app's main screen.
You can also create your own "magazine" by putting stories that interest you in one place and you can add sources to your Flipboard by "following" them. You can also download individual stories for offline reading.
Flipboard also encourages you to link social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, to its service as well.
- Download Flipboard (Free)
4. Moon+ Reader
The free version of Moon+ Reader is a solid reader. It has control gestures and the ability to set it so pages will automatically turn themselves. It is very customizable, as you can set it to use whatever font type, background color, etc. you want. You can get interesting stats, like how many words you've read per minute on average.
Plenty of file types are supported, like EPUB, ZIP, HTML and TXT. Moon+ is ideal for loading your own books onto your Android device.
To celebrate Moon+ Reader's fourth anniversary, the pro version will be 50 percent off in August 2014. Moon+ Reader Pro gets rid of the ads and adds features like PDF support and optional password protection when opening the app.
- Download Moon+ Reader (Free)
- Download Moon+ Reader Pro (Normally $4.99; $2.49 in August 2014)
Barnes & Noble offers a selection of books, newspapers, and magazines in its Nook app. It's pretty easy to use. Of course, Barnes & Noble would like you to mostly buy stuff from them, but they've also made it possible to sideload some EPUB and CBZ files of your own to the app.
It's pretty easy to adjust font size, brightness, line spacing, etc. You can bookmark your place by hitting the little + you'll see at the top of most pages. We also have to hand it to Barnes & Noble for making Nook pretty cross-platform: you can read on any Android and iOS device you may have, plus on your computer. Bookmarks, notes, and last page you read are synced.
- Download Nook (Free)
6. Amazon Kindle
Of course, we can't leave the other big guy out. Amazon, too, wants to sell you stuff--and it's so easy to do so with its 1-Click (to pay) system.
Kindle also puts lots of books, newspapers and magazines at your fingertips. You may find some textbooks as well. Like Nook, Kindle works on many platforms, like Android, iOS, your computer, and even Windows Phone 8. This is particularly useful so your place, notes, highlights, etc. will be synced across most devices you might have. It's also pretty easy to customize font, margins, line spacing, and more on the Kindle app.
One cool thing is lots of local libraries will actually lend you copies of books via the Kindle app.
If you're trying to decide between Kindle and Nook, you may ask yourself if you're more interested in being tied to Barnes & Noble's ecosystem or Amazon's ecosystem.
- Download Amazon Kindle (Free)
FBReader offers some interesting features, like the ability to change the background color of the book and flip pages by using the volume up and volume down buttons on your device. Of course, you can customize other things, like font size and type.
You can get books from Internet catalogs, like Free Books Hub and Smashwords. You can also manually add your own custom OPDS catalogs. It's compatible with plenty of different file types, like EPUB, .DOC, HTML and RTF. You can add your own books manually.
Download FBReader (Free)
We know there are a bunch of great readers out there. Which ones do you enjoy using most? Are there some that you enjoy using that aren't on this list? Please let us know what you think in the comments!