Review: Aldiko v2.0 (early release)

The latest version of Aldiko showed up in the Marketplace a few weeks ago, and I've been meaning write a review. This trip to CES gave me enough downtime that I could jot down a few notes. The first thing you probably want to know is whether this app is worth buying. I would say yes. I'm cheap, so I normally wouldn't recommend a paid app. But this one is worth it. Aldiko already was my preferred app for Android and I am a pleased to tell you that they made it better.

I'm impressed with the changes to the menu. The previous version (1.3) used the stock Android menu buttons and had all of the settings options under one menu. It looks a lot better than before and it's also better organized. The new in book menu adds a button for the home screen (also new), search, and a slider bar for location in the book. You alos can now see the taskbar across the top of the screen (no need to exit to check the time).

There's only 4 buttons on the menu (down from 6), goto, day/night, settings, and a More option. I won't go into laborious detail but the way the settings menu was restructured shows a serious amount of thought and user testing. The options I wanted to change most often were the most easily accessible, with less used options one step away.

The Home screen I mentioned before is new. I'm not talking about the library; don't worry, it's still there. No, the Home screen is where you'll find find links to the ebookstore and where you'll import ebooks.

That's one of the things they've changed. You don't have to put your titles in /import folder anymore; Aldiko v2.0 can find them anywhere on your device. This is simply awesome. I've had problems with some Android devices because Aldiko expected to find the import folder in a place I couldn't access.

I've probably put more time into this app than it deserves, but I do like it.

As a final note, I think you might want to wait for a more polished version. I'm having some stability issues with the version currently on the market. It's also running rather slow on my Pandigital 9" tablet.On the other hand, they  do offer free updates.

P.S. I didn't test library support or ebookstore support. I don't have a library that supports ebooks and Since I always strip DRM from ebooks my rule is to never transfer directly to the ereader.

About Nate Hoffelder (11467 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on Review: Aldiko v2.0 (early release)

  1. I have loved Aldiko since I started my tablet adventures.

    I bought this paid version more to support them than anything. I have to say, after using it, I went back to the old version until they polish it up quite a bit.

    Some of the problems:
    I don’t like the new margin controls. One of the things I liked about the older version was separate controls for vertical and horizontal margins. Now they have sacrificed that for a single margin setting.

    2) I actually liked the way the old import books feature worked. Initially in the new version you had to manually select books to import them, which made importing a large library a huge imposition. That said, they added a select all function to the new import feature. I still would like the ability in the settings to set an import folder and optionally restrict the import feature to that directory. I often keep books in other folders for other reading apps, and often have a large number of pdfs in storage, that I would not ever want to import into aldikio, but I currently have to wait for it to scan both my devices internal storage and the sd card for all supported files. I see why they did it, I just would like the option to do it either way.

    3) No import of classic Aldiko’s library. I am frankly floored that this was not considered.

    4) This may somewhat of a duplication of #1, since giving us independent margin control would resolve this issue satisfactorily. But on some devices with a persistent software button bar (i.e. the Archos Gen 8 tablets, but not limited to them), the application does not properly format for these devices, and at least one full line of text if not more is off-screen. The only way to fix this for me has been to set the margins to 60, but as pointed out in #1, this sets all the margins to 60, and thus only displays a very small amount of text per page. I’ve not had this problem with any other reader app, including the original Aldiko, so I assume there must be some formating function they are not performing in the app.

    5) Still no ability to set the location Aldiko uses for its library. Many apps are coming with both additional internal storage and sd card storage. The Pandigital Novels, the Archos Gen 8 tablets, and most every other tablet these days. Yet the Aldiko app still stores its data and library only in /sdcard/. On some devices that means it will eat up the internal storage, on others it means it cant use the internal storage. It seems to me that allowing the user to set a location for the storage would be a simple matter. Email to Aldiko’s developers about this indicated they were not interested in this feature.

    Of the major complaints (the others are so minor they are not even worth mentioning) #4 was the one that made me go back to the classic Aldiko app for now (but resolving #1 would also resolve #4 for the most part). I do not regret buying the new app. I am glad to support their work, and I very much hope they keep working on it, and continue making Aldiko the best damn e-reading app on Android.

  2. New update out today.

    They did fix the issue with screen size on devices with software button bars (i.e. the new gen Archos devices).

    They also significantly improved the import books functionality, allowing you to select directories that contain books to import. This worked for importing books from the /eBooks data directory for the old Aldiko, but I am sure that a built in import ability using the existing library data of the old version would have been faster and more efficient, and is a feature I still think they should include.

    The screen real estate issue being resolved makes the independent margins issue less important a missing feature, but again, one that I think they should still add in the next update. Sometimes you want to change the side margins or the top/bottom margins without making all of them uniform.

    And still no fix for allowing the data directory to reside in a different location for phones and tablets that have both built in storage and external storage (like most tablets, and a lot of phones are starting to come with).

    But much kudos to Aldiko for listening to feedback and making the changes to the import function and fixing the full screen with software button bar issues. They show once again why they are the top e-reader for Android.

    Also had the chance to test this new version with ADE today. I was able to get Overdrive books working with it perfectly. Of course, BN Nook books wont work, since they use a different auth mechanism. Overdrive uses the same DRM as Google Books and Kobo/Borders, but I didn’t get around to testing those yet.

  3. Would stay with earlier version if it meets your needs. V2 is slow, and takes up 8Mb space – the new features don’t make up for the slow speed!

  4. Aldiko has one big problem I can’t get along with. On both my Nook Color (rooted) and my Nexus 7, it doesn’t render italics.

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