When it comes to distraction free reading, nothing beats an ereader. But when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, the reading apps available for Android make that platform easily the best value.
Between the save for later apps, ebook apps, PDF apps, comic apps, audiobook apps, news and feed reader apps, and web browsers, there are apps for just about all kinds of ereading.
And that's why I assembled this handy list of apps which you can use to turn your Android device into a superlative ereader.
To start, we have the ebook apps.
eBook apps can be split into several broad categories, including the major apps which support many formats and sell DRMed ebooks, and 3rd-party apps which may or may not support DRM.
Most of the following apps support Epub and PDF, and some like FBReader also support other formats. If you need support for Adobe DRm, check out Bluefire or Aldiko.
Save for Later
Sometimes you find an article online which you want to read right away, and other times you want to save it for later. That's where these apps come in.
Often the overlooked half-sibling of ebooks, audiobooks are available from a wide variety of sources. Please note, the Kindle app also supports audiobooks, and so does the Scribd app.
- LibriVox – over 15,000 free audiobooks
- B&N Nook Audiobook - 15,000 audiobooks
- Audiobook.com - 45,000 audiobooks
- OverDrive – for checking out audiobooks from your library
- Audible – 150,000 audiobooks
- Downpour.com - 20,000+ audiobooks to buy or rent
- Audiobooks – 2,800 classic audiobooks for free
Comics & Manga
Please note that many of the reading apps mentioned above also support digital comics, and that there are two subscription services focused on comics.
(Apps which sell comics)
(Apps which let you read DRM-free comics)
PDF is arguably the oldest and one of the most widely supported ebook formats. There are more apps which support it than you can shake a stick at, including the apps listed below as well as Kindle, Nook, office suite apps, and most of the ebook apps mentioned above.
eBook Subscription Services
Over the past year multiple tech companies launched services which let readers access vast catalogs for a monthly fee. Please note, the Kindle Unlimited service is available through the Kindle app for Android.
- Kindle Unlimited - 750,000 titles for $9.99 per month
- Scribd – 500,000 titles for $8.99 per month, including audiobooks
- – over 600,000 titles for $9.95 per month
- Skoobe - 80,000 titles for € 9.99 per month (and up)
- Blloon - (not yet available for Android, but coming soon)
- Bookmate - 400,000 titles
- 24symbols – 15,000 titles, with a free service limited to public domain titles
- Marvel Unlimited
News and Feed Readers
Even after splitting out the magazine style apps like Flipboard, there are more news reader apps than you can shake a stick at. Here are some of the better ones.
Magazines, Newspapers, and Aggregators
This is a pretty broad category that includes apps released by a single publication, apps which aggregate articles from multiple sources, and apps which sell you either single issues, subscriptions, or Netflix-style access.
Please note that several of the ebook apps mentioned above, including Kindle and Kobo, also support magazines and newspapers.
I'm not shy about saying that I think Android is currently the best mobile platform, and now that it is starting to show up on more ereaders I get to have the best of both worlds.
For more details on Android on E-ink, check out my companion post on the T68 Lynx, which has a 6.8" E-ink screen and runs Android 4.0.