OverDrive is Beta-Testing a New eBook App, Libby

OverDrive is the leading vendor for library ebooks, and you can read ebooks checked out through OD on your Android or iOS Device, the Aura One, or a Kindle (if you're in the US).

Now readers have a new option: Libby.

OverDrive's R&D dept, OD Labs, has quietly started testing the new reading app which is said to be much easier to use than the existing OverDrive app.

That certainly matches with what I have seen.

OverDrive is Beta-Testing a New eBook App, Libby e-Reading Software Library eBooks Overdrive Reviews

After hearing about Libby on Teleread, I installed Libby this morning, and compared it to the existing OverDrive Media Console app. The new app is simpler, and has cleaner and less confusing library, settings, and other menus, while the older app has a few more options.

For starters, Libby was a lot easier to get up and running than OD's other app. It found my library, and prompted me to enter my library card info. In comparison, the Media Console app makes you choose between logging in with Facebook, an OverDrive account, or a library card, and if you choose the latter option you will have to manually search for your library (or libraries).

Once you've logged into Libby, you can immediately start checking out and reading ebooks. The older app, on the other hand, wants you to log in again - this time to the library's page.

I'm going to skip the dozen extra steps required before you can read an ebook in the older app, and merely say that all of a sudden I am remembering why I stopped using OverDrive's apps.

When it comes to actually reading an ebook, the older app has the more sophisticated formatting options but Libby is easier to understand and set up. The Media Console app has a clunky settings menu which lists margins, line spacing, font choice, etc, while Libby offers preset options with names like "scholar", "legible", "paperback", etc.

Me, I like the more complicated options, but frankly I stopped using the OverDrive Media Console app a long time ago because it was such a pain to use.

Today's tests reminded me of how much I hate the older app, which I will shortly be deleting from my phone.

The Libby app, on the other hand, is going to stay.

Libby is currently only available on Android and iOS, and only works with public library books. You can find the app in iTunes and in Google Play, and OverDrive has also posted an FAQ.

Teleread

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. […] OverDrive is notoriously hard to navigate, so this is good news. […]

    Reply
  2. Purple lady20 December, 2016

    I like the app! You can also use the custom formatting options at the bottom after preset options.

    Reply
  3. […] OverDrive is Beta-Testing a New eBook App, Libby […]

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  4. […] app entered beta for iOS and Android devices late last year. After a short delay it seems it’s finally ready for the masses. It’s pretty well polished, but […]

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  5. […] Libby app lets you read ebooks or listen to audiobooks, but the RBDigital app from Recorded Books goes one […]

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  6. Sherry zielonka19 July, 2017

    is or has Libby replaced overdrive. I caanot log in to overdrive account,!,,,,

    Reply
  7. Amelia14 November, 2017

    But I can’t fond where to get kindle books on Libby & that’s devastating.
    The Kindle app has many pluses reading on the Libby app can start to compare. For one it’s connected to Goodreads.

    Reply

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