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New iOS App Makes Finding Free Ebooks Easy

Inkstone Software has just released a new app for the iPad and iPhone. The app, which is appropriately named "eBook Search", is designed to help you find free ebooks on a number of different websites.

eBS has a clean interface and it lets you sort through multiple ebook formats from multiple sources. You can download just about any format offered and you can even find and add your own sources as well as email an ebook link to anyone.

To be honest, this  is nothing new. There have been any number of apps that pulled content from free ebook websites like PG, Feedbooks, Smashwords, and so on. Those free apps have been around since Stanza launched in 2008 and there are even paid apps that will charge you for the privilege of reading free ebooks.

But I like this one because it combines a number of legit free ebook sources into one search engine and because it is only a search engine.You don’t have to read ebooks in this app; instead you can use your preferred app.

In this day and age there is no reason to lock someone into using a particular app. That unfortunate restriction should have died out with Windows ME, but in the mobile world it has managed to hang on for far too long.

To be fair, the single app restriction held on more because of Apple and their design of iOS than because of app developers. Early versions of iOS (and this is still true) made it very difficult to share a file between apps. Difficult? No, I think impossible would be a better word. Reading the technical explanations of how people bypassed the restrictions was quite interesting at the time.

And Android isn’t much better. I still encounter the occasional hiccup while trying to open an ebook with my preferred app.

But at least that is beginning to change, and this app is a sign of the changing times.

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Dan September 28, 2012 um 1:59 pm

I’m curious of what hiccup you have had trying to open ebooks on android? I use primarily Aldiko, and it has nice plugins that I can import or read in Aldiko directly from dropbox which I currently find as my easiest method, and I can get to no matter where I get the book from (oh, and thanks for the link to the python book which I just saved from my work computer to dropbox and opened on my android phone and imported into aldiko).

Do you know of a similar app for android?

Dan September 28, 2012 um 2:00 pm

sorry, didn’t notice this was a year old lol

Nate Hoffelder September 28, 2012 um 2:05 pm

Some apps (Kindle especially) are very picky on where they will open files and what types of files they will open. For example, the Kindle Android app refuses to read PRC and MOBI files and it will not open Kindle ebooks unless you put them in one specific folder, organized in exactly the way it wants.

Aldiko isn’t at all difficult like the Kindle app, and that’s why I like to use it.

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