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What is Your Favorite Reading App?

If you search in Google Play or iTunes for reading apps, you’ll find dozens, possibly hundreds of different apps to choose from (and that’s just counting the apps for reading ebooks).

Between iBooks, Adobe Acrobat, Pocket, and what have you, there are so many reading apps these days it can be hard to find the best one, and to make matters worse a lot of them aren’t even worth using. So why don’t we narrow things down a bit by crowd-sourcing a list of favorite reading apps.

Personally, I don’t use reading apps very often because I usually read on my Fire tablet – which, come to think of it, is actually running the Kindle Android app. But when I do use another app, I generally stick to Instapaper (because I am catching up on saved articles, or doing research) or I use Adobe Acrobat to read PDFs.

Obviously, some types of content simply work better in an app than on a dedicated ereader with a grayscale screen. Comics, for example, or other types of graphics heavy books, are going to look better in an app on a color screen.

So tell me, what’s your favorite reading app? And what makes it better than other apps?

Is it the media enhancements? Control over formatting and the reading experience? Annotation options?

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Carmen Webster Buxton March 28, 2018 um 5:34 pm

I have a Kindle Voyage and I love it. Having started with the clunky Kindle 1, I can appreciate all the enhancements Amazon has made over the years. Between the e-ink and the built-in front lights, there is no eye strain at all. I like being able to look up a word, or translate a phrase (I’m re-reading a lot of old Dorothy L Sayers mysteries and her characters often break out in French for a paragraph or so!). I can use page turn buttons or swipe as I prefer. IF the publisher did the set-up, the X-Ray feature comes in really handy for certain types of books, especially stories with a huge cast of characters that are hard to keep up with (I ALWAYS do the work to create the X-Ray feature in my own books, and in the last one where I invented a lot of alien words/concepts it was very helpful). I enjoy the e-ink experience so much, I really don’t like to read on anything else. Of course, I do read (and write) almost entirely novels, so I don’t miss a color screen.

Alexey March 28, 2018 um 6:12 pm

iBooks for iOS and Mac. A convenient app + ePub + synchronization.

Ed Bear March 28, 2018 um 6:27 pm

Favorite App? Easy: Marvin 3 and its earlier incarnation, Marvin. I have both on my ios phone. I could enjoy the Kindle app if it didn’t have the {cursing redacted} animated page flip to drive my eyeballs nuts.

Chris Meadows March 28, 2018 um 6:59 pm

I do most of my reading these days on a Kindle Paperwhite, but my favorite overall non-Kindle reader is Google Play Books. It can handle any EPUB from my Calibre library, it’s available for all platforms, and even works on the desktop via a web browser. And the reading experience is clean and uncluttered, with enough options formatting options that I can get it to look however I want it.

Vikarti Anatra March 28, 2018 um 7:10 pm

What makes it better? Annotation options. Ability to sync and work on Android and mac/Web. (iOS is nice addition). Tags and collections.
For a last few years my main reader was Bookari (probblem with 'work on mac/Web' was being semi-solved either big HP Slate 21 tablet on work table(21′ is screen size) or late with Nexus 10 on portrait stand with BT keyboard).

Currently I testing Pocketbook’s tools (Cloud and Android readers, they have epub3 android reader app in testing and it’s look rather good) and…. Bookfusion (even while it has issues, some of them are solvable).

I do have Kindle Keyboard with 3G and KPW3 WiFi but almost never use them.

Jhowell March 28, 2018 um 8:23 pm

I read on my Kindle Oasis when at home. When out and about I use the Kindoe for iOS app because it syncs my reading position allowing me to pick up where I left off.

Thomas March 28, 2018 um 11:23 pm

I’ve been using FBReader for years now. Reads all the formats I need, and has a lot of customization and viewing options. I had to sideload it to run on my Fire tablet.

fabrizio venerandi March 29, 2018 um 12:46 am

I read on an Onyx M96. I use the Onyx Neo Reader for novels (better CSS support and font rendering) and Moon Reader + pro for non-fiction ebooks (better annotation/underline controls).

Brandon March 29, 2018 um 1:02 am

Xodo PDF Viewer for my Android and Windows devices.

Way more customisable than Adobe (page color, fonts (size, style, color), easy and numerous annotation abilities, etc.).

I’m surprised more people aren’t raving about it online.

Shellbell March 29, 2018 um 2:52 am

I use bookari on my iPad. One of the main features I love is that I can sort my books by author, and in series order. Not the slightest bit interested in notes or annotations, but being able to choose font, page colour etc is good.

Jude March 29, 2018 um 10:27 am

I love Moon+Reader. It can be set to scroll (speed adjustable) which is great for reading in bed or at the breakfast table, and it will read to me. I admit that the available voices are a little robotoic, but the fact that I can listen to a book while I’m exercising makes it worthwhile.

smr March 29, 2018 um 11:18 am

Kindle app, just because Whispersync is great. If Apple made a dedicated e-ink e-reader, I’d probably use that and iBooks as I really like the typography in iBooks but the sync is table stakes for me, and it has to include syncing to an actual e-ink e-reader because I use those 50/50 with tablets for my reading.

Kobo’s e-ink readers are great, but their tablet app is hot garbage, so I can’t use them.

gbm March 29, 2018 um 11:37 am

Google Play Books is NOT an epub reader, it reads a google file type.

smr March 29, 2018 um 11:40 am

It reads epub files, not sure why you think it doesn’t.

Nate Hoffelder March 29, 2018 um 11:46 am

actually, all the evidence says it doesn’t:

smr March 29, 2018 um 12:04 pm

That article is from 2014, dude.

Here’s something more recent:

"As of 2017, Google accepts EPUB versions 2.0.1 and 3.0.1."

Nate Hoffelder March 29, 2018 um 12:21 pm

Yes, and as I pointed out in that article, at that time Google processed Epub into its own weird format and served up that weird format.

We have no evidence to suggest that has changed.

gbm March 29, 2018 um 1:23 pm

There is no way to open an epub in play Books I.E. it is not an epub reader. Having to open an epub in any app then up loading it to google is NOT OPENING an epub.

I just tried to read an epub in Play Books and it will not open it.

Barry Steiner March 29, 2018 um 4:54 pm

For pleasure reading, I used to read exclusively on my Paperwhite, but since I got my Kindle Oasis (8th Generation) recently, I actually prefer it – especially reading in bed at night. It is so lightweight that it is a noticeable improvement over my Paperwhite. Ocassionally when I am at home during the day or early evening, I will use the Kindle app on my iPad because sometimes I prefer the larger format and also because I like the very cool, furled page turns.

When I am out and about and have some time on my hands, I will pick up on my reading on the Kindle app on my iPhone. The page is way smaller, but I don’t mind it that much for short reads. I like that I can pick up where I left off on my other devices.

I also have an iBook collection on my iPad which I use mostly for technical publications and manuals. I find the hyperlinks and easy page access very convenient.

Steve March 30, 2018 um 2:11 pm

At home, I read on a Kindle Oasis 2017. I had been using a Kobo Aura One, and the Oasis screen is slightly smaller, but the Oasis defaults to much smaller margins than the Kobo, so the amount of screen text is about the same. Either way, I really prefer the larger screens to the standard Kindle size.
On my phone I have Moon+. Driving to and from work, I usually have the Moon+ text-to-speech reading to me.
It’s become a habit for me, whenever I stop reading, to scan my last-read page for an odd word or phrase that I can search for on the other device to pick up my reading position.

rur April 2, 2018 um 1:53 am

Zo reader for android, inexplicably not in the store.

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