Tablets and e-readers go together like cheese and crackers, Sherlock and Watson and Android and patent infringement lawsuits. Clearly the reading experience on an Android slate will heavily depend on the quality of screen you’re looking at but without any decent books to get stuck into, you’re not going anywhere either. As a free app with a huge array of titles to download and rabidly consume, Aldiko is a consumate rival to Amazon’s Kindle for Android app.
Aldiko claims to host the world’s largest independent ebook store and, while it’s not quite up to scratch with the Kindle’s half a million tomes, there’s more than enough here to fill your boots with. Whereas the Kindle employs a disappointing browser-based delivery system for its ebooks, Aldiko’s titles are mostly delivered within the app in an impressively slick manner. To get your hands on more obscure offerings, you’ll still have to search via Android’s Browser.
For tester purposes we downloaded a free copy of Alice In Wonderland to immerse ourselves in, there are plenty of other public domain books to choose from including Dracula by Bram Stoker and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson, but we fancied a tale full of thinly veiled cannabis references. Reading is a breeze, not just because we’ve been to university, with the app adjusting for changes between landscape and portrait modes as well as offering the ability to look up word definitions via Google and Wikipedia.
Brightness, font size and margins are all changeable, meaning even the most short-sighted of Android tablet owners can enjoy their favourite titles in a format that suits them. One function that’s sadly missing from the app is a notations action, since most of our physical books at home are daubed with several loving scrawls it seems a tad bizarre that Aldiko haven’t thought to add this obvious feature in. On the plus side, you can add your own ePub and PDF files into the app to read which is great if you fancy reading comic books or magazines you’ve acquired elsewhere.
Although the Aldiko Book Reader falls frustratingly short of being a greater e-reader app, it’s not a bad effort at all and certainly a worthy free download for your Android tablet.
The Bottom Line
A worthy download for your Android tablet and a serious rival to Amazon’s Kindle app.
Version reviewed 2.0.2
Requires Android 2.1 or higher