It seems now that everyone and their mother has an e-reader – and why not? E-readers eliminate all of the headaches that come with paperbacks, and replace them with new technological features.
But e-readers like the Nook and the Kindle aren’t the only thing bringing reading into the 21st century: there are many apps that do anything from recommending books to allowing you to save web content for later reading on your mobile device. So read on to find how to make your Android device the ultimate reader’s companion.
Although most people who are interested in reading like a true techie may just go ahead and buy an Amazon Kindle, if you want to avoid any extra cost or don’t want another extra device to worry about then you needn’t fret – your Android phone or tablet is as good as, if not better than, any e-reader on the market.
If you just want apps to help you read books on your Android, see our roundup of e-reading apps.
Up until recently, Pocket was aptly called Read It Later, but it received a massive revamp earlier this year that secured its place as one of the best save-for-later apps currently available. We previously reviewed Pocket here at Android.AppStorm, and we only had good things to say about it!
Pocket for Android
Pocket allows you to save web articles for reading later. For example, if I were browsing Android.AppStorm and I came across an article that sparked my interest (such as Tim’s review of Screencast Video Recorder), but I realized that I actually don’t have time to read the article at the moment, then rather than clogging up my bookmarks with a link to it, I can just add it to Pocket. This than sends the article to my devices, allowing for offline reading on any device whenever I’m ready to read.
Previously an iOS only affair, Instapaper, from the co-creator of Tumblr, is the father of all read-it-later apps. It kicked off this new type of app several years ago, and many people still refuse to move to any of the other imitators that sprung up after its massive gain in popularity. But this stubbornness is understandable — Instapaper sports a very clean UI and is constantly being updated with new features that enhance the experience.
Instapaper sadly doesn’t share all of it’s iOS’ counterparts features.
Sadly, users who have become accustomed to its massive feature set on iOS may be disappointed to learn that the Android version doesn’t share all the same features as it’s iOS counterpart, as Kim pointed out here on Android.AppStorm. It has the same principle as the aforementioned Pocket, allowing you to save articles for offline reading later, but sadly doesn’t share the same attractive price tag of Free.
Serious readers and casual readers alike (myself included) swear by Goodreads. It allows you to post reviews of books, receive recommendations and chat to other bookworms amongst other things. I love the website, and thankfully the app is just as great the website, allowing you to use most of the powerful features that the website offers in a mobile friendly environment.
Goodreads – Facebook for bookworms!
Goodreads requires an account to use, but don’t worry it’s completely free. Some users may enjoy the social network aspects of this service, while others will be fond of its amazing recommendation algorithm.
It would be an understatement to say that I’ve discovered several new books thanks to this services, as in truth I have actually discovered whole new series of books, which have kept me occupied for hours on end.
While some may opt to use the massively popular Evernote for their note-taking purposes, I find that Simplenote‘s simple and speedy service gets the job done much better. Simplenote is a massively popular service that syncs text notes — you could think of it as a Dropbox exclusively for .txt files. Although it has a vast array of uses, for the purpose of reading I use to keep track of books that I need to buy or finish.
Simplenote’s seamless syncing make Flick Note a pleasure to use!
This is where Flick Note comes in. Flick Note is a Simplenote client; this basically means that it’s capable of receiving and syncing your notes with Simplenote servers. The app’s interface stays in line with the service itself, by offering an it-just-works interface with no frills. I personally don’t think that there is a better way to keep track of books that you need to read, but if you feel that you need more power, the next suggestion is perhaps the app for you.
Although above I expressed my dislike for Evernote when it comes to making notes about books, for some it may be necessary. Although all of my book related notes are plain text, I know others who opt to take pictures of a particular passage or even the front cover, in order to avoid typing out the name of the book (I’m not judging, I swear!)
Evernote’s multimedia approach may suit others!
Evernote, like Simplenote, is a massively popular note syncing service. The most notable difference between the two is that Evernote supports more multimedia. For example, rather than trying to type out a long passage of text from a newspaper, instead I could just snap a picture with Evernote — and, thanks to OCR technology, this text would be instantly searchable from all of my linked devices.
Springpad was only a recent discovery for me — and it blew me away. Basically, the functionality is very similar to that of Evernote – users can create notebooks for whatever purpose they want (in this case, books!) The main difference is that Springpad is very community driven. For example, when I typed in “Darkly Dreaming” I began receiving information such as the author and variant covers pulled from the Amazon product page.
Springpad’s search functionality is what really separates it from the crowd!
This functionality really makes organizing your list of books much easier, and is very aesthetically pleasing as well! The amount of books that this app has is amazing, and your favourite books will definitely be available to add to lists! See Rita’s glowing review for more information.
Hopefully from the above selection you’ve found a few apps that will enhance your reading experience! Although these apps work well with my workflow, yours might be a different story altogether, and so please leave a comment if I left out any apps that you use to enhance your Android reading experience.