A few months back, I wrote an article about Aldiko Book Reader, an Android ebook reader. I thought it was a great app that could’ve used a few more features, but it got the job done and I was able to enjoy a few ebooks with it.
Since then, I’ve received a number of suggestions on alternatives to Aldiko. I’m still going through them–trying to give each one ample opportunity to impress me–and right now, I think I’ve found a replacement app that far outshines the one I used previously.
It’s called Mantano Reader. It’s pretty, it’s fast, it’s sleek, and it’s free. Keep reading to see why I love this one so much.
Disclaimer: If you don’t like the comic-esque font being used in the screenshots, don’t worry. That isn’t particular to Mantano Reader; it’s just my default Android font.
Mantano Reader’s library screen immediately caught my eye, and in a good way. Most reader apps (won’t name any names) have library screens that are too simple or too complex. On the one hand, bland is just boring, and boring will kill any excitement that I may have had. On the other hand, when an app tries too hard by forming an actual book shelf with sideways-reading spines, it just becomes a pain.
An elegant balance is struck here, and Mantano Reader deserves applause. The books are laid out in a simple list format while being catchy enough with the little details. Finding a book is never difficult, especially with the filtering options. In the right screenshot above, I’ve filtered by “Recently Read” to find the book(s) I’ve been reading.
Easy File Import
As of right now, I have a little under 70 different ebooks on my Android device. I’ve used some reader apps that required manual importing by selecting each ebook one by one. I don’t have time for that kind of nonsense. I just want a quick install and setup so I can read my ebooks!
Much to my surprise, Mantano Reader has a one-click import. It scans the entire contents of your device, looking for all ebook files in formats supported by the app. Once it finds them, you can select individual ebooks or you can select all of them, then click “Import” to import them. Done!
Reading with Mantano Reader is such a breeze. It’s all great right out of the box: the default layout, padding, font size, indent size, etc. Everything is highly responsive. The table of contents works perfectly and there is even a little tracker on which page you’re currently reading out of how many pages there are.
Tapping on the text will reveal an overlay where you can change a number of things very quickly. Instantly turn the theme from Day mode to Night mode. Size up or down the font. Highlight certain bits of text for copying. Annotate in case you want to jot down notes. There are more, but you get the idea.
With Mantano Reader, you can alter many of the options that you’d expect from an ebook reader. Customize the way you read and change the way that certain things are displayed. It isn’t extremely flexible, though; if you’re the kind of person who likes to personalize everything, don’t get your hopes up too high.
The basic version of Mantano Reader–otherwise known as Lite–is completely free to use. What do you get in the premium version? As far as I can tell, the main addition is the ability to organize the notes (annotations) that you take in your various books. If you think you’ll be taking a lot of notes, then you should consider the premium version. I don’t use them, personally, but the Mantano notes organizer is pretty good.
You can get the premium version for $6.99 from here. That’s pretty expensive for an Android ebook reader app, but the developers are nice and interact with their community. They deserve to be paid for the quality of their work, in my opinion.
I’ve rarely found myself feeling like Mantano Reader is lacking in features. The only one that I want is a tracker that tells me how far along I am in a certain chapter, as opposed to the entire book. But I can live without it, especially because Mantano Reader is nearly perfect in every other way.
Need a free Android ebook reader? Or maybe you’re just looking to shake things up and try a new app? Get Mantano Reader. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.