From Digital Book World:
I am what the book industry calls a “power reader.” I read a lot of books (at least 300 a year), and I read them quickly. With that sort of intake, using an e-reading app that I like is important; there’s nothing worse than starting to read on an app and then realizing midway through a book it doesn’t have a feature you want, or it has some other limitation.
Admittedly, most reading apps will do the job. They’ll let me read the book on my tablet. But I like a little more than just your basic level of functionality. Trying to narrow down what is important is hard; a lot of it is just the feel of the app. But the main things that I care about as a heavy reader are a good user interface (the page on the screen looks nice, also referred to as UI), how progress is marked (a slider, percent, page number), and how bookmarks and notes work. That might not be where everyone’s priorities are, but that’s most of what I want to know. Of course, other features enter into the recipe of what makes a great e-reading app, especially the special features of some apps, but they’re icing on the cake.
With that in mind, I pulled out my trusty iPad mini (all of these apps will also work on a full-sized iPad, but I happen to have a mini) to try out 15 e-reading apps.
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The best thing about iBooks is that it’s incredibly easy to get books on the iPad. The other apps require you to go to their websites to buy ebooks; iBooks has a store built into the app. There are seven fonts, multiple highlight colors and the usual three themes, so nothing extraordinary there. The notes are marked both by highlight and in the margins, making them easy to see. The progress bar shows a slider and what page you’re on out of the total. It also tells you how many pages are left in the chapter, which is nice. Interface-wise, this is the only app I found where you can set it either to appear as a book, with pages, as a full screen page, or as a continuous page of text that you can scroll down, website-like. I’m not sure when I would use the continuous scroll, but I like knowing it’s there.
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Kobo’s thing is social reading and gamification, and the app is very clear about that. Other people’s notes and highlights are easily visible (you can even comment on other people’s notes), and with the tap of the pulsing button at the bottom of the screen, you can see the “buzz” about the book — what other readers are saying. There are also games and awards you can get for having finished a certain number of books. You can see your reading stats — how often you read, for how long, and how many more sessions you would need to finish the book, among other things, and those are always interesting to know. Progress is measured in a slider and pages left in the chapter — nothing’s said about total pages. You also can’t search in text. The bookmarks have a nice dog-ear graphic. Overall, the UI struck me as a little overcrowded, with too many features cluttering up my reading experience. But I’m not a very social reader — if you like sharing your thoughts and seeing what other people think of books, this is the app for you.
Link to the rest at Digital Book World