Reading apps for iPhone and Android.
Last updated: 20 January 2015
No more lugging books around. Just whip out your device and get stuck into your favourite authors, whenever and wherever you like.
Whether you want to just read a good book, want to organise your library, or want to keeping up-to-date with the latest best sellers and literary news, there’s a reading app for you. Here are eight of the best:
The Goodreads app gives you a massive library to choose from and also connects you with a community of readers and their reviews. It includes a barcode scanner to catalogue your library - so you can share your collection, likes, and thoughts with your friends, or other likeminded readers around the world. The combination of book news, trends, wish lists, and social networking cranks up the entertainment factor.
It’s not just books with this one. The Kindle app also gives you newspapers, magazines and certain textbooks at your fingertips. Because it works on Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and even your computer, your place in the book, and any notes and highlights you make will be synced across your devices. It's also pretty easy to customise the font, margins and line spacing; plus lots of local libraries will actually lend you copies of books via the Kindle app.
iBooks – iPhone (free)
With iBooks, you can browse, download, manage, and read from a huge library of new releases and old favourites. The reading experience is great, and you can make notes and bookmarks and highlight your favourite bits. You can also upload ePub and PDF files to read in iBooks.
This Google app gives you access to over 2 million titles, many of which are free. You can use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words, and your notes and place in the book are saved across different devices through your Google account. Again, you can upload your own PDF and ePub files to your library.
Aldiko – Android (free)
This Android app is simple and clean. If you want to read in the dark it's easy to switch between night and day mode, and you can alter text size and margins just by tapping on the screen when you're reading. You get access to the Feedbooks Store, and you can also add your own customised catalogues. This app also lets you import your own ePub and PDF files.
Moon+ Reader – Android (free)
The free version of Moon+ Reader has gesture control, and you can even set it so that pages will turn automatically. You can customise things like font size and background colours, and it can give you some interesting stats, like how many words you've read on average per minute.
With Oyster you get access to over a million books. When it comes to reading at night, you can turn on ‘Lumin’, which replaces the blue light on your screen with a warm, amber light. You also get spot-on recommendations based on what you like to read, and you can ‘follow’ friends, create book lists, and get inspired by exploring the libraries of creative and interesting people.
MegaReader – iPhone (free)
If you prefer to browse through free literature, then MegaReader is for you. The app comes pre-loaded with 25 full books to get you started, but you can download more than 2 million other books from sources like Smashwords and Feedbooks. The app is great for web browsing too, because it works with Instapaper; allowing you to save web pages to read later. Filter through books based on the recommendations of other readers and customise colour schemes, fonts, line spacing and text alignment. Another nifty feature is that it uses your iPhone camera to let you see through your book, so you can watch where you’re going as you walk and read.
Will reading apps use up my data?
If you’re browsing through libraries and downloading books, you’ll use up some of your data allowance. But once your selected publications have been downloaded and stored on to your device, you won’t need to use your network connection.
This means you won’t be spending anything and you can read absolutely anywhere, even if you don’t have a signal. Not something that you really have to worry about with Three though, as we’re rated the UK’s most reliable network* by YouGov.
*Three was rated the most reliable network against EE, O2 and Vodafone by customers in a YouGov Survey in March 2016.