Reviews of the Top 4 eBook Reading Apps

Technology is shaping a whole new world for us; our living style is changing rapidly with the advancement in technology. One of the major changes that we saw is the use of eBooks instead of using the old traditional style of paper books, especially the usage of eBooks in education and business sector, as students and business men are using this technology a lot these days. There are a lot of apps available for eBook reading; we will review top 4 best eBook reading apps.

Apple iBooks Review

The good: My e-book apps voyage commenced with Apple’s iBooks, and since then I have never looked back. Initially introduced for iPad readers, it has become a permanent member of the entire iOS family. Downloading new books is easy and each new book is placed on a bookshelf under the Library tab. With effortless navigation, iBooks provides access to tens of thousands of e-books. PDF and ePUB formats are compatible and can be transferred from the Mail app or iTunes. The option of bookmarking a passage or page is available. Other useful options include adjustment of brightness and text size, keyword search tab and landscape mode. Flipping the pages is lifelike and very smooth.

The bad: It has been observed that iBooks is not very efficient in loading books, especially on earlier models of iPhones. It is only available for Apple gadgets and does not support platforms like Android phones. Limited options are available for changing the color scheme of background and font sizes.

The ugly: It provides smaller selection of e-books as compared to other apps like Amazon’s Kindle. There is no option to open links to PDFs from Safari.

Final word: With a user-friendly interface, simple navigation options and easy downloading, iBooks is a ‘dream come true’ for those iOS users who prefer convenience over variety of books available.

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5

Lexcycle Stanza Review

The good: Acquired by Amazon.com in 2009, Lexcycle launched its e-book reading software named Stanza. Designed for i0S, it has an excellent interface and access to many free e- books, including 25,000 free e-books from the Project Gutenberg. Pages can be turned by the tap of a finger and the lower part of the page curls up like flipping a page in reality. In addition to the bookmark option, it has more than 40 fonts. Other useful options include text justification, line spacing, paragraph spacing, indent width, and margins.

Stanza can easily be termed as an iPhone phenomenon with over four million downloads to date. Stanza supports a number of formats including ePUB, PDF, Comic Book Archive (CBR and CBZ) and DjVu.

The bad: Purchasing and downloading the paid e-books is relatively difficult, as it involves launching a separate web browser that can be connected to Fictionwise or BooksOnboard. During the download, an unlocking process is required where the user has to provide his/her name along with credit card number.

The ugly: Due to non-integration of Stanza with iBooks store and Kindle bookstore, purchases made from these stores cannot be read on Stanza. Popular new releases are pretty expensive. Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is $9.99 at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but it’s a whopping $29.95 at Fictionwise.

Final word: With an excellent interface, access to many free e-books and support of various formats, Stanza is the app for those who can spend a few extra bucks for the books.

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5

Barnes & Noble Nook Review

The good: Barnes & Noble has a huge library of millions of e-books formatted in the ePUB standard, including new releases and bestsellers. Access to this collection is made easy by the introduction of their e-book app, Nook for i0S. One of the biggest advantages with Nook is the speedy downloads. A unique feature of LendMe has been introduced in Nook which enables readers to share their books with their friends. Books can be lent out on friends’ email addresses.

The default appearance of any eBook can be changed by a tap on the centre of the screen. A number of icons pop up that allow customization. Page layout is available in both portrait and landscape. Other useful options include text justification, bookmarks icons, locking screen rotation, adjusting brightness, font sizes and different background themes. The Bad: Unlike iBooks and Stanza, there is no cute way of flipping the page.

The ugly: Nook’s biggest problem is non- connectivity with its own eBook store that hinders a user from buying books directly through the app. Purchases can only be made from the Barnes & Noble website.

Final word: With the vast Barnes & Noble e-library backing it, customized background themes and the option of LendMe. Nook is a great app for eReaders.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

International Children Digital Library Review

The good: With the largest collection of its kind, this app offers over 4000 children’s books from around 60 countries. Thousands of free e- books are available. Along with translations in 100 languages, all books have summaries in English as well as the native language of the book. Navigation is quick and easy. The advanced search screen can be used to search books in two or more languages.

The bad: Some books might not be available in more than one language. The app also includes books that are not recently published, thus making the search task a bit difficult.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

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