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Old 06-14-2013, 03:44 PM   #1
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Best Android Reading App for an 86 year old

I'm looking for suggestions for Android reading apps that would be beginner friendly for my 86 year old father. He just wants to be able to read his bible and some westerns in larger font and save the weight of carrying so many books around. I chose a tablet over an e-ink reader so he can look at all his photos from our recent vacation and listen to episodes of Car Talk. My step-sister and her 6 year old son would appreciate being able to use the tablet as well.

I only read on my e-ink Kindles, so I'm clueless about tablet reading apps.

I tried the Kindle app for Android and I don't really care for it. Not enough options (which I would set before sending the tablet to him) and I think it would be hard for him to navigate. I would like navigation icons to be visible at all times. I would also like the option to tap to turn pages instead of swiping, more fonts and font sizes.

I live California and he lives in East Texas. I would be able add the same app to my Android tablet or phone to walk him through any problems.

I will convert his books to ePub if necessary.

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Edit: I guess I should add, I purchased a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for him not a Kindle Fire.

Last edited by daffy4u; 06-14-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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I suggest trying Bluefire Reader. I do use it on my iPhone. There is a version for Android.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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Thanks! Downloading now but from the screen shots, it doesn't look like navigation icons stay on the screen. I'll give a try and poke around the settings.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
Thanks! Downloading now but from the screen shots, it doesn't look like navigation icons stay on the screen. I'll give a try and poke around the settings.
I cannot say how Bluefire works on Android, but it does work well on iOS.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'm trying it right now. One thing I have a problem with is changing the background color. Bluefire uses a color picker which is hard to use (for me anyway). I just want a sepia background. I do like the tap for navigation.

Trying Aldiko and Moon Reader as well.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
I would like navigation icons to be visible at all times.
I've looked at and used a lot of Android reading apps for reviews at Dear Author and I can't think of any at all that leave the icons on screen at all times. Pretty much every app now a days is set up to bring up the icons/menus when you tap the center of the screen.


Quote:
I would also like the option to tap to turn pages instead of swiping, more fonts and font sizes.
Most if not all apps are set up for both tap and swipe to turn.


Do you want something tied to a store? DRM support?


As far as customization Mantano and Moon+ are probably the most customizable, but some people I know find them too customizable. Aldiko's not bad nor is BlueFire, but not quite as much customization (which may or may not be a good thing).
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Pretty much every app now a days is set up to bring up the icons/menus when you tap the center of the screen.
Thanks AO, I see I'm going to have to give up on that one.


Quote:
Most if not all apps are set up for both tap and swipe to turn.
I couldn't get that to work on the Kindle app. I must have missed a setting. I could only swipe.

Quote:
Do you want something tied to a store? DRM support?
All books will come from my Amazon account. I'll convert as necessary (I have about 30 books to convert for him which should last until I see him again at the end of the year)

Quote:
As far as customization Mantano and Moon+ are probably the most customizable, but some people I know find them too customizable. Aldiko's not bad nor is BlueFire, but not quite as much customization (which may or may not be a good thing).
I'm liking Aldiko so far. I purchased Moon+ Reader Pro some time ago and never tried it. I don't why I bought it (maybe it was on sale and I snapped it up). It's next in my test.

I'll probably load them all and let my Father choose the one he likes the best but more suggestions are welcome.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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Just an aside. Bluefire is based on Adobe Mobile Reader SDK (aka ADE).
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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Just an aside. Bluefire is based on Adobe Mobile Reader SDK (aka ADE).
So are Mantano & Aldiko. There's nothing wrong with BlueFire, but it's not quite as far along as the others. It just depends on which has the features you need/want.



Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
I'll probably load them all and let my Father choose the one he likes the best but more suggestions are welcome.
That's probably best. Load up the two or three you like the best and let hime pick from there.



As far as tapping on the Kindle app, there is no setting you can both tap and swipe to turn at all times. The Kindle app's really not bad as long as you don't want much customization, but if you want to customize much of anything it's not the app for you.

Last edited by AnemicOak; 06-14-2013 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #10
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As far as tapping on the Kindle app, there is no setting you can both tap and swipe to turn at all times.
You are absolutely right! I don't know what drugs my thumbs were taking 'cause 2 days ago I could only swipe. The tapping works on both my and my Father's tablet just fine.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
I've looked at and used a lot of Android reading apps for reviews at Dear Author and I can't think of any at all that leave the icons on screen at all times. Pretty much every app now a days is set up to bring up the icons/menus when you tap the center of the screen.



Most if not all apps are set up for both tap and swipe to turn.


Do you want something tied to a store? DRM support?


As far as customization Mantano and Moon+ are probably the most customizable, but some people I know find them too customizable. Aldiko's not bad nor is BlueFire, but not quite as much customization (which may or may not be a good thing).
I believe you can set CoolReader to leave the icons on screen, and you can choose the short or long side.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:42 PM   #12
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I've been trying out a number of readers and I think that Cool Reader is my preferred one now on my Nooks. I like the large number of font sizes that are available, and the amount of fonts. I like that I was able to customize my background color to a very pale green-grey color that is easier on my eyes than stark white. I like the one-tap switch to night mode. It also has controls that will stay on screen so they are easy to access. It allows for a great deal of customization, but you should be able to walk him through it because there will only be a few things to adjust for him.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:32 PM   #13
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Thank you citac for suggesting Cool Reader and Xanthe as well for your review of the app.

I did load it on my tablet and it has more control options than I would have guessed. It does indeed allow the navigation (& settings) bar to remain on screen in a location of choice. I knew Cool Reader was being used on some e-ink devices (even the Kindle) but didn't know there was an Android app for it.

It's a little clunky looking but it's equally as serviceable as it's slicker competition. I like that it is an open source project that seems to be a labor of love by one person (from looking at the responses to bug tickets). Has anyone figured out a way to change the TTS voice. I'm including a lot of Zane Grey westerns and they might sound better with a male voice if my father chooses to use that function (I've never read any of Grey's books, so I may be way off the mark ).

I've been downloading YouTube videos if they were available for the apps I'm putting on his tablet (the videos will be on the tablet as well). I think he'll see the pattern that most of the book apps work basically the same. He just has to play to find the one he is most comfortable with.

Thanks again for the Cool Reader suggestion.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:20 AM   #14
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You're welcome.

Query "TTS voices" in Google Play and you should get a bunch of apps regarding voices and TTS programs. There should be a control in his tablet's Settings function that will let you choose which voice program to use if you install another one.

Cool Reader allows you to install a choice of dictionaries. I am using ColorDict:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...=search_result

It also allows the installation of sub-dictionary programs - thesaurus, spelling, irregular words, Spanish/English, German/English, Chinese/English, Japanese/English, various Bible dictionaries, etc.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:23 AM   #15
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You might want to put one of the Librevox programs on his tablet - free audiobooks of public domain titles. I'm wondering if any of the Zane Grey books might already be there.
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