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Old 05-05-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
HappyChris
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Android e-reader apps: what are the good ones?

I have about six ereader apps on my various Android devices. I keep saying that I'll really systematically analyse them and decide which is best or, at least, least-bad but I never have. They vary in speed of page-turning, ease and extent of tweaking, quality of rendition of the various formats and so on.

I'm looking, ideally, for something that will read epub, mobi and pdf, will allow making short notes linked to passages and keep the zoom setting from pdf page to pdf page. Oh yes, and is fairly snappy turning the pages and starting up in the first place.

Anyone cracked this already? I'll settle for two apps, if necessary.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
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Be good if you told us which ones you already have. I haven't had a lot of chance to try out Moon+ Reader Pro but so far.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for responding, Danger. I currently it's the Kindle app and usually Aldiko for epubs. Both fine in their ways. I am hoping that others will have a more experience of the rest - apart from the ones that seem to be locked into a given supplier (Prestigio comes to mind ). My underlying hope is that someone will appear and point to a perfect ereader app! I know these are definitely non-trivial programs to write and I'm impressed by nearly all attempts that I see. One day someone is going to crack the perfect reader and all will cheer. Maybe it's already around... Have you found it?
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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I recently upgraded to a SG Tab 3, and went through the same thing. Off the bat, Aldiko and Moon+Reader had the best reviews, so I downloaded both.

Aldiko is aesthetically, nicer, save one area: page content. When I'm reading, it seems like the margins and the print, even minimized, have about 50% less text than other reader apps do. This gets annoying, b/c i'm turning the page every 25 seconds.

Moon+Reader is better about that, but still not perfect. It seems more feature rich, in terms of caliber- like I look at Aldiko as more an everyone's basic reader app, perfect for kids and people who just want the easiest thing to navigate- it's very simple in terms of interface. I'm not saying it doesn't do a lot; it does, but the package it's tied up in just doesn't do it for me. Moon+Reader seems to be less concerned with aesthetics, but it does more. If Aldiko is your kid's app, Moon+Reader is your grown up app. Aldiko is sort of... cartooney.

On a side note, someone mentioned Moon+Pro- both Aldiko and Moon+ have premium versions, and from what I understand, the only difference is that the paid versions have no adverts. Given the low cost to upgrade, I think they're more than worth it for not having distracting ads, and it's always nice to be able to support the designers in some way, for whom they are a labour of love- but if you're expecting more bells and whistles with the premium versions, you will be disappointed.

All that said, I still wasn't happy. So next I tried FB Reader. Immediately, I loved the page layout- at least 2x-3x more text per page, and it has the ability to scan my folders and find ebooks to import. Cool, except, it kept importing doubles and trying to manually import one or two newly added books to my device was a hassle. I couldn't scan, b/c it would end up adding everything a second time.
I also had a LOT of crashes- and not when I was doing anything particularly intensive. It seemed to crash a great deal while I was scrolling through the library- at which point i'd only added about 60 ebooks to- so that was a problem. It does read more than just epub, but those crashes, and a couple little bugs (not importing all the books in the ebook folder, etc.) were enough to make me move on. I will say I kept it on my tab3 for awhile, b/c I simply liked reading with it- even if I used Aldiko to manage the library aesthetically, and FB just to read stuff- but I finally gave up and deleted it, with Moon+Plus.

I started relying on Aldiko again- I tried a couple no name apps for epub, but none of them were worth mentioning. Then I found UB Reader.

UB Reader is hands down, my favorite- but oddly, I didn't read anything about it when I was researching. I downloaded the app as a fluke, just to try- but it beats out the others.

For starters, it scans my folders like FB, and it gets all of them; it NEVER (knock on wood) crashes on me, and it is both aesthetically pleasing in terms of library display and page display. It has about 3x more text per page than Aldiko or Moon+, and it lets you choose from a white background, a sepia one, or a black one (for night). This is huge to me, b/c I get migraines, and the white background kills my eyes. Sometimes though, the black background is not optimal, so the sepia is awesome.

It has every feature the others do: notes, bookmarks, highlight; adjust the text size, color is displayed well. It has a progress bar and a search feature, and you can organize your library by title, author, or recently read (Ascending and Descending). You can create additional library shelves. It has several layout options. When you turn the page, it actually looks like a page being turned, but it's smooth and quick.

It's free, so there are ads; I don't know if a pro version exists, but i'd happily pay for it. As it is though, the ads are not terribly distracting; they show at the bottom when you look at your shelves, but not while you read.

UB Reader only reads epub and DRM- this, for me, is not an issue, b/c I use Calibre and just convert everything when I edit the metadata, but I also don't buy a lot of mobi formatted books to begin with- if you were a big Kindle shopper, it might be more annoying to someone. Of course, you could just toggle between UB Reader and Kindle's app.

I think a lot of what makes it preferential is going to depend on you- initially, I was irked b/c nothing looked like the previous ereader I had, but I eventually forced myself to stop being so ornery and just learn to adjust. UB Reader isn't like my old ereader, but it does everything I want and looks good doing it. It might be different for you.

That's my two cents, anyway. I'm sure some folks far more sage than me will sound in. Hope that helps
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:06 PM   #5
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Many thanks, slammerkin

Your observations were interesting and some familiar - some experiences with FB and Moon.

I've downloaded UB Reader onto my tablet (and phone, in case) to try it out on my trip to the US tomorrow. Pity there's no Calibre for Android as I have a CD full of (dubiously) scanned mobis and get hassled having to copy non-Amazon files into Kindle's folder each time!

Thanks again.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:37 AM   #6
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I was just talking to someone about this! I'll probably bungle their explanation, but from what I understand, Calibre Companion can be downloaded to your android device, and it works like a mirror to your full Calibre library, once you sync it with your full Calibre software. It somehow uses the metadata you have on the main Calibre library to sort them on the device, and if you update info in Calibre, it will update it on your device through Calibre Companion, and you'll be able to open it in whatever reader app you choose.

I'm sure there's loads more to it that flew over my somewhat technologically inept head, but I'm sure if you search the threads for "Calibre Companion", there will be loads of info on the who, what, how, when, etc. I haven't downloaded the companion one yet, but eventually plan to. I'm still acclimating myself to the Tab3. I did finally delete all the other apps I had, and just kept the UB reader app (I have the premium one, it's only about $3.60 right now, on sale). And I still have the kindle app on there, but really, I only ever download free kindle ebooks, so mobi isn't a big thing for me; if you're a mobi heavy user though, I know UB may not be enough to satiate you.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:42 AM   #7
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Found this on Calibre Companion. Clearly more helpful than I was in explaining it :

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=188899
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:44 AM   #8
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Thanks from me also, slammerkin.

I use Mantano with Calibre Companion, but am interested in trying others. Could you tell me please whether UB reader honours the publisher's CSS, or ignores it as some apps do? For good reasons or bad that is very important to me.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
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I like Mantano Reader Premium. It opens DRM-protected books, is stable, has great search and annotation functions and actually shows the layout how it's supposed to be. So for example when I read books with quotes in paragraphes those paragraphs are indented. And what I also love is the tap to zoom function for PDFs.

Today it happens to be on sale for 4,99 EUR on Google Play and Amazon.

I've been using Moon+ Reader Pro also a lot, but with every update it seems to get buggier. And there is this bug with the search results not going to the right page in the book which has been around for ages, even though I keep asking the developer to sort it out. But it's good if you like Autoscroll or TTS (can be used with gestures).
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:27 PM   #10
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I use Mantano with Calibre Companion, but am interested in trying others. Could you tell me please whether UB reader honours the publisher's CSS, or ignores it as some apps do? For good reasons or bad that is very important to me.
There's also a UB free version so it's easy enough to try yourself. I had a quick look last week. FWIW my initial impressions were that css seemed quite well handled (certainly better than Moon+, CoolReader) but I didn't do extensive tests. It also works well with Calibre Companion. But it currently seems to be missing some basic customisation e.g. page margin adjustments. Although it may be fine on a tablet, the side margins are HUGE on my phone, which is the only Android device I have. Still, it's 'one to watch' as they say
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:32 PM   #11
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Thanks to you both. I downloaded UB reader last night, and am still exploring. It looks good so far.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:07 PM   #12
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I like Mantano Reader Premium. It opens DRM-protected books, is stable, has great search and annotation functions and actually shows the layout how it's supposed to be. So for example when I read books with quotes in paragraphes those paragraphs are indented. And what I also love is the tap to zoom function for PDFs.

Today it happens to be on sale for 4,99 EUR on Google Play and Amazon.

I've been using Moon+ Reader Pro also a lot, but with every update it seems to get buggier. And there is this bug with the search results not going to the right page in the book which has been around for ages, even though I keep asking the developer to sort it out. But it's good if you like Autoscroll or TTS (can be used with gestures).
I had 530 coins, so I just got Mantano from Amazon. Thanks!

I prefer Moon+ still for now because you can change just about anything. It does have bugs but I have the Pro version and like the all customizations you get there. I have the status bar set to give me the toc when I tap on the chapter name which really helps when I read my news feeds. I also have the options that I use more frequently come up when I tap the center of the page.

I just tried UB Reader, but you can't even change the margins so it's completely worthless to me. I like to change a lot, but I don't think I have ever saw one where you couldn't even change margins before.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #13
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... I have the status bar set to give me the toc when I tap on the chapter name which really helps when I read my news feeds.
Just in case you haven't found it yet, Mantano does have a limited ability to set 4 shortcut tap-zones under Settings - Gestures
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:11 PM   #14
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Just in case you haven't found it yet, Mantano does have a limited ability to set 4 shortcut tap-zones under Settings - Gestures
Thanks, I'll check it out.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:03 AM   #15
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Just in case you haven't found it yet, Mantano does have a limited ability to set 4 shortcut tap-zones under Settings - Gestures
I set it up to have swipe up give me the toc but the toc font is so tiny I can't really use it much.
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