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Old 05-28-2016, 03:11 AM   #1
MComerford
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Post Best Marvin-like app for Android?

Hi everyone,

I'm a longtime Marvin user, and like everyone here absolutely love it (hanging out to play with V3.0!)

However my old iPad is dying and I've just been given an Android Xperia tablet.

I know that there isn't a Marvin available for the platform, but I'm wondering if there is a decent e-reader which simulates some of the abilities? Specifically I have a decent sized Dropbox with books in it, and I don't necessarily want to be able to syn to all of them simultaneously, rather I'd like the same option that Marvin has of browsing into my Dropbox and picking a title I'd like to read.

While I'll still be able to use my Marvin on the iPad at home, I travel a lot and won't be carrying TWO tablets - does anyone have a half decent suggestion of an Android option I can look into?


Many thanks in advance!!



Mike
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:13 PM   #2
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People say good things about Moon+ (http://www.moondownload.com)
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:21 PM   #3
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Definitely Moon+ Reader Pro. In some respects (for example, Themes treatment, ability to import your own background textures/photographs, etc.), it's even better than Marvin. Overall, Moon is weaker than Marvin, but certainly nothing to sneeze at – a very respectable piece of software. Communication with Moon's developer, a really nice Chinese guy, tends to be monosyllabic, and you likely won't ever find him on MobileRead, catering to his users like Kris, but he does try to do his best to be forthcoming. He once sent me the link to download an alternative Moon version when the official Play Store version broke something. Plus, Android as an operating system isn't quite as dumb as the indescribably dumb and user-limiting iOS (getting dumber and dumber with each annual release), which brings advantages to the user, also of e-reader software.

That said, if my only iPad broke (but I have 3 of 'em, just to be sure), I'd instantly shell out €250 or so for an older but still perfectly capable iPad mini 2, if only to be able to continue using Marvin. In an ideal world, naturally, there would also be a Marvin for Android, Marvin for desktop Windows, Marvin for Linux, and Marvin for Mac OS, but that is, perhaps, an unattainable utopia.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:56 AM   #4
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Aldiko Book Reader Premium is lovely:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....android&hl=en
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:20 AM   #5
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I used to use Aldiko on my Pixel C tablet, but had to move elsewhere when it statred refusing to display pictures about a year ago. Has that been fixed?
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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For compatibility over devices Google's own Play Books is hard to beat. Load your books to Google's servers and they'll be synced on phones, tablets and wearables.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:19 PM   #7
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... and desktops. But typographically speaking, Play Books is so lame I find it unusable.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:51 PM   #8
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Lame? Seems a tad harsh. Limited? Perhaps, yes. One of the available fonts are called Original, I assume that implies the font the book comes in, for those that value aesthetics over content, and especially for a computer savant as yourself, that problem can be solved in Calibre fairly easy. But if that is a step that you prefer to avoid, by all means use some other app.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
Lame? Seems a tad harsh.
Most definitely lame, and therefore unusable for me. An app that doesn't even allow you to reduce the hideously wide, empty margins around the four sides of the screen? The shortcomings of Google Play Books are obvious at first glance, to a degree that they are show-stoppers for me and I can't even consider the idea of using the app as an e-reader. So, calling such an app "lame" isn't harsh but, actually, a very polite way of saying that it sucks. Naturally, your mileage may vary, and you may be happy with Google Play Books just like my friend is who switched from Marvin to Play Books. He misses certain customizaton features from Marvin there, but he could simply no longer tolerate the absence of annotations syncing in Marvin, and in particular (for him), the absence of a Marvin desktop app. And so he made the switch, painful as it was, given that no Marvin desktop app is in sight, and even in iOS, Marvin's development has stalled.

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Limited? Perhaps, yes.
Well, I find the epithets of "lame" and "limited" pretty much synonymous.

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Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
One of the available fonts are called Original, I assume that implies the font the book comes in, for those that value aesthetics over content
You may be confusing me with some other MobileRead posters, Kumabjorn. (Happens to me all the time on these boards – that attitudes or opinions I have never professed get assigned to me. It's as if, "Oh, here's a critical opinion on Marvin – Faterson must be responsible!")

But in terms of fonts, of course an e-reader should allow us to use custom fonts. And just three color option backgrounds for reading in Play Books, Kindle and iBooks?! Give me a break! It's as if all those corporate developers fell asleep in the pre-iOS Kindle era, when all we had were black-and-white Kindle e-ink readers, and so using backgrounds and fonts of various color combinations (let alone brilliantly colorful textures!) was technically impossible. Corporate developers keep pretending as if this was 2007, not 2017. Completely unacceptable, for an e-reader on a tablet or mobile phone in 2017, to give us the offensively meagre choice of only three background colors (and no textures, including custom ones!) to read our e-books in.

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Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
and especially for a computer savant as yourself, that problem can be solved in Calibre fairly easy. But if that is a step that you prefer to avoid, by all means use some other app.
As I have just replied to Terisa in the other thread, I refuse to perform any manual code adjustments in e-books, in Calibre or elsewhere, even though I'd be capable of doing it. (I do tweak the code in e-books when I'm their original producer.) Time is a precious commodity, and the e-reader app itself should give us all the formatting and customization options we can think of.

That is why Google Play Books, Kindle, iBooks and their ilk are such miserable, embarrassing failures. If the corporations really valued software quality, as they like to proclaim at their bombastic marketing events, they might introduce a "basic mode" and an "advanced mode" in Play Books, Kindle, and iBooks. Regular users would stick to basic mode, and the rest of us, the demanding minority, would switch to advanced mode. But do corporations truly desire to produce software of highest quality? Of course not! Mediocre software will do for them, because mediocre software is good enough for most users. If at least the corporations were honest and admitted it!

Naturally, Google Play Books has its strong points, primarily the easy availability on all platforms and smooth syncing of everything between them. (Not flawless, my friend tells me, but I don't know any details.) Also, the Play Books method of automatically setting up a Google Doc for every e-book as soon as it gets annotated, is pretty ingenious, and extremely convenient when you need to process your e-book annotations on a desktop machine after you finish reading a book. I'm not sure whether the export of annotations themselves is just as buggy in Play Books as it is in Marvin, Hyphen, Moon+ Reader and pretty much every e-reader I have ever seen (that is, converting all highlights to plain-text upon exporting them, which is an unforgivable offence). Ever since Marvin 1.0, I've been pointing out this flaw in Marvin to Kris, but nothing has changed so far. The Hyphen developer replied to me he would try and preserve the formatting of highlights (at least the very basics of it: italics, paragraph breaks...) upon export, but it appears we haven't progressed to that stage yet.

Last edited by Faterson; 09-19-2017 at 09:20 PM.
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