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Old 06-22-2019, 09:05 PM   #1
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Go To choice for eReader app for Android?

Is Moon+ reader considered the "go to" app for Android? I see it mentioned a lot around here. Online reviews say current versions are chock full of ads though (at least the free version). Reviews also mention it appears quite the bloated and resource-hungry app. I take these reviews with a grain of salt, but I don't totally discount them - there's usually some truth in most reviews.

I finally bought myself a decent "mid-range" smartphone. Moto G7, which runs Android 9.0 Pie. I will only rarely read eBooks on this device, but I might on occasion if I don't happen to have my PaperWhite with me. I don't need many features. I don't need to sync to other eReader devices. Since my other eReader devices are in permanent Airplane Mode it would be rather futile to try to sync anyway.

I don't mind paying for an app, as long as the price is reasonable ($10 or less, one time payment, not an ongoing subscription cost) and payment would totally get rid of any ads that may be present in a free app version. But seeing as how reading on my smartphone might be something I do for only a few hours per year it doesn't make much sense to buy an expensive full-featured resource-intensive app. If I want to read seriously or for long durations, I'll use my PaperWhite.

Where does the simple "Kindle" app fit in? It's free. Is that a reasonable choice? Can you sideload DRM-free books to it on an Android phone? I don't care what format the eBooks need to be in, so long as the format is something Calibre can convert to. AZW3 or EPUB would be preferred, since I maintain all my eBooks in those two formats in my Calbre installation and wouldn't have to worry about conversion at download-time.
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:07 AM   #2
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there are zero ads in moon+ paid version , and it is well under $10. one time payment , and sometimes half price in sales

kindle android app will only work with amazon formats and has a one click to buy thing that you cannot remove. and you cannot password or pin protect kindle purchases in any way.
every amazon book shows a tap here to buy the matching audiobook, so if your cat steps on the screen , it's bought! other than that its pretty featureless. the free Kobo android app is arguably better and reads sideloaded epubs. it ptobably has some lobo store apps though - its been ages since I used it.

back to moon . if " bloated" means lots of featurers and tweaks then yes its bloated. but it will zip along on a Moto 7.

Calibre Companion is the simplest way to sideload to your phone, then set it to open books in your app of choice

repeating the amazon warning : their kindle app needs you to be logged into your amazon account - once your phone is logged into your amazon account, and its lost or stolen, then its trivial to get into amazon shopping and ... you can imagine the consequences.
device PIN for purchase options only work on amazon hardware
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:08 AM   #3
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Another recommendation for Moon+ Reader Pro. It often goes on sale for half price, I paid only $2.49 for it. Like you, I don't read on my phone often, but I use it quite a bit on an old Asus MeMO 7" tablet for PDFs mostly and it's not been a resource hog at all. I've also had it on an old Motorola phone (can't remember model), Samsung SG4, and now on an LG G5, and it's been great on all of them, no issues at all, runs smoothly, and loaded with features that make reading on it enjoyable.

Before I purchased it, I tried most every reader app out there before settling on Moon+ and it's been a fantastic reader.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:27 PM   #4
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On my venerable Nexus 9 I found that if I put the azw3 files in This PC\Nexus 9\Internal shared storage\Android\data\com.amazon.kindle\files that the Kindle app finds them. That path is with it plugged into my pc.
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:54 PM   #5
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Having tried different reader apps, Moon+ Reader Pro is the best one I have tried so far.

It supports text to speech, cloud syncing with Google Drive, and a lot of configurable visual options.

Though I found that the app required some configuration out of the box to make it behave like a standard eReader of left to right page turns instead of the up and down scrolling.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:08 PM   #6
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I have Moon+ Reader Pro and PocketBook apps (PocketBook is free), both of which I prefer over others and both of which I use on phone and tablet. Perhaps they are "bloated and resource-hungry" but I have noticed no symptoms of such when using them so had no need to worry whether they were so or not. For myself, out of those two, I prefer and use PocketBook most despite its unconventional menu structure.

Both work fine on my phone which is Android 9 Pie - phone is in the Android One program so is stock Android 9.

I have not checked for a while, so take this with a grain of salt and accepting that I know the low level of relevance of PDFs to small devices, but I had found that PocketBook handled PDFs better than Moon+ Reader Pro. However, in the unlikely event it is useful I use Xodo for PDFs on phone and tablet.

Last edited by AnotherCat; 06-23-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:19 PM   #7
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Moon+ Reader is the best ereader app I have used. It has the fastest, cleanest page turning, it lets you use custom fonts and resize them with precision, and it lets you choose which Dictionary apps you want to use for looking up words. As others have mentioned, the paid version is affordable and has no ads. I have not tried all ereading apps, but do prefer it over Librera, the Kindle app, the Kobo app, and Google Play Books.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:09 AM   #8
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I usually prefer Librera for my digital reading, although I also have MoonReader+ installed. To be honest, I can't tell you exactly where the differences are, but I think it was little things that I found easier to customize to my liking in Librera.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:12 AM   #9
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I usually prefer Librera for my digital reading, although I also have MoonReader+ installed. To be honest, I can't tell you exactly where the differences are, but I think it was little things that I found easier to customize to my liking in Librera.
I have a thread on the differences: Moon+Reader vs Librera.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:10 PM   #10
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Thanks for the recommendations. I installed the ad-based versions of Moon+ and Librera to give them a try, with the plan being to pay for the app of choice and get rid of the ads.

I must say - those apps really like their ads! Quite intrusive. Even though I know paying would get rid of the ads, it's quite the turn-off to have them right there in your face when you're trying to evaluate the app. The app authors might want to consider giving you a few days at the start ad-free so that you could do a reasonable evaluation before developing a definitely negative initial impression simply due to the intrusive ads. After all, I would assume the authors goal is to sell the app, not to turn away potential customers. Currently, it's like they want to punish you for daring to try the free version as an evaluation for the paid version. Not the best way to hook potential customers IMHO.

Ignoring the ads for now - well, you can't do that with there being so many, so I'll say "gritting your teeth and pushing past them" instead - on initial startup I found that Moon+ had a more intuitive interface than Librera. I could figure out how to do things in Moon+ quickly, Librera required me to give things more thought and do more trial and error testing to figure out the interface.

I would have bought Moon+ at full price after my first tests if it weren't for those ads. But now I feel compelled to wait for it to go on sale before purchasing it, even though it is cheap already. My thoughts being to "punish the author for punishing me for trying the free version". If you're going to put out trial software for your paid software, at least make the trial something people will enjoy, not be turned off by. It's counterproductive any other way.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:37 PM   #11
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Thanks for the recommendations. I installed the ad-based versions of Moon+ and Librera to give them a try, with the plan being to pay for the app of choice and get rid of the ads.

I must say - those apps really like their ads! Quite intrusive. Even though I know paying would get rid of the ads, it's quite the turn-off to have them right there in your face when you're trying to evaluate the app. The app authors might want to consider giving you a few days at the start ad-free so that you could do a reasonable evaluation before developing a definitely negative initial impression simply due to the intrusive ads. After all, I would assume the authors goal is to sell the app, not to turn away potential customers. Currently, it's like they want to punish you for daring to try the free version as an evaluation for the paid version. Not the best way to hook potential customers IMHO.

Ignoring the ads for now - well, you can't do that with there being so many, so I'll say "gritting your teeth and pushing past them" instead - on initial startup I found that Moon+ had a more intuitive interface than Librera. I could figure out how to do things in Moon+ quickly, Librera required me to give things more thought and do more trial and error testing to figure out the interface.

I would have bought Moon+ at full price after my first tests if it weren't for those ads. But now I feel compelled to wait for it to go on sale before purchasing it, even though it is cheap already. My thoughts being to "punish the author for punishing me for trying the free version". If you're going to put out trial software for your paid software, at least make the trial something people will enjoy, not be turned off by. It's counterproductive any other way.

foobnix, the author behind Librera, seems a nice guy and allows you to test and use Librera Pro for free (If you get it on f-droid or download the apk from github -> https://github.com/foobnix/LibreraReader/releases). You need to pay if you want the (pro) Google Play version.

Of course, paying (or donating) for a software you use extensively is something that I would recommend

And, yes, Moon Reader is bloated with ads and that's the reason I never really tested it beyond see how it renders custom css properties)

Last edited by pazos; 06-25-2019 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:10 PM   #12
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Try also the PocketBook app. It's made by the same Swiss company that makes the PocketBook e-reader. The styling for my books isn't particularly tricky but librera and moon+ both screwed it up. PocketBook displayed it perfectly. On an old Nexus 9.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:59 PM   #13
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I would also suggest trying PocketBook as it is one of the very few well regarded readers as far as competence is concerned.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:16 PM   #14
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Try also the PocketBook app. It's made by the same Swiss company that makes the PocketBook e-reader. The styling for my books isn't particularly tricky but librera and moon+ both screwed it up. PocketBook displayed it perfectly. On an old Nexus 9.

Hey lumpynose. I'm interested: does KOReader screw your book styling too?.

It is difficult to compare software relying on web stack (like sigil, calibre and maybe pocketbook) with other software implementing their own render (moon, librera, Coolreader/KOReader).

I guess the first kind of apps are better suited for epub3 spec, but in epub2 I wouldn't expect a lot of differences (with publisher css, I mean)
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:31 PM   #15
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Hey lumpynose. I'm interested: does KOReader screw your book styling too?.

It is difficult to compare software relying on web stack (like sigil, calibre and maybe pocketbook) with other software implementing their own render (moon, librera, Coolreader/KOReader).

I guess the first kind of apps are better suited for epub3 spec, but in epub2 I wouldn't expect a lot of differences (with publisher css, I mean)
I haven't tried koreader in a while; it's currently installed on an Onyx tablet/e-reader that I'm ashamed to use because it was expensive and I find its functionality substantially below its cost. But I will say that of all the different e-reader apps I tried on the Onyx that koreader was far superior to them.

Can I install koreader on my nexus tablet? I tried searching for it in the google play store but it's not there.
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