Other Gadgets

For the digital bibliophile

Mahananda Bohidar | Updated on May 15, 2014

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If you didn’t save up enough to invest in an e-book reader, here are some apps that will come to your rescue



Aldiko

Bringing a neat little bookshelf to your smartphone, Aldiko lets you import files from your smartphone on to the reader, while still giving you access to a built-in bookstore. All the books you load on to Aldiko can be arranged according to title, author, ratings or last read. The reading layout is simplistic and you can access the controls displayed at the top as well as the bottom with a little tap on the screen. You can choose a word to be highlighted, noted or just to look up its definition on Google. A swipe or a tap or pressing the volume keys will turn the pages for you. Like the Kindle app, you can adjust the brightness on this by sliding your finger along the left edge of the touch display. While the overall layout on Aldiko is pretty great, we are not a big fan of the online bookstore. Most e-books featured on it can be bought for cheaper elsewhere, on sites such as Flipkart, apart from the ones that are for free!

Moon+ Reader

To Moon+ Reader’s credit, the app supports a whole lot of e-book formats, so you won’t have trouble viewing your content on this. The app also lets you customise gesture using say the volume keys, screen swipe and other gestures to execute almost 15 functions including search, bookmark, navigation, font size and a lot more.

When it comes to reading, the app gives you five auto-scroll modes: rolling blind mode, by pixel, by line by page or real-time speed control. It has a special Automatic day night mode where it enables the day theme only if your last read at night and vice versa. Pretty smart, eh! This app even has a premium version which gives you your reading statistics, offers password protection, Cloud backup and much more.

PocketBook Reader

Of all the apps we’ve tested, PocketBook Reader is the one that supports most file formats - PDF, ePUB, DjVu, TXT, html(basic) book formats among others. Unlike a bunch of other apps, PocketBook Reader gives you the option to use single page, dual page or scroll-viewing modes. You can export notes and highlights to a separate file for later use.

The layout is pretty much the same as other apps, but there’s a very intuitive scroll wheel that pops up when you tap on the screen while reading a book. This wheel houses most settings you will need while reading, and allows you to quickly tweak the basics such as brightness, font size, layout tone and so on. If you’re a polyglot, then PocketBook Reader is a must-have as it supports Russian, German and Portuguese as well.

Speed Reader

Now, take everything you know about an e-book reader and chuck it outta the window. Speed Reader helps you read e-books alright, but one word at a time. It’s not as painfully slow as you imagine it to be.

On the contrary, using this app might just improve the rate at which you read books, in general. There are no settings. All you choose is the book you want to read. At the beginning, it’ll choose a default reading speed, say 300 words per minute and it flashes one word at a time. As bizarre as that sounds, it ends up being a pretty effective way to read text. Depending on how comfortable you are with the speed, you can either increase or decrease it. The app is also said to be apt for those suffering from dyslexia by flashing only one word at a time.

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Published on May 14, 2014
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