I’m not going to lie. I probably don’t spend as much time reading a good book as I spend reading my favorite blogs. That’s why I think services like DailyLit are totally genius. Does that mean my Android tablet is going to waste simply because I don’t use it as much for reading e-books?
Not exactly, as it makes an excellent e-reader for all other types of text and images. Be it magazines, comics, or news, an Android tablet can be a portable source of entertaining goodies that you can take with you anywhere and whip out when you’re bored out of your mind.
There aren’t many Honeycomb-optimized apps as you would like, but the current selection of apps doesn’t disappoint either. A lot of them make great use of the screen real estate to help you appreciate tidbits of information and images in all their non-pixelated glory. Excited yet?
Read on to check out some of the amazing reading apps for non-book lovers.
Like To Occasionally Check Out Magazines? Zinio’s Android App Will Keep You Entertained [Android 2.2+]
A few years ago, digital-magazine store Zinio was offering free subscriptions to select publications as part of its “Read Green Initiative”. While many might have enjoyed these free subscriptions, others simply enjoyed Zinio’s apps for the iPad and Android phones simply because it looked and worked beautifully. On an Android tablet, Zinio’s app looks equally stunning.
If you already have an account on Zinio.com, log in once you load the Android app, and you’ll be able to see all of your subscriptions in your library. To read a magazine offline, just tap on an edition to start the download process. You can start reading the magazine even when it’s not fully downloaded. Here’s a screenshot of how your magazine (in my case, Woman’s Day, November 2011 edition) might look like in landscape mode.
Of course, you’ll probably find portrait mode to be better for reading.
If you’re not into glossy images or simply prefer reading text only, Zinio’s app also lets you go into text-only view.
Zinio is without a doubt a great way to keep yourself entertained when you’re waiting in-line, on the subway, etc.
There are numerous comics and manga viewer apps on the Android Market, such as xkcdViewer, MangaWhat, SManga, etc., that are mostly designed for phone users. On an Android tablet, this becomes evident not when you’re reading the actual comic (because you don’t need to zoom in as much anyway), but when you’re navigating the library and/or favorites in the main screen of the app, as the buttons are pretty small and there are lots of white spaces not being used. Here is one that is actually optimized for Android Honeycomb and makes use of the larger screen space.
Specifically designed for Android tablets, Komik is an ad-supported comic/manga viewer that supports CBR, CBZ (comic book .rar and comic book .zip files) as well as image directories. When you launch the app, you’ll see all the directories in you SD card. If you have a specific folder with all of your local comics files, once you navigate to that folder, you’ll see the thumbnails of your comics (in my case, Flashback Universe comics) as well as the percentage of read pages.
When you’re actually reading the comic, there are many settings that you can use to adjust control, screen and magnification settings.
In addition to Komik, a few other tablet-optimized comic viewers stand out: ComiQ Viewer for Android 3.0+, and ComicRack for Android 2.1+ and Windows (which Saikat and Simon raved about.) One that’s good for manga reading that’s not exactly optimized for tablets but does a great job of showing large-enough thumbnails (which other manga-reading apps don’t do) is MangaZoo.
Want Actual News? gReader Is A Great RSS News Reader [Android 2.1+]
There are many news apps that have been praised and recommended in our list of 100 Best Android Apps, one of which is optimized for tablets, Pulse, which is also available for iPad. Another good tablet-optimized app that wasn’t on the list but that I use is gReader from noinnion [Android 2.1+]. This app shows thumbnails for articles, syncs with Google Reader, can download items for offline reading, and more.
You can also go into night mode, as well as web view (how the article looks when you visit the web page on your device) in addition to the regular feed view. You can also save individual articles to view them offline.
For widgets, you’ll need the gReader Pro app. The Plume Twitter App 4×4 widget usually does the job for me.
If you prefer to head to one website for news, there are android tablet reading app that have been released by news sources. These include the New York Times, USA Today, The Economist, etc. Some of these will provide you with top headlines even if you don’t have a subscription.
If you’re not a book lover, your Android tablet isn’t just nice for viewing movies and “Netflixing”. You can read a variety of things that don’t have to be actual books. These include news, comics, magazines and more. There are plenty of apps that do the job. I have highlighted 3 that I use. Which ones do you use? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Goodluz
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