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For the iPhone users out there, great ebook reading experiences can be had with apps like iBooks and Stanza. But what about for us Android users?
As someone who has recently been getting sucked into reading more and more novels, I’ve been on the prowl for the best ebook readers on Android. So far, nothing has matched the sheer power and elegance of Stanza, but Aldiko has gotten close.
First released in 2009, Aldiko has been working towards offering the best-in-class ebook reading and management experience for Android users. Let’s take a look at what this app can do.
Aldiko officially supports ebooks in the .epub and .pdf formats. However, if you have ebooks in a different format, you can use a program called Calibre to convert those files into .epub format. From there, Aldiko will be able to read it just fine.
Importing ebooks into Aldiko is extremely easy. All you have to do is connect your Android to your computer and drag the files onto your device. Then, from within Aldiko, you can search your device and tell it which files to import. Simple.
If some of your ebooks are locked by Adobe DRM, you can even sign into your Adobe ID to have those ebooks unlocked.
At the time of writing this article, installing Aldiko on your device will result in a free ebook for you: White Fang by Jack London. For those of you who have never read this book, it is a small and unexpected treat.
However, one of Aldiko’s great features is an in-app bookstore powered by Feedbooks. Without ever having to leave the app, you can purchase books that have been recommended by other readers, books that have been featured in the New York Times Bestseller List, or books that are entirely free of charge.
On top of that, you can use the app to browse through ebook listings on Smashwords. Smashwords is a great place to find ebooks, both free and paid, across all genres and formats.
Managing your pile of ebooks is extremely easy with Aldiko. You’ll be able to find the book you want to read almost instantly by sorting by title or by author–whichever you prefer.
If you want to bookmark a page–in case you have to stop reading for a bit, or if you want to return to a specific spot later–you just tap a button and label the bookmark.
If you want to look for a specific scene but don’t remember where it is, use the full-text search.
As you’re reading, you can bring up a context overlay with a single tap on the page. You’ll instantly see how far into the book you are, and you’ll be presented with a bunch of options for customizing your reading experience.
Settings and Customization
Aldiko allows you to change a lot of settings in order to maximize your comfort. Change the font face, the font size, the margin sizes, and the colors of the text and page. You’ll never be distracted by poor aesthetics again.
And it doesn’t stop there. There are a few other options that really add those finishing touches while you read.
Aldiko still lacks a few features that I would like to see, such as tracking your progress through the current chapter (as opposed to the whole book), more options for sorting your library, the ability to edit book details, etc.
However, compared to other ebook readers on the Android Market, Aldiko is definitely the best one I’ve tried so far. I would highly recommend it for anyone who plans on reading many ebooks on their Android device.
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