One Mom's Moxie: Top 5 iPhone e-Book Apps Not Named iBooks

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Top 5 iPhone e-Book Apps Not Named iBooks

By fact, and by default perhaps, Apple’s iBook is the top eBook app for the iPhone. But what about the other eBook apps? The iPhone, after all, does not seem to be the exclusive domain of the iBook.

Lexcycle/Amazon Stanza brings a reading interface that is unrivaled in its clarity and ease-of-use that it has become an iPhone phenomenon, with over 4 million downloads world-wide. It does, however, have one neat trick that the others don’t: a desk-top client. Take just about any document on your computer from all the eBook formats, translate one format to another on your computer, and then by syncing the web client to the iPhone client, it's easy to transfer anything to the Stanza app. Book purchases run from a selection of over 50,000 contemporary titles, available in various partner stores, plus additional 50,000 free classics and recent original works available from Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, and other sources. Stanza allows you to keep, categorize, and maintain hundreds of books in the organizer. You can transfer your own ePub, eReader, PDF, Comic Book Archive (CBR & CBZ), and DjVu books from your Mac or PC to Stanza by drag-&-drop into the "File Sharing" section of the "Apps" tab of your device in iTunes. The Stanza iPhone app is compatible with both the iPod touch and iPhone, and requires OS 3.0 or later version.

Amazon’s Kindle is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs in a beautiful, easy-to- use interface, with access to over 1,000,000 books in the Kindle Store, plus hundreds of newspapers and magazines. It features Whispersync which automatically syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across devices (including Kindle), so you can pick up your book where you left off on another device. Customize your reading experience by choosing the background color, font size, and either portrait or landscape format. Use Instant dictionary for word look-up with 250,000 entries and definitions -- tap and hold a word to view the definition. Search inside the book to find a character, topic, or section you want to revisit. Simply tap on either side of the screen or flick to turn pages.

Barnes & Noble's Nook app for iPhone is a major improvement over its earlier Reader. Nook delivers all the basic reading and customization features you'd expect from a good eBook reading and app, and integrates nicely with Barnes & Noble's webstore. You can customize color themes (for backgrounds and links) and set the screen for day and night reading, as well as control the screen brightness. The eBook cover art and text have been been optimized for the iPhone 4 's Retina display but it also looks just fine on earlier iPhone and iPod Touch models. Barnes & Noble's LendMe feature, which allows you to lend out certain e-book titles to one friend one time for 14 days, is also integrated into the new app. Download of new purchases to the app is fast. Required system is an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 3.1 or higher version.

Fictionwise’s eReader app gives you access to lots of free eBooks. There are a lot of formatting options, and it also employs useful text search. It allows you to read books directly on your iPhone. While it’s easy to use, it doesn’t stand out against the competition. Like most iPhone eBook apps, you have to launch the mobile Safari browser to download new titles. It offers good reading experience where pages are nicely formatted, and eBooks download relatively quickly. Included also are several nice touches like an easy-to-use text search and the ability to choose from eight fonts. There are also several color combinations so you can experiment to find one that works for you. You can use the eReader app to read any eBook in the PDB format, so you’re not limited to content available at Fictionwise or ManyBooks.net. Fictionwise eReader is compatible with the iPhone or iPod touch with OS 2.1.1 or later version.

Classics app presents some of the greatest stories ever written, a collection of over a dozen hand-picked, literary masterpieces. You experience digital reading in a way that is so natural, and so obvious, it just feels right; an intuitively and elegantly designed interface to make the reading experience realistic with 3D page flips and next page peeks. A satin bookmark appears when exiting the app or book, and you have the option to toggle 'page flip' animation to a more minimal 'slide', and to turn the page flip sound off and on can be found in your iPhone's settings application. Great collection of titles and great user interface.

All these apps, with their respective customizable and easy-to-use interfaces, and book stores, are the most used iPhone eBook apps after iBook. Book readers must try and use these applications and enjoy your solo time reading your favorite book. What will really compliment these apps is having great iPhone accessories that will be useful when reading these eBooks.

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