Exploring Android-friendly eBook Readers
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A colleague asked recently, "Are there any ePub readers available for this 7 inch Android tablet?"
This question caught me by surprise...could an Android tablet really work well as a Nook? Although I hadn't really thought of it, it appears that a Nook is 7 inches in height and 4.x in width. Why couldn't it?
This is a question I've asked myself in the past, but I realize that I hadn't explored it in the detail needed to provide a comprehensive answer (not that this one will be that comprehensive!). Although I've played with ePub reader software, or apps, in the Google Market, as I am a fast reader, I found the screen of my Android phone (Motorola Cliq) to be a tad small for comfortable reading...flicking the page forward a zillion times just didn't make for an enjoyable reading experience.
Let's see...for an Android tablet to be worthwhile as a reading platform, it would have to be at least as good as my Nook:
- About the same screen size so I wouldn't have to turn the page 1300 times for a 300 page book. Maybe 600 page turns would be acceptable.
- It would have to have an ePub reader, the format I primarily have all my ebooks in and that is popular on the Web.
- It would be easy to get the ebooks from my computer onto the Android tablet...maybe, as easy as plugging the Android in so that I could access the SD card as a USB drive on my computer's desktop. My motorola Cliq--an Android device--does this now, so how hard it could it be for an Android tablet?
From this short list, maybe the following questions:
- What are the screen dimensions of the Android tablet?
- What ePub reader is available through the Market?
- Is there an miniSD or SD card slot available on the tablet?
- Does it come with a USB cable connection?
- What version of the Android OS will run on the tablet?
I'm not sure what other questions would be helpful to ask, but these are certainly a start!
CHOOSING EPUB READER FOR ANDROID DEVICE
At this time, not having been able able to lay hands on the Android tablet, about the only question I can answer is "What ePub reader is available through the Market?" I've played with a few on my Android phone, such Aldiko and Laputa. Of the two, Laputa is my favorite.
Of course, there are many other ebook readers that will work on Android; here are a few that are no-cost:
- Laputa - This allows you to access book online, but more importantly, import books you may have stored on your SD (mini or not) card.
- Aldiko - Aldiko supports ePub and PDF, as well as Adobe eBook DRM technology.
- Cool Reader -
- FBReader - This supports ePub format, as well as other more eccentric ones. There are desktop apps available for Windows and GNU/Linux.
- Nook/Kindle for Android - Since I own a Nook, I'd probably install Nook for Android...and I'm sure a Kindle owner would do the same for Kindle app on Android.
You can find a comprehensive list online here, but these are the top 5 I would try first (and in this order) if searching for an ebook/ePub reader for an Android device, such as a tablet.