Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Tale of Two Apps

Odds are, this holiday season some of you got some fancy gadget on which ebooks can be read. If you got a Kindle Fire or a Nook Tablet, please see our post from last week about how to read our ebooks on those devices. Regardless of what device you’ve got (or are going to get), there are two apps for reading our ebooks on both Android and iOS devices. Both apps have their strong points, so which one you use depends on what you want out of reading ebooks.


IndieBound Reader App: If you use an Android device, this is the app for you. It allows you to shop with Porter Square Books (or the indie bookstore of your choice) directly through the app and since we added stored credit card information, you can buy and read PSB ebooks in mere moments. The app also supports highlighting and annotation and has a whole range of display settings, from font size to brightness. It also plays well with other ebooks sites like Project Gutenberg and NetGalley. (And probably any site that uses .epub ebooks, but I haven’t tried any of those yet.) With Project Gutenberg and NetGalley, at least, when I chose to download the ebooks I was given the option of importing them directly to my IndieBound Reader app library. I got the five-volume complete works of Edgar Allen Poe in about a minute. It also supports PDFs so you can download PDFs directly to your library and read, bookmark, and annotate them, making it a useful tool for readers and writers.

If you’ve got an iPad or iPhone or other iOS device, you still have to purchase ebooks through your browser and then download them into your app. Once you’ve purchased the ebook click on “download” and the ebook will download to your IndieBound Reader app library.

IndieBound Reader App for Android and iOS

Google eBooks: The Google Books app is really handy if you plan on reading ebooks on multiple devices. Because the books are stored in the cloud, if you start reading something on your iPhone on the train, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off on your iPad at home. It’s also a good choice if you want to conserve memory space on your device. You still have to use your browser to purchase the ebooks, but once purchased, you can instantly access them on every device with the app.

Google Reader App for Android and iOS

Both apps have their strong points and both apps give you the freedom to get ebooks from many different sources. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using both of them for different books or situations. Also, because our ebooks are .epub, you can read them on all kinds of other software like Adobe Digital Editions and Calibre.

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