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How to Read eBooks on Your Smartphone

By Anton D. Nagy November 28, 2010, 5:53 pm

An eBook, or an Electronic Book, is a digital publication containing text, images or both readable on computers or digital devices. In the last couple of years, eBooks got more and more popular as our lives get busier by the second. Finding time to read a book is getting more and more difficult and with the technology age, most people prefer reading books in electronic format which they can easily stash on their devices for those traffic jam, commuting, travelling and so on times. Regardless of the platform of your choice, well show you how to read eBooks on you smartphones.


Android users will be glad to find out they're lucky enough to have a cornucopia of eBook readers available to them, some free, some paid, but the more the merrier as they say. Always having an option is the way to go. Some we found interesting:


Kindle (Free): Kindle is a free application that lets you read Kindle books on your Android device without the need for a kindle. The application runs on smartphones operated by Android OS 1.6 or higher and you will need to log into your Amazon account (or create one in case you don't already have it). The current version 1.1 allows you to search inside books, edit notes and highlights plus cross-device sync as well as screen orientation lock. To get the Kindle app, just search for "Kindle" in the Android Market.

FBReader (Free): Regarded as maybe the best eBook reader for Android, FBReader is free and its current version 0.7.17 fixes some login bugs but the application allow you to both download and read your eBooks from within the application but you can also manually place your electronic books in your Books folder on the SD Card and the program will recognize them. FBReader has day and night mode as well as multiple page turn options. To give it a try, just search for "FBReader" in your Android device's Market application.

Aldiko (Free) but also has a paid Premium version:

Aldiko is a free eBook reading solution with a neat interface for Android smartphones that allows you to both read and download eBook by browsing online catalogues and by manually importing your already downloaded ones. As with other software solutions, Aldiko allows you to customize font types, colors, margins and it also support an easy on your eyes night mode color scheme while the book-shelf-like UI makes it easy to browse your electronic books. There's also a Premium version to the application which you can purchase in order to support the developers.

Nook (Free): Nook for Android doesn't need an introduction as it's Barnes & Noble's own application and it allows you to access your NOOKBook library from your Android smartphone, shop for titles as well as get free eBooks or samples with great page turn animations. After purchasing a title, you will have to sync your device in order for it to appear but from there you can customize the font and easily bookmark your progress. Nook also has a great sharing feature called LendMe where a friend can freely read the book you've shared for 14 days.

Wattpad (Free): The "YouTube for eBook" application is also available on Android smartphone for free and its current version 1.9.5 allows offline reading by downloading all the parts of your chosen book plus an added fix for keypad navigation. The service gives you access to more than 100,000 free novels, fan fiction, short stories and you can upload your own creations to share with the world given you have a Wattpad.com account.


eReader (Free:) eReader allows you to download eReader.com or Fictionwise.com bookshelf wirelessly to your BlackBerry device and the program gives you the freedom of choosing any of the fonts installed on you handset for display. You can browse, purchase and install titles only by navigating the mobile site in your BlackBerry's browser but once you've acquired your eBook, you can head back to the reader and download it.

Mobipocket eBook Reader (Free): Mobipocket eBook Reader is also available for BlackBerry devices featuring the Library which lists all the eBooks stored on your device. You can customize font family, type and size to suit your eyes as well as you can customize margins, line spacing, text alignment and colors for fonts and background.

The program gives you access to more than 120.000 premium titles over-the-air and you can select to try free samples, read user reviews, purchase and download the titles you like which you can then easily annotate, highlight or search.

Kobo (Free): Kobo gives you access to the Kobo store with more than 2 million premium titles featuring previews to make sure you purchase the book you're really after. The application features font customization, night mode, offline reading for downloaded books, SD Card support for Library, automatic bookmarking and Bluetooth sync for your library. You will need an account to access Kobo services but they also offer free titles as well as great deals on classics.


As with the case of Android, iPhone users have a myriad of eBook readers to choose from, both free and paid, offering lots of features, graphic design concepts and customization options so it's easy to find the one that suits all your needs.

Kindle (Free): Kindle is also available for free inside the Apple App Store and its current version 2.3.1 allow you to choose between one and two column view in landscape, besides the settings for customization of background color, font size and portrait or landscape format. You can also search inside a certain book or use Google or Wikipedia to search for strings and get more information on a certain bit.

Stanza (Free:) Stanza will offer you access to more than 50,000 free eBooks from Gutenberg and Feedbooks as well as options for purchasing paid titles. Current version 3.0.3 is bringing features optimized for the Retina display on the iPhone 4, multi-tasking support as well as application auto-launch when a PDF file is downloaded. You can take advantage of the Organizer section of Stanza and easily transfer titles from your Mac or PC to your phone by dragging & dropping the files into the "File Sharing" section of the "Apps" tab of your device in iTunes.

Wattpad and Kobo (Free:) These two applications are of course available for the iPhone too, with Wattpad granting you acces to their huge user contributed free library and Kobo featuring free first chapter previews, built-in English dictionary or Wikipedia look-up, page curl reading animation, night mode, font customization and more.


pReader (Free:) pReader is a free eReader application for Palm Pre and Palm Pixi with support for various file formats as well as DRM schemes. eBooks downloaded from you device's browser or via PC and transferred to the device will be readable using this application which supports landscape mode as well as customizations for text size in addition to automatically bookmarking your progress should you leave the program (custom bookmarks are also supported).

eBooks by Kobo (Free:) eBooks by Kobo is free and so are some of the titles available in Kobo's library. In order to access it, you need to set up your account after which you can select which titles to download and read on your device. You don't seem to have the option of changing the font type, size and color but the default text should be easily readable, even though a night mode would make reading easy on your eyes. The menus have the ability of being hidden for a better reading experience and advancing to the next page is done with a nice flick of the screen.

Windows Phone 6

Freda (Free): Freda is among the most popular eBook readers for Windows Phone 6.x operating systems because it is free and feature packed, with support for many pre-seven versions of Windows Phone, such as WinCE, 2003, Windows Mobile 5, Windows Phone 6.0, 6.1 and 6.5. Separate CABs for different operating system versions are available for download on its website so make sure to grab the one which is compatible with your platform version. There's also a $0.99 version of Freda 2.0 available in the Marketplace for Windows Phone 6.5. Among its most notable features are: - Compatible with Windows Mobile versions 6, 5 and 2003

  • Reads ePub (DRM-free), HTML and TXT format books

  • Touch screen interface

  • Works with all screen dimensions and orientations

  • Customizable controls, fonts and colors

  • Dictionary lookup

  • Bookmarks and annotations

MobiPocket (Free):

MobiPocket is a very popular eBook reader for older Windows Mobile platform versions which is available to download for free from its website. It allows you to buy eBooks online and has many setting with which you can customize your reading experience, such as font, spacing, size, orientation, etc. It also features a Library where you'll find all your digital books stored on the device and brings annotation and commenting features with the aid of which you can easily bookmark, highlight, comment or annotate eBooks.

allReader ($20.99): allReader from Shape Services — creators of the poplar IM+ cross-platform instant messaging application — will cost $20.99 on Marketplace but, as its name implies, will read a myriad of file formats and it support all versions from Windows Mobile 5.0 all the way to Windows Phone 6.5. Besides the Night and Day mode that will make reading easy on your eyes, allReader allows you to create bookmarks, save quotes and configure profiles and settings. From its features: - Make your own list of favorite things.

  • Work with hyperlinks and archived files.

  • Works with Dict, Lingvo and Slovoed dictionaries.

  • Status line includes time, battery, pages amount, percentage of read text.

  • English, German and Russian user interface.

Windows Phone 7

Freda (Free): The popular eBook reader for Microsoft's mobile operating systems, Freda, is also available for Windows Phone 7. As with the Windows Phone 6.x version, Freda is free and you can download it from the Marketplace on your device or via Zune software. The current version available is numbered and it features: - Reads ePub (DRM-free), HTML and TXT format books

  • Customizable controls, fonts and colors

  • Bookmarks and annotations

  • Integrates with on-line catalogs — Feedbooks, Smashwords, Gutenberg...

  • Share comments, likes and dislikes using Twitter, Facebook or EmailIts user interface allow you to easily browse eBooks from different sources by author, title and genre

Ebook Reader ($0.99)

While it will cost you $0.99, Ebook Reader is another application for reading electronic books on your Windows Phone 7. It gives you access to more than 100,000 freely downloadable books but some might find it a bit difficult to read on because of its Landscape mode.

Wattpad (Free): Wattpad — also referred to "YouTube for eBooks" — which is free in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, gives you access to more than 100,000 free eBooks as its advertised to be the world's most widely used mobile eBook application and one of the world's largest collections of originally created eBooks. After being a huge success on other platforms (like BlackBerry OS and Apple iOS), Wattpad is now also available on Windows Phone 7

Copia (Free): This Windows Phone 7 eBook reader is bringing the social factor to the reading experience enabling you to discuss the books you've read with your friends. The application will link to Copia's marketplace and will also allow you to sync your books as well as Copia reading related social activities between the web, your Computer and Windows Phone 7. Current features include: - Create a digital library of all the books you have ever read or plan to read, digital or physical

  • Kick-start your eReading with exclusive titles

  • View your library in intuitive visual formats like list view and grid view

  • Read eBooks and other digital formats in a powerful, feature-rich interface

  • Highlight specific passages and bookmark pages

  • Track your reading progress through the progress bar visualization

  • Use community value and community ratings from the Copia user base to help find new reads targeted to your interests

  • Sync your library and social interaction with the Copia community online

Image: The Blacker Swan


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