While some people still buy dedicated e-reader devices, many readers have moved on to smartphones and tablets. Apple's iBooks and Google Play Books already do a great job as stock apps, but specialist readers can add numerous extras, from highly configurable settings, support for odd formats, read-all-you-can subscriptions and more. Check out 10 of our favorite alternative e-book reader apps, from convenient, all-in-one marketplace-reader combinations to feature-packed and highly customizable standalone readers, as well as subscription-based unlimited reading services.
Amazon's Kindle app (Android, iOS) is a multi-platform e-book juggernaut, featuring marketplace, reader and library management features. More than a million titles are available in the Kindle store, from the latest bestsellers to free classics. A customizable display lets you set font size, brightness and other settings. Also, Kindle syncs your last page read, bookmarks, highlights and notes between devices and platforms. A new addition is a Kindle Unlimited program that gives Kindle users access to thousands of audiobooks and e-books for a monthly fee.
Another ebook reader to check out is Bookari (Android, iOS) (formerly known as Mantano Reader), which supports EPUB and PDF formats (including Adobe DRM support). Bookari features a customizable and feature-packed reader, with a variety of features such as reader themes, a night mode, text search, annotation and a pinnable navigation panel for easy jumping between chapters, bookmarks, and pages. Paid versions of the app add additional features, and a premium subscription to Mantano Cloud adds support for library and reading progress syncing across devices.
While Amazon boasts of its new Unlimited program, it wasn't first off the bat in providing an unlimited access program for books. Scribd (Android, iOS) offers an unlimited access program for ebooks, which was compared to a "Netflix for books". Scribd features a library of more than 500,000 books from 900-plus publishers across a variety of genres. The app features a customizable display as well as curated editorial collections, personalized recommendations based on your reading history and the ability to download books for offline reading.
Why spend a ton of money on ebooks if your library already has a digital media lending system? The Overdrive Media Console (Android,iOS) allows users to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the digital collections of participating libraries, all without having to deal with the hassle of manual lending and return of paper books. OverDrive users can borrow titles from the library's collection 24/7, and users can create holds, wishlists and effortlessly return ebooks and audiobooks.
Bluefire (Android, iOS) is a versatile e-book reader that handles EPUB and PDF files, with support for annotations and Adobe Content Server DRM. Bluefire has a clean, customizable viewer that allows you to set text size and margin widths, themes and a night mode, as well as a table of contents and bookmarks. Users can highlight, set annotations, search the text, look up definitions and share excerpts. The iOS version also includes reading location synchronization, allowing you to switch between devices without losing your reading location.
Moon+ Reader is a nifty Android e-book reader app known for its highly customizable interface. While it may not come with a dedicated marketplace, Moon+'s UI makes it stand out from the pack. You can set font styles and sizes, backgrounds, spacing, paging modes, autoscroll, multiple view modes and more. The app is free, but a pro version is also available to remove ads and add PDF support, as well as other extra features. If you already have a sizable e-book collection and are just looking for an Android app to read with, then consider Moon+ for your e-book reading needs.
FB Reader for Android devices supports EPUB, RTF, DOC, HTML, MOBI and other formats. While it doesn't feature an attached store like other apps, FB Reader makes up for it with its highly customizable nature. Users can tweak text fonts, size, hyphenation, text colors and backgrounds, margins, page animations and more. External dictionary support, a browser/downloader for finding books online, language localizations and plugin support for PDFs and library syncing round out an impressive free package.