Ever since I got my first Palm Pilot I have read E-books. You can read about the software I used on my old Windows Mobile Phone here. So one of the first applications I searched the market for was an E-books reader. When I first looked the options were limited, though now a number of major players in the marketplace. Amazon has brought their Kindle App, Kobo has their Kobo Reader software and even Barns and Noble have an app. All of these are designed to let you Buy and read books. The problem is they don’t allow you to add third-party E-books. I have a number of E-books that I’ve purchased over the years and if I can’t read them the reader seems pointless. Of course there may be a time that I’ll want to buy books from the closed stores these apps represents and when I do I’ll down load them again.
Aldiko has a very simple interface, when you first launch it you see a shelf of the books you have recently read. Below you to options, Bookshelf, where you can browse the rest of the books you have on your phone, and Download books, which takes you to a number of sites where you can download buy books or download free ones. You can also add Custom Catalogues so you can get books from more sources, including Baen Books a publisher that gets E-books.
The reading interface is simple and efficient. Turning pages can either be done by pressing on the right or left side of the screen, or swiping your finger. Or if you want to keep your fingers away from the screen you can use the volume keys to cycle through pages. Additionally the screen brightness can quickly be adjusted by sliding your finger along the edge of the screen, which edge can be configured in the settings, currently mine is set for the right side. Font Type, Size and Weight can be adjusted from the menus and you can choose from Day or Night mode.
When I chose it as my E-book reader back in the spring it seemed like the best reader available, though while writing this I found some interesting readers the market. I’ll be trying some of them over the coming weeks. to see how they compare, but for now Aldiko remains my reader of choice.