Posts Tagged

reading

Whether you’re reading a riveting novella, an insightful piece of long-form journalism, or the latest post from your favourite blogger, the written word has the ability to capture the imagination and make long, tedious journeys just slip away. In modern times, though, reading has become more than just words on a page or screen. A plethora of apps is available to make books more social, and news better suited to your interests.

To narrow down your options only to those that are worthy of a download, I’ve compiled a list of the most innovative social reading and news recommendation apps that the Play Store has to offer.

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Books are amazing. They can thrill, sadden, educate, inspire and amuse with only the words they hold. For bookworms like me, the introduction of e-reading only further broadened the opportunities to be captivated by prose, particularly given the considerable selection of public domain titles which are freely available to download.

There are quite a few apps which provide access to these ebooks, as well as offering the option to sync your reading progress between multiple devices — Kobo and Amazon’s Kindle being the most prominent examples to be found in the Play Store. Over on iOS, though, another e-reading app has been making all the waves.

It goes by the name of Readmill, and it has already gained a cult following. Now, it has landed on Android – but does it have enough to push aside more familiar Play Store offerings?

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One form of media that has definitely stood the test of time is the comic book. Since 1933, when the first comic book was published, the industry has grown from strength to strength and led to blockbuster creations such as the Avengers and Batman. And the main reason people still read comics is that they provide both visual and textual gratification to the reader. Thanks to our mobile devices getting larger screens and the ubiquity of tablets, comics are no longer limited to physical books but can also be enjoyed on our Android devices.

There is now a growing number of apps that allow you to devour comics and mangas on your mobile device, and in this article I will show you my personal favorites and help you find a few other high quality ones.

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With Marco Arment’s recent announcement of his sale of a majority stake in Instapaper to Betaworks, his work on the app is worth returning to with an eye towards where it is now and where it will be in the future.

For a long time, Instapaper was crippled on the Android platform in comparison to its iOS counterpart. As a matter of fact, we took a look at the app’s many problems in July 2012, and found that its biggest struggle was for feature parity. However, Android developer Mobelux has recently caught up to the iOS feature list, but does that make the app worth getting or is it still inferior compared to contenders like Pocket and Readability?

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Over the last couple of years that I’ve had a smartphone, I’ve steadily moved my news reading routine from the desktop over to the phone. It wasn’t the best of experiences on the tiny screen of my old LG Optimus One, but the HD screen on the Galaxy Nexus does make it extremely good at scanning through a news article so I can decide whether to mark it to read later on a bigger screen.

The other big change in news consumption over the last couple of years has been the shift from traditional RSS readers to dedicated apps that do a much better job of collating and presenting updates. While Flipboard took its own sweet time to arrive on Android, a host of competing services – including one from Google – attempted to grab and lock in those users looking for a simple, elegant yet gorgeous way to consume their daily dose of content updates.

Having played around with a bunch of these apps, I’ll share my take on how they work out for me. I’ll avoid the usual RSS readers and Google Reader front-ends here, and go with the top three — in my opinion — dedicated news reading apps on Android at this moment: Flipboard, Google Currents & Pulse. Rather than talk about each app individually, I’ll discuss how they all fare on some of the most important features.

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Despite the hundreds of thousands of applications on the Play Store, it seems that there is a great shortage of apps tailored towards Android tablets. Google doesn’t provide a specific category to make it easy to find them, the “Staff Picks For Tablets” section contains apps that aren’t even optimized for tablets, and you’d have to surf the whole internet to find decent recommendations.

Given my love of Android tablets, I’ve been quite disappointed in the current state of things so I made it my personal goal over the past couple of months to search, monitor and find the best selection of apps. I have categorized over 200 great apps on a Springpad notebook, but I will be a bit more elitist here and pick the “crème de la crème” with over 50 applications in a variety of categories that offer a wonderful tablet interface.
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It seems now that everyone and their mother has an e-reader – and why not? E-readers eliminate all of the headaches that come with paperbacks, and replace them with new technological features.

But e-readers like the Nook and the Kindle aren’t the only thing bringing reading into the 21st century: there are many apps that do anything from recommending books to allowing you to save web content for later reading on your mobile device. So read on to find how to make your Android device the ultimate reader’s companion.

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One great things about tablets is that they can simulate other handheld media: books, newspapers, and magazines for instance. And while every newspaper under the sun has an app for the leading tablets, and you can read books via the Kindle, Google Books, or iBooks app, I never really came across a magazine app that made reading magazines a tablet experience – that is, until Zinio.

Sure, you can view PDFs on your tablet, but they don’t harness the power of the interactive device you’re using. Zinio, on the other hand, harnesses it well.

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