No Kindle Needed: 10 Free eBook Reading Apps for Your Phone or Tablet
You’ll find plenty of ebooks online that you can buy cheaply or get for free, but if you don’t have a dedicated e-reader, how can you read them? Launch an eBook reader app on your phone or tablet. Whether you have Mobi, EPUB, or PDF files, there is an eReader app that will work for you. Read on for your best options.
Amazon Kindle App
You don’t need a Kindle device to read Amazon books; the Kindle app supports a multitude of different devices, including Windows and Mac computers, as well as iOS, iPadOS, and Android mobile devices. While reading, you can easily: change color, font, text size, line spacing, and other attributes; mark and annotate passages of text; use an X-ray feature to get more details about characters and other items; bookmark your current page; and search for a specific text.
If you need the definition of a certain word, highlight it and a dictionary or Wikipedia entry will appear to describe it. The Kindle app can manage books downloaded from Amazon as well as anything in your library through Libby.
Google Play Books
The Google Play Books app isn’t as powerful as the Kindle app, but it’s no slouch. Available for iPhone and iPad, Android devices, the web, and the Chrome browser through a Chrome extension, this app hosts all the books you retrieve from Google Play, as well as PDFs and other formats downloaded from third-party sites.
You can change text and color attributes, view the original pages of the book, add a bookmark, and even hear the book read aloud. From the Settings screen, you can turn on dark mode, use an offline dictionary, and use the volume key to turn pages.
Designed for iOS and iPadOS, Apple Books is the built-in reader for eBooks and audiobooks downloaded from Apple Bookstore. In the app, you can adjust the font type and size, theme and brightness, as well as bookmark pages, annotate text, and take notes.
Activate scrolling view to scroll down to read the book instead of swiping left. Tapping on a word gives you the option to copy it, find it, highlight it, rate it, find it in the book, or share it with someone else. The search function will take you to a specific word or page number.
Barnes & Noble Nook
Designed to let you read books, magazines and other content from Barnes & Noble, the Nook app is supported on Windows, iOS / iPadOS and Android. In the app, you can change the font style and size, margins, line spacing, justification, and brightness. You can easily navigate through the pages of the book via a convenient slide bar at the bottom or jump to a specific page. Typing and highlighting a word brings up a definition. A dedicated settings page allows you to change page rotation options, manage your library, and control the player itself.
For eBooks and audiobooks, the Kobo Books app is available for Windows, macOS, iOS / iPadOS, and Android. The app lets you read books downloaded from the Kobo store as well as imported books saved in PDF or EPUB format.
Tap the screen and a series of icons appear at the bottom right. From there, you can play around with the font style and size, layout, and theme. You can also choose to use the volume keys to turn each page, change the orientation, and adjust the page transition. Highlighting a word recovers its definition or allows it to be annotated. You can also add a page to your favorites and view a list of chapter titles and other details.
Libby allows you to borrow eBooks from your local library. The application is free; all you need is a library card to borrow books. The app works for iOS, iPadOS, and Android devices, or you can use it directly through your web browser. After signing in with your library card and account, you can browse or search for a book among the virtual stacks.
In the app itself, you can change the text size, lighting, and design of the book. The app allows you to bookmark and highlight specific pages and areas of the book. You can also search for text and swipe down to go to a certain page. Pressing a word allows you to view a definition, highlight it, or search for it in the book. If you don’t like Libby, you can send borrowed library books to the Kindle app instead.
FBReader allows you to read books downloaded from its own network library or those you manually imported from other sources. The app supports a variety of formats including PDF, ePub, mobi, RTF, HTML, and plain text. Versions of the app are available for iOS, iPadOS, and Android with a beta for macOS and active development editions for Windows and Linux.
When reading an ebook, you can easily switch between light and dark themes, search for text, change orientation, and zoom in or out. From the Settings screen, you can adjust the text style and size, margins, appearance, color, and page turn. You can also improve FBReader by installing and integrating different applications and plugins, such as offline dictionary and PDF reader.
The basic app is free, but a premium version for $ 5.99 comes bundled with a text-to-speech reader, translator, and built-in support for PDF and comic book formats.
Designed for iOS and iPadOS, KyBook offers access to various book catalogs, including Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks. You can add additional online catalogs and embed books from folders saved on your device or among your cloud storage sites. The app supports a wide range of formats, such as ePUB, PDF, mobi, text and RTF.
In the app, you can change the font style and text as well as the color theme. You can search for text, listen to your book through text-to-speech, and set a timer to go off when you want to stop reading. Pressing a word allows you to copy it, translate it, define it, search for it, share it, mark it or hear it read aloud. You can also view chapter headings, bookmarks, notes, and other items.
The basic version is free, while a premium subscription with Auto Scroll and more features costs $ 4.49 for three months or $ 14.99 for a full year.
Designed for Android only, FullReader allows you to download a variety of different eBooks from your device or the cloud. The app supports many different formats including ePUB, PDF, mobi, txt, doc, docx, and HTML. You can search for books stored on your device and then import the ones you want to read. For books stored in the cloud, you can connect to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive and download them to your device.
While reading a book, you can change the font style and size, text color, background color, brightness, and theme. Advanced settings allow you to play with layout, spacing, alignment, page rotation and other elements. You can view chapter headings and jump directly to a specific chapter. Tapping on a word brings up a menu where you can highlight, translate, or share it. You can even take voice notes and hear the book read aloud to you.
Intended for iOS / iPadOS and Android devices, PocketBook Reader allows you to retrieve books from its own store, those stored on your device, those saved in the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive and PocketBook Cloud) and those downloaded from Google Books . The app supports e-books and audiobooks in 26 different formats, such as ePUB, mobi, PDF, RTF, text, HTML, MP3 and M4B.
Fine-tuning the application is difficult at first. Tap the screen and a circle appears with icons for different features, but no indication of what each does. Still, the app offers a range of settings. You can change the font style and size, brightness, colors, margins, reading mode, and other attributes. You can also add pages to your favorites, jump to a specific page, and listen to the book read aloud. Pressing on a word highlights it, searches for it or defines it. Instead of managing the icons, you can go directly to the Settings screen to change the app.
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