x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Try reading between the apps

Can digital books cut the mustard? David George-Cosh puts Apple's free app to the test

There is more than one way to get your book fix from a mobile device. Take Apple's iOS operating system. This offers the best solutions to provide a pretty good reading experience for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The following is a list of free applications that should be bookmarked.


This is Apple's native and free book reader app. It nicely displays your library, which you can easily add to by buying straight from the more than 150,000 titles in the iTunes App Store. Once you find a book you like you can tap it to see more details, check out user reviews and even read a free sample. The app also works with VoiceOver, the screen reader in iPhone, which can read the contents of any page back to you.


An app that has become quite popular among eBook devotees. Stanza has access to more than 50,000 free eBooks and a range of popular titles. Its interface is more easily customised than iBooks and it supports a wide range of eBook file extensions from PDF to ePUB.


Amazon's vast e-library is available as an app to read on your Apple mobile gadget. Its features include the ability to bookmark where you stopped reading on your iPhone app and pick up where you left off with your Kindle device.


Described as the "YouTube of eBooks", Wattpad allows bookworms to chat with each other on fiction titles available in the app. There are more than 100,000 free books available for download with additional titles uploaded every day.


This is an app geared for heavy readers. For those who enjoy a long magazine article or don't have time to catch up on the news and would prefer to read it later, this is the one. With the touch of a button, any story you would like to save for later can be downloaded to the app. It even strips out many photos and advertisements, leaving only the text to be read. It is free but a premium version with more features costs US$4.99.