Android Reader Review

Published on October 14, 2014

Android Reader Review

Greetings geeks! Although reading is by no means the most popular activity in our time, it allows the brain to develop, which must constantly imagine what we read. This is really great, however, the simplicity of the video sequence or graphic adaptation is beyond doubt, so many nowadays prefer films, series, comics, etc. But this is not about that.

I like reading a book of one of my favorite authors in my free time and, being a supporter of the Android OS, I wanted to find a program that would satisfy my requirements. Yes, on the Internet there are many articles comparing readers, but there is a small list of popular programs there + some articles are very superficial. However, this will not be a purely subjective review: in my narrative I will abstract from personal requirements for programs, but I will write down what I liked and what not so much in each of them.

Too lazy to read - below you can find a conclusion and a comparative table for all programs. Well

, let's get started ... In my review, I will use Harry Harrison's book “The Birth of the Steel Rat” in the following formats: fb2, fb2.zip, epub, txt, mobi. These are the most popular book formats, so I will use them.

The first in line will be the CoolReader program, as It was with her that I met for the first time in my time.


Name: Cool Reader

Price: Free

Availability of Russian: Yes

Formats: fb2, epub (without DRM), txt, doc, rtf, html, chm, tcr, pdb, prc, mobi (without DRM), pml


The main screen meets us with a kind of bookshelf, not voluminous, as is the case in other programs, but flat, understandable and quite convenient.



The program has a file manager, so opening a book in any folder on a USB flash drive is easy.



Turning directly to reading, we see the following program window: It’s



worthwhile to pay attention that the background is a kind of paper, the text is conveniently located on the page and there are word breaks. In the top panel we see a navigation bar. Pressing the button with the image of an arrow opens an additional menu with a large selection of actions.



In the navigation menu we see the following buttons: Content, Book Search, Settings, Bookmarks. The content menu is as follows:



Here's what the search menu represents:



Well, the most interesting part awaits us in the settings:



Going into the settings section, we immediately find ourselves in the font settings section. Here you can find a very wide range of settings: the font itself, size, boldness, smoothing, line spacing, kerning, and other parameters.



The next section of the settings is Styles. Here there is an opportunity to set the design of our page as we please. Each item is configured in great detail:



In the program settings section, we see the program settings, its behavior, display settings.



Next, go to the control section. Here we can configure the behavior of the program by pressing the buttons of the device, distribute which areas of the screen are responsible for what (a very cool feature not seen in other programs).



Well, the last settings tab is the general settings.



The program allows you to read the text aloud, set auto-scrolling and much much more. For example, the night mode looks like this:



The program has 3 types of paging animation: 2 types of shift and smooth paging, like a book. Also, by swiping your finger along the left side - we can instantly change the brightness - no need to go to the settings and do it there. Very comfortably. The viewing mode can be either pages or a scroll, i.e. Scrolling can be either horizontal or vertical. As you like more. In landscape mode, you can put a display of one page, or two:



There is also a few built-in backgrounds. Unfortunately, you can’t choose your own background, but the built-in ones are usually quite enough.

Cool Reader supports online book libraries (OPDS). You can easily add arbitrary libraries, navigation through them is carried out through the built-in manager.

Total: a very functional, beautiful and convenient reader. Everyone will find in it what he would like to configure, but for those who are used to opening and using, the standard settings are very good and pleasant to the eye. One of the best readers for the Android platform, and given that the program is free - this is one of the best choices that can be recommended.



Name: Go Book


Price: Free

Availability of Russian: Yes (broken)


Formats: EPUB, FB2, TXT, UMD, PDF


At the first opening of the program, we are offered to import our books.



Further, in the built-in file manager, we can select either one book or several books with the ability to select folders with nested books. After that, the program’s bookshelf looks like this:



Either you can choose to display books in alphabetical order:



The program meets us with a turquoise background and gray-black text:



I’ll note right away that there is no translation by words, only padding with spaces. But there is a pretty beautiful paging animation that looks more interesting than what is in Cool Reader. Below we see the current chapter and the percentage of reading the book, as well as the current time. Full screen mode is enabled by default and you cannot change this. Pressing the settings button opens the following menu:



Here we see the opportunity to go to a specific page, rotate the screen, control the font settings, adjust the backlight, activate the night mode and go to the detailed settings. I note that the transition to the page is carried out as a percentage, i.e. there is no way to go to a specific page, which is very inconvenient.

At the top: file name, table of contents and bookmarking.

This is the table of contents:



So, let's look at these quick options ... This is how the horizontal orientation looks:



Well, let's move on to the settings.



And here we see that the settings are very poor + the Russian language, although it is present, everything is translated very poorly. You can choose the font and text encoding and immediately see how it will look in the window with text. Also, you can choose the animation of paging, the time delay for turning off the screen. There is the possibility of a backup copy of the settings (it sounds very menacing, given their number).



In the second tab, we see the background selection. Backgrounds are divided into light and dark. Light available 4 pieces, 3 more can be downloaded. Dark - 3 pieces from immediately available + 1 can be downloaded additionally.

Total: we have an ordinary reader with a minimum of settings, a crooked Russian translation (without the ability to select a different localization in the settings) and a non-deactivable full-screen mode. Very amateur.


Name: Aichitalka


Price: Free

Presence of Russian: Yes

Formats: FB2, fb2.zip


The next hero of our review is the Aytalka program. In fact, this is not a very traditional reader. This is an Aymobilko store with a built-in reader. Therefore, the first thing that meets us is a store with the ability to buy books.



We can sort or find books that interest us. In detail, I will not compare the store itself with analogues and evaluate it, this is the topic of another article.

Turning to the second tab (library), we immediately understand that to work with the program, you need to register in the service



Next, we can download books from our library on the Aymobilko service. And here there is some disappointment - we simply cannot read the book from the device. We need to add the book to the service, then download it to our device and only then can we enjoy reading. The choice of formats is very scarce - only fb2 and it is also packaged in zip.



So what do we see in reading mode? And the reader’s window opens before us, where in the upper control bar there are the Table of Contents, Text Settings, Bookmarks and Book Search buttons. At the bottom is the title of the book, the current page in the book, and the total number of pages. In addition, there is a slider with which you can go to the page, however, this is also not very convenient if we want to go to a specific page - the slider is small and sensitive.

The content is as follows:



Font settings give us the following choice:



Font size, font itself, alignment and background color. Not very rich, I must say ...

Pressing the menu button calls up the standard Android context menu:



It partially duplicates the previous functions + there is an opportunity to go to all the settings.

Well, the settings look like this:



Again, a very meager set of settings. It is possible to scroll through the volume buttons, at least thanks for that. There are 4 themes to choose from: Day, Night, Sepia and Chocolate.

This is how the program looks in landscape mode: We



immediately encounter a design flaw when we try to call the font settings:



In addition, the paging animation is very slow and unresponsive + its type cannot be changed.

Perhaps the last 2 moments apply only to my device, although nevertheless, they have a place to be.

Total: the need to download books to your Storage on the service (and only FB2), low speed, few settings. Definitely on iOS, this program looks and feels much better. On Android, there are much more interesting alternatives.


Name: Google Play Books


Price: Free

Availability of Russian: Yes

Formats: ePub


We turn to the review of the official reader from Google.



The program meets us with a list of the last books read (after we have opened at least once once, of course).

Pins icons - this is an opportunity to completely save the book on the device for further reading without the Internet. Also, there is a search in books.



In reading mode, we are greeted by a full-screen mode with only text, no official and additional information.



Clicking on the screen opens a small and concise menu, where there is a search in the book, navigation on the page and calling content. It should immediately be said about the pages in the book. Pages are divided not by the standards of the screen, but by a certain format of the book, so when reading on any device (whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or PC), we will always have the same number of pages in the book. Apparently, this was done to synchronize what was read in the book. And just such synchronization is present here, it is convenient and fast. You can read the book on your smartphone on the road, and in the evening come home and continue reading on the tablet from the place where you finished. Very few readers support book synchronization, and this feature on Google Play Books is very convenient and hateful.

However, due to such a calculation of pages, inaccuracies may occur, because for example, having flipped through 3 “telephone” pages, we will flipped through only one page of the book itself, and when synchronizing and then reading on a device with a larger / smaller screen, we may not be exactly in the place we expected.

Well, minus this or plus - everyone will decide for themselves, and we go to the program settings:



There are very few settings . There is flipping with volume buttons, permission to download books only via Wi-Fi, voice reading, auto-rotate the screen and the effect of a beautiful flipping book. I must say, the effect is really very beautiful, a little unusual and extremely smooth and fast. Using it is a pleasure. Without this effect, pages are flipped with the usual two-page horizontal scroll.

Also, on the page we can call up the parameters window:



There are 3 display modes: day, night and sepia. There is also a choice of font and its size, text alignment, brightness adjustment and line height.

As we can see, there are not very many settings, but I honestly admit that, compared to many other readers, everything here is very well selected, neatly executed and reading is a pleasure. + Holo style is present, so in appearance the program fits perfectly into the Android interface.

In horizontal mode, the program looks like this:



An interesting and beautiful reader, a minimum of the most necessary settings, a beautiful paging animation, a synchronization of books and reading positions. The disadvantage is the impossibility of downloading books from the application itself, support only for ePub format, as well as the requirement of an Internet connection to download books. In general, you can safely recommend the program to anyone who wants to read books on their Android device with the usual experience in programs and who will not be a burden to download books to their Google account.


Title: Book Reader Free (Reader +)


Price: Free

Russian Availability: Yes

Formats: EPUB, RTF, FB2 (ZIP.), MOBI, TXT, HTM


The first thing the program meets us with is an agreement on the use of advertising in it.



Next, we see the main program window - selecting books by author, title and other parameters, opening recent books and selecting books through the built-in file manager:



There is also support for online catalogs.

When you open a book, the program offers us to periodically receive new tips on its use. It is important to note that the tips are about FBReader, so it’s clear which program Book Reader Free copies ...



In reading mode, we see the background in the form of a certain texture, black text and the presence of hyphens. At the bottom there is a strip of readability of the book, the number of pages read and pages in the book as a whole, the battery level and current time. Everything has been made very small, so it does not interfere with reading, and if you wish, you can look at the parameters listed.



In the context menu, it is possible to go to the content, manage bookmarks, set the night mode, switch to an arbitrary page (the transition occurs by the page number:



when the slider moves, the page is instantly displayed on the screen), search through a book, control the screen orientation and font size, as well as share a book.

Let's go to the settings:



Immediately we see a considerable number of settings. In the catalog, you can specify the path to books, fonts, and wallpaper to the backing of the book.



The Appearance section represents the screen settings and some of its behavior, as well as the control of the button illumination).



In the Text settings, you can configure the font, its size, style and spacing. Adjust alignment, hyphenation or apply styles to individual elements of the book (as we saw in Cool reader).



The CSS section serves only to indicate whether the program should use the parameters specified in the stylesheet.



Colors and wallpapers allow you to adjust the type of substrate of the book, as well as the colors of various types of text.

The indentation item allows you to adjust the indentation of the text on all sides of the screen:



Also, you can customize the scroll bar, which I described in detail when I was in book reading mode. You can adjust its position on the screen, size, color and individual elements.



Page turning is also highly customizable. Of the animations presented: shift, shift with overlap and three-dimensional animation. The latter is quite pleasant, although it looks somewhat simplified options for what is in the Go Book.

You can set up a dictionary for unfamiliar words, as well as a translator. There is support for ColorDict and Fora Dictionary dictionaries.

It is possible to customize the behavior of the pictures in the book and the reaction to clicking on them.

So the program is displayed in horizontal orientation:



Total: a very nice program for reading with a considerable amount of settings. Support for dictionaries may be useful to someone who reads the literature in the original, and display settings and text settings management will allow you to customize the program in your own way. The only significant drawback is annoying ads in the status bar. Unable to disable it, unfortunately. However, if you liked the program - read on - there will be the same functionality and appearance, but without advertising.


Name: FBReader


Price: Free

Availability of Russian: Yes

Formats: fb2 (.zip), ePub, mobi, rtf, txt


The FBReader program has long been known and very popular. The previous program Book Reader Free (Reader +) almost completely copies the functionality of FBReader, as well as its interface.



In FBReader there is a differentiation of books by author, title, etc. Of course, you can select files from the file system, as well as scan the memory card for books and subsequently search by name.

Before opening the book, we are given read information about it, an annotation, and a cover.



The reading screen is by default black text on the background of a kind of old paper. Text with hyphens by default. Below is a strip of information on reading status of the book, above is a transition to the library, the OPDS network library, and to the table of contents.

Because the previous program almost completely copies FBReader, the settings of the book, menu, and appearance are almost completely identical to it. However, the undoubted advantage of the program is that it does not contain any advertising (unlike the clone above).

An additional setting is the Exit Menu:



FBReader is a good reader with a ton of settings. Not for nothing that many programs imitate her and take her source code. A project that grew out of a student’s idea is very, very good. The program weighs little and provides a lot of opportunities.


Name: Moon + Reader Pro

Price: Free

Availability of Russian: Yes

Formats: epub, pdf, mobi, fb2, chm, cbr, cbz, umd, txt, html, rar, zip


Another popular and very functional program for reading books. It has two editions: free and paid. Differences of the paid version are as follows:

- Support for multi-touch;
- If you shake the phone, it will read the text aloud (Text-To-Speech);
- Ability to set a password to run;
- Management through a wired or Bluetooth headset;
- Ability to place a book shortcut on the desktop;
- Annotations, contrast modes and the ability to share a bookmark;
- PDF support;
- Reading statistics;
- User support by email;
- File manipulation in Dropbox (including synchronization).



The main screen of the application.

You can open both files from a memory card and download them from the online book storage. The program provides an interesting and beautiful bookshelf, books for which are taken from the specified folder.



In reading mode, we see a pastel color background, text with alignment on the left side, and at the bottom there is an information panel on which the battery charge is displayed, the chapter and the number of pages in the chapter (Read / total) and the percentage of reading the book.



In the pop-up settings, we can apply certain functions, the list of which is separately configured - we can select only the necessary functions that will be displayed in the lower panel. A long press on each button brings up a context menu for each item:



In the program, settings are delimited by several levels.



View settings help you to customize the font, its size, color, background image, text encoding, alignment to width, enable line breaks, change book fields and select page transition animation.

There are the following transition options:



Again, I note that not so long ago, the added 3D transition looks very nice and works smoothly.



In the control settings, we can set the settings that are directly related to reading control: screen orientation, shaking control, setting up areas of the screen, setting up the device’s hardware buttons, on-screen gestures and even headset control. In addition, there is an information panel setting at the bottom of the screen.



Additional settings are unusually wide! Here you can choose the full-screen mode and lock the screen off, control the brightness and font size during reading, fine-tuning paging, auto-scroll modes, individual file settings with built-in styles, voice reading settings. There are even reminders that a lot of continuous reading is harmful. You can split the page into two in landscape mode and synchronize via Dropbox and Google Drive. Plus there is the possibility of creating a backup copy of the settings so as not to get lost in their diversity again.

Moon Reader supports many dictionaries, which only adds to the program points of functionality. It would seem, much more? But here is also the statistics of your reading:



And this is how the program looks in landscape mode, divided into 2 pages:



As a result, we have one of the most functional, convenient and beautiful programs for reading books for the Android platform. An incredible number of different and interesting settings allow you to take reading to a new level, at which it will be magical to read. The possibilities of the free version are huge and almost in no way inferior to its paid counterpart. In the PRO version, the most interesting things, for me, are synchronization and reading statistics. I highly recommend you to familiarize yourself.



I will express a little of my opinion: I liked the programs Cool Reader, Moon Reader, Google Play Books. It is the latter that I use, because I have enough functionality + there is synchronization, so I can continue to read at home from the tablet without reading the chapter from the phone. And at the moment this is exactly my choice, it suits me perfectly. The first 2 programs, of course, are more functional and customized, I used them earlier. But synchronization, beautiful paging animation and a nice interface took the main place of my book reader, despite the need to upload books to Google Books in the desktop version of the site.

This is the first article in stock of another 20 programs for review. Also, at the very end of the whole story I will create a comparative table according to certain criteria, it will be possible to compare all programs quickly and simply.

If the article has errors / inaccuracies / understatements - write to me about it. If you find problems in storytelling, offer a solution to the situation.