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Read All About It! - The Android Guide to Reading on Smartphones

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/18/2011

The increasing size of smartphone screens, along with high quality displays, means that using your Android for reading is becoming a very serious business. Whether you want an e-reader app for classic books, to read PDFs or take time in your lunchbreak for some comic books, this guide is for you.

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    Obviously the term "reading" is a wide subject to look at, so we have done our best with this Android reading guide to cover various different types of apps to keep everyone happy.

    The majority of apps you will find involve e-readers for your Android phone as e-books are becoming such big business and there are plenty of options besides just the Kindle. But we also take a look at magazine apps, comic book apps, how you can read PDFs, and if you remember the mobipocket format of books then we even have that covered too. In a situation where you want to get through a book but can't physically read it (a workout or taking a bath for example), then there are even apps that will read your book to you!

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    What's the Best Android E-Reader?

    E-readers are the latest thing in digital publishing and have become more successful than most of us thought. Even if you like a good old-fashioned book like me, it's hard not to be tempted by e-books -- you can get a whole library of books just on your phone, which when traveling is just indispensable. Find out which is the must-have e-reader for your Android.

    Sony E-Reader App for Android

    This e-reader app is presented in much the same way as the Sony e-reader itself, with some reduced functionality. You still have the ability to download some of your favorite books, bookmark them and highlight text though. Find out more in our review.

    Review of the Aldiki Book Reader

    Although this was one of the first e-book readers made available for Android users, it can still hold its own against some of the newcomers. There are some nice features like dictionary lookup, a progress bar, and the all important brightness and font size to adjust, but of course there's more to it than that, all of which you can find in this review.

    Use your Motorola Droid as an E-Book Reader

    The Droid has a particularly great screen making it an ideal tool to be transformed into an e-reader. This isn't just a round-up of suitable apps (though that is given consideration); it's an all-round guide of all the steps and considerations to make to ensure your reading experience is an enjoyable one.

    Kindle App for Android Reviewed

    When you say e-reader, most of us think Kindle, which is why having a Kindle app right on your Android makes such great sense. The beauty of this of course is that you can not just read an e-book on your smartphone, but on a Kindle device, an iPad, an Android tablet... the list goes on. Let's find out if the app is reflective of the high-quality we expect from Kindle.

    Guide to Using the Media Overdrive App for Book Rentals

    Just as with Kindle, Overdrive software is available on a multitude of platforms so you have the option of reading on not only your Android but your PC or Mac (among others). Where Overdrive differs though, is that here we are looking at audiobooks only - a great facility for many situations. Find out how to use the app, along with tips and advice along the way.

    Which is the Best Android Audiobook App?

    This round-up article takes a look at all your best options for apps that read those books for you -- ideal for keeping your mind occupied on a long run or when having a bath. There are some great apps to choose from and here we decide on which is the best for you depending on your needs.

    Mobipocket for Android

    Mobipocket books have been around for a while now -- even before the Kindle -- but it's becoming increasingly hard to find apps where the format is supported. We give you the perfect solution with some great tips for getting it all set up.

    Read the Bible on your Android Phone

    Find out all the ways you can use your Android phone to read religious texts wherever you might be. There are apps considered in this guide, as well as other methods of getting the bible on your phone, such as e-readers, and even bible widgets. Christianity isn't the only religion covered here; due consideration is also given to Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Islam.

    Christian Book Readers

    When you are looking for something uplifting to read, but want something different to bible texts there are some nice fiction e-books to consider too. This selection of apps also includes non-fiction works and devotionals.

    Pow! Best Android Comic Readers

    With the increase in quality of smartphone screens, it would be a shame not to make use of it. Enliven your screen with some great cartoon and comic books when you are in need of something more appealing than a page of text.

    Best Android PDF Viewers

    PDF files are used in a lot of publications -- especially newsletters and brochures -- but it's not always easy to just open it as a file to read on your phone. Have a look through our round-up of PDF viewers and make your choice.

    Read Your Favorite Magazines on Zinio

    Zinio is now such a firm favorite for reading magazines on the go that many new Android smartphones come with it preinstalled. Find out if it's worth signing up for an account, or downloading the app if you don't already have it.

    The Economist Android App

    As great a choice as Zinio offers, obviously not all magazines in the world are featured on its racks, so if you are so minded there is an app specific to the Economist. Although it rather grandly calls itself an app, it is a simple digital version of the Economist magazine you'd find at newsstands. There is some added functionality though, so it may be worth a look.

    Have we left out a reading app classic from our guide? Let us know by leaving a comment below.