May 11, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
The Barnes & Noble Nook and Spring Design Alex add two similar options for Android-based ereaders. However, some people want to read on the go but don’t have a dedicated ereader device. Anyone facing such a predicament should consider Aldiko, an Android app that provides a digital library of books optimized for mobile devices.
Aldiko puts a bookshelf into your phone, stocked with original books, O’Reilly tech ebooks, and public domain classics like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War or Homer’s The Odyssey. Text is formatted to fit your phone’s resolution, and users move through pages with gestures to the right or left. The app can also navigate between the Table of contents and bookmark pages to make it easy to return to a key page or the place you last read.
Reading books in Aldiko is mostly enjoyable. An invisible slider along the left pane makes it easy to adjust brightness, and Aldiko can switch between day/night modes to react better with the light. The reading experience is not as easy on the eyes as e-ink, but for short bursts of reading on the train to work, it definitely gets the job done.
Aldiko has a bookshelf with several free titles. Browsing the library offers plenty of great choices, but this is clearly not a rival to the massive range of titles available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, or Border’s book store. The paid options are also limited, but Aldiko is able to import some ePub book (DRM doesn’t work). If you don’t want to pick up a Nook and still want to read romance novels on your break, try your luck with Aldiko.
- Free public domain and original books for download
- Easy navigation controls and adjustable font size for reading eBooks
- Bookshelf to store your downloads and catalog titles
- Relatively limited selection
- ePub import feature unable to open DRM files and not guaranteed to work
Price: Free (ad-supported) or $2.99 (ad-free)