Aldiko Book Reader
A good app to explore, read and organize ebooks
Pros & Cons:
I was told about Aldiko Book Reader from a couple of friends of mine who are avid ebook readers so I downloaded the app to see what it is all about. When the app opens it automatically defaults your view to portrait (vertical) and on the front screen you are presented with 4 icons: Shelf view, Store, List view and Files. And at the bottom is an area marked 'Recent reads'. As I have read nothing within this app, of course it's blank. In the far top-right corner is a magnifying glass. Oh, and the presented icons, text and banner are in milk chocolate brown (just thought I'd add that). So first things first. I need some ebooks to look at so I will click on the Files icon.
Now on my device it automatically defaulted to my memory card (there is an up arrow that you can tap to take you to your device too) which is fine for me and I can see my Books folder clearly in the list. To the right of the folders listed are tick boxes. Convenient. So when I tick the Books folder box, a bar at the bottom appears giving me 2 choices, Import to Aldiko (and the number of files it can find), and Unselect all.
So let's import them and see what happens. An Importing timeline bar appears telling you the percentage it's at importing the files. An information box has just appeared telling me that it cannot import an epub I have with the only option being Dismiss. Now that's odd because it's imported my other epubs okay and the one it couldn't import reads fine in other ebook readers on my Android device. Oh well, nothing's perfect.
So, I am now looking at a screen called Library and underneath are the books I have imported which include pdf and epub. In the top chocolate brown title bar where Library sits, to the left is a home icon and to the right is a shopping trolley and the search icon. So at this point I am going to tap on the home icon first.
Back at the front screen I am now going to see what the Shelf view looks like. And there we have it. My books on display in the familiar wooden-panel bookcase. There is also a drop-down option that can sort the books by title, author, ratings, recent reads, recently added and recently finished. I'll just leave it by title.
Now I want to see how it looks a different way so I press the home icon again and this time I choose the List view. Now almost similar to the Library screen I mentioned earlier is another Library screen which again can be sorted using the drop-down icon. It lists my books, the author, file type, published, and also has 5 greyed-out stars that you can obviously change. The books listed are in a tab called Books under the main heading, Library. There are also another 3 tabs called Authors, Tags, and Collections. Authors are self explanatory, Tags are what genre the books come under (Sci-Fi, Action & Adventure, Fiction, etc.), and Collections are where you can set up collections of books, e.g. if there are multiple books in a series etc.
So, back to my list of books. I've just tapped on an ebook and it has opened up on the cover, fullscreen. Movement through the book can be achieved by swiping your finger left or right to go backwards or forwards, or by gently tapping the screen. The front cover is in colour, the words are black on white, and if there are any hyperlinks, they are underlined and highlighted in blue. I'll say this, turning the pages are a bit slow but the text is nice and clear as are any pictures, diagrams etc. By either tapping a bit harder or by pressing your options button on your device, a bar appears at the top and bottom. The top one gives you the title of the book and the author along with the home icon and search, whereas the bottom bar gives you 4 icons and a slide bar to move quicker through the ebook if you so desire. The icons from left to right are: Go to, Day/Night (switches between black text on white or white text on black), Settings, and More. More gives you two options; Share (networking) and Help.
Settings gives you 4 options including: Text (allows you to manipulate text size and margins and works well) Brightness (adjustable) and Orientation (very useful). Now at this point I thought it stayed as portrait because of the front menu. It's only when you open a book that it uses the default automatic orientation to adjust when you hold your device in landscape (horizontal). You live and learn. And finally there is another More option that gives you a whole host of extra settings (too many to list and write about) including the ability to download different fonts.
So overall impression? It's another ebook reader but it can only read pdf, epub and Adobe DRM which is a bit limited in my book (no pun intended). Yes it's fully customizable, and you can shop for ebooks online, and with the tweaking you can make the look and feel however you wish. It's straightforward to use and it's not gimmicky but I did find it slow turning pages. And while it can read these 3 format types with no problems, I would have liked it to read more formats as I said above. If it did that then it would be a high scorer.
On a final note, if you do have it preinstalled on your device, it's still a good app to explore, read and organize ebooks but I would also recommend having another ebook reader as well to read other formats.
Aldiko Book Reader was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on