As some readers may remember, I recently plumped for a Lenovo A7-10 as my preferred ereading/writing platform. And since this has a microSD card slot for storage expansion, it made huge sense to store my library of EPUB books in the external memory. However, combined with the issue of finding EPUB 3-compatible ereader apps, this made for a whole new question of choice for the best app to match the new platform.
The key issue is that not every app can access the external memory. Assignment of storage memory on Android tends to be unpredictable, with many manufacturers creating a virtual SD card in the device’s internal memory as an easy option for file management. The downside is that Android apps which default to the device’s SD card then use this internal memory for preference, even if the machine also has an external storage slot. That’s certainly the case with the Lenovo A7-10, and some apps got duly confused.
For a long time, I’ve stuck with FBReader as my app of choice, even though it has fairly imperfect support for EPUB3, to put it politely. However, FBReader also couldn’t access the external microSD slot on the Lenovo A7-10. So, next try was Aldiko, which could access the external SD card slot, but which also has pretty abysmal EPUB3 support – rated at just 6.5 percent, according to EPUBTest. Moon+ Reader, otherwise a pretty solid option which can read external memory, also languishes at just 6.1 percent EPUB3 support. Google Play Books, one of the best EPUB3 reading apps on Android, with 55.6 percent support, was disqualified by its reliance on uploading the books – after all, what’s the point of internal storage if it’s all going to be held on the cloud? Same story for Helicon Reader. Gitden Reader, with a 73.6 percent support rating, disqualified itself through a nasty tendency to crash when trying to import more than five books to its library. So the final choice was Mantano Reader Lite, not with the best support rating at only 23.1 percent, although with 38.2 percent support of essential features, but robust and flexible enough to use the external memory.
I hope that’s helped some readers. Obviously, not everyone is going to feel the need to geek around this much to find their best choice. However, for those that do, at least for now, make mine Mantano.
@Paul: So happy to see mention of Mantano Reader. My absolute fave is Moon+ Reader Pro, regardless of its flaws, because I like the interface. But Mantano also has TTS and lots and lots of other positives, beyond greater standards adherence. You can even use Mantano, or at least the paid version, to check out OverDrive library books (or at least you could last time I used it) since the app includes Adobe DRM capabilities. – David
Why is Epub3 support important? Is there a feature that you need?
Nate, for me it’s two things. One is poetry: I know that many argue that this is practically impossible to render into reflowable digital text anyway, but I’ve not found that so, where the formatting options are properly utilized. Hence I want an ereader that’s as standards-compliant and up-to-the-mark as I can get. The other reason is what I saw at Telegram Studios in Stockholm as cases of what an epublisher ready to push EPUB3 to – well, not its limits, but something slightly more ambitious than text layout – can do:
Okay. Thanks, Paul!