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E-Books on Smartphones

E-Books on Smartphones – July 27, 2010 3:21 PM (edited 7/27/10 11:21 AM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
So, I guess this is sort of a review, but I didn't want to post it as such because I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it.

About two weeks ago, I noticed that there was a Kindle App available for my phone, the Motorola Droid. On a whim, I downloaded it, and downloaded a cheap book ($1.50 or so for a small P.G. Wodehouse collection), figuring it would be pretty good subway reading. So far it has been, and today I browsed around to see what else was available, finding "On the Origin of Species" for free, since it's in the public domain.

I also discovered that the display, which defaults to black text on white background has an option for black text on a sepia background and white text on a black background. I quickly switched to white text on a black background, mostly for purposes of battery conservation - it hadn't been a problem so far, but the display on my phone is far and away the biggest draw on the battery, so it seemed like a wise precaution.

It looks like B&N just released a Nook reader for the Android as well, which I'm installing now, I'll have to see what sort of different functionality there is.

But I'm kind of interested in whether or not any of you have done any reading on a cell phone, and what you think of it. I tried once or twice on my old flip phone, and ultimately found the experience absurd and frustrating. But I have to admit that the size of the smartphone screen along with the obviously superior functionality is making this a reasonably nice experience. The big benefit to me is the portability - I'm finding that I'm never going to get a seat on my new subway line, which makes the bulky books I usually bring with me kind of a pain in the ass. The ability to hold my phone in one hand and read is probably the single greatest benefit here, though instant access to the huge number of public domain works is kind of like having my local library in my phone.

The phone does insist on turning "pages", rather than allowing you to just scroll the text, but I think this is a holdover from the Amazon eBook format that they probably are just too cheap to change. And, honestly, it's not something that's been a big issue for me. Bookmarking seems to be pretty basic, I'm not sure if it maintains multiple bookmarks or allows you to make notes on a page (haven't played with the functionality yet), but the idea of trying to do so on a phone is kind of repugnant to me anyway, I can't imagine it being convenient.

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