In the past few weeks, I again refined my search for a good eBook reader for my S60V5 devices. I was previously stuck with the MobiPocket reader, which was rendered useless for all S60V5 devices. Of course, it was still useable with the volume rocker buttons, but, I wanted full functionality. You could use it with WFVirtual Keyboard, but it was clumsy, as I couldn’t see what was highlighted. I found the major problem with not finding a compatible eBook Reader for S^3 and S60V5. Symbian Ideas closed down a long time ago and there was no way to appeal to developers to create a good eBook reading application. I tried my luck requesting for an application in Nokia Beta Labs, but it too was a no go.
So I kept searching around. I wanted a native S60 application which was able to understand touch UI. I found several applications to do the job. They are:
1. eReader Pro:
I had known this app since a long time, but I wasn’t particularly attracted to it. I found that it was optimized for Touch UI and even said the 5800 was a compatible device. So I downloaded the application and gave it a go. The UI wasn’t that great, but it was something that was at least useable. What this application does is, connect to your eReader account and allows you to download a copy of the eBooks that you have purchased there. Since most of them are DRM Protected, it asks you for your name and credit card number each time you open the book. I found this very irritating indeed and soon uninstalled the application. People who are looking to copy a few of the ePub books that you have on your harddrive, can do so by copying them to C:/Data/Others.
This was the next application that I found. Although it couldn’t read PRC or ePub or PDB files, it could read fb2 and txt files. I don’t fancy the txt format much, since you can’t do any formatting with it, but I did give the application a try. Now, I did a bit of researching on the fb2 file type, and I found that it was quite a convenient format with support for italics and formatting. I still use an iDevice and the iBooks and Stanza app on it had me mesmerized. The reason I mentioned an iDevice was it’s ability to view the book covers and I wanted the same on my S60V5 device. Well, ZXReader does do that and it does it very nicely. It also has a library feature that is very interesting to use. The application has been made by a Russian(s). The below screenshot is from the website of the developer itself. Don’t be put off, they have an English version available too.
Well, those were the only two native Symbian apps that I found. I did find a lot of open sourced, beta staged, J2ME apps though. They are:
This application is one of the best readers. I previously told you that I had been looking for an eReader like the iPhone’s iBooks or Stanza. Well, this does pretty well too. It can read fb2 like ZXReader. It allows you to choose between profile types, i.e., say, during the day you’re reading an eBook with this application. It displays the screen brightly during this time. Then say, you’re reading it at night, you can switch the profile to display the screen more dimly. This goes easy on your eyes. The main thing I liked about this application was that it had really cool animation effects, much like the iPhone effects. It also allows you to rotate the screen to the left, right and upside down, just like the Stanza application for iPhone. Turning pages can be accomplished with an easy swipe to the left.
4. Albite Reader HD
I found this quite by accident one day. I have been using it since then. It supports all the basic things an eBook reader should have. This application, unlike the others, only supports ePub files and nothing else. It has no library feature, neither does it have the ability to view the cover of books. But, it does support fullscreen mode and smooth scrolling, which are an important aspect of any eBook reader for touch based UI. Works flawlessly with any device supporting Java.