Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sooo many reading apps!

There's a book which has mysteriously disappeared from my iPad (and the Internet, apparently) (Why Is This Hill So Steep, a book about the history of ebooks by Steven Jordan), so I looked through various apps trying to find it. And it struck me how many apps I have for reading. It seems to indicate some of the complexity still current in e-reading, since I have basically only the apps I needed in order to read something specific, plus a couple of ones which seemed to have something special.
Here's what I have:

For ebooks: 

  • Amazon Kindle app
  • iBooks (Apple)
  • Google Books
  • GoodReader
  • Kobo app
  • MegaReader
  • BlueFire Reader
  • eBookMobi
  • Kindle Cloud Reader
  • Ibis Reader

For comics: 

  • Comix
  • Marvel
  • DC
  • Image
  • Dark Horse

For web RSS reading and such: 

  • Zite
  • Safari
  • Instapaper
  • Readability
  • Zinio
  • Flipboard
  • Web Comics Du Jour (great selection)
  • Pulse 
  • Reeder
  • TapTalk

And those I haven't used in a while:

  • Atomic Web
  • NewsRack 
  • ReadleDocs 
  • StumbleUpon
  • VoiceReaderWeb
  • eBookSearch
  • Currents
  • vBooks
  • NetNewsWire
  • Mr Reader 

Wow! Exhausting just to think about. I don't even keep apps I'm pretty sure I won't need anymore. And I had none of it two years ago before I got the iPad 1!


Timo Lehtinen said...

There's a very popular ebook file format that has been in use since the 1970s. The nice thing about it is that you don't need any app to read it. The filename extension is .txt and the format is called a "text file".

Over the years, I have created many ebooks for this format. It works without a hitch every time.

Also, the format is apparently complete! There haven't been any updates to it in decades.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, it's a good format.

It's funny how many are apparently "needed". Only last week I found two books I had been looking for on a forum, but they were in a format which couldn't be opened on my iPad *or* my Mac.
(Somebody else had html files of them, which I made into ePub, that works.)

Timo Lehtinen said...

Yes, the whole issue of file formats is a philosophical subject that the IT industry has very shallow understanding at present.

A few years ago they thought they had solved it all by the introduction of XML. Even Steve Jobs was fooled and everything in OSX went XML overnight. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The format is that horrible.