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Aldiko Book Reader: Aldiko does eReading right.


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  1. hybridhavoc

    hybridhavoc New Member This Topic's Starter

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    To put it simply, if you are a fan of eBooks and have an Android phone, you need to get Aldiko. Even though it is a free application, the look, feel, and functionality of the app are of such high quality and polish that it feels very much like a paid app. From the moment that you open the application, it is obvious that some real love and care has gone into its development. You start off with a few simple options. Your recent reads, your bookshelf, and the ability to download books.

    Pressing the Menu button on the front page gives these options:
    Recent Reads
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    The books that you are currently working on are available from the first screen, in a simple and intuitive side-scrolling section. This includes the cover art for each of the books, and the title itself. From there, it's a simple matter of selecting the book you are wanting to pick back up. It will open the eBook back to where you left off. Having read through several eBooks with this application so far, I have never seen it get this wrong, always bringing me to the exact page that I had been on.

    Once the eBook is open, the controls are fairly intuitive and common amongst eReaders. Swipe left and right to move among the pages. There is also the ability to alter the brightness of your screen easily within the app, simply by running your finger up and down the left side of the screen. Run it higher, and the brightness increases. Run it lower, and the brightness decreases.

    Hitting the Menu button brings up several options:

    My only real gripe with the actual reading experience is simply the load times. If you are dealing with an eBook that is more than a short story, you will have to deal with somewhat lengthy load times for both the book, and each individual chapter. This becomes particularly frustrating if your reading is interrupted by calls, text messages, or really any other reason to leave the app itself.

    Bookshelf
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    On the main screen of the app, the second option is to view your Bookshelf. By default, this will provide you with a scrollable list of all of the eBooks you have loaded into Aldiko. Each item includes the cover art, title, author, publication information, and a 5-star rating provided by yourself. If you take this into landscape mode, the view changes a little to have three books per "shelf", and only the title and cover art provided. In both layouts, the Bookshelf list is well laid-out and scrolls without noticeable lag despite the loading of cover art.

    Pressing the Menu button here also provides several options:

    In my experience, the different List options are pretty vital to your Bookshelf, allowing you to quickly move through what is sure to become a very large database of eBooks. The five-star rating system, however, seems virtually useless. The rating that you provide is not shared with an Aldiko server, so unless you just have poor memory and can't remember how good a book was, it's not particularly handy.

    Download Books
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    This is one of the big features of Aldiko that really make it shine compared to other eBook applications. Selecting Download Books from the front page of the app will bring you to a list of possible sources, with a very wide variety of books available at each. Each source has its own way of sorting through what they have available, and it's not very reasonable to try to break down each one. What you will find with most of these sources, though, are books that are either in the public domain (meaning no longer covered by copyright), or are published with a Creative Commons license.

    You will sometimes find books through these sources that do require you to pay, and since I have not personally done so, I can't really comment on the procedures for doing so. I believe the one source that Aldiko uses for this primarily is Smashwords.com, where independent authors basically publish eBooks through them and get the large majority of the profits for each sale.

    Pressing the Menu button in the Download Books section provides two options:

    Overall, the downloading feature is incredibly useful for those just wanting to test out the app, or for those looking for a popular eBook that is in the public domain. It works about as well as you could expect.

    The Bottom Line
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Aldiko does eReading right. While there are a few problems with the application and some features that aren't fully realized, and Aldiko only supports the ePUB format, the other features and intuitive navigation system give you a very polished feel at a great price: free!

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. dessa

    dessa Member

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    The one thing I really dislike about Aldiko is that there is no way to have it open directly to the page I was last reading when I re-open the application.

    iReader does this, and also supports eReader (palm, Nook) and MobiPocket (many platforms and Kindle) DRMed books.
     
  3. notaguru

    notaguru Well-Known Member

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    Aldiko seems polished and well-executed. HOWEVER:

    When I try to download more titles, I get

    -----------------------------------
    Cannot download book
    Please make sure your SD card
    is present and that your device
    is not in 'USB storage' mode.
    -----------------------------------
    Huh?

    2.1, SD card is present and can be accessed by other apps, online connection is fine, and problem persists whether unit is plugged into laptop or not. Rebooting doesn't help.

    Please advise!
     
  4. eljcoast

    eljcoast New Member

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    I'm having the same problem. Aldiko says my SD card is in USB storage mode when it's not. :confused:
     
  5. JJeff

    JJeff Member

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    Same here too. My aldiko was ok when I was using Android 1.5, but when my HTC HEro underwent the 2.1 upgrade, I can no longer download books in aldiko.

    Anyone found any workaround?
     
  6. notaguru

    notaguru Well-Known Member

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    No workaround, but after deleting and reinstalling under 2.1 all is well.
     
  7. trevlynch

    trevlynch Active Member

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    This app is nothing compared to Laputa. I used to love aldiko until I discovered laputa
     
  8. notaguru

    notaguru Well-Known Member

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    Eventually we will have a stable low-cost/free bookreader with variable font size and variable rate scrolling, able to read .txt, epub, .pdb, etc.

    Until then, I must read non-business material/books on an old Palm, using Mobipocket.
     
  9. Eryl Flynn

    Eryl Flynn Well-Known Member

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    Running into problems on the new Droid X, it seems like it doesn't realize there is a SD card as well as the internal memory. So it only scans to add books in the internal 8 that is for applications only and ignores the SD card for storage.
     
  10. notaguru

    notaguru Well-Known Member

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    I have been unable to get Laputa to load my own materials, whether in .txt or .epub.

    And there's nothing out there with auto scrolling, it appears.
     
  11. mtouchto

    mtouchto New Member

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    Laputa's creators are not native English speakers and the instructions are not the best. I learned from other users online that to get books into Laputa, you must jump through a few hoops: 1. put your epub file (not the folder, just the actual epub file) into the import folder within the Laputa folder on your sd card. After you have unmounted your sd card from the computer, open Laputa. Click back to get to page that says My library at the top (not your bookshelf). Click menu then hit import. It will take a bit of time but it will get there. Then you must go to My Library again (by left to right finger scroll from my shelf). Click All. Then once all the books are shown, either click the show all box or find the new imported book and make sure it is checked.

    About the auto scrolling, I have not tried that yet.
     
  12. GirlGoneGeek

    GirlGoneGeek Well-Known Member

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    I'm really enjoying Aldiko as a supplement to my Nook app. I own a Nook and can keep both my B&N and sideloaded eBooks on it - and of course those sideloads don't show up in the Nook app.

    No matter if you're a Kindle, Kobo or Nook user, Aldiko is a perfect friend for ANY eReader app that doesn't allow you to sideload.
     
  13. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

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    Hmm, just installed Laputa. Is this thing even legal?!? I go to the Blazer (built in link for more books) and click on most popular downloaded books and right at the top they have Stephenie Meyers "Twilight" books, than Harry Potter, etc. I'm thinking, no way they can have it for free. Well, I click on it and in a second I have a free "paid" books on my Droid X. How could this be?!?
     
  14. mjf1

    mjf1 Well-Known Member

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    I have tried all of the ebook readers for Android and Aldiko is by far the best! I have thousands of free books which I have collected off of the net to read (wish I had more time to sit back and enjoy them). I use Calibre which is a great free app for the PC to format my books and convert to .epub before uploading them to my Legend. No eyestrain and pages turn much faster than my Sony reader. Now every time I have a few moments to spare, I fire up Aldiko on my phone and read a few pages.
     
  15. JamOnIt

    JamOnIt Member

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    Does anyone know how to get the page number you are on? It shows me chapter progress, but I would like to know the page so I can go there once I get home and continue reading on my Nook.
     
  16. BookLover

    BookLover Well-Known Member

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    Aldiko automatically opens up to the last page you were reading before closing/moving away from the app.
     
  17. SlowRain

    SlowRain Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Aldiko's progress bar and Nook's progress bar are compatible. You may be better off using the Nook Android app if it's available to you. If not, just choose a unique word or phrase from your Aldiko book, then do a search for it on your Nook.
     

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