In the growing world of e-Books and e-Readers, the competition grows fiercer each day. While e-Reader devices, including the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, and the Barnes and Noble NOOK, stake out their market share, all three suffer from an absence of features compared to Apple’s iPad.
It is true that some e-Book fans prefer the E-ink display of Amazon’s Kindle as supposed to the screen on the iPad. The additional functionality provided by Apple’s tablet device, as well as the iPhone and iPod Touch, makes Apple a powerful force in this new market space.
With many e-Reader apps available for the iOS 4 platform, it helps to analyze the features of three of the most popular apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
The Stanza e-Reader for the iPad and iPhone
Lexcycle’s free Stanza e-Reader app comes in native versions for both the iPad and iPhone (as well as the iPod Touch). It’s loaded with useful features and displays text in a clear and readable manner.
e-Book content for Stanza is available through various bookseller partners. The entire free Project Gutenberg library is available as well, featuring many literature classics and other notable titles.
Finding the e-Book content is a breeze using Stanza’s excellent search utility. Downloading e-Books occurs in-app, and the software also features integration with iTunes, allowing easy porting of the user’s other e-Reader formatted material to Stanza.
Robust functionality and easy searching make Stanza arguably the best e-Reader app for iOS 4. iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch owners desiring an alternative to iBooks need to check out Stanza.
Apple’s iBooks is an Excellent e-Reader App
Apple’s iBooks is currently the most popular e-Reader app at the App Store. The iPad version of iBooks led the initial app collection when Apple first released the popular tablet computer.
A version of iBooks for the iPhone and iPod Touch became available with the release of iOS 4. iBooks is an excellent e-Reader app with a clear display and the additional ability to handle e-Books rendered in color.
Unfortunately, iBooks search utility is actually worse than iTunes. It appears that searching by title is the only way to find e-Book content; keyword search doesn’t work. Browsing by category is possible, but the categories are too general, making the overall process frustrating.
Those search limitations keep iBooks behind Stanza in the race to be the top e-Reader app for the iPhone and iPad.
Amazon’s Kindle e-Reader App for the iPad and iPhone
Even though Amazon is in direct competition with Apple, they do make a free version of their Kindle e-Reader as an app for both the iPhone and iPad. Kindle is currently the second most popular e-Reader app at the App Store.
The main reason for downloading the Kindle app for iOS 4 is to be able to access Kindle content on the iPhone for users that own both devices. The Kindle app, like the others profiled, features a clear display and easily readable text.
The search functionality on the Kindle app is decent, but unfortunately all new content is acquired by redirecting to the Amazon store through the Safari browser. This process is clumsy and should be handled in-app, like with Stanza and iBooks.
Stanza is the best e-Reader app for the iPad and iPhone
Ultimately, its excellent search functionality and ease of use make Stanza the best e-Reader app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Apple’s iBooks has the potential to usurp the crown by providing better search functionality to go with its ability to display colorful e-Books.
Thankfully, all three apps profiled are available for free at Apple’s App Store, so readers can see for themselves which iPhone e-Reader is a winner.