My new Android PDF/ebook Reader – Aldiko

Posted on February 21, 2011

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I am not a big mobile PDF/ebook reader, but now I have this PDF I want to read. Since I spend some time in the metro every day, I wanted to use my Android device for that. Find here in short what I tried and why it did or did not work. If you want an overview check the end of the article.

  1. I don’t even remember which app was my first shot, but this app couldn’t resize (reformat/rerender) the text. So I could look at the full PDF page or scroll around in the text which is completely impossible. Dismissed!
  2. My second try was Adobe Reader for Android. It did reformat the text, but it did not remember where I stopped reading when I restarted the app. Another constraint I felt was that I could only turn pages with a guesture on the screen which is annoying and disrupts the reading flow. Furthermore after every page turn an on-screen-display appears showing the new page number. This basically means you have to guess the first two to three words on every page! So this one was out as well.
  3. Aldiko: I tried it out and had to realize that this couldn’t resize (rerender) the text/font of the pdf either. Googling revealed that this works for PDF’s as of Android 2.2 only. Since I am currently running 2.1, this was bad. Instead of searching longer for another reader, Aldiko got a ton of good reviews, I searched for a way to convert the PDF into epub and keep using the app.
  4. I downloaded Calibre (Mac, Linux, Windows) which promised to convert ebooks – which it does very well. Unfortunately this thing is of a really big calibre itself, the app weights more than 200 MB. It is a whole ebook-management app. This is total overkill for my needs, but it got the job done for now. Maybe if I’ll ever read another PDF mobile, I’ll search for a smaller solution. Default settings for converting the PDF to epub ended in a readable book but somehow weird looking table of content, but that is not my priority.

Further features of Aldiko: you can use the volume keys for turning pages (like used by e.g. NewsRob) – very awesome, intuitive and non-interruptive feature. Must have. The night-vision mode works well indeed, as everyone states.

If you search for an overview on current ebook readers for android check this.

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