A lot of people use their iPad for primarily one reason – reading. Whether you are reading books, magazines or blogs, there’s an app for that. And if you are not sure which app you want to use you should just go and try them all. To make it a bit easier for you, I have tried quite a lot of apps. So let’s look at the best ones for each “reading category”.
When it comes to book-reading apps it really depends on where you prefer to buy your ebooks. Most iPad users buy ebooks on either Amazon or the iBookStore. Hence, you should use the Kindle or iBooks app. Using standard apps will make things so much easier for you: no importing, exporting, transferring and so on.
I, personally, prefer buying books from Amazon mainly because of a larger number of books to choose from. If you are a casual reader like I am you won’t notice too many differences in reading experiences between iBooks and Kindle. Both are good readers with similar functionality – displaying text on a screen.
The Kindle app has recently received a large amount of negative reviews, simply because the Store was removed from the app. Please don’t let the reviews stop you from using the app. If you want to buy ebooks from your iPad you can just use the Amazon app or visit the website. Simple as that.
Blogs & Magazines
iPads are great for reading blogs and magazines. Many talented developers have created awesome apps for you to read your favorite blogs and discover new ones.
I use a combination of several apps to read my blogs. Each app has its own purpose.
Quickly flick through the latest articles: Pulse
Pulse is an app that allows you to have a quick visual view of the latest articles from your favorite blogs. The app shows you a grit, where the tiles are separate posts. You can have up to 12 sources (rows) on one page. If you need more – just create a new page.
Magazine experience: Flipboard
Flipboard offers a different kind of experience for reading blogs. When you open the app the first thing you see is a “cover” with the top stories – just like a magazine. The magazine experience stays consistent across the app. Big publishers, like for instance FastCompany, optimize their content for Flipboard, having their own design and rich media. Flipboard is not just a simple text reader.
Read articles later: Pocket
You probably also read blogs which publish long articles you would really want to read but simply don’t have the time to do it right now. Pocket is a great solution for this kind of situation. The app allows you to save the articles you want to read later. There are two things I appreciate most: the fact that it plugs-in with many different apps and offline reading.
When I discover a new article on either Flipboard or Pulse I can easily save it to Pocket and read it later, whenever I want. Even offline. If you save the article to Pocket it will automatically be downloaded to your iPad for offline reading. You can also save articles from your computer using a browser extension (Chrome, Firefox), a bookmarklet or email the link to add the article.
Read digital magazines: Newsstand
If you are a fan of magazines you should check out Newsstand if you haven’t already. The store offers a wide variety of magazines ranging from Lifestyle to Business and Science. Most big publishers have iPad versions of their magazines available for you to buy and download.
Newsstand and other competing magazine-reading apps are still far away from being perfect. The potential of these apps is enormous, yet not used by most publishers. Remember that reading magazines on a tablet is not like reading a print magazine.
An iPad, whether it’s a regular one or a Mini, are great reading devices. The screen is sharp, bringh and colorful. You can make it brighter in sunlight and dim the screen when it’s darker. I, personally, prefer reading on the lighter and smaller iPad Mini, which has a more book-like format.
Which apps and devices do you prefer for reading your blogs and digital magazines?