Best eBook Apps for iPad and iPhone

The best ebook reading app for your iPad or iPhone depends mostly on where you get your ebooks. Each of these apps have basically the same features, so the main issue to consider is the type of ebooks that they support. All of the major ebook sellers have their own ebook app that works only for their ebooks. You can put lots of different ebook apps on your device, though, so that’s not really a problem — it just means that you probably won’t be able to stick to one single app unless you commit to only buying ebooks from one source. If you have a favorite ebook app for iOS, mention it in the comments along with info about what types of ebooks it can use.

iBooks

iBooks is Apple’s native ebook app for iOS. The only thing that’s really important to know about this app is that it is mainly meant to be used with ebooks that you get from Apple’s iBookstore, and won’t work with ebooks that you purchased elsewhere, unless they don’t have DRM.

Use This For: eBooks you purchase in Apple’s iBookstore. Your own PDF, ePubs, or books you created in iBooks Author (only non-DRM). iBooks textbooks are only available for iPad.

iTunes Download: Download iBooks

Kindle

The Kindle app lets you read all of your Kindle ebooks on your iPhone or iPad — no Kindle eReader required. This app will only work with Kindle ebooks that you buy at Amazon.com. (It will also read .mobi files, but only those that do not have DRM, and you won’t find many of those ebooks anymore since Mobipocket is out of operation.)

Use This For: Kindle ebooks that you buy at Amazon.com.

iTunes Download: Download Kindle App

Nook

This is the app from Barnes & Noble that you can use to read your Nook ebooks on your iPad or iPhone. It is only made to read Nook ebooks that you get from Barnes & Noble. That includes all of the magazines that they sell as well.

Use This For: Nook eBooks from Barnes & Noble.

iTunes Download: Download Nook App

Kobo

This is the app from the ebook company Kobo. You can use it to read ebooks that you buy from Kobo, as well as your non-DRM PDFs and ePubs. Kobo is also putting a lot of focus on “social reading” so this app has more of that than apps from other companies.

Use This For: Kobo eBooks from Kobo.com and non-DRM PDFs and ePubs

iTunes Download: Download Kobo App

Bluefire Reader

Bluefire Reader is a great app because it fulfills a need that all the other apps do not: it supports Adobe DRM, so you can read your DRM-protected PDFs and ePubs. If you like to shop at independent ebook stores, this is the ebook app for you. It also reads standard non-DRM PDFs and ePubs. See my Bluefire Reader page for instructions on how this works.

Use This For: DRM and non-DRM PDF and ePub ebooks.

iTunes Download: Download Bluefire Reader

Overdrive

Overdrive Media Console is the app to use for your ebooks and audiobooks that you get from the library. Check with your local library to see if they have ebooks and to get help or technical support.

Use This For: Library ebooks and audiobooks.

iTunes Download: Download Overdrive App

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About The eBook Reader

I love reading and I love technology. eBooks are an interesting combination of the two.

One response to “Best eBook Apps for iPad and iPhone”

  1. Sugel says :

    Most of the ebooks being sold by mainstream publishers that are in PDF or ePub format are protected by DRM. Book publishers, just like music publishers, are concerned about software piracy, so they require ebook stores to use Adobe’s DRM on the ebook downloads. Programs like Adobe Reader and other standard programs or apps that read PDF files aren’t set up to deal with that DRM, so you need an app that can handle it.

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