At one time, the iPad was a secondary device, used for playing games and as a backup to the iPhone. These days, the iPad is overtaking the iPhone as the primary device, and much of that is down to the improvements that Apple has made in recent years. Screen sizes have gotten bigger, and the display is second to none, unrivaled by any other mobile display, and that makes it one of the best devices for loads of different activities.
One activity that many use their iPad for is reading, and with so many reading apps to choose from these days, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve done some research and have found a few that we think to offer the best features. Before we get onto those, though, it’s worth spending a minute talking about the new iPad OS.
At WWDC 2019, Apple announced that, at long last, the iPad would be given an operating system of its own. Called iPadOS, it comes with a lot of features specific to the device, including:
- Widgets – some widgets can easily be pinned on the home screen, so they are easier to see
- Second Display – until now, third-party apps were needed for the iPad to be used as a second display, but Apple is now giving us this as a standard feature. When the next Mac OS update comes out, the iPad will be usable as a second display for it.
- Slide-Over Mode – open several apps at once and cycle through by swiping
- Thumb Drive Compatibility – the iPad has never had support for external drives until now. Apple has given its compatibility with microSD cards, USB drives, and external hard drives, making backups easy and giving you access to anything you don’t want to be stored in the cloud.
Other notable features include being able to see your download progress in Safari, viewing desktop versions of websites in Safari, additional gestures, using Split View to see one app in more than one window and many more. And, with external drive capability now includes, you can make better use of the reading apps we are going to talk about.
Top eReader Apps for iPadOS:
There is nothing like the feel of a book in your hand, but they are not always easy to travel with. With an eReader app on your tablet, not only do you get something that is easy to carry, but you also get the choice of storing thousands of books, comics, magazines, even newspapers. And that’s not all; many eReader apps also support other document formats.
These are the ones we consider to be the best:
Already built into the iPad operating system, iBooks has full compatibility with iPadOS. iBooks allows you to access the Apple iBook Store and choose from free or paid books. Features included with the app are text highlighting, the ability to add comments, change the font size, change the background color, and much more. It has compatibility with PDF files and automatically syncs with iCloud. If you have removed it from your iPad, you can download from the app store for free:
- Download iBooks – Free from the Official Apple AppStore
Bluefire Reader offers users the opportunity to access their own stored Acrobat files and other content. It has support for EPUB and PDF files too so you can easily put content on it from other locations, storing it all together in one easy place. Features include bookmarking, text highlighting, annotation, and you can take advantage of a night mode too. It is user-friendly and is free to download:
- Download Bluefire Reader – Free from Official Panda Helper AppStore
Arguably the best known and most used eReader app of all time, the Kindle app gives you access to thousands upon thousands of books. There are plenty of paid Kindle books and tons of free ones too. Kindle features include text highlighting, being able to annotate parts of the book, change the background color and font size, and a whole lot more. And with one of the top library management systems in the world, the Kindle app allows you to find a page in your book with a tap or two. You do need to sign up for an Amazon account if you don’t have one, but it is free, and the Kindle app is free too:
- Download Kindle App – Free from Official Amazon AppStore
Scribd is a popular online service with an app to go with it. Offering unlimited subscriptions at as little as $8.99 a month, you can access their massive library of thousands of free books, magazines, audiobooks, newspapers, research papers, and more. It comes with the features you expect, such as highlighting, annotating, bookmarking, and more and is free to download:
- Download Scribd – Free from Apple AppStore (Subscription required)
Google Play Books:
You can even use the Google Play Bok app on your iPad, taking advantage of access to unlimited comics, magazines, books, audiobooks, and more. You do need a Google account (free to set up) and will sync across all your devices, perfect if you use iOS and Android. It is another user-friendly, simple app and offers all the features you expect – highlighting, bookmaking, etc., as well as the ability to read on your desktop too.
- Download Google Play Books – Free from Apple AppStore
Our final choice is an app called OverDrive. If you frequent your local library, it might have come to your notice that it offers a digital media lending system for free. That is pretty much what OverDrive does – you can access and borrow books, audiobooks, magazines and more from any participating library without ever having to leave your home. Books are available 24/7, there is an automatic return feature, and you even get to create a Wishlist. You will need to have an account with a participating school, library, or other public institution.
- Download OverDrive – Free from Apple AppStore
Using the iPad to read books is becoming more and more popular. Listening to your favorite audiobooks is easy, and you even get the chance to store all your own documents in one place with some apps.
Are you using one of these or can you recommend another eReader app for the iPad?