Your iPhone may be the computer you use the most, whether that’s for work, play, or relaxing with a movie. But what about for enjoying written content? That’s where the best ereader apps come in.
Whether it’s a comic book bursting with color, the latest non-fiction from your Amazon library, or a page-turner recommended by a friend, it has never been easier to enjoy a book via your phone. With iPhones growing in size, and including beautiful OLED displays across the iPhone 13 series, your content comes to life like never before.
With that in mind, here are our picks for the best ereader apps you’ll find on iOS. And since a tablet will likely be even better for most, all of the apps listed here have iPadOS versions, too.
Kindle is synonymous with reading digital books, with Amazon offering its own series of devices for doing just that. That association may have buried the lede for some iPhone users, who may not actually have spotted that there’s a Kindle app on the App Store. And the good news is that it’s great.
The app offers more than a million books, and if you’re already an Amazon user who's picked up books before, your entire library will be ready to go from the off. Prime and Kindle Unlimited users can also grab free books as well as those included in their membership, alongside Audible functionality so you can listen to your books.
You’ll find nifty features such as instant Wikipedia lookup and translations, a built-in dictionary, and your progress will even sync to other devices.
Not sure what you fancy reading, or not keen on splashing out on a book you may not like? Scribd has long been the “Netflix for books”, a subscription service that offers unlimited ebooks for $ 8.99/£10.99.
And that's not all. Scribd also delivers access to audiobooks, magazines, and even sheet music. Sticking with written content, though, the app will sync across your iPhone, iPad, and even your Apple Watch, letting you pick up your content wherever you are. In addition, the reader itself is impressively customizable. You can set horizontal or vertical scroll, font size, and annotate pages without worrying about sticky notes.
Finally, Scribd is ad-free, which means more room on-screen for your content, library, and the chance to discover your next favorite book.
An early darling of the iPad’s app store, ComiXology is another entry on this list for Amazon – and yes, you’ll need an Amazon login to be able to read. That’s a shame, but it does come with the benefit of free issues on a regular basis.
If you’re a comic reader, it’s hard to beat ComiXology, which features Marvel, DC and plenty more – whether you’re a fan of superheroes, manga, or anything else. The digital comics pop right off the screen on the latest iPhones, delivering a feel of real immersion with Guided View.
This clever mode moves from panel to panel, meaning you can spend less time thumbing at your screen and more time reading the adventures of the Justice League or Avengers.
No longer known as iBooks, and no longer offering that skeuomorphic bookshelf design, Apple’s own book store is well worth a look, and it’s already on your device by default.
As you can imagine, the library is stocked with all of the latest and greatest, alongside the classics, plus audiobooks are high-quality – and CarPlay compatible. You can also add your own documents, so if you have a hefty PDF to work through then you can do so with Apple’s gorgeous and minimal UI.
There are reading goals, too, and all of your progress syncs across your Apple devices, including the Mac.
If you’re not looking for the kind of article you’d find in your local bookstore, and are instead more interested in finding the next Dickens or Brontë, then perhaps Wattpad is for you.
Wattpad collects the best original stories from budding authors and makes them discoverable, with a wealth of free content to read. You can even upload your own budding bestseller for others to enjoy.
However, it's worth noting that you’ll need a premium membership to sync progress between devices, which will set you back $ 5.99/£5.99.
Part ereader, part social network for reading fans, Kobo Books offers an excellent reading experience with a twist.
You can read, highlight, annotate and more; but it really comes into its own with the “Reading Life” feature, which will let you build a community. Think of it as a book club within your app, with millions of books to read and audiobooks to listen to, combined with people to discuss them with.
There are also a huge number of free titles, so it’s worth hopping on to see if anything piques your interest.
Libby, by OverDrive
If you’re looking for a more authentic library experience, Libby has you covered – not only can you read your own content, but you can borrow books for a period instead of buying them outright.
You can even annotate and make notes on your borrowed books, all without the fear of incurring a heavy fee for defacing them. Progress syncs across devices, but you will need to use a library card to log in (yes, really), and content is restricted to what your visited library has to offer.
Still, there’s something strangely quirky about Libby’s approach that makes us miss the library.
For our final entry on this list, we opted for something a little unique – an ereader app that tries to stop you from reading a book in its entirety.
Okay, bear with us here. Blinkist’s neuroscientific research suggests you can absorb much of what a book has to offer in around 15 minutes. To that end, the app provides summations of books, either through text or via audiobooks. If that sounds like cheating then this may not be for you. However, if you have limited time or want to brush up on a conversation piece, it could be worth a look.
Still, this unique approach does mean that Blinkist has a smaller library than most of the alternatives here.
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