Here is a list of e-book reading software, on several platforms, that are of interest to me personally.
The list arose because I had been using the Amazon Kindle app on a small Android, for which I had even purchased books, but a recent upgrade to the app has rendered it useless on the Android. (It became an extreme resource hog.) So I looked for alternatives.
I'm mostly interested in free/open-source software, and open data formats. The ePub format seems very reasonable to me, and has been catching on because it is very easy to implement. So I tried some ePub books on each app (that I could get running).
The bare minimum is to properly display the text in the book, along with images. A convenient table of contents, a nice cover image, and a way to enlarge and navigate images on small devices are also important.
In modern smartphone systems, good HTML/CVS compliance makes a big difference. The quality and extent of compliance varies widely among the apps.
Android testing done on a Samsung GT-I5500 with Android 2.3.7. Most recent changes June '14.
|Calibre||1.25||Kovid Goyal & al.||calibre-ebook||GPL||deb||good||good||beautiful; torturously slow|
|evince||3.4.0||GNOME||GPL||deb||-||-||-||no||PDF reader -- not really an e-book reader|
|Albite||2.2||Svetlin Ankov||J2ME||albite||Apache||jar||no||bad bug||OK1||good5||warnings opening files, S60 UI issues|
|Foliant||0.6.3?||J2ME||foliantapp||jar||?||bad bug||OK4||without cover page, displays. pretty controls|
|Bubue||1.20||bubue.com||?||no||OK2||OK1||bad||For Chinese? Un-symbian. Text breaks at every element. web site gone.|
|EReader||4.0.2||Barnes & Noble||ereader||prop.||sis||lots of extra libraries: Removes "Show All Apps" menu!?|
|Dorian||0.4.4||Qt||maemo||GPL||Qt-sis||?||?||couldn't get it installed|
|ionic||Akos Polster||Qt||github||GPL||Qt||?||?||Fork of Dorian, N9, N950 phones?|
|QReader||1.97||qreader||sisx||no||no||no luck with this. even messes up text|
|FBReader||1.10.3||Geometer Plus||Linux||geometer||GPL||QRDroid||yes||OK2||good||OK||good||very usable|
|Cool||3.1.2||Vadim Lopatim||crengine||GPL2||QRDroid||fails||good2||nice||good||good||very usable. Configurable...to a fault|
|Moon+||2.5.4||moondownload||adware||Play||poor||poor36||nice||poor||good7||kind of works. minimal CVS support, some images rendered in binary|
|Aldiko||3.0.4||Aldiko||aldiko||prop.||Play||no||poor3||poor1||good||OK4||v. 2.1.0 PNG scaling issues, screen drawing problems. v.3.0.4 July '14 -- PNG issues persist.|
|Play Books||prop.||Play||good||OK7||No access to local files.|
|Kindle||Amazon||Kindle||prop.||Play||none||DRM-locked. Recent vers non-functional bloat.|
|Kobo||4.2||Kobo||prop.||Play||No access to local files. V. 5.3 wants dev. and call info permission. Didn't install.|
|Bluefire||iOS||prop.||Play||poor||couldn't navigate directories. bad font size issues. recent version wants call info -- didn't install|
|Emviem||iOS||prop.||Play||?||poor32||bad||opens||terrible bug with font size. Stuck on huge.|
|ebiReader||1.2.2020||eBookJapan||prop.||Play||display size too small on Samsung GT-I5500|
|Mantano||prop.||Play||no install on Samsung GT-I5500|
1. No image scaling/navigation
On small devices, it is often necessary to scale images, and navigate them.
2. No SVG image
PNG image support is minimal-- prefer also JPEG and SVG images.
3. Cover image scaled badly
Cover image should be recognizible in thumbnails. Best to also offer a full view of image.
4. No ePub Table of Contents support
Crucial for proper reading of ePub documents.
5. Table of Contents titles missing
Some apps lose the titles of chapters in the TOC.
6. Puts cover image in Table of Contents
Some apps try to put the cover image in the TOC, even when it is explicitly excluded in the ePub <spine>.
7. CSS styling ignored
Author's ePub styling is ignored: typically a bad idea.