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.

E-Book Readers
vers developer alt. OS URL license pkg links cover PNG text ePub problems
Calibre 1.25 Kovid Goyal & al. calibre-ebook GPL deb good good beautiful; torturously slow
FBReader 1.5.5 Geometer Plus Android geometer GPL deb yes - good OK
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 ? 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. 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.
Albite working Svetlin Ankov Symbian albite Apache
Play Books Google 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
Cool Android


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.