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Best iPhone apps to read and listen to books (comics too!)
July 18, 2009 Jamie Shiller iPhone Apps

Best iPhone ebook reader

Stanza is hands down the best ebook reader for the iPhone. The company that makes Stanza, Lexcyle was recently acquired by Amazon, so let’s hope they don’t mess it up.

With Stanza you can literally read ANY book. There are thousands of books in the public domain that can be downloaded directly from the app. If you’re after a book that’s not out of copyright, you can pay or pirate. Books can be purchased from the Fictionwise, BooksOnBoard, or O’Reilly.

Stanza offers a Mac desktop app which will convert ebook files and PDFs to Stanza format. You can then download the book to your iPhone through Stanza over wifi. Amazing!

Hint: Search for a name of a book plus the word ‘torrent’. Convert the ebook file to Stanza format and download from iPhone. If you can get over the small form factor, you’ll never need to buy a book again 😉


Best iPhone audio book player

The winner should have been the folks over at Librivox for their app called Audiobooks. Sadly, some silliness required them to disable the ability to download audio books to the iPhone. Now audio books can only be streamed. This is a real pain for subway commuters like myself. The alternative is an app called AudioBook Player from Almerica. I have no idea why these folks are still able to offer the download option when Librivox cannot. The app has been a bit buggy, but it’s improving.

Audiobooks appAudiobook Player app

Best iPhone comic book reader

I like ComicZeal. It’s the Stanza equivalent for comic books. It too has a Mac desktop app to convert files to be read by the app. While Stanza will not import images, obviously ComicZeal does.

ComicZeal LibraryWatchmen on ComicZeal

Best iPhone app to save web pages for later reading

The winner is definitely Instapaper. There’s a bookmarklet you can use on your desktop web browser to mark web pages to download to your iPhone. There’s a pro version, but I didn’t see a reason to buy it.


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