iPad App Review: MegaReader 2.0 Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Inkstone Software made a splash in the iOS app world with QuickReader, an ebook reader with speed reading. Their MegaReader ebook reader focuses on large free ebook sources that are not being utilized easily by the built-in iBooks, and makes it very easy to grab any free ebook from some of the most popular online sources. MegaReader 2.0 has some major improvements for the iPad including running natively and multi-column support.
As an ebook reader app, MegaReader 2.0 has most of your page layout needs covered. The iPad version even has two page layout, a feature few 3rd-party ebook reader app has but loved by fans of iBooks. Page turning is quick and easy: tap on the right side of the screen to advance in the book or left to go back. Want to change the display themes and colors? No problem. MegaReader 2.0 offers 19 different color schemes like Eggplant, Contrast Day, Contrast Night, Cotton Candy, etc.; some make reading easier but others make your eyes tired quicker. Fonts too have lots of options and sizes, and you can also customize page margins, line spacing and more.
Needless to say, for page display MegaReader gives you plenty of flexibility and customizable features. The menus are also easily accessible. When you tap on a center of a page, the menu bars pop up on top and bottom of the page, offering shortcuts to Chapter list, page settings, start to speed read and more. Since Inkstone has a history making speed reading app, MegaReader will also give you the option to do some speed reading while you are in the middle of a book. Just tap the center of a page to bring up the speed reading option.
While MegaReader offers a nice setting of display options and features, where it really shines is the easy access to nearly 2 million free ebooks online. The ebook reader comes with hooks to 6 major online free ebook catalogs including Gutenberg, Smashwords, Feedbooks, Munseys and more. With these catalogs literately at your fingertips, it?s safe to say you will find any classics from authors around the world ranging from Shakespeare to the Bible to The Art of War. One nice thing about these sources is that they usually have good layouts and formatting so that the books don?t have weird characters or layouts that might make reading difficult. You can also import your own DRM free ePub books using Calibre, a leader in ebook converter and desktop manager.
To sweeten the deal a bit, MegaReader comes with 25 free books already downloaded for you. Downloading books takes very little time, for example, downloading Charles Dickens? A Christmas Carol from Project Gutenberg takes about 3-5 seconds. After you download it, you can read it immediately by hitting the ?Read? button on the top right corner. Grabbing free ebooks doesn?t get easier than this. Want to share what you are reading with your friends on Facebook? There is a menu button on the bottom of the page will take you to Facebook.
While MegaReader can remember where you were last in a book, it doesn?t offer a bookmark feature. So if you want to bookmark a few places in a book to go back to, like you do in iBooks, you can?t. Most books we downloaded have a chapter listing which allows you to jump to each chapter directly.
Another missing feature that might be essential to readers who like to copy quotes from books is copy and paste. So if you want to pick some passages in a book and put them into your quotes folder, you can?t do that with the books in MegaReader. You can however use the Pasteboard in MegaReader to paste texts you?ve copied elsewhere to create a mini-book of your own.
Readers who enjoy iBooks? bookshelf style of display of your library will not find that feature in MegaReader. But MegaReader is integrated with iBookshelf, a 3rd-party paid app that shows your books in an ?album art? style with book covers. Once you install iBookshelf, the books you downloaded in MegaReader will show up there.
MegaReader is an excellent ebook reader for those who like to read free classics offered by various online sources. The bonus is having them on an iPad so you can carry them with you wherever you go. Downloading these free ebooks is extremely easy and most books have excellent layout and formatting when displayed in MegaReader. As an ebook reader, MegaReader has enough features to satisfy most users. The lack of bookmarks and copy and paste in books might turn some users away. Regardless, for a price that?s cheaper than a cup of coffee, you are getting millions of books and can take them with you anywhere you go.
Pros: Extremely easy to get to millions of free books, good selections of fonts, sizes and themes, sharing on Facebook is built-in.
Cons: No bookmarks except the last place you read, no copying of text from books.