Tag Archives: Android

Let your iPhone or Android phone or tablet read that ebook aloud to you

2017-09-20

Listening to a book while doing something else is a fun and useful way to enjoy a good story or learn from a nonfiction book. Audible and other stores let you purchase audiobooks that have been narrated by professionals, often actors. Most book lovers already have a selection of ebooks, and it is not very tempting to re-purchase them as audiobooks. Here is how you can make your mobile device (iPhone or Android) read an ebook to you for free.

Android smartphone or tablet

Voice aloud reader, text to speech from ebook to audio

For Samsung, LG, Nokia, and all other smartphones and tablets that are powered by the Android software, there are many voice reader apps available at the Google Play Store. At the store, you may search, for instance, “voice reader” or “text to speech” for applications to download.

I have been using @Voice Aloud Reader on my Android tablet and phone. The way it works is that you specify the folders where you have your ebooks or any other texts stored. The app can also automatically scan the folders for ebooks.

Open the app, browse the ebooks and documents that are available for reading aloud. Choose anyone, and the app will read it to you. Play controls are available at the bottom of the screen.
Voice aloud reader, text to speech from ebook to audio
For EPUB ebooks, Voice Aloud Reader works really well. You can view the table of contents, jump to a chapter you want and the app will read it to you.

The app doesn’t come with its own voices, but it relies on voices that come with Android. It is possible to download additional voices from the Play Store as well.

The free version displays ads that can be removed by paying for an upgrade.

Apple iPhone and iPad

The app that can read text aloud to you is already on your iPhone and iPad. You just have to find it – it is well hidden into the iOS operating system’s menu system.

1. Open Settings.
Select General > Accessibility > Speech. Toggle on Speak Screen.

2. Open the ebook you want your iPhone or iPad read to you.

3. Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers.
It will take a moment before the audio starts, and a pop up window with buttons to control playback appears.

4. Change the reader’s voice.
Go back to Settings – Accessibility – Speech section, and open Voice. You will get choices for voices that read to you.

The feature works best with the iBooks application, but it works on any screen where you have texts. Just swipe down with two fingers. So, you can use it in the Kindle app and in the web browser, but it may read some irrelevant text, too.

The best apps for reading ebooks on smartphone and tablet

2016-06-26

Reading books on smartphones has increased along with the rising popularity of mobile devices that have bright, large, and sharp displays. Reading ebooks on a phone or tablet is convenient only if it is easy to download and read long texts on the device. And that is a job for an app. Which app?
reading ebook in kindle app on LG G3 smartphone
First, we will list most popular reading apps for Android (for instance, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony tablets and smartphones ) and Apple (iOS apps that run on iPad and iPhone) devices. Second, we will give a few tips how to choose the app that’s best for you.

All the applications can be downloaded fro Apple App Store and Google Play.

The following reading applications can open EPUB ebooks, and some can open HTML, TXT, PDF books and documents as well.

24 Symbols
Aldiko Book Reader
Bluefire Reader
Bookmate
FBReader
Google Play Books
Kobo Books
KyBook (Apple only)
Marvin (Apple only)
Moon+ Reader (Android only)
NeoSoar
Nook
Scribd
Universal Book Reader (Android only)

If you download your ebooks from the Amazon Kindle Store, you must have Amazon Kindle ereader app on your mobile device. Kindle app is available for PCs as well.

Kindle

If you purchase your books from the Apple iBooks Store, you have one choice only: Apple’s own ereading app that runs on Mac as well (in addition to the iPad and iPhone).

iBooks

Listening to books instead of reading is convenient on mobile devices as long as you remember to keep a headset with you. You need an app for that as well. Two audiobook services are popular:

Audible
Storytel

reading ebook in fbreader app on LG G3

Which ereading app is the best for you?

If you already are buying, or you are going to buy, your ebooks from Amazon Kindle Store, you must install the Kindle app. The same applies to Apple iBooks Store: if it is your bookstore, you must use the iBooks app.

If you are subscribing to a service that lets you read ebooks or listen to audiobooks for a monthly fee, you must use the application provided by the service. This applies to 24 Symbols, Audible, Bookmate, Scribd and Storytel.

Many book lovers purchase their ebooks where they happen to discover them or where they get the best deal. In addition to a must-have app, you should have an ereader application that can open EPUB and PDF books. FBReader may not pretty, but it can open many document formats. Google Play Books and Bluefire Reader are both fine EPUB and PDF reading apps.

Tips for traveling with a Wi-Fi only Apple iPad or Android tablet

2016-06-17

Having returned from a three-day road trip last night, a timely story published on Cnet caught my eye. Matt Elliott provides a few tips on traveling with a tablet that comes only with Wi-Fi connectivity. He has some good advice, but since the topic is fresh on my mind just now, I am going to add a few more tips.
navigation app on Apple iPad
Here are tips for traveling with a tablet (Android or iPad) that has Wi-Fi connectivity, but doesn’t have 3G or 4G mobile network access.

Five tips from Cnet:

1. Download books, music and movies you believe you need during the trip to the tablet before you leave. A 16GB or 32GB memory card provides plenty of extra space for Android tablets, whereas the Apple iPad doesn’t have a memory card slot at all.

2. Make maps available offline. Cnet recommends Google Maps, but I recommend Maps.me. It is the only navigation app that really works without an Internet connection. It really works. Before leaving, you have to download the maps for regions you are going to visit. All the other navigation apps that promise offline usage, like Google Maps and Here have always failed me – without an exception.

3. Turn off Wi-Fi if there is no signal available to preserve battery. Otherwise, your tablet constantly seeks for signal.

4. Turn on find my tablet -feature if your tablet comes with it.

5. Pack a protective case and a keyboard along with your tablet. Protective case is an essential accessory. If you are going to write anything longer than Twitter messages, get a Bluetooth keyboard – they are light and slim.

acer tablet with BLuetooth keyboard
Additional tips for traveling with a Wi-Fi only tablet from Klaava Media’s travel writers:

Learn how to use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. An Android phone can be turned into a hotspot in Settings-Tethering. Beware though, your phone’s battery will drain pretty quickly. We use this method for brief Internet access sessions only.

If you need regular Internet access, get a dedicated battery-powered Wi-Fi/4G router. We are using Huawei E5377Ts-32 that hasn’t failed us yet. It can also provide Internet access for your laptop.

A portable power pack is small and low-cost accessory to ensure your phone and tablet can be charged even in a situation when there is no power available.

If you will be driving, acquire a micro-USB charger that can take its power from the cigarette lighter. Both your phone and tablet can be recharged with this.