Moon+ Reader (app review)
February 13, 2013 | 7:54 pm
By Juli Monroe
Remember how I wrote that Whispersync was so important that I’d put up with a less feature-full app to have syncing between my Touch and Nexus 7? Oh, how things change.
After Moon+ Reader was reinstated in the app store, I bought a copy to play around with. I figured it would be like other e-reading apps I’ve tried: I’ll use it for a couple of books, but find it’s just not compelling enough to make me switch from the Kindle app.
Not so with Moon+ Reader. It’s a great app, and worth taking the extra step of manually syncing between my Kindle Touch and Moon+ Reader.
Why is it so good?
Well, let’s start with a quick overview of some of the main features of the app. It has a lot of flexibility for viewing your books. You can adjust fonts, margins, background colors, text colors and almost any other option you can think of. It works with Ivona if you want text to speech.
Unlike many other readers, it supports multiple file formats, including Mobi. It doesn’t read .azw, however, so if you buy books from Amazon, you’ll still have to convert to Mobi or EPUB to load them in Moon+.
You can personalize controls. For example, I set the app to return to my bookshelf when I hit “Volume up.” If you prefer a hard control for page turns, you can use volume up and down buttons to turn pages.
One warning: As with many powerful apps with lots of features, there is a learning curve. For example, loading books into the app can be tricky. Or rather, loading is easy, but getting them to display on your bookshelf can get interesting. I’ve found something that works, but it’s probably not the most elegant method. I do find myself wishing for the easy Marvin integration with Dropbox. That app spoiled me quickly with its easy import. Moon+ does integrate with Dropbox, but not as elegantly. You can also set it to work with an OPDS server (like Calibre), but I haven’t tested that feature yet.
If you’re like me and want to explore features, you’ll probably spend your first hour or so just wandering through the settings screen going, “hmm … wonder what that does?”
Now for my favorite features:
Do you have a particular page layout style you like? For example, I prefer single spacing with indented paragraphs. Moon+ allows me to specify that as a default setting, and the app will automatically format each book that I load with those settings. One of the books I loaded had triple spacing between paragraphs (yuck!), and Moon+ eliminated all the extra spaces.
Then there’s the actual reading experience. I like a few pieces of information when I’m reading: time; percentage through the book; and how long until I finish a chapter. However, I like those features to be subtle. I have them all on my Kindle Touch, but they’re too prominent at the bottom of my screen. I catch myself almost obsessively checking my percentages.
As you’ll see from the screenshot above, Moon+ gives me all that (plus battery percentage–cool!), but it’s unobtrusive at the bottom. I can look at it if I want, and ignore it if I don’t. I can also hide the progress bar if I really want to immerse myself in a long, relaxed reading session.
Note that the app does not support any DRM-protected books, but I’m certain most of the readers of this site know how to work around that.
Moon+ Reader is still on sale through the end of the month. If you’re looking for an extremely versatile, customizable e-reading app, look no further.