freda - dec 2015

The Freda Ebook Reader, one of my favorite Windows 10 e-reading apps, is now out in a Windows Universal version for desktop, mobile and tablet, according to Turnipsoft developer Jim Chapman.

Freda continues to intrigue me because of the ease of downloading goodies from such places as Project Gutenberg—just look at the enticing screen shot. It even integrates with the Calibre e-book management program.

I know. The Windows Phone platform may or may not take off—so far the pessimists are prevailing. But it isn’t as if Windows, in one form or another, is just going to vanish. I tried Freda on an Asus TP200S convertible laptop-tablet, which I snapped up for $200 over the Black Friday weekend from the Microsoft Store.

On the whole, Freda was a pleasure to use. It does have some rough spots. At least the version I downloaded was not giving me the choice of all-text bold (Amazon, do you really think you’re the only one I’m picking on in this regard?). But Freda offers scads of other options.

What’s more, the text to speech on the Asus was outstanding (although I would have liked to have a speed control handy).

Here’s more, from Chapman:

Freda has been available since 2009 when it was launched on Windows Mobile, and has provided an efficient and customisable system for reading ebooks in ePub, FB2 and TXT format on Windows Phone 7, 7.5, 8 and 8.1, and on Windows 8 and 8.1. The app’s features include:

  • Customisable controls, fonts and colours
  • Highlighting, bookmarks and annotations
  • Integration with on-line catalogs – Feedbooks, Smashwords, Gutenberg …
  • Connection to your Microsoft OneDrive and DropBox accounts for downloading book files
  • Linkage to your Calibre book library
  • Opening books from websites and email attachments, and from files anywhere on your device
  • Synchronisation of your reading position across all the devices you are using
  • The OpenDyslexic font and a range of dyslexic-friendly settings, for use by readers who are affected by dyslexia

The updated app takes full advantage of Direct2D graphics, allowing book pages to be rendered extremely rapidly (hold down the ‘down-arrow’ key on your PC, and you will see more than twenty pages flickering past each second, as Freda progresses through the book). Of course, you can also navigate though the book using any of: cross-reference links, bookmarks, table of contents, and a simple ‘go to page’ feature.

The new synchronisation feature means that if you’re reading the same book on your tablet and on your phone, you can leave off reading on one device, and pick up on another device, without having to hunt round and find what page you had got to. Freda synchronises between devices using lightweight files stored in a special ‘Freda’ folder on your OneDrive. A backup/restore function also exists, and allows the selective transfer of Freda’s settings, bookmarks and library information between your various Windows devices.

For further details, take a look at the manual , and if you have any questions or ideas about the app, I ( would be glad to hear from you.


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