Aldiko eBook app for Android adds support for public library books

Aldiko has rolled out a major update to its free eBook reader for Android. The company launched Aldiko Premium 2.0 a few weeks ago, but now most of the changes are also available in the free version of the popular eBook app.

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The user interface has been overhauled, with a new home screen that lets you quickly access your personal book library in list or bookshelf view, visit online book stores, personal catalogs, or import books from an SD card. The book import feature has been improved, allowing users to choose individual files or select a folder on their SD cards. Previously you had to put all the books you wanted to import into a folder labeled “import.”

Aldiko 2.0 also adds support for PDF files in addition to EPUB files. There’s support for copy and paste, text selection, hyphenation, and improved font selection.

The thing I’ve been most excited about is support for Adobe DRM, which lets you read public library books or titles purchased from book stores that use Adobe’s digital rights management system — much as you can do with the Bluefire eBook Reader app for iOS. You have to jump through a few complicated steps to download books with Adobe DRM though. You can’t just copy them straight from your computer to an SD card to import as you would with DRM-free books.

  1. Download the .acsm file for the book from your library or book store — this is not the book, but rather the key you need to download the full book.
  2. Copy the .acsm file to your SD card.
  3. Use a file manager such as ASTRO to locate the .acsm file on your SD card.
  4. Tap the file, and if you’ve already entered your Adobe credentials in Aldiko 2.0, the book should automatically be downloaded and added to your book shelf.

I actually prefer the ES File Explorer app to ASTRO, since I think it has a more attractive user interface, but ES didn’t know what to do with the .acsm files I tried. ASTRO, which is a much more powerful file manager is clearly the way to go here, although other apps may work.

Overall Aldiko 2.0 appears to be a decent upgrade for existing Aldiko users. There are more customization options, and the Adobe DRM support could eliminate the need to install several other eBook apps on your phone, such as the OverDrive Media Console or NOOK app.  But the app feels a bit more sluggish than earlier versions times, especially when opening books.

Aldiko 2.0 is available as a free download from the Android Market.

thanks Pepekraft!

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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