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eBook Reader Devices and Apps Comparison

Smartphone reading applications may be able to steal more of the market share from eBook readers if they can offer the same (or even more) functionality as eBook readers. Some desired functionalities, especially for those reading material for academic purposes, include the ability to highlight material and make notes, see a concise summary or all annotations, bookmark material, sharing options, text search, PDF support, and access to 3rd party resources like dictionaries.

This table discusses functionality of eBook readers and apps, particularly those that are important for academic users. Amazon Kindle DX, for example, has a larger screen than the Kindle 2 and is geared toward academic users. Other sources provide information on the technical and hardware specifications for various devices, such as http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix.

Functionality

eBook Readers

 

 

Apps

 

 


Amazon Kindle1

Sony Digital Reader Daily Edition2

Barnes & Noble Nook3

Kindle app (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry)4

Kobo (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm Pre)5

iBooks (iPhone OS 4, iPad)6

Annotations

Highlights, notes and clippings. Cap at 7-10% of book. Not available for PDFs.

Highlights and notes (including freehand option). Can search highlights.

Highlights and notes. Not available for PDFs.

Highlights and notes. Not available for Blackberry app.

No

Highlights and notes.

Summary of annotations

Saves locations of highlights to text file to view on a computer.

Export notes to your computer.

Can view all annotations on a page, but not for an entire book.

Saves locations of highlights to text file to view on a computer.

No

Yes

Bookmarking

Yes, but not available for PDFs. Synchronizes across devices.

Yes

Yes. Bookmarks synchronize with  Nook app.

Yes. Synchronizes across devices.

Yes

Yes

Share books with others

No

Can authorize up to 6 devices per book, but not allowed to share with other accounts

Can lend books to 1 friend for up to 14 days

No

No

No

Search

Yes. Search within a book or entire library.

Search title names.

Search within a book.

Search within a book (iPhone only)

No

Yes

PDF reader

Yes, though does not support PDF annotation, zoom, or clicking on links

Yes

Yes. Does not support annotations.

No

No

Yes

Folder navigation

Yes (called "collections")

3rd party tools for folder organization

No

No

No

No

3rd party linking or search

Ability to search Google, Wikipedia, or Dictionary

Dictionary

Dictionary

Dictionary, Google, and Wikipedia search coming soon.

No

Dictionary

Other

View most popular highlights. Text to speech option.

Supports ePub. Partners with OverDrive to connect to library eBooks. Supports Word and .rtf documents.

Supports ePub.

 

 

 

1 http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375850
2 http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665562069&storeId=10151#features
3 http://the-gadgeteer.com/2009/12/14/barnes-noble-nook-ebook-reader-review/
4 http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200298480
5 http://www.kobobooks.com/smartphones
6 http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/ibooks.html

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