eBooks vs iPhones – is reading on a mobile phone good enough?

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This has been touted as the year of the e-Book, but e-Books and Readers are still relatively niche products in terms of sales. Many more people will have smartphones than specialised reading gadgets, meaning that they have to carry (and buy) fewer gadgets. So is reading on a phone an acceptable alternative to eBooks or paper? Would you get stuck into Lord of the Rings on your phone? Taking the iPhone as an example of a popular smartphone, let’s run-down the pros and cons of reading on your phone.

Three reasons why reading on the iPhone is good enough:

1. It’s a nice screen – app developers know exactly what screen their app is going on to and custom build it to fit. A simple layout means that it is a-okay to read a column of text.
2. Pulling an iPhone out on a busy bus or train is so much simpler, it’s a one hand job, you don’t need to cup it with both. Getting an 10″ device out of your bag is more fiddly.
3. It’s got 3G, it has got wifi, if you’ve got signal you’ll always be able to get the internet, there’s a well set-up connection with iTunes (or other app stores for different phones) you don’t need to fiddle around trying to download books from different stores, or pay for a separate 3G subscription if you want internet on the move.

Three reasons why reading on the iPhone is a pain in the ass and you’d be better with an eBook:
1. E-readers use ink substitute e-ink, the screen doesn’t glare and it’s much easier on the eye. On yes and the screen is bigger.
2. The battery goes on smartphones very quickly, particularly if you’re using a lot of functions.
3. Someone texts you while you’re reading on your iPhone and you reply or take a call and you have to shut the books application down, go back open it again having lost your place. Grr etc. Okay, multi-purpose gadgets save space but it can get really annoying.

Any thoughts? Vote below:

Related: Samsung eBooks are great: paper-like and pleasurable to use

Anna Leach


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