APP OF THE DAY: Blloon makes reading eBooks easier, more enjoyable (and free)

Blloon is a brand new app that aims to make reading eBooks easier and more enjoyable for those who don’t want to commit to pricey online services.

Built for iOS, Blloon allows its users to ‘earn’ eBooks by sharing, recommending and reviewing what they’ve already read, which is what makes it stand out against similar offerings.

So for example, recommending that book you’ve just read to a mate will earn you extra pages, as does inviting someone else to try out Blloon and following the brand on Twitter, or just providing a mini review of how you’ve found the service. Of course, if you would rather just pay and do away with the gaming element of the app, you can get top-ups for a small price or become a premium member – but where’s the fun in that…

Designed specially with young people in mind, Blloon believes it can appeal to a generation that wants to read but doesn’t usually find the time. The answer? A slick-looking gamified experience on the thing that youngsters value the most: their mobile phones.

Thomas Leliveld, the CEO and founder of Blloon said: ‘We know that young people are keen readers, we know that they occasionally read eBooks but we didn’t believe there was a platform out there that provided these things in a way that fits into their lifestyle. Blloon is a simple concept, presented in a great looking app, designed to live on the device that young people carry everywhere with them.’

Downloading the app is free and you’re given 1000 pages to get you started, which we guess is more than enough to decide whether the service and the app experience is a good fit for you. Another key consideration is whether it’s ‘stocking’ the titles you’re interested in. More are expected to be added as the app gains momentum, but at launch the selection is pretty decent to get you going.

In the long run the gaming element of Blloon may get a little frustrating (especially if you’re half way through a novel and you’re desperate to find out what happens next!), but other services would probably cram in ads or restrict reading time to justify the free pages. Instead, we can’t think of a better way to provide youngsters with free reading materials from the get-go than giving them a simple gaming experience on their mobiles.

You can download Blloon for your iPhone or iPad from the iTunes store.

Do you think Blloon will be a hit among today’s short-attention-spanned youth? Let us know in the comments below.

Becca Caddy