Tablets are great for playing games, browsing the 'net and blasting through quick emails, but they're equally useful for catching up on the latest news and for kicking back on a lazy weekend morning with a good book or graphic novel. These are the best tablet apps for news and ebook reading.
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Google Play Books
Google Play Books is one of the best Android reading experiences you can get. Free with any Android tablet and pre-loaded with millions of free archival and historical books, as well as thousands of textbooks and a purchasing library of hundreds of thousands of new release titles, it's one of the best digital bookstores you'll find on Android.
You can even upload your own EPUB and PDF files into your online library, and read them on any device signed into your Google account. Font and text size are easily adjustable globally or per device, and even page turns look good with a smooth 3D effect whenever you're flicking forwards or backwards. There are even day, night and sepia modes to suit whatever lighting you're in.
Flipboard is a "social news magazine" — it's a self-curated list of the latest news stories, online magazine features and any other digital media that might be popular or trending around the 'net. You can customise your Flipboard account by telling it your preferences and personal interests, and then your Flipboard app will pick the most relevant stories.
There's a localised Australian edition of Flipboard that includes relevant Aussie news sites — like Gizmodo, Kotaku and Lifehacker Australia! — and you can build your own go-to list while browsing through Flipboard's wider selection by tapping the little + button next to any story you see. Samsung owners get a special 'Briefing' edition that delivers a regular daily news digest.
Challenger Comics Viewer
Challenger Comics is a completely free — not even any ads — comics and manga reader for Android. It supports all the popular digital comic book formats like CBZ and CBT, as well as the usual PDF and EPUB digital media formats for text files. Challenger is pretty straightforward; you just load your comic book files into a directory on your Android tablet and it'll read them.
It'll even show your digital comics arranged by title page. The best thing about Challenger Comics Viewer is how quick it is; there's no annoying lag while loading comics or when you're switching between pages. It'll even work on your phone, although you'll have to copy your comic library across to any secondary device you want to use.
If you've ever bought a digital book, chances are you already know all about Amazon Kindle — it's the world's largest digital book store, but also includes magazines and newspapers from titles around the world. With over a million new release and best seller titles available, as well as some of the most competitive pricing around, it's a good one-stop shop choice.
You can sample the first chapter of a book before you buy it, and you can look up words as you're reading through Wikpedia or Google — so you can learn as you're reading. Kindle also syncs your reading between devices, so if you're reading something on your phone while commuting, you can pick up your tablet at home and continue where you left off.
If you want a traditional, straightforward, no-frills ebook reader then Moon+ Reader should be your first choice. It's one of the highest-rated and most widely used ebook reading apps on the Google Play store, and for good reason — it's reliable, doesn't crash, and reads a wide variety of the most popular ebook formats and lets you adjust text and font as you go.
There's a $7 pro version that adds more features, but for the casual digital reader there's no reason not to try the free version first to see if it's enough for your needs. Just about the only issue you might run into is that the free Moon+ has an occasional ad; it's worth it for the app's excellent customisability and versatile format support.