Your iPhone might be the computer you use the most, whether it’s for work, play, or relaxing with a movie. But what about taking advantage of written content? This is where the best eReader apps come in.
Whether it’s a colorful comic book, the latest non-fiction in your Amazon library, or a page-turner recommended by a friend, it’s never been easier to enjoy a book through your phone. With the increasing size of iPhones and the beautiful OLED displays of the iPhone 13 series, your content comes to life like never before.
With that in mind, here are our picks for the best reading apps you’ll find on iOS. And since a tablet will likely be even better for most, all of the apps listed here have iPadOS versions as well.
To light up
To light up (opens in a new tab) stands for e-book reading, with Amazon offering its own series of devices to do just that. This association may have buried the lede for some iPhone users, who may not have noticed that there is a Kindle app on the App Store. And the good news is that it’s awesome.
The app offers over a million books, and if you’re already an Amazon user who’s purchased books before, your entire library will be ready to go right off the bat. Prime and Kindle Unlimited users can also grab free books as well as those included in their subscription, plus Audible functionality so you can listen to your books.
You’ll find nifty features like instant Wikipedia search and translations, a built-in dictionary, and your progress will even sync with other devices.
Not sure what you want to read or don’t feel like getting into a book you might not like? Scribd (opens in a new tab) has long been the “Netflix for Books”, a subscription service that offers unlimited ebooks for $8.99/£10.99.
And that’s not all. Scribd also provides access to audiobooks, magazines, and even sheet music. Sticking to written content, however, the app will sync across your iPhone, iPad, and even your Apple Watch, letting you grab your content wherever you are. Additionally, the player itself is incredibly customizable. You can set horizontal or vertical scrolling, font size, and annotate pages without worrying about sticky notes.
Finally, Scribd is ad-free, which means more screen space for your content, your library, and the chance to discover your next favorite book.
One of the first darlings of the iPad App Store, ComiXology (opens in a new tab) is another entry on this list for Amazon – and yes, you’ll need an Amazon login to read. It’s a shame, but it regularly comes with the benefit of free numbers.
If you’re a comic book reader, it’s hard to beat ComiXology, which includes Marvel, DC, and more, whether you’re a fan of superheroes, manga, or whatever. Digital comics come straight out of the screen on the latest iPhones, delivering a truly immersive feeling with Guided View.
This smart mode moves from panel to panel, meaning you can spend less time flicking your screen and more time reading about Justice League or Avengers adventures.
No longer known as iBooks and no longer offering that skeuomorphic shelf design, Apple’s own bookstore is well worth checking out, and it’s already on your device by default.
As you can imagine, the library has all the newest and greatest, as well as the classics, and the audiobooks are high quality and CarPlay compatible. You can also add your own documents, so if you have a large PDF to process, you can do so with Apple’s beautiful and minimal user interface.
There are also reading goals, and all of your progress is synced across your Apple devices, including the Mac.
If you’re not looking for the kind of item you’ll find in your local bookstore, and you’re more interested in finding the next Dickens or Bronte, so maybe Wattpad (opens in a new tab) is for you.
Wattpad collects the best original stories from aspiring authors and makes them accessible, with loads of free content to read. You can even upload your own budding bestseller for others to enjoy.
However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need a premium subscription to sync progress between devices, which will cost you $5.99/£5.99.
Half reader, half social network for reading fans, Kobo Books (opens in a new tab) provides a great reading experience with a touch.
You can read, highlight, annotate and more; but it comes into its own with the “Read Life” feature, which will allow you to build a community. Think of it as a book club within your app, with millions of books to read and audiobooks to listen to, combined with people to chat with.
There are also a large number of free titles, so it’s worth jumping on them to see if anything piques your interest.
Libby, by OverDrive
If you are looking for a more authentic library experience, Libby (opens in a new tab) has you covered – not only can you read your own content, but you can borrow books for a period of time instead of buying them outright.
You can even annotate and take notes on your borrowed books, all without worrying about paying high fees to deface them. Progress syncs across devices, but you’ll need to use a library card to log in (yes, really), and content is limited to what your visited library has to offer.
Still, there’s something oddly bizarre about Libby’s approach that makes us miss the library.
For our final entry on this list, we’ve gone with something a bit unique – an e-reader app that tries to prevent you from reading a book in its entirety.
Alright, support us here. Turn signal (opens in a new tab)Neuroscientific research from suggests that you can soak up much of what a book has to offer in about 15 minutes. For this purpose, the app provides book summaries, either by text or audiobooks. If that sounds like cheating, it might not be for you. However, if you’re short on time or want to dig deeper into a conversation topic, it might be worth a look.
Still, this unique approach means Blinkist has a smaller library than most of the alternatives here.