When I was gifted the Amazon Kindle the Christmas before last, I was not able to bond with it as much as I thought I would. The user experience was not what I was accustomed too. I couldn’t get used to the non-touch-screen interface. This was in the days before the iPad and I had been doing a lot of casual reading on an iPhone app called Wattpad. It got to me first, and it hooked me.
Wattpad is founded by two Canadians, Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. It is an ebook community for reading and publishing ebooks on the web and mobile phones. Last month Apple listed Wattpad as one of the top free apps of all time. It is also the number one eReading app in BlackBerry’s App World. Over 1 Million Wattpad apps are downloaded every month.
My Kindle soon found its way back on Amazon a few weeks after. The next month after the iPad came out. I did not purchase the iPad, even though that was the plan, mostly because it was super expensive. However my casual reading needs were adequate met by the Wattpad app. I am currently reading Rich Dad Poor Dad.
The app is free to download on most smart phones. Once the app has downloaded you can search for a book or browse by category, from their collection of 100,000 free books. There is also a handy section on the app for quick reference; lists of featured books and books that are new / hot.
After you decide which story to read you hit save and it adds to your library. You can manually scroll down the pages or turn on the auto scroll and adjust the speed you want the text to move and viola hands free reading. It also lets you post stories to Facebook and comment in the Wattpad community. The feature however I am most addicted to is the in-depth personalization of text. In settings you can control the size of the font and the background color. You can navigate away from the book you’re reading at any time and when you return, it remembers where you were, even whilst reading multiple books.
The downside to this app is that their are lots of annoying adverts on the main pages but luckily no ads in the text.
Wattpad is easy to use, social and is always pinned to the front page of my iPhone.