The Ultimate Guide on How to create a Reading App.
With the whole ‘save the environment’ movement going on, E-books have caught on to become one of the most sought-after means of infotainment. Replacing paperback and hardback books with something that you can carry in large numbers with you wherever you want has become the trend. Therefore, E-book readers and reading apps have obviously become some of the most profitable businesses to venture in, as has been proven by Amazon with the Kindle.
Getting a reading app also allows your existing business to explore new and untamed pastures. It gives you the benefit of adding an extra sales channel to your repertoire while helping you add consumers continuously since the web never goes offline. Brick and mortar stores are quickly transitioning from the traditional way of selling books to making them available online on stores and reading apps to boost their sales.
So, you’ve decided to give in to the hype. You want to create your own reading app, something that makes the competition bite the dust. Fair warning; it isn’t as easy as it sounds. For a reading app to be successful, it needs to have some special features that make it desirable, that make it stand apart from the competition. Ready to build such an app? Let’s get straight into it!
Essential features of any successful reading app
When it comes to developing the perfect reading app, there are some things that you just cannot miss. Let us have a look at them one by one.
1. Multiplatform, multi-format support
If you are developing a mobile app, then it is a given to support both Android and iOS, the two most popular mobile platforms out there today. Sticking to just one platform closes out a huge window of opportunity for you, therefore, it only makes sense to develop for both Android and iOS.
Also, integrate multi-format support into your app. Basic readable formats, such as pdf, epub, lit, azw and mobi formats should be readable in your app so that users face no hassle even when reading books imported from their personal library onto your app.
2. Sufficient storage
Reading app users, naturally, aren’t going to stick to a handful of books to read. Some of them might store hundreds or even thousands of books on their devices, therefore, it only makes sense to allow users the capabilities to do so. Cloud storage, for instance, is a good starter here, as it doesn’t use up device storage of the user, and is pretty easy to integrate. On-demand downloading of user-favorite books should also be made available.
3. Integration of social networks
The world lives and breathes on social networks these days. Therefore, integrating popular social network support such as Facebook and Instagram, for both login and post sharing capabilities, would be a nice feature to integrate into your reading app. This helps users share their favorite moments and quotes from books instantly, and also allows them to create accounts and login without any hassles.
4. Night mode and/or comfortable reading modes
It is obvious that people are going to read books for a long stretch at times. To avoid strain on their eyes, your reading app should offer comfortable display settings that allow readers to go on for hours and hours without harming their eyes.
For those night owls, your app should offer a night mode to aid in comfortable and stress-free reading. You don’t want your users to have their heads aching after just 30 minutes of reading, do you?
Other features to give you the edge over the competition
We’ve talked about the essential features that your reading app must have. This is true for all reading apps, and most of the options out there will already have these features. So, what will make your app special? What is the X-factor that will drive your app into millions of downloads? Let’s have a look at some potential cutting-edge features.
- Translation services.
Some of your readers might love to read books by foreign authors, but do not understand the language too well. If your app offers real time translations, this would allow your users to understand each and every part of the book, and enjoy it even better than before.
Say you have an user, let’s call him Dave, he is very much into Russian culture and their ancient history. But Dave here, though somewhat understands the language, still finds it hard to comprehend it totally. Wouldn’t he love if you could translate it altogether? He certainly would.
- Allowing users to upload and share their own E-books.
Sometimes users want to share their own creations with the community, or share some offline books with their friends and family. Therefore, allowing your users to upload their own books and share them with the community would be a great idea. Few reading apps do this already, so if you figure it out, you could be one of the first ones to make it work on a large scale.
- Personalized and customized reading options.
Based on user habits, your app could recommend books to users and filter content according to their choices and interests. For instance, if a user of yours has a history of reading science fiction books, then it might not be the best idea to suggest romantic titles to them, would it? (This is strictly a generalization)
All of us want personalized content today. If your reading app provides this to its users, then perhaps you’ve won 90% of the battle!
So, you now know what to put into your app. What’s next?
Go on and develop the app! Hire developers to do the job for you, or if you can, do it yourself. This is a project that will take a lot of time and money, so make your choices wisely. Get your partnerships right, make those calls, and get content for your reading app.
Then consider adding all the necessary features first. Multiplatform and multi-format support should be a prime priority, followed by social media integration and storage. Then the night mode and other display settings can be added, once you perfect the aforementioned features.
While developing the app, however, do not forget the role that UI and UX play in any app’s success. Get your designers to understand the needs of your customers and then design the layout in a specific manner. A successful and popular app is always easy to use, caters to user needs and is very simple. Designers have a task at hand in getting the UI and UX perfect, but it must be done in order to ensure success.
Design elements, such as animations and transitions are also important for the overall experience of your app. Smooth flow of action, easy transitions and simple action calls are what makes an app successful. What will be the use of integrating all the aforementioned features into your reading app if you cannot make your app easy to use for users?
This is all it takes to make a great reading app!
Get the basics right, integrate social media into your app, get enough content for your reading app, form meaningful, strategic and synergic partnerships, and then add some extra oomph to your app. This is pretty much the only formula to making a perfect reading app, and this is exactly what you should follow if you want to make the best killer reading app out there!
Learn from the greats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, follow in their footsteps, but stay true to yourself. A perfect reading app is not dictated by its creator, but rather by its users. Understand what your users want, and give it to them. Who knows, maybe after you create your reading app, you may also create the next Kindle?