This week on  @SAFM with @AshrafGarda I will be chatting about the best apps for reading or consuming content. As a mobile and growing smartphone society I have picked out my current top 5 apps that are the best in user experience 

1. Audible –

Available on : iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle Device, Stream on PC/Mac

Price : Free but you need $15 subscription/month (30 day trial)

Audible is an audio book app which is owned by Amazon. The benefits of audio books

  • increases productivity during workouts, commutes, household chores (such as everyone’s pet hate – ironing)
  • transforms the reading experience as you have narrators bringing the story alive.

You can try out the app without signing up  (there are some free excerpts) and if you already have an amazon account you can sign up with that. The discovery feature is brilliant as you will get personalised recommendations based on what you listen to (this is powered by Amazon’s very powerful recommendation engine). There are currently about 180K titles to choose from.


2. Kindle –

Available on : iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle Device, Stream on PC/Mac

Price : Free  and you purchase the books you want.

Amazon’s Kindle store has an extensive catalogue and likely has the book you want. You will need to download the kindle app, then sign in with your amazon account. The best features of this app

  • sync pages on one device and continue reading on another.
  • look up the meanings of words
  • highlighting (particular useful for textbooks)
  • browse books before purchasing (virtual book experience)
  • borrow ebooks from libraries that support this (overseas)
  • magazines and news papers are also available.
  • recommendation engine driven like the the Audible app.

3. Pocket –

Available on : iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone

Price : Free

This app is integrated with over 1500 popular apps such as Twitter,  Flipboard, Pulse, The app will save your reading list, syncing from your desktop browser to the mobile app. Pocket allows you to store anything you want to read from these apps for reading later , even if you don’t have internet access – perfect for offline storage, especially when travelling.  There is a premium version which is paid for where the saved resources are more permanent and you are able to search easily for what you want – this could be useful for researchers.


4. Medium –

Available on : iOS

Price : Free

This is essentially a blog publishing platform created by the founder of Twitter. If niche content is what you are looking for then Medium is the platform for you. Medium is a community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideals large and small.  The app is simple to use as a contributor and user. Reading lists are custom-tailored to your interests based on who you follow. The app also allows you to edit and publish easily as it syncs with the functionality of the web. Additional useful features includes highlighting relevant text that appeals to you. At the start of a post, there is also an indicator of how long the piece will take to read.

5. Quartz –

Available on : iOS and Apple Watch

Price : Free

This is my favourite news consumption app at the moment. News is presented as an ongoing conversation taking the form of a texting UI.  The app will send you messages, photos, GIFs, and links, and you can tap to respond when you’re interested in learning more about a topic. Each session lasts just a few minutes, so it’s perfect for the the moments when you want to catch up on the news. The more you use the app, the more personalised the content.