Readmill: A Synced, Social Home of Reading

Books are amazing. They can thrill, sadden, educate, inspire and amuse with only the words they hold. For bookworms like me, the introduction of e-reading only further broadened the opportunities to be captivated by prose, particularly given the considerable selection of public domain titles which are freely available to download.

There are quite a few apps which provide access to these ebooks, as well as offering the option to sync your reading progress between multiple devices — Kobo and Amazon’s Kindle being the most prominent examples to be found in the Play Store. Over on iOS, though, another e-reading app has been making all the waves.

It goes by the name of Readmill, and it has already gained a cult following. Now, it has landed on Android – but does it have enough to push aside more familiar Play Store offerings?

Looks

For the design-savvy developer, e-reading is a difficult market in which to stand out. Yes, fonts can be chosen, margins adjusted and colours played with, but ultimately, text is text.

Or, at least, that is how it appears to the untrained eye.

David Kjelkerud, one of the co-founders of Readmill, tells me that a lot of effort has gone into fine-tuning Readmill’s reading experience: “Initially we did a lot of testing of readability of fonts and so on, which was the groundwork for the typography in Readmill. Android is a different challenge than iOS though, mainly because of the big variety of devices and screen sizes. Every screen size really requires a different setting for the reading experience to be good. I think we have a good start on Android so far, it looks good on most devices, but there’s still improvements we can make. It’s small details that make a big difference.”

The default (and only) font is highly readable, and a few other visual adjustments can be made.

The default (and only) font is highly readable, and a few other visual adjustments can be made.

I have to say that those small details combine to provide a handsome, highly readable look — which is just as well, given that the default font is the only one provided. Thankfully, there is some adjustability. Five preset font sizes are included, screen brightness can be adjusted from within the app, and a white-on-black Night Mode is available for low-light reading.

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