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Shelf Control: Smart E-Reading App Marvin Makes The Jump To iPhone And iPod touch

Shelf Control: Smart E-Reading App Marvin Makes The Jump To iPhone And iPod touch

September 16, 2013
By all accounts, Marvin is one of the best e-reading apps for iPad. And just recently, it has become one of the best e-reading apps for iPhone and iPod touch. A couple of days ago, Marvin for iPad was updated to version 2.0 with a number of notable enhancements. At the same time, the brand new Marvin for iPhone and iPod touch was released, bringing all of the features that users have come to know and love in Marvin for iPad to the smaller iDevices. But does Marvin for iPhone and iPod touch, which is the focus of this week's edition of Shelf Control, live up to the reputation established by its "big brother"? The answer, unsurprisingly, is yes. As with Marvin for iPad, you can read DRM-free ePub books with Marvin for iPhone and iPod touch. You can download books from your Dropbox account, Calibre, OPDS catalogs, or the built-in Web browser through the flyover menu in the Library view. Of course, you can also side-load books via email and iTunes file sharing. In addition, you can simply allow the app to download its bundle of public domain books. In the Library view, which you can customize to show different collections or custom folders, you can swipe leftward on a book to reveal a menu for sharing, organizing, or deleting the book. This menu also lets you see the book's metadata and access other actions for the book, e.g. adding it to your reading list, flagging it as new, and marking it as read. Marvin for iPhone and iPod touch is, of course, designed for reading e-books. Fortunately, it's a more than capable e-reading app, with advanced highlighting and annotation tools, even on the relatively small display of an iPhone or an iPod touch. The app's reading screen is bookended, so to speak, at the top and at the bottom by a pair of toolbars. These toolbars automatically disappear as you proceed or continue reading a book and turn to the next or previous page. Just tap near the center of the screen to bring them up again. With the top toolbar, you can go back to the Library view, see the table of contents, access Deep View for auxiliary information about the book, enable reading time reminders, and bookmark the current page. And with the bottom toolbar, you can search for a particular word or phrase in the book; customize the formatting, page orientation, font, theme, and gestures; adjust the brightness, warmth, and tint; and sync your current reading location. Note that location syncing is done not over iCloud but via Dropbox. Thus, it's available only after you link Marvin for iPod and iPod touch (and, preferably, Marvin for iPad as well) to your Dropbox account. Dropbox linking can be initiated in the app's settings panel, where you can also create custom commands for when you tap and hold a word in a book. These commands can be set to integrate with services such as Google Maps, Bing Images, Tweetbot, IMDb, Lingvo, Goodreads, Facebook, Wikipedia, and the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later, Marvin for iPhone and iPod touch is available now in the App Store for $4.99. Marvin for iPad, which is compatible with iPad running iOS 5.0 or later, is still available in the App Store for free. According to Marvin developer Kristian Guillaumier, "Marvin for iPad was and will remain free for the foreseeable future, while Marvin for iPhone costs $4.99." As always, if you have suggestions for Shelf Control, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or simply leave a comment below. [gallery link="file" order="DESC"]

Mentioned apps

$4.99
Marvin for iPhone and iPod touch
Marvin for iPhone and iPod touch
Appstafarian
Free
Marvin for iPad
Marvin for iPad
Appstafarian

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