If you read ebooks on your tablet, you may find yourself in the position where you’re dying to read that next chapter but you didn’t bring your tablet with you...
If like most Android tablet owners you permanently have an Android handset in your pocket, salvation is but a few clicks away: there is now a simple way to sync your ebook collection – including reading progress – across all your Android devices, using the magic of Dropbox.
Of course, Amazon’s Kindle app has had syncing functionality since launch – it’s arguably its best feature. However, its ‘Whispersync technology’ only works with books purchased from Amazon. As an avid ebook reader, I source my books from all over the net – and I use the excellent Calibre library software to organise and manage my collection. Both of which prevent me from using the Kindle app and its Whispersyncy goodness.
So, the first thing you need to do is switch to the Aldiko app (free on the Android Market, but a $3 ‘Premium’ version – seemingly with no extra features – is also available). Apologies if you already use another ereader, but this is the only way I’ve been able to figure out how to keep my reading progress in sync. The good news is, of course, that Aldiko is actually one of the best readers out there, with a great interface, customisation options and direct access to some of the most popular ebook stores online.
After installing Aldiko, you need to import your books into the Aldiko database (compared to, say, Moon+ Reader, where you would just navigate to a folder). You do this by clicking on the home icon in the top-left corner, then 'SD Card'. Now find the folder where you store your ebooks, place a checkmark next to it and click on the 'Import to Aldiko' button at the bottom of the screen. You can now delete the original files as they've been copied to the ‘eBooks’ directory (organised by author and title), along with the all-important Aldiko ‘library.db’ file.
Now install the free Aldiko Sync application from the Android Market. Like Aldiko, there's also a Pro version (for about $1), but this time there’s a noticeable difference: the Pro version will automatically sync your books.
After installing Aldiko Sync, open it up and hit the sync button. You’ll be prompted to enter your Dropbox credentials. The app will then create an ‘Aldiko Sync’ folder in your Dropbox account (you can change this in settings, but just remember to change it on both devices) and upload your Aldiko library and your ebooks (for the sake of saving space on Dropbox you might want to only import a few books at a time).
Now install Aldiko and Aldiko Sync on your other Android device. You won’t need to import any books into the library this time, just open up Aldiko Sync and hit the sync button.