Best reading & writing applications on Android and Linux?
December 26, 2014 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Hi everyone! For my job, I'm transitioning from Mac to Linux (trying Ubuntu) on my laptop and using an Android phone (CyanogenMod). I'm a little new to all this. For work and for play I read and write just an insane amount of text. I write papers and nonfiction research pieces and novels and thousands of notes. I read epubs and mobis and piles o' PDFs and many many online articles. What are your favorite apps and programs for reading, writing, editing, saving, and searching/storing text on these platforms?

(Normally I'd include the usual list of personal, persnickety requirements but I'm really interested in changing my habits and discovering some new ways to do things after a decade in the Applesphere, so please recommend anything that you enjoy or endorse. Thanks!)
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I really like Moon+ Reader, for Android. PDF support is only in the paid version. Most of the apps are similar in broad strokes, but something about the feel of this one suits me much better -- it stays out of my way and lets me read. It will maintain a library with tags and such, but is also more friendly for direct file-system browsing than many. It does not have support for fancy automatic paging through parts of a pdf page, like left column then right column then next page, which some do.
posted by solitary dancer at 11:23 AM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Moon+ Reader is excellent, and currently half off, so buy it ASAP.

I use Google Play Books from time to time for ePub-format books because I like the cross-platform sync, but it's not a great app, has limited bookmarks (4 only-- old ones expire as new ones are placed) and really falls apart when there's no network, which is absurd. Moon+ supports epub, mobi, PDF-- unlimited bookmarks, text to speech and auto-scroll.

For writing, I use Evernote; it's web accessible on Linux and there's an Android App.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:06 PM on December 26, 2014

Here is a brief list of resources I made at one point, some Android apps, some online tools: writing tools for android. Further down, in another post, it indicates I also got the OI File Manager. I did so because it plays well with Qute (a text editor that I liked) and other things do not. I no longer have an Android, so I cannot say if those two things still play well together or not.

(At the bottom of that series of posts is instructions for how to install Jabiru, the preferred Android app for metafilter chat if you are interested.)

Best of luck.
posted by Michele in California at 12:46 PM on December 26, 2014

Fbreader is what I currently use for reading epubs on my phone, and I think there's a module that allows it to read PDFs. I do know that it syncs well with Calibre, if you're using that.
posted by mikurski at 3:19 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, I use Windows, Ubuntu and Linux on various machines in my home office, plus I am heavily invested in the Android sphere. But I don't do an insane amount of writing.

However, I hope these tips may help you with the transitioning:
  • Do you realize you can choose the desktop manager for your Ubuntu environment, installing several and deciding which one to use at logon time (last one you used is the default)? I have settled on KDE Plasma, it reminds me of the Mac desktop somewhat.
  • On Android, ES File Explorer is a very popular and IMO excellent file system browser which can help you organize your folders and files, including searches. I also use Android app SyncMe to automatically sync my files between my phone and my Ubuntu file server over Samba.
  • There are a lot of cool PDF manipulations you can perform from the command line in Linux (you asked about editing). See, for instance, ImageMagick, poppler-utils, htmldoc.
  • I use Evernote for my research/reference/thoughts organization along with the Evernote Clearly Add-on for Firefox which I also use on Ubuntu.
  • I use Okular for reading documents on Linux, Adobe Reader on Android. As I said I don't write much.
I hope something in that was helpful.
posted by forthright at 3:56 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

how embarrassing, I meant to say "Windows, Ubuntu and Mac"
posted by forthright at 5:24 PM on December 26, 2014

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