App Review: Next Read 2.0 by Square Wheel Software
Do you ever find yourself in the airport just before a flight, looking for something to read and just not knowing what to choose? I love to read and am always trying to sift through all of the books out there to find the really good ones. I try to remember the title and author when someone suggests a good book to me, but I usually forget. Next Read 2.0 is designed to help you keep track of book recommendations you receive from friends, family, TV, internet, or other sources. This app does more than just keep track of a list, though. It will keep track of just about all the information about the suggestion and give you access to details about the book and reader reviews through Amazon.com.
Next Read allows you to enter in a list of all the places that you receive book recommendations from and assign them a score between +1 and +10 based on how good the recommendations coming from that source are. When you enter in a book and tie it to that source, it is automatically given the rating that you assigned to the source. You can give a book even more points, by linking the recommendation to multiple sources on your source list.
The search function can be used to enter in a recommendation or to simply look up a book. The search returns a list of books that match the search criteria from Amazon.com. Once you have found the book you are searching for in the search results, you can add the book to your list, read the reviews on Amazon, see the detailed product information, see Listmania Lists that include this book, or even jot down notes about the book on a note pad. The notes are then accessible from your suggested reading list by tapping the “Take Notes” button again.
The “Suggested” tab displays all of the books that you have entered as suggested reads. The app will sort this list by the score each book received, the source of the recommendation, the author, or the category the book falls into. Sorting the list is a very helpful function, but the categories seemed to be a little odd. Also, by tapping the plus sign in the upper right hand corner you can do a “quick add.” It essentially allows you to jot down the title and author or ISBN for the book quickly and go through the process of adding it to your list later. Kind of handy when you are in a hurry.
You can also organize your books into lists as well as uploading lists to or from others over Wi-Fi. If your friends don’t have Next Read, you can just email the list to them. You can even import your wish list from Amazon. I thought the shake search was a nice touch, though. If you don’t know what to read next, you can go into the search function and shake the phone. It will automatically do a search for something similar to the books on your list. It is interesting to see what it comes up with.
Overall, Next Read is a great way to keep track of all the books you hear and read about. It is fairly easy and straight-forward to use. It took a little poking around for me to figure it out, but in mere minutes I had sources set up and was adding books to my lists. No more jotting down book titles on scraps of paper that get lost or wandering the book store trying to figure out which book is good by staring at the cover.
Next Read is $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.