Review: Bookmate UWP
So... the 'tenner a month' model for music and/or TV/movie content. Why shouldn't this also apply to reading matter? Why indeed, which is where Bookmate UWP comes in - it's the Windows 10 client for a cross platform ebook service and it's rather swish and customisable, with a huge number of settings and available in over a dozen languages. The exact number of titles available varies according to where you look, but a million is now a safe bet. Plus you can use the client for uploading and then reading your own existing ebook content.
From the Store description:
- Enjoy 850,000 subscription books & 50,000 free books!
- New titles, bestsellers, classics, business books and more.
- Get recommendations from friends, experts and editors.
- Read across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
- Keep your books, quotes and notes with you.
Thousands of books. One monthly fee. With a Bookmate subscription you’ll have access to a huge library – stacked with bestsellers, all time classics, business books and more – in English, Spanish, or one of 10 other languages. Even our free account offers 50,000 books!
Smart suggestions. Experts and other booklovers create themed bookshelves. Browse them, subscribe and receive regular updates. Bookmate also makes recommendations based on your preferences – the books you added to your reading list. The more you read, the more accurate our recommendations!
Sharing stories. Friends are great at recommending books you’ll love. With Bookmate you can keep up with what they’re reading, and find new friends with similar interests. Share your books, quotes, impressions and get likes.
Your on-tap paperback. Customise Bookmate for a comfortable read: adjust the brightness, change the font or the background screen colour. Start reading on your phone and pick up where you left off on your tablet or computer.
The concept is easy enough to grasp, though screenshotting the main UI when reading is harder - the DRM used for ebooks means that phone screenshot functions are disabled! Hence the photo above., though it does give a good idea of Bookmate in action in the real world, here on a Lumia 950 XL. Spacing, fonts (three available here), text size (five available), all are easily configurable, along with theme, should you want to go 'dark' and save AMOLED power and/or your eyes.
Tapping on the right moves on a page, tapping left moves back, you know the drill by now from countless Kindle ereader accessories, I'm sure.
This is available for Windows 10 Mobile, plus Windows 10 on the desktop, of course, and any tablets or hybrids. And on iOS and Android, it's extremely platform agnostic, so you can start on one and carry on reading on the other.
Once you start delving into commercial content, there are two tiers of subscription, with the cheapest starting at just over £6 a month if you pay by the year:
Interestingly, there's no way to just buy a single book - in the same way as you can't just pay Netflix for a single show - but if you read a lot then Bookmate offers good value for money, considering the £20 or so price of new current hardbacks.
You can grab Bookmate UWP here in the Store.
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at