Article in App of the Week category.
While You Stay At Home, Catch Up on Your Reading with Libby
There has honestly never been a better time to try Libby, my reader-of-choice that allows you to easily borrow digital books and audiobooks from…
There has honestly never been a better time to try Libby, my reader-of-choice that allows you to easily borrow digital books and audiobooks from your local library. Libby hails from RBdigital before it was purchased by OverDrive, another app for checking out digital library books. Libby though, is special.
While I have a fantastic local library in Dublin, Ohio, I’m used to most libraries being under- funded city buildings that are trying their best to provide a much-needed service to their community. I wouldn’t expect an app that marries their physical counterpart with the digital world to be as aesthetically pleasing or as wonderful to use.
The app is split between two primary parts. There is the library side that allows you to peruse for new books or audiobooks you may be interested in. Then there is the “shelf” side which is any books you’ve already checked out and want to read or listen to.
Digging into the design, Libby takes full advantage of the iPhone’s native display. Libby appears to be using Apple’s AutoLayout tool so that it magically adjusts based on any the screen’s size. This means even though the phones just launched, it fits perfectly on the new screen size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini.
Libby often employs two-toned displays and the top half has a full-bleed to fill the notch on Apple’s Face ID-enabled devices. At the bottom, the center icon sits just atop the Home indicator without getting to close. Book art is always large and prominent, icons are unique and easy to interpret, and the colors are bold but lean into the pastel side which makes them easier on the eyes. It’s all very polished.
Searching for something new to read couldn’t be easier. Libby breaks it down into multiple categories including curated ones such as what is popular. When you find a book you think you may like, you can read a sample, tag it, or check it out. If you want to borrow a book but it is already checked out by others and unavailable, you can place a hold to save your place in line. When it is ready for you, you’ll get a notification.
Libby has built in support for many native features found on iPhones and iPads. It is quick and easy to send a digital eBook straight to the Kindle app which is many’s preferred reader. If you have a vehicle that supports CarPlay there is an car version of the app to listen to your audiobooks while on the road. And just after the launch of iOS 14, Libby launched a new Home Screen widget so you can jump right into your books without having to first launch the app. I love reading and finding new books to delve into, but without the library, it can get quite expensive. Libby allows you to take advantage of your digital devices right in front of you and is absolutely free to use. It brings you this incredible service with a slick-as-heck app that I find myself sinking more and more time into.
But enough about other people's apps.