myBooks Tracks Your Reads, but Not as Well as Similar Apps

Book Keeper (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Book Keeper
Developer: Netwalk
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store

mybooks iphone app<Netwalk's myBooks is a database for your personal library.

You can enter the name of the book manually, by typing information into the provided fields (year, genre, purchased, whether you loaned it to a friend) or you can search for the title on the Internet and select the book you own from a list.

Info related to the book will be inserted into the corresponding fields. With myBooks you can also automatically go to Amazon to view more information about the books.

Many of the books you'll find in myBooks will probably have a image of the book's cover and that will automatically be inserted into the same fields as before. You also have the option of taking a snapshot of the book's cover and importing it from your camera roll.

Once you've cataloged your books, you can sort  them by genre and search by title.

Unfortunately, myBooks really doesn't measure up to other book database apps that I've reviewed in recent months. None are identical, but I think they offer more advantages for book lovers.

I liked SnapTell Explorer, from the company of the same name, which I reviewed last November. If you snap shoot a book's cover, it will automatically pull up information about the book, a list of places online where you can buy the title and search for more information about it. SnapTell works for DVDs, CDs and videogames as well.

If there is one thing that myBooks and SnapTell have in common is that both of them crashed on me, at least once. When I tapped Purchase, myBooks shut down. SnapTell inexplicably quit on me several times (it's been updated since, so that problem may/may not have been fixed). SnapTell is free, unlike myBooks, which is $1.99.

I also liked Next Read from Square Wheel Software, which I reviewed in January. What Next Read aims to do is make it easy for you to keep track of books you might like to read, whether recommended to you by a friend or discovered while browsing a book store. The app also enables you to score the book using a point system that’s based on the credibility of the source that informed you of the book. Next read is $0.99.

The thing I like most about SnapTell and Next Read, is they did most of the work for you automatically, using well-done interfaces. They simply looked better (larger book covers) and provided the sort of information about a title that I might want to know. Although neither is designed especially as book databases, you can use them as such, admittedly without some of the database functionality of myBooks.

I think if I were to want to maintain a database of a large collection of books, I would do that on my desktop, as I already do with my last collection of CDs, rather than on the iPhone or iPod touch, which make entering large amounts of data a chore.

Image Gallery: Book Keeper

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