PLACEHOLDER. This Windows 8 version will become a Win 7 version to augment the Win 8 post.

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Note: Go elsewhere on this site for an e-book guide for owners of Android phones.

Windows phones, not just Androids, are popular at St. Columba’s.

And a free e-reading app called Freda should almost surely work on your Windows phone—whether you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8. This page is for the Win 8 version. The Win 7 write-up is here.

FredaBookShelf_thumb8Just click on the Windows Store icon on your phone and then type Freda into the searcher.

With Freda you can download thousands of free ePub-format  books from sites such as Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks and the Internet Archive. You can also enjoy ePub books from bookstores as long as the books are not sold with digital rights management (DRM).

Also, Freda has many typographic options to help books look the way you want. And newer versions, at least, even can read books to you.

You can find detailed descriptions of Freda’s features at the Windows store site and also the Freda site itself. Please note that not all the features for Windows phone 8 and 8.1 will necessarily work in the older phones.

Freda also has a low-cost paid version, available at the Windows store, to remove ads.

Questions? Problems? Contact our tech guy and tell him what make and model of Windows phone you’re using, as well as the operating system in use if you know it. Your questions will help us optimize the tech tips in this blog for the St. Columba’s Cell Phone Book Club.

FredaPage_thumb8

Also, you can reach the Freda people directly.

But before you e-mail anyone, why not see if the information is in Freda’s manual (written for the latest versions, although it may still be useful for earlier ones)? It even tells how you can use Freda with DropBox, a way of wirelessly transferring e-books and other files from your desktop to your phone or tablet. Use the Search box to find what you’re look for within the manual.

In the future we’ll expand our own instructions with a tutorial, showing you step by step how to do basics such as:

–Calling up a “test” book already in Freda’s library on your device/

–Moving ahead or back a page.

–searching for words.

–Adding bookmarks.

–Putting in notes and highlights–which you can e-mail to yourself or friends.

FredaBookmarksAndNotes_thumb9–Using Freda to download books from sources such as Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks (free and commercial) and stores such as Smashwords.

–Changing colors on the page. The gray background in the screenshot above might be easier on some people’s eyes than plain white. But white it can be as well. Same for white letters against a dark background.

–Calling up text to speech. Psst! We’ll spill the beans now. Just swipe the center of the screen, sidewards. A menu with “Read” as one of its items will pop up. Tap on that choice, and Freda will start reading until you tap again to stop it.

Please note that to spare the phone battery, Freda on its own will halt the read-aloud unless you choose a mode called “read aloud under Lock Screen.”

The path to that command from Freda’s main screen is Extras > Settings > Advanced (reachable by sliding your finger to the left, past one other option). Move around the main screen, too, by sliding.

Go down 43 or so options within Advanced—count ’em!—and you’ll see “read aloud under locked screen.” Switch it on!

Alas, “read aloud under locked screen” may not be available except in the most recent versions of Freda. But you can still avoid interruptions by sliding your fingers down from the top of the main screen of your phone until you see All Settings. Choose a long time-out. On my Windows 8.1 phone, you can go up to 30 minutes. Or if you want to be really brave and are certain you’ll remember to spare the battery when you’re done listening, select “Never.”

*     *     *

Of course, if you read the Freda manual and use the search box, you can conquer this app on your own.

Detail #1: You can also download ePub books from within Internet Explorer if you’re at a site like Gutenberg.

Just click on an ePub link and your phone will ask if you want to use Freda to read the file.

By the way, although Freda works in other formats, ePub is the preferable one since it’s the e-book industry’s global standard.

Detail #2: The video says you can’t “sideload” books for the Windows Kindle app—titles from non-Amazon sources. But you can e-mail books in appropriate formats to the Kindle app. Still, Freda makes it a lot easier to load up your phone with freebies from Gutenberg-style sites, and it offers more typographical choices than Kindle apos and devices do.

Detail #3: If you’re female, don’t be put off by the “Hey, guys!” opening at the start of the video. E-books are for girls and women, too! We hope that cell phone book clubs like ours can help open up technology to women.

(Video from XDA TV.)

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