Libraries seem old school at first glance. However, many libraries update their stuff all the time and you can get some fairly modern entertainment there. Some libraries have movies, others have audiobooks, and they all have regular books, obviously. In some cases, you can even rent e-books for free with a library card. It’s an excellent way to find stuff to do on a budget. The only problem is that there are only a handful of apps capable of helping with this. Here are the best library apps for Android.
Google Maps is a bit of a lame pick for library apps, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Google Maps is the fastest, easiest way to find your local library. It’s even more useful in larger cities, where there may be multiple libraries in a relatively short distance. Additionally, Google Maps shows things like opening and closing times, directions, and even reviews.
It’s helpful in other ways. Other users may have posted photos of the library and you can usually find the library’s official website link there as well. Again, it’s a lame pick, but it’s still a good one.
Hoopla Digital is one of the most powerful library apps on Android. It boasts a library of over one million titles ranging from movies to books. The app lets you access all of it for free and without advertising. The only thing you need is an actual, physical library card in order to register. Some other features include offline support, 24/7 access, and it’ll sync your progress if you need to switch devices.
This is the kind of stuff we like to see. It’s basically a giant library that anyone with library access can use without much difficulty. We especially like the wide range of content available in a variety of mediums. This is one of the apps we’d recommend first.
Libby, by Overdrive
Libby, an app by OverDrive, is very similar to Hoopla Digital but seems to focus primarily on books. It has millions of regular e-books as well as audiobooks. You simply “borrow” them with your library card and you have full access. Some of the app’s other features include the ability to send books to your Kindle (in the US only) and Android Auto support — and the app will sync your progress when you switch devices.
Like Hoopla, Libby is entirely free to use with no ads or in-app purchases. It’s basically like an e-book library except you get access like you would a normal library. This is an excellent app for readers.
Your local library app
Many libraries have their own apps now, and they’re a good choice if you intend on frequenting your local library consistently. The apps range in terms of features based on the services each library provides. However, most of the ones we looked at let you do things like search the library’s inventory, reserve books, and view upcoming events.
A few features intersect with Google Maps, like hours of operation, but they’re generally useful and always free. People who frequent their local library should ensure they download the official app, if their library has one.
If we missed any great library apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.