Life in a city is hectic and there’s barely time to breathe when juggling between family and work. It is little wonder then smartphones have become such an important tool for entertainment purposes. Notice how many people watch TV series or movies on their phones when in buses or trains. Even book lovers are now gradually shifting to the likes of Kindle and e-books stores on Android and iOS. While Google Play Books, iBooks and Kindle are already growing in popularity, a new app called Juggernaut Books has launched in India. The app already has grabbed a lot of attention with its association with actor Sunny Leone, who makes her debut as an author on the platform. We have spent some time with the app, and here’s our review. Also Read - Beware! This new iOS bug breaks WiFi on iPhones: Here's a quick fix for itAlso Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing ends
The Juggernaut application is currently available for the Android platform. An iOS version is coming soon. The app is 12.42MB in size, so it shouldn’t take a lot of time for downloading it on a 3G network or even on a lower-end Android smartphone. From the moment you open the app, the first thing you notice is the clean interface. The login process is quite simple and you can either user your Facebook account or an email id and password to login. After logging in, you are asked to select some genres that you prefer, which the app will then use to recommend books. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than Android
The app’s home screen retains the clean interface, and you are greeting with colorful book covers and big fonts. With Sunny Leone launching her first book on the platform, her book Sweet Dreams features prominently on the home screen. The app’s content are divided into four different tabs — Discover, Read, Write and Me — and they are pretty much self-explanatory.
The Juggernaut app today launched with 150 titles by Indian and Western authors, and prices of these books start from as low as Rs 10. Dig a bit deeper and you will also come across free books like Agatha Christie’s Philomel Cottage. You can keep exploring to find new books and buy them using either Credit and Debit cards or Paytm, which will then be added to your Read list. The process of exploring books, buying them and then reading it is quite simple and seamless as well.
Being an Indian publisher, there is a lot of focus on Indian authors, and you will find books from authors like Rujuta Diwekar, Shyam Bhat, Veena Muthuraman, and Abheek Barua to name a few. Don’t however expect to find books from the likes of Chetan Bhagat or Amish Tripathi for now. The publishing house though promises to add more titles soon.
Now to the reading experience, and let’s just say it lives up to our experience. Scrolling is smooth, and just double click to bring up options to change the font size, paragraph justification, and the page colors as well. You can also highlight a particular line or paragraph and not only save it for later, but also share it on social media or with someone via messaging apps.
To jump to a particular chapter, you can swipe left for a bar with the chapter number. Scroll on the bar to jump to any particular chapter or page you want. This brings us to one feature that we really miss — page flipping. Being a regular Pocket reader, I prefer flipping pages instead of endless scrolling. Another key feature that is missing from the app is Bookmarking, which I believe makes it easier for not-so-frequent readers. This being a new launch, we won’t be surprised if the features are introduced on subsequent app updates.
Another interesting feature is the ability to gift a title to one of your friends, and the process is as simple as adding your friend’s email id. You can also add a small note along with the gift, and could even choose to gift it anonymously. We gifted a book to one of our friend, and she received the mail within a few minutes.
The new Juggernaut Books is not just about reading either, and what separates it from the likes of Kindle and Google Play Books is the ability to write. Being a digital publishing company, the app also has a Write section, which encourages budding writers to submit their work to the company. At the moment, the app wants writers to send two chapters and a synopsis on a particular email id, but soon writers will also be able to publish their work from the app itself.
Apart from selling individual books, the Juggernaut Books app will also start a digital library of sorts with Netflix-like subscription options. Users will be able to choose between paying Rs 15 per day to Rs 299 per month, and get unlimited access to books during the subscription period.
This something similar to Amazon’s ‘all-you-can-read’ Kindle Unlimited service, which too is available in India. It’s subscription rates are a tad cheaper starting at Rs 199 per month, and going up to Rs 1,799 for 12 months (at Rs 149.92 per month). We should also mention that Amazon’s platform currently holds more titles than the Juggernaut app.
The limited number of titles aside, we are quite impressed with the Juggernaut Books app. It’s focus on Indian writers is a welcome change and also differentiates it from other reading apps out there. The soon-to-be-launched Write feature has huge potential to help Juggernaut evolve as much bigger platform. If you love books and writing, the Juggernaut app is worth downloading.