Kitaab is a Fully Featured Urdu Reader App and Online Publishing Platform

While there are a number of options if you want to read books or content in English, the options are much sparser when it comes to our national language Urdu. Until now that is. Kitaab is an app that facilitates e-reading and e-publishing in Urdu.

The app makers claim that Kitaab is the only app that supports not only Urdu but all right-to-left (Persian, Arabic etc.) languages. Along with that, it also supports English, which isn’t surprising given the app’s native support for the ePub ebook format.

Kitaab comes with a vast library of books, covering a plethora of topics. No, they don’t offer pirated books if that’s what you were thinking. All the books are either public-domain, license-free or e-published with prior consent from respective authors or publishers. Which makes Kitaab a platform like Amazon’s and others.

We see an opportunity for more authors and publishing houses to get their Urdu content featured here, helping create a comprehensive ecosystem for those who like consuming content in Urdu.

Interface

Since the app targets the Pakistani audience, the default language of the app is Urdu. However, you can change the language to English for your comfort. The slide-out menu contains everything the app has to offer. Let’s delve into details to discover more about it.

  1. Book Shelf / Kutb Khaana

‘Book Shelf’, as the name says is the section containing all the downloaded books. You can also import books from your phone’s memory and place it on your phone’s book shelf along with other books. Search bar is there to assist you in finding the downloaded e-book from the shelf.

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  1. Online Library

This is where you will find the treasure. Users can find the books by Book ID, genres/topic or you could just scroll through all the books and pick the book for reading. You can’t search for books as there is no search bar in the library section. This is the feature I missed the most, but I think the developer did that on purpose (as there could be spelling differences).

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  1. Bookmarks / Nishanaat

As the name says, it contains all the bookmarks. Bookmark will be shown along with the book name. Single tap on delete will delete the bookmark.

A very handy night/day mode sits at the bottom of the menu that will prevent eye strain. Overall, the interface is very simple but there is a room for improvement.

 
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Experiencing the app

The overall performance was above average though I won’t call it perfect. Turning pages through swiping was taking time longer than expected, and the ugly ‘loading ring’ was seen numerous time while swiping the pages. Surprisingly, I didn’t face such issue while performing the same action from the three-dot drop down menu.

I was able to tinker with the interface as per my likingswhich is very cool. Users can change font size, color, style; background color; line height and adjust the alignment and margin. In-app brightness can also be adjusted from the settings menu to make the reading experience comfortable.

Downloading, reading and sharing the books was a pleasure. Users can also scroll through table of contents and jump to any chapter. As the app requires you to download books, you can read the book offline anywhere anytime without the need of internet connectivity.

The app library is very limited for now. I failed to find any book in Comedy/Mizaah, Fantasy/Tasawwurat, Tragic/Alamnaak and Drama genre which isn’t something to complain as the app is still new. Developers said they are working on it and will try to bring as many book as possible. Future versions of Kitaab are also expected to give a platform to authors to sell their e-books along with a complete Digital Right Management system to control piracy.

Notable Feature

There is one notable feature that I feel needs to be mentioned separately. Unlike the usual e-reading app that contains low-quality static scanned images, Kitaab has given a very unique automated TEXT-TO-IMAGE sharing mechanism by which readers can share their favourite text from any book to social media in an image form which is more eye-catching than simple plain text.

Concluding Thoughts

Kitaab checks out all the boxes on what one can expect from an Urdu Reader app. With some little tweaks and optimization, it has the potential to be even better. For now, as far as reading Urdu books goes, it’s a great platform that we think can grow bigger. We hope the developers behind Kitaab continue to polish the app and build up a cohesive ecosystem for Urdu books and publications digitally. It’s about time we have one.

You can download it for Android here.


  • Rizwan Yahya

    A link of an app could complete this article.

  • Great to see Kitaab featured here. We are continuously bringing updates to improve the user experience. The latest update rolling out today will make the automated TEXT-TO-IMAGE sharing process more easier! The library is also being expanded as more and more authors are showing interest in getting e-published on Kitaab. Soon there will be no genre empty! Library expansion is a never-ending process.

    If links to our social media and website could also be added to this article then users will stay updated with the latest features and book additions.

    https://facebook.com/kitaabapp
    https://twitter.com/kitaab_app
    https://instagram.com/kitaabapp
    http://kitaabapp.com

    • aamir7

      apprpve

    • Yasmin

      Pls make it available for iOS as well

    • Khan

      Is there any solution for the people those they can only study only online die to any reason!!!!!!!
      Like matric and f.a or any other wit complete lessons training_teaching ????

      Plz inform if anyone have any information!
      [email protected]

  • Waqas Rabbani

    wow great step and great app

  • Yasmin

    It gives the link at the end of the article to download for Android. I wish it would come for iOS too.

    • We are getting so much demand for iOS. Don’t worry we are working on it and it will soon be available. Join us on our social media to stay updated :-)

  • redfire

    i gave 5 start at play store but dont know it didnot support pdf format.
    only for epub.i am going to edit my review.

    pls add support for pdf.

    • Please understand that PDFs are not meant for e-reading as they are static and you cannot customize them according to your mood. Pure e-reading is based on epub format which has been developed solely for the purpose of ebooks. However, PDF support may be added in later versions. Epub is the only standardized format in the World for ebooks. All books on Kitaab are in epub format.

  • Oralover Odeveloper

    a very nice and brilliant app !!! we have to appreciate ( buying or donating ) as govt. will not in any shape, they loves only their own interests. In-Sha Allah they will give us an iOS app also, this is their start.

    • Thank you so much for your appreciation. Please do not forget to give a rating and review on Play Store. Yes, iOS version is being worked upon and it will soon be available.

  • Abdal Pti

    your device isn’t compatible with this version
    my device is qmobilea900

    • Kitaab requires minimum Android 4.4. Please upgrade your firmware to get Kitaab. :-)

  • Abdal Pti

    لایسینس فری کتابیں پهلے هی نیٹ پر موجود هیں ، ضرورت هے نئ کتب کی دستیابی کی چاهے اس کے لیۓ کوئ سالانه فیس هو یا پھر هر کتاب کا پهلا باب مفت پڑھا جا سکے اور پسند آنے پر موبائل بیلنس سے ادائگی کے بعد مکمل کتاب ڈاؤن لوڈ کی جا سکے ، ای بک کی قیمت همیشه کم هوتی هے اس طرح لوگ کم قیمت میں نئ کتب پڑھ سکیں گے اور لائسنس فری ٹایپ کتابوں کو اسی طرح مفت رهنے دیں

    • بالکل بجا فرمایا آپ نے۔ اگر آپ آن لائن لائبریری کا جائزہ لیں گے تو آپ کو بہت سی نئی کتب بھی ملیں گی۔ جو کہ 2015 2016 2014 کی اشاعت ہیں۔ ان میں زیادہ تر ناول ہیں۔ کلاسیکی کتب کے ساتھ ساتھ اور بھی بہت سی نئی کتب کا اضافہ روز بروز کیا جا رہا ہے۔ کم قیمت پہ تجارتی مصنفین کی ای کتب بھی جلد دستیاب ہوں گی۔

  • Salman Qureshi

    Great effort

    • Thank you so much for your appreciation. Please do not forget to give a rating and review on Play Store.

  • Twinkling star

    how can I download it for iphone