Aircel has launched a new e-book store called “Aircel Bookmate” that offers some of the leading Indian and international magazines and books to smartphone, tablet and PC users. The e-book store has comics, magazines, fiction, non-fiction bestsellers, biographies, classics, children’s stories and reference books, as well as a range of titles.
Users can buy, download and read books on their Android smartphones and tablets by downloading the bookmate app from Google Play store or can go to their website to read it on the web from the computers.
Though the Aircel Bookmate site mentions that users need a Aircel number to register with bookmate, we tried using a number from Idea network, and surprisingly, it allowed creation of account for using BookMate services.
Once user registers for the first time, the account is credited with 200 points. The books and magazines on BookMate app range from around 20 points to around 200 points. As a test we bought the recent edition of India Today on the app and 61 points were deducted from our account.
Once the book or magazine is bought on Aircel BookMate store, the entire copy of magazine gets downloaded. I am not sure if this is the best thing to do. I had to download over 38 mb of data onto my phone. It would have been far better if they have stored in cloud under my account and showed it to me on page by page download basis.
Unfortunately, after the entire download was over, I could not go beyond first page. It constantly gave me “force close” error.
Though the premise of the ebook store is good, Aircel definitely needed to bring in finesse in this application. Unfortunately, the app as well as the website look quite raw and not upto the mark.
Having said that, BookMate does showcase good collection, especially magazines and classic Indian comics.
The most surprising aspect of the BookMate app is that it does not tell how one can buy more points incase user wants to buy more books or magazines. Once user has exhausted the initial 200 points, how can they buy more points to make purchases? Every book required certain number of points for purchases and there is no way one can get more points.
If you know how, please do let me know!