Wattpad.com is the world's most popular ebook sharing community, boasting over 100,000 titles that are free to download and share.
The idea behind Wattpad is to provide a space for writers to place their works of fiction for free distribution in order to gain recognition and reputation – two very useful aspects to ones work that come in very handy when trying to find a book deal.
Available free for Windows Mobile devices, this Wattpad ebook reader is designed to provide (a limited) browsable access to the vast library of titles on the Wattpad site. Whereas Wattpad itself requires a login, the ebook reader doesn't and titles can be downloaded quickly and viewed as Word, PDF or other files.
Download and Install
Designed for use on VGA devices running Windows Mobile 5, 6 and 6.1, Wattpad also requires Microsoft's .NET Compact Framework 3.5 to be installed on your Windows Phone.
Wattpad itself is available from XDA-developers.com (note a free account is needed to download the file) and the 188 KB file can be easily downloaded both over the air direct to your Windows Phone or straight to your PC. The CAB file needs to be on your Windows Mobile device in order to install the app, so if you download to PC you'll need to copy the CAB file to your handset.
Wattpad isn't perfect – it's released as a beta version, however there is still something not quite right about some of the interface elements. An example of this is its refusal to confirm that an ebook has been downloaded, a fact that is only revealed by going to the "My Ebooks" screen after five minutes has been spent trying to get a response from the ebook directory screen.
However there are some interesting functions, particularly the ability to read offline and support for custom ebook readers, which can be setup in the Settings screen. Note that Wattpad downloads ebooks across the web, so you'll need an agreeable data plan with your mobile network provider.
Limited but Functional
There isn't enough about Wattpad to warrant a higher mark at present however – it is a limited but functional mobile app for a popular website that doesn't quite make the grade in terms of basic user interface (UI) tools and reactions.
While the design aspect of the UI is on the whole acceptable, missing a much needed element like feedback (such as informing when an ebook has been downloaded) is pretty unforgivable in 2009.
I fully expect later releases of this application to change my mind, but in the meantime don't expect too much from Wattpad.