7 Best Book Summary Apps on Android and iOS

Reading a book can take a lot of time. Sometimes, you procrastinate to even start reading a book as you need to research and buy the book that you want to read. One way to make this process easier and faster is by using book summary apps. These apps summarize the key concepts and takeaways of the book in text and audio formats. By cutting down on fluff and getting straight to key insights, you can read more books in less time. Here are some book summary apps that you need on Android and iPhone.

Best Book Summary Apps on Android and iOS

Let’s start with my favorite of the bunch.

1. Blinkist

Blinkist provides a summary for more than 5,000+ non-fiction books in categories like psychology, career, productivity, management, technology, health, economics, parenting, religion, money, politics, etc. Blinkist calls these book summaries as blinks that can be around 15 minutes and usually available in both text and audio formats.

The free version Blinkist is ad-free and provides a free blink or book summary every day of a random book in the above-mentioned categories. To get unlimited blinks and read the summary of any book from the catalog, you need to opt for a subscription that costs $16/month or $100/year. With the subscription, you also get additional features like Evernote sync to highlight and save and Shortcasts which are premium podcasts on selected topics. Additionally, the app also allows you to buy audiobooks making it a one-stop destination for summaries and audiobooks.

Pros

  • Clean UI
  • Simple and crisp writing
  • 7 day free trial
  • 1 free blink in the free version
  • Kindle support

Cons

  • Expensive premium plan
  • Only supports non-fiction books like most book summary apps
  • Audiobooks are expensive for non-premium members

Download Blinkist on Android and iOS

2. 12 Mins

The app is famous for providing near 12 mins of summaries for over 2,500+ non-fiction books that it has in its catalog. The summaries are available in both text and audio format. Apart from the regular book titles, 12 Mins also has its own 12 mins originals on random topics, places, famous people, and writers.

Just like Blinkist, 12 Mins has a premium plan that costs $89/year. You do get a 3-day free trial and free summary every day of a random book in the free version. The real advantage of this book summary app is the additional features it offers. You can add the book to your reading list and mark it as read. There is support for playlists which are a collection of books under one topic. Think of it as a folder. For instance, you can select a playlist like finance, focus, or procrastinating. A good way to find new and interesting books.

Pros

  • Free summary every day
  • Kindle support
  • Library
  • Playlists or folders

Cons

  • 3-day trial is less than competition
  • Clumsy interface
  • Small collection of book summaries

Download 12 Mins and Android and iOS

3. Shortform

Shortform is a new book summary app released recently. Though we do not know the exact number of books in their library, Shortform team says they publish more than 5 summaries per week and also take suggestions from subscribers to add new books to their shortlist. Shortform stands out because of detailed summaries. Instead of providing small 10 – 15 min summaries, it provides summaries that can take up to an hour to read sometimes.

It’s like consuming a mini version of the book. So if you feel 15 mins of reading isn’t in-depth enough, then you should definitely check out Shortform which goes deeper than other book summaries apps on the list. These summaries also provide additional analysis if needed and info and quotes from other books that are relevant. This makes reading these summaries a unique experience. And there are discussion communities, quizzes, and other interactive exercises. The free version only allows you to read the beginning of the summary. Premium subscription costs $24/month and $192/year.

Pros

  • Detailed and in-depth summaries
  • Clean layout
  • Kindle and Evernote support
  • Ability to suggest books for summaries
  • Interactive exercises and quizzes

Cons

  • Costly subscription
  • Free trial lasts only 3 days

Download Shortform on Android and iOS

4. StoryShots

While previous book summary apps needed a premium plan to use the app properly, StoryShots is the best app on the list if you are looking for a free option. If you are fine with ads, StoryShots provides its huge catalog of book summaries for free.

You can easily opt-out of these ads with a one-time purchase of $8.99. The premium version includes Kindle support and unlocks infographics. All the summaries are available on YouTube for free. The premium plan also unlocks a longer video explanation of the book (long video shot) plus additional content, again in video format.

Pros

  • Free ad-supported book summaries
  • Lifetime subscription option
  • Infographics
  • Kindle support
  • Take notes, highlight text, create PDF

Cons

  • Summaries are directly from the book with out much info from readers end
  • Audio version is just a TTS voice generated by the system

Download StoryShots on Android and iOS

5. Instaread

This is basically like other apps on the list with 15 min long summaries in text and audio formats. Needs a premium of $8.99/month and $95/year to access all book summaries. You also get a free summary of a random book every day with the app.

But the app stands out by providing cards. Instead of reading a book, you open the cards section and get insights from different books as random facts and quotes. These cards are short, straight to point, and feel like scrolling through social media content. You can also like and share these cards. Additionally, you can filter cards by topics that interest you. The best part is that this feature is completely free and you can swipe as many cards as you like to read.

Pros

  • Cards offer new way to read
  • Free book summary every day
  • 7 day free trial
  • Key takeaways which are shorter than summary

Cons

  • Slow UI
  • No kindle support

Download Instaread on Android and iOS

6. Headway

The advantage of this app is recommendations, challenges, and curated content. It takes more than 10 mins to just set up the app with topics you want to read, books that you find interesting, etc. Challenges are nothing a but list of books that you need to read in a set number of days. Good trick to form a reading habit. Also, book summaries are longer than normal with chapters inside them. You also get stories that are quotes and random info from other books.

Like other book summary apps, Headway is a paid app with a monthly subscription of $9.99/month. You get a free trial of 7 days which you need to cancel at least 24 hours before the plan ends. Also, you get a free book summary every day just like other apps.

Pros

  • Challenges
  • 7-day free trial
  • Curated recommendations of books and challenges
  • Free book summary every day
  • Stories

Cons

  • App can feel overwelming with the features
  • Need to cancel the subscription 24 hours before plan ends to stop charging

Download Headway on Android and iOS

7. getAbstract

This is an app with the biggest library with more than 22,000 book summaries. All summaries are available in both text and audio format. After the 3-day trial ends, you need to pay a premium of $99/year for a subscription. No free book summaries are provided after the trial ends.

All basic features you need like recommendations, creating your own library, and marking books as read are there. Each summary is from 7 to 20 minutes long. As the library is vast, you get editors’ picks to help find books you should read. If you like a book and want to read the original version, a link to Amazon and Kobo is given.

Pros

  • Vast library of 22,000+ book summaries
  • 7 to 20 minute long book summaries
  • Human sounding voices to listen the summaries

Cons

  • Only 3 day-free trial available
  • No free book summaries like other apps

Download getAbstract on Android and iOS

Summary for Book Summary Apps

Except for StoryShots, most book summary apps follow a subscription model. They all give a free book summary of a random book every day. For longer in-depth summaries, prefer Shortform. For short and crisp summaries, go for Blinkist app. Instaread has cards making it easier to read. Headway has challenges to help form a habit. We recommend using the trial version before subscribing to one or two book summary apps.

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