Over the next year, as smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers prepare to release a batch of new phones that run Google’s Android operating system, developers are scrambling to create e-book applications to support the new OS. Aldiko is a new e-book reader designed to run on the Android OS.

Based in Hong Kong, the Aldiko company was founded by Tiffany Wong and Minh Pruong, business partners who were educated and received their business training in the U.S. In a phone interview with Wong, she said she oversees Aldiko’s business while Pruong is a former engineer who handles technical issues. The company was founded earlier this year and is self-financed.

The two were very interested in e-books and, she said, “after the Android operating system was launched we saw a business opportunity. E-books and mobile platforms offer a big opportunity for innovation.” Wong noted the proliferation of Android smartphones in the marketplace, but the company also benefited from being mentioned in the New York Times in early December in a story about free e-book software.

Aldiko can be downloaded for free through Android Marketplace, an e-commerce site reachable through any smartphone running Android, as well as third party distribution channels, including SlideMe, Handango, AndAppStore and Appslib stores. Aldiko allows consumers to tag and organize their e-books into libraries, and the interface offers customizable fonts, bookmarks and nighttime reading mode font.

The software will run on any Android smartphone, netbook or multi-purpose device. Aldiko also has content deals with O’Reilly Media, Smashwords, All Romance E-books and OmniLit and there are about 30,000 titles available through the software. Aldiko supports the ePub standard as well as non-DRM formats in lit, pdf, text and others and consumers can use a free software converter called Calibre that will convert the aforementioned formats into ePub for reading on Aldiko.

Wong said there have been more than 120,000 downloads of Aldiko since the Times story and she said the company is working with publishers to expand the number of titles available through Aldiko. She noted that Aldiko offers many books as standalone applications which can be purchased through Android Marketplace. Consumers can also buy books directly through the application and the company is working with publishers like O’Reilly to integrate their e-book catalogs directly into the reader allowing them to market and promote their e-books through the application.

Wong emphasized that Aldiko embraces “the industry standard ePub, as opposed to a proprietary ecosystem, allowing end-users to get access to content from many different sources rather than a particular bookstore or vendor.”