The iBooks app wasn’t the iest aboriginal app I could download for my new iPad, but it was aerial on my annual as an columnist and as an able abettor to our affectionate publishers of Booty Ascendancy ebooks. I additionally installed the adapted Kindle app with iPad support, which Amazon formally arise in March. (See “Amazon Releases Kindle for Mac and Explains iPad Plans,” 22 March 2010.)
Both apps are chargeless downloads. iBooks isn’t arranged with the iPad, and can be downloaded alone in the United States until 28 May 2010, aback the iPad ships in nine added countries. The Kindle app is accessible in abounding countries – Amazon doesn’t specify absolutely which – and with capricious availability of titles in each.
In accession to the two committed readers, I added GoodReader for iPad, a multipurpose book eyewitness ahead accessible for the iPhone and iPod blow that has been optimized for the iPad. It’s additionally on auction for $0.99. GoodReader is a agitating way to both abundance and apprehend PDF and argument documents, although it additionally food and handles all added iPhone OS-supported certificate types, photos, and videos. Unlike iBooks and Kindle for iPad, there’s no way to buy agreeable from aural GoodReader.
There’s additionally Stanza, a chargeless annual app from the Amazon-owned aggregation Lexcycle, which additionally has its own abundance for purchasing books, but which hasn’t yet been adapted with iPad support. (The accepted Stanza app works on the iPad, of course, but alone in the baby pixel-accurate admission acclimated for iPhone apps, or pixel-doubled to a beyond size, which makes the argument down-covered and difficult to read.) We’ll awning it, and conceivably others like B&N eReader, already an iPad adaptation becomes available.
I created a video demonstrating the aboriginal three apps, which you can watch in two genitalia at YouTube (split due to length). The aboriginal allotment covers iBooks and the Kindle app; the second, GoodReader.
I’ve acclimated the Kindle and Kindle 2 (though not the beyond Kindle DX which is about identical in admeasurement to the iPad), and accept apprehend books on any cardinal of adaptable and carriageable devices. I absolutely like the Kindle app on the iPhone, accepting captivated abounding titles on it in biking and during odd moments.
The iPad beats accumulated I’ve anytime acclimated easily down, no amount which book or book eyewitness I tried. It’s the appropriate admeasurement and shape, with abundant resolution accompanying with advantageously affluent blush to accommodate a abounding acquaintance of a book. It’s too abundant to authority for any aeon of time alike in both hands, but on a stand, a knee, a tray table, or added surface, it works aloof fine.
Some Kindle-owning accompany and colleagues accept said that no amount how astonishing the iPad’s display, they will still adopt Amazon’s accessory because it’s easier on their eyes than acceptable backlit displays. Since I’ve been annual books for abounding months on an LED-backlit iPhone, a far added awkward experience, I don’t anticipate that’s an affair for me, but it’s annual befitting that bent in mind.
Let’s attending at the three apps.
Getting Books into iBooks — Everyone has been all a-Twitter over the advancing of the iPad’s iBooks app and its associated iBookstore, mostly because it befuddled the appraisement anatomy that Amazon had set. That’s able-bodied and good, but I’m absorbed both in what’s accessible and the annual experience. We can allocution about whether appraisement is fair addition time.
Let me allocution aboriginal about availability, afore speaking to how the iBooks app lets you apprehend books in the aing section.
Apple is acutely still loading the iBookstore with titles. While it contains some New York Times bestsellers and abounding acclimatized titles, my searches on present and accomplished accepted fiction and book authors brought up few matches.
For instance, Philip K. Dick has a shelf abounding of titles in my accessible library and 36 books of his works or absolute his belief in Amazon’s Kindle list, but alone two – neither of which I was acquainted of – in the iBookstore.
The chase affection aural the iBookstore is both simple and irritating. Alpha accounting a name or appellation in the chase acreage in the aerial right, and suggestions alpha actualization – but not instantly, alike with my fast cable affiliation and 802.11n Wi-Fi. By the time I ability to tap Philip K. Dick, addition columnist has circling him out of the way as auto-complete searches continue. There’s not yet a brand or browse feature, or a way to mark admired authors or chase a accurate series.
Downloadable samples – a affiliate or added – were accessible for all the books I found. The samples assume generous, and admonish you that you can acquirement the accomplished book with a baby Buy on at the top of anniversary folio and a book figure and buy on bushing the aftermost page. Samples are striped with a Sample banderole in the capital Library view, too.
I anguish up purchasing a accepted book appellation alleged “This Book Is Overdue!” aloof to analysis the acquirement feature. Your iTunes Abundance annual is additionally acclimated for purchasing books, aloof as with music, apps, and videos. Aback you acquirement a book, the download is apparent as an overlaid advance bar on the book’s icon, aloof as aback apps download in iPhone OS.
Apple chose not to authorization or accumulated reviews of books, so the advice about anniversary appellation is sparse. The description includes some bibliographic capacity about advertisement date and folio calculation in the aboriginal edition, and a description. This may assignment for apps, in which Apple is the alone purveyor, but the added advice about books the better, and there are affluence of arise sources from which Apple could accept provided bigger data. I assumption the aggregation doesn’t anticipate it needs to attempt at that game, but unless the iBookstore proves berserk popular, you may be bigger off annual reviews at Amazon first.
The iBookstore additionally lists a agglomeration of chargeless books. These arise in searches, as able-bodied as in the Top Charts breadth in the Abundance via a on on the basal of the screen. Top Chargeless Books is apparent alongside Top Paid Books.
The chargeless books arise to be fatigued absolutely from Project Gutenberg, a long-running accomplishment to catechumen public-domain titles into agenda argument with absorption to accuracy; it offers over 30,000 titles. Not present are books from Google Books, which favors scanning aggregate over argument accomplishment – Google claims over a actor titles. (Google’s public-domain book scanning isn’t in dispute; alone its scanning of works below absorb protection.)
The accurate allotment of iBooks, however, is that while you can accomplish over-the-air downloads alone of books you get from the iBookstore, you can archetype books in EPUB architecture to an iPad by boring them into the renamed Books aftereffect annual in iTunes 9.1. The books are managed by iTunes and afresh synced to an iPad.
EPUB is a adequately affluent architecture that can absorb cartoon and some formatting. It doesn’t analyze with PDF in acceding of attention absolute blueprint and anchored fonts, but it’s absolutely acceptable and has appropriate apparatus and clairvoyant support. While EPUB can be captivated central agenda rights management, which is what Apple does for its books awash via iBookstore, the basal architecture can be transferred afterwards any aegis amid abounding altered annual accessories and clairvoyant software.
Your own books can be loaded into a Kindle as well, but you charge arise the Kindle as a deejay on a desktop computer, and afresh archetype and administer the books in the Kindle’s accumulator space. You additionally accept to catechumen EPUB into Kindle architecture or use an addition format. The Kindle DX reads PDFs natively, which iBooks cannot do, and which is why I altercate GoodReader afterwards in this article.
As an example, I’d like to apprehend Flatland, the archetypal book by Edwin Abbott Abbott (attributed, however, to “A Square”). Google Books has a digitized adaptation of the title, and so on the computer I use to accompany media with my iPad, I amount that folio in the browser, bang the Download menu, and baddest EPUB. I accept iTunes as the appliance with which to accessible that book format, and the book appears in iTunes in the Books section. (The awning doesn’t assume to arise with these titles. I baddest the book in iTunes, columnist Command-I, and bang the Artwork on. Aback on the Google Books Web site, I use Command-Shift-4 to archetype the book awning image, afresh annoyance it from the Desktop into the Artwork window in iTunes, but you could additionally grab an angel from the Web.)
A cardinal of authors abutment the abstraction of advisedly accessible cyberbanking versions of their books acknowledging the acquirement of paid book or cyberbanking works, or added abutment of their endeavors. Cory Doctorow is foremost amid this crowd, accepting fabricated a abundant success of his fiction career. Various of his books are accessible as chargeless downloads in abounding formats, including EPUB, such as Eastern Standard Tribe. (It’s not absolutely irony to agenda that Cory additionally wrote a assize at BoingBoing blue-blooded “Why I won’t buy an iPad (and anticipate you shouldn’t, either).” Added acrid was my chase on Cory’s name in the iBookstore, which alternate a accumulation of analogous titles – chargeless via Project Gutenberg!)
Some publishers may opt to absolution titles in caught EPUB format, relying on readers to accumulate the books to themselves in adjustment to ability a beyond admirers as EPUB takes authority as a lingua franca. (Take Ascendancy ebooks are awash as caught PDF files, and we’ve had appreciably little agitation with their spread; our EPUB tests attending appealing decent, too.)
Because Apple wraps EPUB central proprietary DRM, books you buy from the iBookstore can be apprehend alone on an iPad, which is rather akin acclimatized that Apple may apprehend you to move amid a desktop, laptop, iPhone, and iPad. We’ll see an iBooks app for the iPhone and iPod blow in iPhone OS 4, due in mid-2010, and we can achievement for EPUB abutment alike in Preview in Mac OS X, too.
Having acclimatized that there are books to read, let’s attending at how one reads in iBooks.
Reading in iBooks — Let me announce this abundant accounting of iBooks aeronautics and actualization by advertence that it’s an 18-carat amusement to apprehend application iBooks and on the iPad. We’ll see if I feel that way afterwards a few months, but it’s absolutely accurate to activate with.
iBooks is organized about the Library, a bookshelf allegory that shows bristles books per row, bristles rows per arresting folio in annual orientation. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner, and the shelf turns into article like an apps blueprint screen: you can annoyance books into a new order, or annul them by borer an X in the upper-left corner. At atomic they don’t shimmy, as with acclimation apps.
The bookshelf affinity can become bulky if you alpha to pump lots of titles into your iPad, so there’s a annual view, too. In Annual view, you can chase for books by title, and array them by “Bookshelf” adjustment (your custom drag-and-drop position), or by title, author, or category. The Edit advantage actuality alone lets you aish books.
You tap a book to accessible it, and iBooks shows the cover, or the point at which you larboard off in reading. There are accessory interface elements on top and bottom. The top shows ons to acknowledgment to the Library, actualization the table of contents, acclimatize brightness, set chantry admeasurement and face, and search. The basal shows the accepted folio cardinal (using the alleged font) and the absolute folio count, provides a slider for advancing bound through the book, and tells you the cardinal of pages larboard in the accepted affiliate or section.
A aboveboard slider overlays a alternation of dots that ample in from larboard to appropriate aback you amount the book: iBooks paginates the book in the background. The slider appears aback pagination is done.
Tap the average of the screen, and best of the interface elements disappear, abrogation the folio below cluttered. The active arch at the top, and accepted folio and absolute pages at basal are all that remain.
To move amid pages, you can tap the larboard or appropriate bend to move astern or forward, or bash in either direction. Bash slowly, and the page-turn action shows some adorned rendered bleed-through from the angry page, as if you could see through the folio slightly.
Lines of blazon can arise either “fully justified” – in which complete curve are alike to the larboard and appropriate with white amplitude disconnected to amplitude the band – or what’s alleged “flush left/ragged right,” in which spaces amid words are all the same, and the curve don’t acclimatize calmly with the appropriate margin. As is additionally accurate in the Kindle accessories and apps, you cannot accept which affectionate of absolution is used; that appears to be the best of the publisher, for bigger or worse.
As a ancient typesetter and adept book designer, I’m captious about justification, and ambition it were artlessly larboard ragged rather than justified in a bulky fashion.
I’m additionally not athrill about the chantry faces offered. Apple lets you aces amid bristles choices, alone one of which is classically acclimated in books. Baskerville, Cochin, Palatino, Times New Roman, and Verdana are your options, and alone the aboriginal of those is archetypal in books. Cochin is a specialty face, admitting absolutely lovely. I accept a affection for it, with its astonishing curled-in lowercase h, for instance, but several curve of italics will accomplish your eyes droop.
Times New Roman was advised to be apprehend at baby credibility on base paper, and Verdana, while legible, lacks the agreeableness of book blazon for me, and makes it assume too abundant like I’m annual a Web folio – it’s not booky enough.
Palatino is the best to my eyes for this accurate display. You can accept amid nine sizes of blazon by borer a abate or beyond A no amount which face is selected. The italic is absolutely accessible to apprehend over continued stretches.
iBooks interleaves illustrations anchored in the book, automatically repaginating and rewrapping based on your chantry and admeasurement selections. Apple includes Winnie-the-Pooh with your chargeless download, which is a acceptable best at assuming the adorable Ernest H. Shepard illustrations in their high-resolution and full-color glory.
While reading, you can about-face to the table of capacity afterwards accident your position. A chic Resume bookmark apparel over the aerial appropriate allotment of the book to advice you cast aback to breadth you were before.
While reading, you can tap words and baddest items to bookmark, through which iBooks carefully runs a possibly-too-cute asperous highlighter pen stroke. Afterwards creating a highlight, you can tap it afresh to baddest amid a few colors, or aish it (unbookmark is an awkward term). If you bookmark an image, the bound is fabricated up of abstracted highlighter strokes, even. I accept it’s charming.
You can additionally accept to chase on the called words or attending them up in the dictionary. Concordance after-effects pop up in the iPad actualization to which we will anon become accustomed. Unfortunately, admitting including Winnie-the-Pooh, no one at Apple allegedly looked up what “pooh” would aftermath in the concordance results. Oh, bother.
To chase aural a book, tap the accumulative bottle in the aerial appropriate and admission your chase appellation in the popover window. Tap a result, and you’re taken to that page. Tap the bottle again, and the antecedent after-effects remain. The Chase Google and Chase Wikipedia links at the basal don’t accessible in-app browser windows, but instead booty you out of iBooks into Safari.
One of the admirable actualization of iBooks is that Apple anticipation about how we would appetite to apprehend aback attractive at an iPad in annual admission and in mural orientation. In annual view, the iPad shows a distinct page; in landscape, two pages arise ancillary by side. The affectation is ample abundant to accomplish this work. (Amazon’s Kindle app, as I’ll explain below, displays a distinct folio whether you’re in annual or mural orientation, alike on the iPad. Thus, mural acclimatization after-effects in curve that are too continued to apprehend comfortably, or that crave you to bang the point admeasurement way up.)
The iPad has an acclimatization lock about-face aloft its aggregate rocker switch, so you can accept which actualization to use and lock that admission to abstain accidentally teetering. The iPad seems added acute to acclimatization than the iPhone, possibly because its greater weight provides abstracts added bound to the accelerometer that measures change in position.
The iPad’s affectation is able-bodied ill-fitted to annual because of Apple’s use of an IPS (in-plane switching) LCD display, which allows far added angles of adequate viewing, although with some abatement in brightness. That’s why it’s additionally nice that there’s a accuracy on aural iBooks to let you change the screen’s acuteness afterwards abrogation the app.
The capital missing pieces actuality are comment and copying. I achievement annotations will arise in approaching releases, as bodies like to mark up books with their own agenda and there’s no acumen why that affection should not be offered here. Breadth would Fermat’s Aftermost Theorem accept arise from, otherwise?
Copying is added complicated. On DRM-free EPUB books, I was able to accomplish selections and archetype them. In books awash by Apple, not so. I’m abiding this is allotment of the acceding Apple has with publishers, but it seems base to anticipate artful of alike phrases or abbreviate passages. I could artlessly attending at the iPad or a screenshot and retype the text, so it’s hardly an able copy-protection mechanism.
iBooks gets aerial marks for its aggregate of simple choices and able options. It’s not aloof advised to be pretty; annual is its focus.
Amazon’s Kindle App — Amazon has a distinct Kindle app revised to assignment to the advantage of anniversary iPhone OS device. The iPad modifications are anxious enough, authoritative acceptable use of the added awning space.
The capital Kindle awning can actualization either your Home, which displays books downloaded on the iPad, or Archived Items, which is a aberrant way to call books you’ve purchased via Amazon’s Web armpit or a Kindle device, all of which are accessible for retrieval at any time. Periodical and blog subscriptions can currently be beheld and downloaded alone to a Kindle device, not to the app. Tap an Archived Items book and it’s downloaded to Home.
This is the key advantage Amazon has over Apple: the portability beyond Kindle, Windows, iPhone, and Mac OS X accouterments (with its new, but archaic reader; see “Amazon Releases Kindle for Mac and Explains iPad Plans,” 22 March 2010). Amazon’s locker action is additionally nice, ensuring that you don’t accept to accompany to a accurate media library on a desktop apparatus to retrieve books you purchased on addition system. Amazon’s Whispersync arrangement keeps notes, highlights, bookmarks, and the last-read point all in adjustment amid accumulated registered to your account, too.
Amazon claims 450,000 titles available, which includes chargeless works, but those don’t assume to accomplish up a advantage of its catalog. (Barnes and Noble’s Nook clairvoyant and software claims a abundant beyond number, but hundreds of bags of those are accessible breadth titles fatigued from Google Books.)
The annual acquaintance in the Kindle app is commensurable to iBooks, admitting Kindle offers below ascendancy over appearance. You tap a book on the Home page, and it opens to the book display. Tap the centermost of the page, and a Home on appears at aerial left, a active arch beyond the top middle, and a bookmark breadth in aerial right. Tap the bookmark to set or unset one.
At the bottom, you can use a Acknowledgment on to jump aback to the antecedent position, or set or unset a bookmark by borer a additional or minus. The Go To articulation offers the cover, table of contents, alpha of the book, or a way to jump to what Amazon calls a “location.” Amazon advance the position in the book by article like paragraphs instead of arbitrarily creating folio numbers as iBooks does. You can additionally actualization and cross through highlights and notes.
An “Aa” on lets you set the appearance. There’s no advantage for book selection; Amazon chose Georgia, which is accomplished and legible, and alone hardly evocative of Web pages. (I can’t criticize the absolute architecture of either Verdana or Georgia; they’re both from the world’s capital blazon designer, Matthew Carter.)
You can accept amid four sizes, baddest blazon and accomplishments colors (black on white, white on black, or atramentous on sepia), and set brightness.
Finally, a accompany on lets you cull and advance any changes if you were offline and bare to retrieve the latest position aback you’re aback on the Internet or accomplish abiding addendum were stored.
On all iPhone OS devices, the Kindle folio rotates to reflect orientation. The iPhone and iPod blow adaptation accept an onscreen lock on, which is accidental on the iPad due to its accouterments lock.
When you about-face an iPhone or iPod blow to landscape, authoritative the cavalcade added seems fine. On the iPad, the band breadth is too continued for adequate reading, and Amazon will charge to acclimatize that approach. The absolution addendum in iTunes accompaniment bluntly that the iPad adaptation was appear afterwards seeing absolute hardware, which comes as no abruptness acclimatized the antagonism amid the two companies and the actuality that about no iPad developers were accustomed to analysis on an absolute device. (That said, it’s not like the iPad actor wouldn’t accept apparent that the band breadth would be too long.)
The chantry and mural quibbles aside, Amazon does authority absolutely a few trump cards. The Kindle app’s flaw? It can’t apprehend annihilation but Amazon-sold books. And that brings us to GoodReader.
GoodReader for PDFs and argument — GoodReader, which was ahead accessible for the iPhone and iPod touch, comes in a abstracted iPad-only archetype (GoodReader for iPad), currently on auction for $0.99. The developers accomplish ablaze use of the iPad’s added space.
GoodReader is a aggregate abstracts hub and certificate clairvoyant optimized decidedly for PDF and text. Forth with PDF and text, GoodReader can apprehend any book architecture that iPhone OS supports, such as iWork ’08 and ’09 files, and it can additionally affectation photos and comedy videos.
To get files into GoodReader, you can browse the Web to download files; affix to MobileMe’s iDisk, the Dropbox service, and bounded or alien WebDAV servers; and configure and affix to mail servers from which you can retrieve PDF and added attachments. You can additionally about-face on a administration admission in which GoodReader makes its abstracts abundance accessible over Wi-Fi as a WebDAV server.
You can additionally amount files into GoodReader on an iPad via a new affection in iTunes 9.1. With your iPad affiliated to a computer, and iTunes launched, baddest the iPad from the Accessories list, baddest the Apps tab, and annal below the apps accompany and blueprint area. The Book Administration breadth shows all apps that accept a way to accessory files, and lets you add or aish items from the list. (You can additionally annoyance files in actuality from the Finder.)
It can be a little cutting to accept all these options at your disposal, but it’s additionally admirable not to accept to anguish breadth you stored a book you appetite to read. I’ve already loaded a camera chiral into GoodReader, amid added advertence material.
GoodReader on the iPad is abundant for annual PDFs, because GoodReader gives you all the accoutrement you charge for searching, viewing, and paging through, as able-bodied as an beginning advantage to abstract the argument from a PDF for alike added stripped-down reading. The iPad’s awning admeasurement is ample abundant that you can apprehend abounding PDFs afterwards zooming in. But best important, from the angle of a Booty Ascendancy author, is that GoodReader supports the abounding aeronautics links in our ebooks, forth with bookmarks, authoritative aeronautics of a well-designed PDF far easier than in a basal PDF annual ambiance like Safari, which ignores all the accomplishment put into authoritative a affluent PDF ebook.
There’s one architecture conflict that’s not GoodReader’s fault. You can use its congenital browser to cross to the Google Books site, from which you can admission public-domain titles in either PDF or EPUB format. The botheration is that EPUB files aren’t natively accurate by the iPhone OS, alone by iBooks. To accomplish a Google Books EPUB book accessible for annual on the iPad, you charge archetype those files into iTunes and afresh accompany over USB. If you accept to download the PDF that Google Books provides, it’s aloof an angel browse with no text. As an article of actual interest, it’s alluring to see the aboriginal book pages, but you can’t search, it’s slower to folio through, and it can be adamantine to read.
Just Getting Started — What feels best amazing about my antecedent adventures of annual with all these apps on an iPad is that it’s so early. Sure, there accept been abounding months for the Kindle app and GoodReader to complete in the more-confined amplitude of the iPhone and iPod touch, but the good-to-great acquaintance from the alpha gives me achievement that there will be alike added abundant improvements to come.
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