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Apple releases iBooks 1.1 with PDF support for iPhone, iPad

post #1 of 71
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Soon after iOS 4 was released to iPhone and iPod touch users on Monday, Apple also made its iBooks application for reading and purchasing e-books available for device owners for free via the App Store.

Version 1.1 of iBooks makes the application available on any iPhone or iPod with iOS 4. The update also applies for iPad owners, and brings the ability to open and read PDF documents and add them to the virtual bookshelf.

Other additions to the new version of iBooks, according to Apple:

Take advantage of new ways to bookmark. In addition to highlighting a word or passage, youc an now also add notes or bookmark an entire page with the new page ribbon.

Keep your bookmarks, notes, and your current page wirelessly in sync between iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with the new automatic bookmark syncing feature.

See your book pages in a new font, called Georgia.

Read your books on white or sepia colored pages.

Choose left or fully justified text layout from Settings.

Read pages with greater ease by increasing to even larger font sizes.

Enjoy greater stability and better performance.


Apple first announced that iBooks would come to the iPhone and iPod touch at last week's iPhone 4 event. Previously, it was only available for the iPad.

The Cupertino, Calif., company also revealed that it had sold more than 5 million digital books in just over two months, giving Apple a 22 percent share of the e-book market.
post #2 of 71
Nice.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 71
I suppose this is a stupid question, but is there going to be a way to port books over? Supposing I bought some for the Kindle app...
It would be nic. To have my books all in the same place, but I can't see this happening...
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post #4 of 71
We need a black background to read on like the kindle app.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #5 of 71
This is awesome... Right clicked on a PDF, told it to open in iTunes (not a default option yet) and it stuck the PDF in the Books. Sync'ed my iPhone and now have the PDF in iBooks.
post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I suppose this is a stupid question, but is there going to be a way to port books over? Supposing I bought some for the Kindle app...
It would be nic. To have my books all in the same place, but I can't see this happening...

It can already be done. I won't detail it here but Kindle books are AZW files that are based on MOBI. You remove the DRM (which you can Google) and then convert to EPUB or PDF. I think EPUB will probably be more functional than PDF.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #7 of 71
When I download iBooks from AppStore (on either my iPhone or iTunes) I only get the old 1.0.1 version which is for iPad only (not the new v1.1) and can't install it on my iPhone.

Anybody else got this problem?

And is there a solution?

(yes I have iOS4 installed)


/Bean
post #8 of 71
Never mind.. it works now. I quess somethin was fixed on the servers.
post #9 of 71
Much needed update, though trying iBooks on my iPhone just confirmed my desire to never read a book on that tiny screen. Btw, has anyone noticed that the new iBooks icon on the iPad sits noticeably higher than other icons on the screen? It's already driving me nuts...
post #10 of 71
My iP3G claims iBooks 1.1 requires iOS3.2. Interestingly, when I backed it up this morning (before the release of iOS4) iTunes told me the most recent version of the software was 3.1.3. Kinda curious what will happen when I plug it in tonight and look for iOS4.
post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I suppose this is a stupid question, but is there going to be a way to port books over? Supposing I bought some for the Kindle app...
It would be nic. To have my books all in the same place, but I can't see this happening...

There are pearl scripts on the web to do that, but it would be against the licensing agreement and illegal.
post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

My iP3G claims iBooks 1.1 requires iOS3.2. Interestingly, when I backed it up this morning (before the release of iOS4) iTunes told me the most recent version of the software was 3.1.3. Kinda curious what will happen when I plug it in tonight and look for iOS4.

iOS 3.2 is only for the iPad which is why it says the Univseral iBooks app if for version 3.2+.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #13 of 71
If you are using Stanza, they have a java tool (available from their website) that will allow you to pull your books out of the iPhone backup and save them somewhere, after which you can add them to your iTunes library and make them available to iBooks. I did this so I could load them on my iPad and it worked fine. I don't now if there are issues with paid books, though.

The last Stanza update was somewhat annoying (among other things, they changed the status bar to white/gray from black, and it's really distracting having it there while reading. you can hide it completely, but I liked having it visible when it was black.) Stanza does still have more options for free books available, though.

I spend a couple hours a day reading on my iPhone, so looking forward to trying out iBooks on it.
post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

iOS 3.2 is only for the iPad which is why it says the Univseral iBooks app if for version 3.2+.

Hmmm...interesting. Meaning you can't buy and install on the iPhone, only on iTunes then synch? Makes sense...I suppose. But when I do a search on the app store app on my 3G, it doesn't find "iBooks." I do see it when I search on Apple Inc.
post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

Btw, has anyone noticed that the new iBooks icon on the iPad sits noticeably higher than other icons on the screen? It's already driving me nuts...

Optical illusion?
post #16 of 71
Isn't that convenient that B&N Nook AND Amazon Kindle just announced price drops today! They see the writing on the wall. With 2 million iPads sold, not necessarily to eBook fanatics, they shrugged... but now that iBookstore is available to iPod Touch and iPhone owners today... holy cats they reacted quickly. Guess with over 50 million iPhones out there and 100 million iDevices that can access the same iBooks... they got a little bit nervous.
post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by app.fan.le View Post

Isn't that convenient that B&N Nook AND Amazon Kindle just announced price drops today! They see the writing on the wall. With 2 million iPads sold, not necessarily to eBook fanatics, they shrugged... but now that iBookstore is available to iPod Touch and iPhone owners today... holy cats they reacted quickly. Guess with over 50 million iPhones out there and 100 million iDevices that can access the same iBooks... they got a little bit nervous.

I didn't know that, but it is fantastic news. It annoys me that you pay the same or more for an eBook than you do for paperback.

Competition benefits us all.
post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffhrsn View Post

Optical illusion?

Upon further inspection, I think you are both right and wrong. The top of the icon appears to be at the same height as the other icons. However the iBooks icon looks to be about 1 pixel short at the bottom. To see this, put it in the dock next the mail app. There is extra space under the iBooks icon that isn't there with the other default apps.

Not a big deal, but annoying nonetheless.
post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It can already be done. I won't detail it here but Kindle books are AZW files that are based on MOBI. You remove the DRM (which you can Google) and then convert to EPUB or PDF. I think EPUB will probably be more functional than PDF.

The simpler solution: Read on your iPhone/iPad with the free kindle app.
post #20 of 71
Great! One of the most conspicuous missing features of the iPad has been addressed. Now get us the clock app.
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post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

We need a black background to read on like the kindle app.

Meh.

Maybe the screen should be artificially curved and shiny, and also flicker every once in a while?
post #22 of 71
Is it just me or does iTunes need a somewhat hefty makeover in the book department? The genres listed are only for music. I'm not sure how to categorize my books. (Should I put the info in the grouping or genre?) The worst part is the add artwork feature doesn't seem to work. If I try to add a cover to a PDF, (that is not read only...I already checked that) it appears as if it takes, but then it doesn't show up once you click the OK button in the 'Get Info' window. Does anyone else have this problem?

I am hoping this is just a fix that Apple can push out in the near future, but iTunes needs to make some changes now that it wants to be the center of our digital book library too.
post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcZero View Post

... The worst part is the add artwork feature doesn't seem to work. If I try to add a cover to a PDF, (that is not read only...I already checked that) it appears as if it takes, but then it doesn't show up once you click the OK button in the 'Get Info' window. Does anyone else have this problem? ...

I've had no problem adding artwork to ePub books, so maybe it's a PDF issue?
post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

Upon further inspection, I think you are both right and wrong. The top of the icon appears to be at the same height as the other icons. However the iBooks icon looks to be about 1 pixel short at the bottom. To see this, put it in the dock next the mail app. There is extra space under the iBooks icon that isn't there with the other default apps.

Not a big deal, but annoying nonetheless.

It's a tad uglier than the old icon too for what it's worth. The wood grain was much nicer on the old one.
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

See your book pages in a new font, called Georgia.

Hehe. I love how this makes it sound like a new font.
If anyone's wondering, this is an *excellent* font choice for non-'Retina' devices. Your iPad, for example. Georgia is made to look great on the screen. It is probably going to be a bad choice for your iPhone 4, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Choose left or fully justified text layout from Settings.

The best news of the batch! Now they just need to make that the default behavior of the 'Reader' feature in Safari. Some folks may like justified text, but it isn't because it's more readable.
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post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

It's a tad uglier than the old icon too for what it's worth. The wood grain was much nicer on the old one.

Agreed. The old one had a "canvas" background that resembled the texture found on the spine of an old book. I don't mind the idea of changing it to wood, given the nice wooden bookshelf that greets you when you open the app. However, the wood on this icon is indeed ugly looking.
post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I've had no problem adding artwork to ePub books, so maybe it's a PDF issue?

Perhaps. My books are all in pdf format so that is entirely possible but it just doesn't work for some reason. Beyond just this type of issue, is there anything the ePub format offers that is better than pdf? If so, is there a way to convert pdfs to ePubs?
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcZero View Post

Perhaps. My books are all in pdf format so that is entirely possible but it just doesn't work for some reason. Beyond just this type of issue, is there anything the ePub format offers that is better than pdf? If so, is there a way to convert pdfs to ePubs?

How does it display the PDFs? I assume it just works as a viewer, maintaining formatting?

With ePub, the text reflows to fit the screen, which would make for easier reading. You can adjust the font size instead of just zooming the PDF. The Stanza desktop app will convert PDFs to ePub. I'm not sure how it handles images in that case, since the few PDFs I converted where all text.

I guess it depends on the nature of the content whether it would work well for you, but since Stanza desktop is free, not much to lose but a little time.
post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcZero View Post

Perhaps. My books are all in pdf format so that is entirely possible but it just doesn't work for some reason. Beyond just this type of issue, is there anything the ePub format offers that is better than pdf? If so, is there a way to convert pdfs to ePubs?

From what I've seen so far, for illustrated and/or designed books, PDF is going to be the far better choice. It retains the fonts and the page layout the designer has chosen, and the graphics stay where they were put. I don't think ePub can do this.
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post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

How does it display the PDFs? I assume it just works as a viewer, maintaining formatting?

With ePub, the text reflows to fit the screen, which would make for easier reading. You can adjust the font size instead of just zooming the PDF. The Stanza desktop app will convert PDFs to ePub. I'm not sure how it handles images in that case, since the few PDFs I converted where all text.

I guess it depends on the nature of the content whether it would work well for you, but since Stanza desktop is free, not much to lose but a little time.

I'll give Stanza a try. It sounds like it is worth it to convert. The PDFs just show the first page as the cover. I am assuming that the way iTunes is now, it attempts to add the artwork you try to insert as metadata, but it must not mesh correctly. I think they could fix that by either putting in the code to insert a page on the PDF file itself or just keep a file in iTunes as a reference to the cover picture of that book cover. Again, not a huge change is needed, but it will need to be done at some point I hope. I've been waiting for a reason to sit down and organize all of my digital books.
post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcZero View Post

I'll give Stanza a try. It sounds like it is worth it to convert. The PDFs just show the first page as the cover. I am assuming that the way iTunes is now, it attempts to add the artwork you try to insert as metadata, but it must not mesh correctly. I think they could fix that by either putting in the code to insert a page on the PDF file itself or just keep a file in iTunes as a reference to the cover picture of that book cover. Again, not a huge change is needed, but it will need to be done at some point I hope. I've been waiting for a reason to sit down and organize all of my digital books.

That sounds exactly like the PDFs I converted. I had the cover art separately, so I just added it back in iTunes. Stanza should work fine for your purposes.
post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

Agreed. The old one had a "canvas" background that resembled the texture found on the spine of an old book. I don't mind the idea of changing it to wood, given the nice wooden bookshelf that greets you when you open the app. However, the wood on this icon is indeed ugly looking.

Your right, I was already mis-remembering it (from this morning!), as wood grain instead of the canvasy thing it really was.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am already getting sick of woodgrain and leather textures everywhere in iPad apps. I think the whole "faux-realism" thing will probably look really dated very quickly overall.
post #33 of 71
While trying to locate Stanza I found Calibre, which converts many formats to ebooks. The UI is a disaster (for "how not to design an application" see: Calibre). Finally figured it out and converted a PDF of the book I am working on to ePub. Do not try this at home, kids. What a mess. The biggest problem is that ePub (or the converter) apparently does not understand text in multiple columns, so it gets scrambled up randomly. The second biggest problem is that puts graphics wherever, leaves some out, screws up others. For really simple books this might work. For anything else, it's a total no-go.
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post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I didn't know that, but it is fantastic news. It annoys me that you pay the same or more for an eBook than you do for paperback.

Competition benefits us all.

Competition is good. The kindle and nook will always have a market. Not everyone wants to spend more money on an ipad nor does everyone like the traditional computer screen for reading books on.
E-ink is nice to read.
The kindle is now $189 and the nook comes in two models now, wifi is $149 and wifi/3g is $199

With that said, does anyone know if it's possible to load ebooks you already own into the B&N or kindle software on the ipad? I haven't found out how to do it.
post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

That sounds exactly like the PDFs I converted. I had the cover art separately, so I just added it back in iTunes. Stanza should work fine for your purposes.

I just tried Stanza and unfortunately it does not format very well for my types of books (scientific books with many figures and footnotes.) Footnotes are put inline with the regular text at the same size and figures are just gutted completely.
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcZero View Post

I just tried Stanza and unfortunately it does not format very well for my types of books (scientific books with many figures and footnotes.) Footnotes are put inline with the regular text at the same size and figures are just gutted completely.

See above. This seems to be a limitation of the ePub format, which does not seem to be suitable for anything but novels.
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post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Your right, I was already mis-remembering it (from this morning!), as wood grain instead of the canvasy thing it really was.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am already getting sick of woodgrain and leather textures everywhere in iPad apps. I think the whole "faux-realism" thing will probably look really dated very quickly overall.

Ugh and I just noticed the wood texture is also reflected vertically about the center of the icon (the right half is just a reflection of the left half). Unusually sloppy work for Apple. Now I really do dislike the new icon.
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcZero View Post

I just tried Stanza and unfortunately it does not format very well for my types of books (scientific books with many figures and footnotes.) Footnotes are put inline with the regular text at the same size and figures are just gutted completely.

I must have misunderstood you, I thought it was all just straight text, that's not going to work so well.
post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

There are pearl scripts on the web to do that, but it would be against the licensing agreement and illegal.

Thanks. I figured it would be something like this, not sure if it will be worth the trouble...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

The simpler solution: Read on your iPhone/iPad with the free kindle app.

Gee, arn't you helpful...

Obviously, this is an option. But I already have 20 or so books I bought from the Kindle store. I have yet to try the iBooks app for iPhone (this is also rather obvious at this point) but if I like it and there is a good selection of books, I may switch over. But do I really want to have my books spread accross two different programs? Do I want to have to remember where a given book is? I don't think it is unreasonable to want to have all of one's ebooks on the same bookshelf, but I have yet to pruchace an ebook that I am interested in paying for a second time!

Amazon could benefit from my breaking the DRM too. All they want to do is sell books. If I find that I prefer the iBooks app, I may buy most of my books there. But what if a book I want is not available through iBooks? Will I think twice about buying it from Amazon through the Kndle if it means it will be orphaned in an app I am not using much? Hmm...
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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


Obviously, this is an option. But I already have 20 or so books I bought from the Kindle store. I have yet to try the iBooks app for iPhone (this is also rather obvious at this point) but if I like it and there is a good selection of books, I may switch over. But do I really want to have my books spread accross two different programs? Do I want to have to remember where a given book is? I don't think it is unreasonable to want to have all of one's ebooks on the same bookshelf, but I have yet to pruchace an ebook that I am interested in paying for a second time!

Amazon could benefit from my breaking the DRM too. All they want to do is sell books. If I find that I prefer the iBooks app, I may buy most of my books there. But what if a book I want is not available through iBooks? Will I think twice about buying it from Amazon through the Kndle if it means it will be orphaned in an app I am not using much? Hmm...

That's why I won't buy books with DRM. I just transfer over the books I already own.
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