Apple releases iBooks 1.1 with PDF support for iPhone, iPad

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 22 of 70
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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?
  • Reply 23 of 70
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 24 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 25 of 70
    macdevilmacdevil Posts: 52member
    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.
  • Reply 26 of 70
    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?
  • Reply 27 of 70
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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.
  • Reply 28 of 70
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    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.
  • Reply 29 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 30 of 70
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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.
  • Reply 31 of 70
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 32 of 70
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    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.
  • Reply 33 of 70
    archer75archer75 Posts: 204member
    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.
  • Reply 34 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 35 of 70
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    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.
  • Reply 36 of 70
    macdevilmacdevil Posts: 52member
    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.
  • Reply 37 of 70
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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.
  • Reply 38 of 70
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    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...
  • Reply 39 of 70
    archer75archer75 Posts: 204member
    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.
  • Reply 40 of 70
    pomorpomor Posts: 3member
    So, a severe issue for me with iBooks 1.1 is that in ANY epub book that I converted myself using Calibre, the dictionary feature just says "Dictionary not available for this language" when all my books are in English. The dictionary does work with any paid or free books I downloaded from within the iBookstore.



    I am going to re-convert some of these epubs with Calibre. Also, Calibre gets updated very often. I expect an update tonight or tomorrow that might potentially fix this issue.



    If I can't get this resolved, I am considering going back to iBooks 1.0



    P.S. I have a feeling that iBooks 1.1 changed from UTF-8 to Unicode or vice versa (or some other such thing)
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