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MacMost Now 381: iPad iBooks App

One of the major functions of the iPad is to serve as an e-books reader. The iBooks app from Apple allows you to both purchase and view e-books. Take a look at how the iBooks app works.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode lets take a look at the iBooks app on the iPad. So, the iBooks app is what turns the iPad into an E-books reader. In a way its two apps in one its both a store and a reader, so it would be the equivalent in the music side of things to the I-pod app and the I-tunes app. Lets take a look at both sides of iBooks. So lets launch iBooks. and we will take you to our collection of books that we have already on the iPad, I've got a few here already. Click the button here to go to the store and the store looks, kinda I-tunes like just has books has featured books here at the top, its got a list here that you can page through and see some other featured books.You can look ant New York Times best sellers you can look at the top charts or you can look at the books you've purchased. You can also click here to look at categories and jump to a specific category. If you want to read some more about a book, we can click on it and you get this little page here about it, shows you some things and the price and you can click there to buy go to an Author page you can also click on get sample and it will actually download a sample. Maybe the first chapter or two of that book click outside of here to go back and then you can jump to one of these other pages here notice that while there are a lot of books in the store there's not nearly as many as you would expect. And I'm sure Apples gonna be working harder to add more now remember when I-tunes first launched there weren't that many artists in there either. Uh, in addition I've also noticed that you can find tons, and tons of public domain books on here. So for instance if I search for HG wells Ill come up with a whole bunch of his books, which of course mostly are free, as you can see here. And you can download these free books and they are basically from the Gutenberg collection. And there nicely formatted in the E-pub format, I've got a bunch of those. So returning to your library of books you can select a book heres the sample that comes with iBooks. Its "Winnie-the-Pooh" and you can go ahead and view it. In this format you get ONE PAGE this is the vertical format you get one page per, uh, screen. And to turn it you can do this which is really nice you can see how well that works. Just flip it up and you can turn the pages like that so some other nice features here are that you can, uh tap and hold over something and select it you can change a selection you can click on Dictionary and look up that word in the dictionary. You can also set it as a book mark and you can perform a search on it it will give you basically every place else in that book that, that search term comes up. Then you can jump to a Google search or a Wikipedia search for that same term. Anytime you want you can jump to the table of contents there scroll through it jump to a specific chapter. You can also adjust the brightness which would be nice for reading in bed at night and you want it dimmer you can adjust the font size so you can make everything a little bit bigger, Incrementally change a font to a few different fonts here that are good to read. And you can perform an independent search not just on a word there but searching for something else and jump to it. You can also go through the book using this bar at the bottom here and basically scroll through to any place that you want in the book. And like here at the bottom its hard to see but it tells you how many pages are left in a current chapter it also looks like the book marking function can be used for highlighting, so for instance Ill select this word here and say maybe I wanted to highlight as a text book. I can book mark it and once I book mark it if I click it again I can choose a color like that. So back here on the library page you can keep this bookshelf view you can also switch to a list view. Which would probably be more useful if you have lots of books and you can sort it by Authors, different categories. and you can also edit there which allows you to remove books from your collection. In addition I also wanted to show you what it looks like when you put the iPad in horizontal view you get TWO pages here and you can flip back and forth between them like so. So this is a pretty nice way to read as well. Especially given that you can adjust the font size here, now iBooks app uses the standard E-pub format the great thing about it is that you can find E-pub books elsewhere and bring them into your iPad. All you have to do basically is to drag and drop them into I-tunes add them to your books collection there and then sync with you iPad as long as there's no strange copy protection on them it should work fine on your iPad I tried it out myself. You can also make your own E-pub books using various pieces of software. Now what iBooks isn't is a PDF reader it dose NOT display PDFs see E-pub, and PDF are different things PDF is an emphasis on layout. PDF documents look the same no matter what platform your looking on. E-pub formats emphasis on the words themselves so you can scale and increase the size of the words. Things like that so you cant convert really from one to the other there are other apps that will read PDF documents. There are some really good ones out there even some free ones so if your looking for a way to read PDFs your iPad can do that BUT iBooks isn't the app. So my conclusion is that iBooks is a great app that turns the iPad into an E-books reader one of the big advantages, of course is that its full color its also pretty full featured and this is only the first version of iBooks. It will probably even get more features as we move t words the future. So I hope you like this look at iBooks until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

5 Responses to “MacMost Now 381: iPad iBooks App”

  1. Sam Gregory says:

    how do you turn BACK a page i portrait mode?

  2. Bill says:

    Great work again Gary … love your videos :)

  3. John Nelms says:

    A great site. Thank you!

  4. Rick Harker says:

    Hi Gary,
    You answered a question that has baffled me regarding books not in the App store. My daughter saw a book on the iPad with pop up forests and characters that moved in the background and I tried in vein to find it. I didn’t know you could import “epub” books from elsewhere.
    Thank you in heaps.
    sincerely,
    Rick.

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