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iBooks 1.1 is now live

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Title says it all.

 

If you have an iPad or have installed iOS 4.0 into your iPhone, you can download iBooks 1.1 from the App store.

 

Orren

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Very Cool. I have a question for anyone who has GoodReader... I'd like to know how it compares to reading a PDF in iBooks. I know it's only .99 cents, but I've got a pretty big wish list of apps and eliminating something from that list with something else that's free is good. I'm not sure what else GoodReader does though.

- Jools

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Very Cool. I have a question for anyone who has GoodReader... I'd like to know how it compares to reading a PDF in iBooks. I know it's only .99 cents, but I've got a pretty big wish list of apps and eliminating something from that list with something else that's free is good. I'm not sure what else GoodReader does though.

- Jools

The main thing it does, Jules, is that it lets you set up a folder hierarchy. This is a somewhat overrated feature (although the reason I paid the 99 cents) because when you connect the iPad to your Mac, iTunes can't navigate the folder hierarchy: you have to move any file you want to transfer to the top level before connecting.

 

GoodReader can also read Office files, so if you need a quick, cheap way to do that and you don't have Pages, GoodReader is your best bet.

 

But if you do have Pages and iBooks, you probably do not need it now. Another option is Memeo Connect, which is free. It assumes you have Gmail and Google Docs, though.

Best,

M

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The main thing it does, Jules, is that it lets you set up a folder hierarchy. This is a somewhat overrated feature (although the reason I paid the 99 cents) because when you connect the iPad to your Mac, iTunes can't navigate the folder hierarchy: you have to move any file you want to transfer to the top level before connecting.

 

I would say that one of the biggest deals about GoodReader is that it let's you upload and download documents via wifi. One of the real backwards design limitations of the iPad is that for a device that Apple's marketing would have you believe is heralding the end of the PC era, it is still leashed to the PC for file transfer via a wire. I love the fact that some apps, such as GoodReader and QuickOffice, support true "cloud computing" in which no PC at all is needed, and if you do want to transfer documents to/from your PC, You don't need a wire (just turn file sharing on your Mac).

 

FYI QuickOffice also supports true wifi document transfer as well. Both GoodReader and QuickOffice don't just support iTunes or GoogleDocs or MobileMe or DropBox, but you can select any WebDAV server IIRC.

 

Really, wifi file transfer support needs to be system-wide, not just supported by some apps.

 

IMNSHO :P

 

Orren

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I'm glad that you're not being humble about it (i.e., IMNSHO) because it needed to be said. Wi-Fi file transfer support does need to be system-wide! And the fact that an iPad needs to be leashed to a computer for convenient functionality is beyond ironic. (Forgive the hyperbole.)

 

I would have mentioned this myself, Orren, as I'm more affected by this than your typical iPad user, but...I didn't.

Good going, man.

-T

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I whole-heartedly agree! I would also really like iBooks to be able to download ePubs via Safari.... that functionality is the only reason I'm keeping Stanza around, because I can go to the Project Gutenberg website (or any other) that has ePubs for download and they'll go into Stanza, no such luck with iBooks.

 

Despite it's flaws, I am getting more excited about iBooks/eBooks. I did a search on "Free Poetry" and found a bunch of stuff! Including a gem called "Poetry of Wales". I've read one or two so far and they're awesome! With bookmarks and annotations (hurrah!) it will be very similar to my methods of reading physical poetry books (I star & heart poems I really like on the page and in the TOC, which is one of the few times I actually write in a book I'm reading, still I only do it in pencil!). I'm so excited. Hopefully I will start reading more now.

 

Here's a question about Good Reader. Once a file is in GR, can it be opened by another app? For example, if a friend has a doc on their computer, can I connect with GR to grab it and then open it in Pages?

 

Also, does anyone know how to differentiate between the backup folder of your iPhone and your iPad? They're just strings of numbers and I have no idea which is which. Am I just going to have to back up both every time I need to copy one to another location? I'm updating to 4.0 (YAY), so I want to be safe and make sure I have all my info backed up.

- Jools

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I'm glad that you're not being humble about it (i.e., IMNSHO) because it needed to be said. Wi-Fi file transfer support does need to be system-wide! And the fact that an iPad needs to be leashed to a computer for convenient functionality is beyond ironic. (Forgive the hyperbole.)

 

Your hyperbole is very mild compared to Apple's ubiquitous adjective of "magical" to describe the iPad. There's nothing "magical" that in the era of wireless communications, the iPad is restricted to the wire for file transfers and system updates. My God, in 1980, Thomas Dolby was already heralding "The Golden Age of Wireless" :P

 

I would have mentioned this myself, Orren, as I'm more affected by this than your typical iPad user, but...I didn't.

Good going, man.

 

Aw, thanks! And its not only you that is more affected by this. Think of users like your aunt or my mom or the whole "senior generation" that is targeted. My mom never remembers to sync. And for my mom, the concept of dragging a file into a transfer window is simply not possible. Even when I explain it to her, even when she watches me do it and takes three pages of notes (that's not an exaggeration), she'll forget the moment I leave and call the next day saying that she doesn't understand her notes anymore. For her, she needs to simply be able to touch something on her iPad and have her file system on her Mac or in the Cloud or whatever be immediately visible and accessible. Anything else is like asking her to build a nuclear missile from a Soviet era instruction book.

 

How can an iPad possibly replace a desktop computer if the only way to get system updates, for example, is to go to the Apple Store and ask them to do it for you?

 

That said...

 

I just updated my 2008 iPhone 3G to iOS 4. And something happened that had never happened before. First of all, it took forever. Well, maybe not forever but a good three hours. And here's the thing: it was a far more redundant process than it had ever been before. It did a complete backup of my entire iPhone 3G first, then downloaded iOS4, installed the OS update, then attempted to restore my apps, then attempted to restore my settings—and then backed up and resynced it all again.

 

Why so much redundancy? I'm not sure, but my guess is because my iPhone, the iPhone 3G is not powerful enough to run iOS4 fully, so it was an "iffy" upgrade. And you know what? For the first time ever, it actually failed in the middle of updating—twice (at different points). But ultimately, it was successful (well, as successful as it can be on obsoleted hardware that doesn't allow for a half-dozen key iOS 4 features). BTW—nobody I know with an iPhone 3GS had either a 3 hour update or failures, and the only other iPhone 3G user I know also had a 3 hour upgrade, which only makes my hunch stronger that Apple put special safeties in place for the iPhone 3G.

 

Point being, I give Apple serious Kudos for devising a very failsafe system that is smart and cautious and makes sure that no matter what goes wrong you're not going to be left with a "bricked" phone (or iPad). My buddy's friend bricked her Android thanks to an over-the-air update, and had to bring it back to a Verizon store to flash it, so I understand that Apple went for safety. And maybe it's the same for data—maybe they just want to be sure that you don't lose your document or fry your phone in a failed transfer. I don't know. But I do know that a ton of smart people work at Apple, and they should be able to figure out a way to use these redundant redundancies and triple safety locks to let us sync and transfer over the air while still safeguarding against errors bringing down the whole system.

 

Orren

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Also, does anyone know how to differentiate between the backup folder of your iPhone and your iPad? They're just strings of numbers and I have no idea which is which. Am I just going to have to back up both every time I need to copy one to another location? I'm updating to 4.0 (YAY), so I want to be safe and make sure I have all my info backed up.

 

First of all, not certain about the numbers. But is it perhaps the serial number of your iPhone and your iPad?

 

Secondly, you can always just back up everything, as you say (and that's never a bad idea, right?). It never hurts to have multiple backups. In fact, there's lots of free backup software out there; you can always just have those folders backed up nightly to another drive, or even the same drive but another folder, just for safety.

 

Of course, you remember that I'm the safety nut, with an onsite backup of all three Macs via Time Machine and a full backup of my Mac Pro (and all media files, etc) in the Cloud as well. I'm paranoid, but I'll never lose more than a day!

 

Take care,

Orren

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How can an iPad possibly replace a desktop computer if the only way to get system updates, for example, is to go to the Apple Store and ask them to do it for you?

 

Perhaps if enough people did this it would make a difference.....

 

As for my question.. I ended up just copying both folders. :P I still wish I could tell which was which though!

 

Loving iOS 4

- Jools

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Very Cool. I have a question for anyone who has GoodReader... I'd like to know how it compares to reading a PDF in iBooks. I know it's only .99 cents, but I've got a pretty big wish list of apps and eliminating something from that list with something else that's free is good. I'm not sure what else GoodReader does though.

- Jools

The actual experience of reading a PDF seems to me about the same, whether in iBooks, GoodReader, or Mobile Document Viewer. But GoodReader can connect directly to your iDisk, if you have a MobileMe account, or to Google Docs or to your local servers (I.e., computers) and download files from there. It also has an internal Web browser and supposedly can download books from Web sites you navigate to, although that didn't work so well for me on a first try (could be my problem rather than the software's). Yes, you can do that with Stanza, too, but GR seems to preserve the formatting somewhat better.

 

Not bad for 99 cents!

 

As to whether you can get files directly from GR to something else, my guess would be no. But if you can send a file wirelessly to another person or machine, or email it, then the person at the other end should be able to open it, as they are pretty simple files.

Best,

M

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As to whether you can get files directly from GR to something else, my guess would be no. But if you can send a file wirelessly to another person or machine, or email it, then the person at the other end should be able to open it, as they are pretty simple files.

 

Theoretically, depending on the other app in question, an additional way is that you should be able to use GoodReader to create a folder hierarchy and save documents in a folder on your iPad, then navigate to that folder with your other app to open that document. I think, from reading help files, I could do that to get files from GoodReader to QuickOffice for example but I've not tried it and I'm not sure.

 

Orren

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Theoretically, depending on the other app in question, an additional way is that you should be able to use GoodReader to create a folder hierarchy and save documents in a folder on your iPad, then navigate to that folder with your other app to open that document. I think, from reading help files, I could do that to get files from GoodReader to QuickOffice for example but I've not tried it and I'm not sure.

 

Orren

The problem will be accessing one app's files from another app. All the GoodReader files are in a single folder, in which you can then create multiple subfolders. But you can also mount the whole GoodReader folder on a WiFi-connected Mac as an external drive. One iPad to another iPad should technically also be possible via Safari, although at some point it becomes simpler just to e-mail the file.

 

For example, I could e-mail a .doc file I had been reading in GR to Jules, who, if she had Pages installed, could tap on the attachment and select "Open in Pages."

 

But if you do figure out how to open one app's files with another app, please let us know! For example, I have PDFs in GoodReader that I could drag over to iBooks if that were possible. As it is, I'll probably use iTunes to delete them from one location and add them to the other.

 

GoodReader has a very clear, useful online manual that explains the transfer process.

Best,

M

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The problem will be accessing one app's files from another app.

 

That's what I mean by "depending on the app." The iBooks app does not allow for any file management. Neither does Pages. But QuickOffice does. In other words:

 

All the GoodReader files are in a single folder, in which you can then create multiple subfolders.

 

And with QuickOffice, you could navigate to that single folder and multiple subfolders, the way you could with a Mac or Windows desktop application in it's Open dialog. But that is not a universal feature—as above, iBooks, Pages, etc. do not allow for this.

 

But if you do figure out how to open one app's files with another app, please let us know! For example, I have PDFs in GoodReader that I could drag over to iBooks if that were possible.

 

As above, Apple doesn't let you do that with their apps. So there is no "universal method" in iOS to open documents accessible by one app in another app. But if you are using two third-party apps capable of navigating a file system, you can do this now, as I wrote above. The DropBox app, for example, includes an "Open In..." function that will automatically send it's documents to any app you want that is capable of receiving a document from another application. Which is not every app, it seems.

 

If I were to guess, I would assume that part of Apple's "consumer device" philosophy is that file systems are too "computer-like" and should be hidden on iOS devices. If I am correct, this means that Apple's apps will never allow for file system navigation, and we'll always be looking to third party apps to navigate the iOS file system. Which sucks, for those of us who want to do our own file management. OTOH, if Apple were to create a universal, system-wide "open in..." dialog so that you could open any document in any application that hooked into that function, it would be possible to open anything in anything (that is coded to allow for it) without worrying about the file system. But we're not there yet.

 

Orren

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And then your mom will complain that the iPad is too complicated. :P But thanks for the explanation.

 

Logged in, actually, to tell Julia that the new iBooks stores downloaded/transferred books in subfolders inside a "Books" folder, thus answering another complaint. Am not sure what will happen if I try moving existing book folders into the Books folder. I plan to try it with a couple of Project Gutenberg titles. If the books don't vanish from the bookshelf, I'll move in the others.

 

EDIT: They seem to be there—in iTunes, on the 'Pad. (I closed iTunes before dragging them in.)

 

Whew, my obsessive soul is happy. :lol:

Best,

M

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And then your mom will complain that the iPad is too complicated. :lol:

 

You are SO right! :P And that is what Apple is thinking, I'm sure.

 

Orren

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Maybe they should add the feature through an optional app? So that those who find it confusing don't have to deal with it. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. I would think if they can find that medium with multi tasking they could do it with file management, though considering how long multi tasking took....

 

Personally I think they tie it to a computer so you still have to buy a computer! Or at least I think that's some of the reason.

- Jools

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Personally I think they tie it to a computer so you still have to buy a computer! Or at least I think that's some of the reason.

- Jools

I agree. They're a rascally bunch, those Apple marketers.

- Thoth

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Yup. That they are.

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You know iBooks has fooled your brain into thinking it's an actual book when you're reading it and try to turn the corner of the iPad like the page of a book without thinking. ;)

 

Of course it's 3 am... But still.. My poor brain was shocked back into remembering the iPad is not a real book contacted the metal and glass. Lol

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You know iBooks has fooled your brain into thinking it's an actual book when you're reading it and try to turn the corner of the iPad like the page of a book without thinking. ;)

 

Of course it's 3 am... But still.. My poor brain was shocked back into remembering the iPad is not a real book contacted the metal and glass. Lol

Yes, I find that too, and not only at 3 AM. I also find myself tapping book pages expecting them to turn themselves! :)

M

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I'm not quite that far gone yet (well, maybe at 4am or 5).

I wonder if there would be value in making the physical corners of the iPad touch sensitive for late-night readers. Or they could make the back touch sensitive and create a Betty Burp Me app.

 

Just a thought.

- Thoth.

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:) Thoth.

 

You know what I'd like iBooks to have? A text to speech ability. That would be really handy for me. Why not just purchase an Audio book? Well.. I don't like purchasing them for one (especially since it feels like cheating), for two I like to read along (doesn't feel so much like cheating), for three I can't buy an audio book of my own ePub. I have often used the text to speech on my Mac to have my own book read to me (and giggle over how it hacks some pronunciation) just to see how it sounds or to work out some kinks, so it'd be really cool if iBooks could do the same. Even if it was a computer-y sounding voice.

 

- Jools

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You know what I'd like iBooks to have? A text to speech ability...

That could be fun. Useful too. But what I'd really like is a speech-to-text function.

- T

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In iBooks? In Pages or as a universal iPad feature would be nice though!

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:lol: Thoth.

 

You know what I'd like iBooks to have? A text to speech ability. That would be really handy for me. Why not just purchase an Audio book? Well.. I don't like purchasing them for one (especially since it feels like cheating), for two I like to read along (doesn't feel so much like cheating), for three I can't buy an audio book of my own ePub. I have often used the text to speech on my Mac to have my own book read to me (and giggle over how it hacks some pronunciation) just to see how it sounds or to work out some kinks, so it'd be really cool if iBooks could do the same. Even if it was a computer-y sounding voice.

 

- Jools

Hi, Jules--

iBooks does have a text to speech function (called Voiceover). You may have to turn it on in the Settings menu, but it's there. And it may not work in every book, because I think the publisher has to okay it (or does that apply only to Kindle for X?). In any case, search the iPad manual for "VoiceOver" and see.

M

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