iPad For Dummies, 8th Edition (2016)
Part III. The Multimedia iPad
Chapter 10. Curling Up with a Good iBook
In This Chapter
Getting the skinny on e-books
Opening up to iBooks
Shopping for iBooks
Reading electronic periodicals
Staying on top of News
Don’t be surprised if you have to answer this question from an inquisitive child someday: “Is it true, Grandpa, that people once read books on paper?”
That time may still be a ways off, but it somehow doesn’t seem far-fetched anymore. Apple is among the tech companies that are major proponents of the electronic-books revolution.
Don’t get us wrong; we love physical books as much as anyone and are in no way urging their imminent demise. But we also recognize the real-world benefits behind Apple’s digital publishing efforts — and those by companies such as Amazon (which manufactures what is, for now, the market-leading Kindle electronic reader). As you discover in this chapter, the Kindle plays a role on the iPad as well.
For its part, the iPad makes a terrific electronic reader, with color and dazzling special effects, including pages that turn like those in a real book.
We open the page on this chapter to see how to find and purchase books for your iPad, and how to read them after they land on your virtual bookshelf. But first, we look at why you might want to read books and periodicals on your iPad.
We’ve run into plenty of skeptics who ask, “What’s so wrong with the paper books that folks have only been reading for centuries that we now have to go digital?” The short answer is that nothing is wrong with physical books — except maybe that paper, over the long term, is fragile, and paper books tend to be bulky, a potential impediment for travelers.
On the other hand, when asked why he prefers paper books, Bob likes to drop one from shoulder height and ask, “Can your iPad (or Kindle) do that?”
Having said that, though, now consider the electronic advantages:
· No more weight or bulk constraints: You can cart a whole bunch of e-books around when you travel, without breaking your back. To the avid bookworm, this potentially changes the dynamic in the way you read. Because you can carry so many books wherever you go, you can read whatever type of book strikes your fancy at the moment, kind of like listening to a song that fits your current mood. You have no obligation to read a book from start to finish before opening a new bestseller just because that happens to be the one book you have in your bag. In other words, weight constraints are out the window.
· Feel like reading a trashy novel? Go for it. Rather immerse yourself in classic literature? Go for that. You might read a textbook, cookbook, or biography. Or gaze in wonder at an illustrated beauty. What’s more, you can switch among the various titles and styles of books at will before finishing any single title.
· Flexible fonts and type sizes: With e-books, or what Apple prefers to call iBooks, you can change the text size and fonts on the fly — quite useful for people with less than 20/20 vision.
· Get the meaning of a word on the spot: No more searching for a physical dictionary. You can look up an unfamiliar word immediately.
· Search with ease: Need to do research on a particular subject? Enter a search term to find every mention of the subject in the book you’re reading.
· See all the artwork in color: See your iBook the way it was meant to be seen. For example, the latest iBooks software from Apple lets you experience (within certain limits) the kind of stunning art book once reserved for a coffee table. Or you can display a colorful children’s picture book. And the newest multitouch iBooks incorporate embedded videos, animations, 3D elements, narration, and more.
· Get updates on books: At least some e-books you might buy are updated — automatically.
· Read in the dark: The iPad has a high-resolution backlit display so that you can read without a lamp nearby, which is useful in bed when your partner is trying to sleep.
Truth is, this backlit story has two sides. The grayscale electronic ink displays found on Amazon’s Kindle and several other e-readers may be easier on the eyes and reduce fatigue, especially if you read for hours on end. And although you may indeed have to supply your own lighting source to read in low-light situations, at least on some of the devices, those screens are easier to see than the iPad screen when you’re out and about in bright sunshine. And some newer e-ink-type readers include displays that do light up.
You can buy an iBook by using iTunes on your Mac or PC, and you can now read that book on your Mac. You can also read iBooks on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Beginning the iBook Story
To start reading iBooks on your iPad, you have to fetch the iBooks app in the App Store. (For more on the App Store, consult Chapter 11.)
As you might imagine, the app is free, and it comes with access to Apple’s iBooks Store, of which we have more to say later in this chapter. For now, just know that the iBooks Store is an inviting place to browse and shop for books 24 hours a day. All the other books you end up purchasing for your iPad library turn up in the cover view shown in Figure 10-1 or in a view that lists your books by title.
Figure 10-1: You can read a book by its cover.
The following basics help you navigate the iBooks main screen:
· Change the view: If you prefer to view a list of your book titles rather than use cover view, tap the change view icon at the upper-left corner of the screen (labeled in Figure 10-1). In cover view, you can sort the list by most recent, titles, authors, or categories, as shown in Figure 10-2.
· Remove a book from view: In cover view, tap Select, and then tap the book covers that you want to remove or tap Select All. Each selected book displays a check mark; tap a cover again to remove its check mark and thus deselect the book. When all the books you want to delete have check marks, tap Delete in the upper-left corner of the display. Apple asks you to tap a Delete This Copy button.
In list mode, as we like to call it, tap Select as well. This time, blank circles appear next to each title in the list. Tap the circle for each book you want to remove so that a check mark appears, and then tap Delete in the upper left. As before, you must confirm by tapping Delete This Copy.
As with other content you purchase from Apple, you can restore (download) any book you’ve purchased by tapping the Purchased icon at the bottom of the screen in the iBooks Store. The books you purchase from the iBooks Store land in iCloud. You’ll know a book is in the cloud (as opposed to being downloaded onto your iPad) when you see the small iCloud icon. Tap that icon to download the book. If you prefer, you can hide books that are in iCloud from your iPad. Tap All Books, and then tap the Hide iCloud Books switch.
· Organize books by collections: If you have a vast library of e-books, you might want to organize titles by genre or subject by creating collections of like-minded works. You might have collections of mysteries, classics, biographies, children’s books, how-to’s, textbooks, even all theFor Dummies books (we hope) you own.
Apple has created three collections on your behalf: books for all titles, audiobooks for the iPad equivalent of books on tape, and PDFs for the Adobe PDF files on your iPad. (Apple doesn’t let you edit or remove the premade All, Books, Audiobooks, or PDFs collections.) To create,rename, or remove a collection of your own, tap All Books (refer to Figure 10-1) to show off your current list of collections and then choose from the following tasks:
· Add a collection: Make sure the My Books tab is selected at the bottom of the screen and then tap All Books at the top (you’ll see a drop-down arrow). Tap + New Collection and type a name for the new collection.
· Delete a collection: Tap Edit and the red circle, and then tap Delete to finish the job. If the collection contains books, you’re asked whether you want to remove the contents of this collection from your iPad. If you choose not to remove them, they’re returned to their original collections (Books, PDFs, or any other collection). Remember that you can't delete the premade All Books, Audiobooks, and PDFs collections.
· Rename a collection: Tap its name and type a new name. Again, you can’t rename the All Books, Audiobooks, or PDFs collections.
· Move a book or PDF to a new collection: Go to the cover or list views, tap Select, tap each work you want to move, and then tap Move. Select the new collection for these titles.
Figure 10-2: Sort a list of your books by most recent, title, author, or category.
A book can reside in only one collection at a time (aside from the All Books collection).
Here we are telling you how to move or get rid of a book before you’ve even had a chance to read it. How gauche. The next section helps you start reading.
Reading a Book
To start reading a book, tap it. The book leaps forward and opens to either the beginning or the place where you left off. (And you may have left off on an iPhone, an iPod touch, or another iPad because, through your Apple ID, your virtual place in a book is transported from device to device as long as the devices have an Internet connection.)
Even from the very title page, you can appreciate the color and beauty of Apple’s app as well as the navigation tools, as shown in Figure 10-3.
Figure 10-3: Books on the iPad offer handy reading and navigation tools.
If you rotate the iPad to the side, the one-page book view becomes a two-page view, but the navigational controls remain the same. On newer multitouch books, you may have a scrolling view of a book rather than the typical one-page view.
While you’re lounging around reading, and especially if you’re lying down, we recommend that you use the screen orientation lock (see Chapter 1) to stop the iPad from inadvertently rotating the display.
You can take advantage of the iPad’s VoiceOver feature to have the iPad read to you out loud. The feature may not be quite like having Mom or Dad read you to sleep but can be a potential godsend for people with impaired vision. For more on the VoiceOver feature, consult Chapter 15.
The VoiceOver feature is useful under certain circumstances. But we’re not at the point where the iPad’s loquacious virtual assistant Siri can read a book out loud. Maybe someday. For now, Siri can open the iBooks app, though. Read Chapter 14 for more on Siri.
You’ve been turning pages in books your entire life, so you don’t want this simple feat to become a complicated ordeal just because you’re reading electronically. Fear not; it’s not.
You have no buttons to press. Instead, to turn to the next page of a book, do any of the following:
· Tap or flick your finger near the right of the page. The page turns in a blink.
· Drag your finger near the right margin. The page folds down as it turns, as if you were turning pages in a real book.
· Drag down from the upper-right corner of the book. The page curls from that spot. The effect is so authentic, you can make out the faint type bleeding from the previous page on the next folded-down page.
· Drag up from the lower-right corner. The page curls up from that spot.
· Drag from the middle-right margin. The entire page curls.
With the spilt multitasking feature added as part of iOS 9 (described in Chapter 2), be careful not to drag in from the right margin too close to the edge of the screen. Otherwise, you’ll open a second app, rather than turn a page in the book.
To turn to the previous page in a book, tap, flick, or drag your finger in a similar fashion, except now do so closer to the left margin. You’ll witness the same cool page-turning effects.
That’s what happens by default anyway. Tap Settings⇒iBooks; you have the option to go to the next page instead of the previous page when you tap near the left margin. So tapping either margin would advance you to the next page.
You can also flick to scroll through a book vertically rather than turning pages in portrait view. Tap the font icon (little A and big A), and then flip the Scrolling View switch.
While in Settings, you can also flip switches that turn on (or off) full justification, leading to neat edges on both sides of a book that you’re reading. There’s also a setting to turn on auto-hyphenation.
Settings for audiobooks let you skip forward or back in the book you’re listening to by intervals of 10, 15, 30, 45, or 60 seconds. To skip forward by the selected time interval when you’ve opened the audiobook, either tap the skip forward icon (which will reveal the time interval you selected) or swipe the book cover from right to left. To retreat by the selected time interval, tap the skip back icon or swipe from left to right.
You’ll also note when listening to an audiobook that you can change the playback speed by 0.75x, 1.25x, 1.5x, or 2x. The default speed, of course, is 1x.
The iPad is smart, remembering where you left off. So if you close a book by tapping the Library button in the upper-left corner or by pressing the main Home button, you automatically return to this page when you reopen the book. It isn’t necessary to bookmark the page (though you can, as we describe later in this chapter). The one proviso: You need an Internet connection when you close the book, because otherwise the server at Apple doesn’t get the new bookmark info to pass on when you open the book on another device. And similarly, you need an Internet connection when you reopen the book to retrieve the information that was passed on.
Jumping to a specific page
When you’re reading a book, you often want to go to a specific page. Here’s how:
1. If the page navigator controls aren’t visible, summon them by tapping near the center of the page you’re reading.
The controls are labeled in Figure 10-3.
2. Drag your finger along the slider at the bottom of the screen until the chapter and page number you want appear.
3. Release your finger and — voilà! — that’s where you are in the book.
Tap Back to Page xx at the bottom-left corner of the screen to return to your furthest point. Or tap Go to Page xx at the bottom right to return to a previous page you’ve read.
Going to the table of contents
Most books you read — on your iPad and elsewhere — have a table of contents. Here’s how you use a table of contents on your iPad:
1. With a book open on your iPad, tap the table of contents/list icon near the top of the screen (labeled in Figure 10-3).
The Table of Contents screen, as shown in Figure 10-4, appears.
2. Tap the chapter, title page, or another entry to jump to that page.
Alternatively, tap the Resume button that appears at the upper-left corner of the screen to return to the previous location in the book.
Figure 10-4: Perusing a table of contents.
Moving around to a particular location on the iPad is almost as simple as moving around a real book, and as we explain in the earlier section “Turning pages,” Apple kindly returns you to the last page you were reading when you closed a book.
Still, occasionally you want to bookmark a page so that you can easily return to it. To insert a bookmark somewhere, merely tap the bookmarks icon near the upper-right reaches of the screen. The bookmarks icon turns red, signifying that a bookmark is in place. Tap the ribbon if you want to remove the bookmark. Simple as that.
After you set a bookmark, here’s how to find it later:
1. Tap the table of contents/list icon (labeled in Figure 10-3).
2. Tap Bookmarks (if it’s not already selected).
Your bookmark is listed along with the chapter and page citations, the date you bookmarked the page, and a phrase or two of surrounding text, as the example in Figure 10-5 shows.
3. Tap your desired bookmark to return to that page in the book.
Figure 10-5: Finding the pages you bookmarked.
You can remove a bookmark from the bookmarks list by swiping your finger to the left along the bookmark and then tapping the red Delete button that appears.
Adding highlights and notes
In addition to setting bookmarks to jump to pages you want to read again, you can highlight words or passages on a page as well as add annotations or comments, which is handy for school assignments. Pardon the pun, but Apple is on the same page. Here’s how to do both:
1. Press and hold down against the text on a page. Then lift your finger to summon the Highlight and Note buttons.
These two buttons appear side by side, sandwiched along with Copy, Define, Share, and Search buttons, which we address in a moment.
You see grab points along the highlighted word.
2. (Optional) Refine the highlighted section by adjusting the grab points.
3. Tap one of the following to add a highlight or note:
· Copy: The word or passage you select can be pasted someplace else.
· Highlight: The word or passage you selected is highlighted in color. You can read the highlight later by returning to the table of contents page in the same way that you find a bookmark. (See the preceding section and refer to Figure 10-5.)
· Note: A Post-it–like note appears on the screen. Using the virtual keyboard, type your note.
The iPad goes to school
Apple has been pushing iPads in K-12 and higher education. As part of its vision for the iPad and with iBooks 2 and beyond, the company is throwing its considerable weight behind digital textbooks, works that include interactive captions, quizzes, 3D objects, and video. Apple even unveiled free software for the Mac called iBooks Author to encourage teachers and others to produce their own interactive books for learning.
In the meantime, among the early high school textbooks produced for the iPad are titles that cover algebra, environmental sciences, physics, and other subjects.
E. O. Wilson’s Life on Earth is an especially rich interactive digital biology textbook like none you’ve seen, from 3D models of DNA to animated maps of global photosynthesis. The introduction to the book was made available for free, after which you were able to purchase additional chapters as they were released, at $1.99 apiece. Eventually, everything became free. (In general, publishers will have to work out pricing on most emerging textbooks.) Wilson’s book could be viewed only by using iBooks 3.0 or later on an iPad running iOS 5.1 or later. (iBooks was up to iBooks 4.5 at the time of this writing.)
Meanwhile, if a book supports it, you can turn your notes into study cards — a great way for students to learn vocabulary or prepare for exams. (If the option is available, you’ll see an icon that looks like a notepad just to the right of the Table of Contents button.) You can swipe the cards to move from one to another, or tap a card to see one side with glossary terms or material you’ve highlighted and the other with any notes you’ve supplied. You’ll see an icon that looks like a small gear with a peace symbol inside it. Apple has the backing of such prominent textbook publishers as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson. What’s more, some third-party publishers such as Kno and Inkling are producing some interesting interactive textbooks.
According to Apple, hundreds of thousands of books in the iBooks Store can be used in school curriculums, including novels for English or social studies. A world of educational content is accessible also via the iTunes U app.
As you consider these various efforts, we understand if you wish you’d had an iPad with digital textbooks back when you were in school.
We should also point out that although educational materials are a main impetus behind iBooks, other books rich in audio, video, and other interactive materials take full advantage of Apple’s latest software.
After you add a highlight or note, the following tips are handy to know:
· Remove a highlight or note. Tap the highlighted text or note, and then tap the trash can icon on the toolbar that appears. When the Delete Highlight dialog appears, confirm your choice by tapping Delete. Alternatively, from the Notes section in the table to contents page, swipe your finger from right to left along an entry and then tap the red Delete button that appears.
· Change the color of a highlight or note. You can change the color from the default yellow to green, blue, pink, or purple. Touch the highlighted selection for a moment and then lift your finger. From the toolbar, tap the icon with the color that you prefer. You can underline a passage instead by tapping the icon with an underlined letter A. This icon is adjacent to the icons representing your color choices.
· Share or print notes. On the table of contents page, tap the share icon (shown in the margin) in the upper-right corner. Tap Mail to email your notes, or tap Print to print them (provided you have a compatible printer; see Chapter 2 for details about printing). You also have options to share via Message, or to post on Twitter, Facebook, or Sina Weibo, the Chinese social network (if a Chinese keyboard is enabled). We don’t know how that will play politically in China. A third-party app sharing option may also present itself. Oh, and you can share notes in the iPad’s own Notes app. So meta. Meanwhile, to see other possibilities for notes and iBooks generally, read the nearby sidebar “The iPad goes to school.”
With iBooks, you can sync bookmarks and notes, as well as your collections across all your devices (Macs, iPhones, iPod touches, and of course your iPad). But if you don’t want to do so, head to Settings and flip the switches to turn off these options. You also have the option to flip a switch that lets you allow books to access a publisher’s content from the Internet.
Changing the type size, font, and page color
If you want to change the way a page looks, begin by tapping the Aa icon at the top right of the screen. You can then change the following:
· Typeface size: Tap the uppercase A or the lowercase a to make the text larger or smaller, respectively.
· Font: Tap Fonts, and then tap the font style you want to switch to. Your choices at this time are Athelas, Charter, Georgia, Iowan, Palatino, San Francisco, Seravek, and Times New Roman. We don’t necessarily expect you to know what these look like just by the font names — fortunately, you can examine the change right before your eyes. A check mark indicates the currently selected font style.
· Scrolling: If you prefer to scroll up or down to move from page to page, flip the Scrolling View switch.
· Page color: Tap White (the default), Sepia, or Night. You can also flip an Auto-Night Theme switch to have the iPad automatically choose the Night theme when you’re reading in the wee hours without the lights on.
· Brightness: And speaking of light, you can raise or lower the brightness of the screen as you read by dragging the slider.
Searching inside and outside a book
If you want to find a passage in a book but can’t remember where it is, try searching for it. Here’s how:
1. Tap the search (magnifying glass) icon.
2. Type your search term or page number on the virtual keyboard that slides up from the bottom.
All the occurrences in the book turn up in a window under the search icon, complete with a few lines of text and a page citation.
3. Tap one of the items to jump to that portion of the book.
The words you were searching for are highlighted on that page.
You can also search the web (via Google or your chosen search engine) or Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, by using the corresponding buttons at the bottom of the search results. If you do so, the iBooks app closes, and the Safari browser fires up Google or Wikipedia, with your search term already entered.
If you search Google or Wikipedia in this fashion, you are, for the moment, closing the iBooks app and opening Safari. To return to the book you’re reading, you must reopen the app. Fortunately, you’re brought back to where you left off in the book. And Google is still the search choice through iBooks, even if you selected another search engine in Safari.
Shopping for E-Books
We love browsing in a physical bookstore, and the experience of browsing Apple’s iBooks Store is equally pleasurable. Apple makes it a cinch to search for books you want to read, and even lets you peruse a sample before parting with your hard-earned dollars. To enter the store from either the cover or library list view, tap one of the buttons at the bottom of the display: Featured, NYTimes, Top Charts, Top Authors, or Purchased. Of course the other My Books tab at the bottom of the screen brings you back to the library of books you already own. We explore these further shortly.
Meanwhile, a few things to keep in mind: The iBooks Store operates in 55 countries, but free iBooks are available in at least 155 countries as of this writing. More than one billion books have been downloaded. Not all books are available in all markets, of course. Some works — Jay-Z’s memoir Decoded, to take a single example — are enhanced with video. Meanwhile, the store includes titles from major trade publishers: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, and Random House, as well as several independents. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is also represented, of course.
Publishers, not Apple, set the prices. Many bestsellers in the joint cost $12.99, though some fetch $9.99 or less. Dear Life from Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro costs $8.99. Apple runs specials from time to time. Anne Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter, which once cost $15.99, was $6.99 at the time of this writing. Free selections are also available. Prices change all the time, so poke around for something you’ll find pleasurable to read and then decide whether the book is worth buying for the price.
Just browsing the iBooks Store
You have several ways to browse for books in the iBooks Store. The top portion of the screen shows ever-changing ads for books that fit a chosen category (Mysteries & Thrillers in the example shown in Figure 10-6). But you can also browse Release Date in the particular category you have in mind. You can scroll to the left or right for more releases to peek at. Or tap See All for many more selections.
Figure 10-6: The featured page for Mysteries & Thrillers.
Look at the bottom of the screen. You see the following icons:
· Featured: This tab is where you’ve been hanging out so far in this chapter. Featured works are books being promoted in the store and may include popular titles or an author spotlight from the likes of The Hunger Games writer Suzanne Collins. You choose a given category to view (such as Fiction & Literature, Biographies & Memoirs, or Kids). In this Mysteries & Thrillers example, you’ll see recent bestsellers, as well as authors whose names are in the spotlight. Swipe the featured books at the top of the screen for more choices. Do the same, if you want, for the Coming Soon sections, as well as sections not visible in the image (New & Notable, Rising Stars, and so on). Or tap See All for more selections. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen for links to check out your iTunes account information and redeem iTunes gift cards and gift certificates. You’ll also find quick links, including iBooks on Facebook, Weekly Bestsellers Under $4, and Books Made into Movies. Are you a budding author? There’s even a link to submit and sell your own books.
· NYTimes: Short for The New York Times, of course. These books make the newspaper’s famous bestsellers lists, which are divided into fiction and nonfiction works. The top books in each list are initially shown. Scroll down to see more titles.
· Top Charts: Here Apple shows you the most popular books in the iBooks Store. You find lists for Paid Books and Free Books. Scroll down to see more of the top books in each category.
· Top Authors: Tapping the Top Authors icon lets you find books by poring through a list of popular authors, shown in a scrollable pane on the left half of the screen. Flick your finger up or down to scroll the list, or tap one of the letters in the margin to jump to authors whose name begins with that letter. When you tap an author’s name, a list of his or her available titles appears in a scrollable pane on the right.
· Purchased: Tapping here shows you the books you’ve already bought, which you can download onto your iPad.
Searching the iBooks Store
In the upper-right corner of the iBooks Store is a search field, similar to the search field in iTunes. Tap the search field, and then use the virtual keyboard to type an author name or title to find the book you seek.
If you like freebies, search for free in the iBooks Store. You’ll find tons of (mostly classic) books that cost nothing, and you won’t even have to import them. See the section “Finding free books outside the iBooks Store,” later in this chapter, for more places to find free books. By Apple’s count, free content is distributed in 155 countries. Off the top of our heads, we can’t remember how many countries are on Planet Earth, but it’s fair to say that when it comes to digital books, Apple has most of them covered.
Deciding whether a book is worth it
To find out more about a book that you come across, you can check out the details page and other readers’ reviews or read a sample of the book:
· Find the book’s details. Tap its cover. An information screen appears with Details highlighted by default. You can see when the book was published, read a description, see the number of pages, and more.
· Find ratings and reviews. Tap Reviews to see the grades other readers bestowed on the book. If you’ve already read the book, throw in your own two cents by tapping Write a Review.
· Find other books by the same author. Tap Related to see the covers of other books written by the author. You can also check out other books that customers who bought this book also bought.
· Share your interest in a book. Tap the share icon in the upper-right corner of the information screen. You can then sing the praises of a book by tapping icons for Message, Mail, Notes, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as Chinese social networks Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo (assuming you enabled a Chinese keyboard). You can also add the book to your Reminders app or tap Copy Link or Gift (if you’re feeling generous).
The best thing you can do to determine whether a book is worth buying is to read a sample. Tap Sample, and the book cover almost immediately lands on your bookshelf. You can read it like any book, up until that juncture in the book where your free sample ends. Apple has placed a Buy button inside the pages of the book to make it easy to purchase it if you’re hooked. The word Sample is plastered on the cover on the bookshelf to remind you that this book isn’t yours — yet.
Buying a book from the iBooks Store
When a book meets or exceeds your lofty standards and you’re ready to purchase it, simply do the following:
1. Tap the price shown in the button on the book’s information page.
Upon doing so, the dollar amount disappears, and the button carries a green Buy Book label. If you tap a free book instead, the button is labeled Get Book.
2. Tap the Buy Book or Get Book button.
3. Enter your iTunes password (if you’re prompted).
The book appears on your bookshelf in an instant, ready for you to tap it and start reading. You get an email receipt acknowledging your purchase via the same mail account in which you receive other receipts from iTunes for music, movies, and apps.
If you buy another book within 15 minutes of your initial purchase, you aren’t prompted for your iTunes password again.
On the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3,iPad mini 4, and iPad Pro with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, you can authorize the purchase of a book by pressing your finger against the Touch ID scanner when prompted.
Buying books beyond Apple
The business world is full of examples in which one company competes with another on some level, only to work with it as a partner on another level. When the iPad first burst onto the scene in early April 2010, pundits immediately compared it to Amazon’s Kindle, the market-leading electronic reader. Sure, the iPad had the larger screen and color, but the Kindle had a few bragging points too, including a longer battery life (up to about a month on the latest Kindle, versus about 10 hours for the iPad), a lighter weight, and a larger selection of books in its online bookstore.
But Amazon has long said that it wants Kindle books to be available for all sorts of electronic platforms, and the iPad, like the iPhone and iPod touch before it, is no exception. So we recommend taking a look at the free Kindle app for the iPad, especially if you’ve already purchased a number of books in Amazon’s Kindle Store and want access to that wider selection of titles. On the iPad, you must purchase new Kindle books through the Safari (or another) browser, and not through the Kindle app.
The Barnes & Noble Nook app is also worth a look.
Competing against the iPad with smaller, less-expensive tablets are Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire HDX. Google is doing the same with its Nexus tablets (with its Google Play Books app). And you can find numerous other players in the space.
You can find several other e-book–type apps for the iPad in the App Store. To name a few:
· CloudReaders from Cloud Readers (free)
· Kobo Reading App – Read Books and Magazines by Kobo
· Bluefire Reader from Bluefire Productions
See Chapter 11 for details about finding and downloading apps.
Finding free books outside the iBooks Store
Apple supports a technical standard called ePub, which is the underlying technology behind thousands of free public-domain books. You can import these to the iPad without shopping in the iBooks Store. Such titles must be DRM-free, which means that they’re free of digital rights management restrictions.
To import ePub titles, you can download them to your Mac or PC, and then sync them to the iPad through iTunes. There are other methods. If you have Dropbox, for example, you can bring an ePub into your account, and from Dropbox you can share the title with iBooks. You can also email an ePub as an attachment.
You can find ePub titles at numerous cyberspace destinations, among them
· Baen: www.baen.com
· Feedbooks: www.feedbooks.com
· Google Play: http://play.google.com/store/books
· Project Gutenberg: www.gutenberg.org
· Smashwords: www.smashwords.com
(Note that not all the books at Google Play are free, and Google has a downloadable app.) Also, check out the free titles that you can find through the apps mentioned in the preceding section.
Reading Newspapers and Magazines
People in the newspaper business know that it’s been tough sledding in recent years. The Internet has proved to be a disruptive force in media, as it has in so many areas. It remains to be seen what role Apple generally, and the iPad specifically, will play in the future of electronic periodicals or in helping to turn around sagging media enterprises. It’s also uncertain which pricing models will make the most sense from a business perspective.
What we can tell you is that reading newspapers and magazines on the iPad is not like reading newspapers and magazines in any other electronic form. The experience is slick, but only you can decide whether it’s worth paying the tab (in the cases where you do have to pay).
You can subscribe to or read a single issue of a newspaper or magazine on the iPad. There are several fine publishing apps worth checking out, including USA TODAY (where Ed works), The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Reuters News Pro, BBC News, Vanity Fair, and Popular Science. Sometimes you can read for free; sometimes you must play for your subscription. We also highly recommend fetching the free Zinio app, which offers more than 5,000 digital publications, including Rolling Stone, The Economist, Consumer Reports, Forbes, Macworld, Car and Driver, Maxim, National Geographic Interactive, Spin, and Bloomberg Businessweek. You can buy single issues of a magazine or subscribe, and you can sample and share some articles without a subscription.
In some cases, you have to pay handsomely or subscribe to some of these newspapers and magazines, which you find not in the iBooks Store but in the regular App Store, which we cover in Chapter 11. You also see ads (somebody has to pay the freight).
Meantime, if you like to read stuff from particular blogs or sites, consider the free Feedly news-gathering app, which you can fetch from the App Store.
The newest path to reading publications on your iPad is through the News app added with iOS 9. News essentially displaces the Newsstand folder that was available on your Home screen as a gathering place for your newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
News, however, is an app — not a special folder like Newsstand. It sports content from a gaggle of online and offline content producers, including some of the big name publishers visible in Figure 10-7. When you get started with the News app, you can choose the news sources and topics that you’d like to follow. Apple says you can choose from more than 1 million topics.
Figure 10-7: Many of the world’s leading informational sources contribute to News.
After making your initial content selections, you’ll receive a smorgasbord of news stories that are presumably of interest, all delivered in a handsome layout that loosely reminds us of one of our favorite third-party apps, Flipboard.
The News app was just getting started at the time of this writing, but Apple promises to refine the content it is sending your way as it gets to know your reading preferences over time.
In the meantime, you can search for content as well as share stuff you read, by tapping the now familiar share icon and choosing among a variety of sharing options.
However you choose to read on your iPad — through iBooks, electronic periodicals, or the new News app — your experience is likely to be rich, informative, and pleasurable.