As pre-orders for the iPad went live yesterday, Apple also revealed a lot more information about the ‘magical, revolutionary’ device, from more tech specs to more details about the not quite built-in (but available free in the App Store) iBooks app.
iBooks will double as an ebook reader app and bookstore for acquiring ebooks. One of the most notable new bits of detail on iBooks is that it will let you add ePub titles not acquired via its own store as well:
The iBooks app uses the ePub format — the most popular open book format in the world. That makes it easy for publishers to create iBooks versions of your favorite reads. And you can add free ePub titles to iTunes and sync them to the iBooks app on your iPad.
This feature should please a lot of folks who already have big collections of ePub format ebooks – although apparently ePub titles that use carry any DRM other than that of the iBookstore will not be able to be synced over. Some DRM-free ebooks will require a bit of conversion before they’re able to be synced via iTunes. Gear Diary has a good post up with instructions on how to do what’s needed. Check it out HERE.
Here’s my favorite new bit of information about iBooks:
iBooks works with VoiceOver, the screen reader in iPad, so it can read you the contents of any page
I love that one. That should basically mean all iBooks are audio books – though I imagine the voiceover may not be near as pleasant as custom-made audio books, which I’m sure we’ll see plenty of on the iPad (and there are tons already available of course via the App Store).
Other little snippits that I can’t recall whether we knew before or not:
- You can move back and forth between pages by tapping the right or left side of the screen, as well as being able to turn a page slowly by dragging from left to right.
- Text size and font can be changed.
- You can touch and hold on any word to look it up in the built-in dictionary or Wikipedia. (like this one quite a bit too)
I haven’t got much of an ebooks collection – a handful of Kindle titles and quite a few standalone books. I’m looking forward to iBooks and building it up a little, another place I’ll end up helping Apple build up that ginormous cash pile of theirs. :)