A recent update to the iBooks eBook reader app in the Apple iPad unlocked the ePub only eBook restrictions and allowed the iBooks app to run full PDF eBooks; too bad the PDF reader in iBooks is totally broken. I’ll explain why.
PDF and ePub segregation
One of the coolest things about the iPad’s iBooks app that made me sell my Kindle was the bookshelf-like eBook layout of iBooks, but if you have both ePub and PDF eBooks in your iBooks library, you’ll be forced to switch between two separate libraries to find your books. “I have a dream” that one day PDF and ePub eBooks will be judged by the content of their pages and not by the format of their making, but unfortunately iBooks is a big fan of PDF and ePub eBook segregation.
Auto PDF resizing
EPub eBooks are excellent when reading novels and reference books, but there is nothing that compares to reading technical books in PDF format. Technical books usually have lots of dialog boxes and require zooming in to see certain features and while the iBooks app allows pinch-to-zoom support for PDF eBooks, the PDF eBook reverts back to its normal size when you switch to another page – which is very frustrating to say the least.
PDF eBooks in iBooks are virtually featureless
Virtually every feature advertised for the iBooks app on the iPad doesn’t apply to iBooks books in PDF format. If you enjoy reading PDF books as opposed to reading eBooks in ePub format, get ready to say goodbye to dynamic page turning, dictionary definition look-up, word selecting, highlighting, and just about everything else. Losing the bonus features of ePub eBooks when reading PDF eBooks in iBooks makes for a very dry reading experience for PDF eBooks on the iPad.
No two page layout
To make reading PDF eBooks in iBooks even more drab, iBooks only allows a one-page layout for eBooks in PDF format instead of offering the cool two-page book-like appearance of ePub eBooks. When viewing PDF eBooks in iBooks you’re only given two options; a large one-page PDF when viewing PDF eBooks vertically and a small one-page layout when viewing PDF eBooks horizontally on the iPad.
For more, read iAnnotate PDF: A Powerful iBooks Alternative for PDF Lovers , The iPad Effect – iRex Technologies Go Bankrupt , and How to Add Any eBook to Work with iBooks on the iPad
Check out my blog for the latest in tech news.