Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reading on the iPad - how to get your books across

Laura Miller from Salon has been waxing lyrical about the ebook reading experience on the iPad. Well, more than just ebooks, drafts, blog posts as well. It looks like her printer savings could save a minor deciduous forest. I've included this snippet because Laura notes two utilities she uses to load content.
My chief complaint with the iPad is that while it's the perfect way to read a collection of assorted documents in a variety of formats -- an assemble-it-yourself magazine, in effect -- it's not easy to figure out how to get this material into the device in the first place. Someone who's reasonably comfortable fiddling with computers can manage it, but if the iPad is supposed to be an especially friendly tool for the digital non-native, it needs improvement in this department. Here is what I can recommend:

Instapaper Pro: You know those interesting longer articles you keep stumbling across on the Web but don't have time to read right away? This app allows you to collect them in one place -- in your account on their Web page, but also on your iPhone and now on your iPad. It downloads the text so that you don't have to be connected to the Internet to read. The home page even features editors' recommendations, with stories from Vanity Fair, the New Statesman, the New Yorker and other publications. There's a free version, but give them the five bucks, you cheapskate, because God knows they've earned it.

GoodReader: If you want to read text or PDF files on your iPad, you'll need an app to load them into. This is a good one, and reasonably priced at 99 cents, but like all the rest, it has terrible support documentation, and figuring out how to use it is needlessly arduous. There are a couple of ways to load documents, including a pretty arcane method for doing it wirelessly. I prefer this much simpler option:

For article and instructions go to The iPad is for readers - Laura Miller -

No comments: