Apple iPad Review
Apple created the market and dominates it with its mature first tablet.
The iPad is easy to use when it comes to reading books, with the iBooks application offering a bookshelf-like interface that shows the covers of the books on the device. To open a book, you simply tap the cover. When reading, turning the page can be done with either a swipe of the finger or a single touch on the right side of the screen. A similar swipe or touch on the left side moves to the previous page. At the top of the screen are a number of controls for screen brightness, font and text size, searching and adding bookmarks to a page.
It is no big surprise that the iPad is closely linked with Apples own iBooks software and online store, which we found to be easy to use. To access the store, you just touch the Store button in the iBooks application, and select the book you want. It is then downloaded to the device, with the whole process taking less than a minute. Previews of books are available, which offer access to the first 25 pages or so. Apple offers a decent selection of books in their online store, but the selection is not as wide as some. See here for more analysis of Apple and other online stores.
The iPad does offer access to other book stores, though: downloadable clients are available for Amazon’s Kindle store, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Kobo, Google Books and other stores, all through free software that is available from the App store. At the time of writing, the Sony Reader store is not available because of a dispute between Sony and Apple on who gets paid for what.
Newspapers & Magazines
Publishers have only recently started offering magazine and newspaper content on the iPad, and each magazine or newspaper is offered as an individual App, not as content in the iBooks application. This means that publishers have to write their own App to publish on the iPad, and the experience of each is somewhat different. You can’t buy a subscription through the standard Apple store system like you can on the Kindle, although most of the content is currently being offered for free. The NY Times, for instance, offers an App that carries the entire content of the newspaper when you register, which is free at present (they have announced plans to charge for it later in 2011). The New Yorker magazine offers a free app, but each issue has to be purchased individually at $4.99 from within the App.
eBook Battery Life
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