Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Friday, July 16, 2010

iPad and PDF magazines

I'm a subscriber (and sometimes an author too) of Circuit Cellar magazine. I use to buy it in print format but a few years ago they made the switch to electronic format. Despite the well-know blues about piracy, they chose PDF files with no particular DRM built in. Since then I'm a paying customer.

While I was disappointed with the way the PDF was rendered on Kindle DX, I'm happily surprised that the magazine looks quite nice on iPad. And given the zoom capabilities and the instantaneous response of the device to pan actions I can say it is a very nice experience to read the magazine with it. The only caveat is that sometimes it freezes for a while when browsing the pages quickly. I guess it takes a while to render next page and iPad has limited both computing power and RAM memory.

How to get the PDF file on the iPad is also not obvious. Though there are several PDF viewers for iPad, the ones I've tried do not allow me to add the files I want to view. However, iTunes software will allow you to "Import to the library" PDF files containing magazine issues. One synchronization later the issue is available on the shelves of iBook application. (If you do not have iBook, just download it from iTunes store to your iPad). Happy PDF reading!!

Update: I've experienced several times a crash on the PDF reader while reading. iPad was not frozen, but I've heard complains from other people that their iPad froze while reading a PDF. Now I understand why there are so many different PDF reading apps for iPad. Still, I'd say iBook is kind of usable for me (mostly because it's free).

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