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View Full Version : Months into the Battle: iBooks or Kindle for iPad?




xomphos
Nov 10, 2010, 04:36 PM
I recently purchased an iPad and am looking to start reading eBooks. Looking at the reading apps available on the ipad, there are two major contenders: iBooks and Kindle. I currently do not own a Kindle or do I know if I will be purchasing one soon; however, I want the platform I buy into to be supported well into the future because of things like DRM and how content works in the long run. What e-reading app do you use, even if you don't have a Kindle?



mKTank
Nov 10, 2010, 06:00 PM
Kindle. iBooks' selection is pathetic.

panzer06
Nov 10, 2010, 08:20 PM
Kindle. iBooks' selection is pathetic.

And filled with garbage. Kindle all the way!

Cheers,

txa1265
Nov 11, 2010, 07:13 AM
You forgot the nook ...

Personally I use the iPad with:
- Kindle App - I already had a decent set of ebooks there.
- nook App - bought my wife a nook for Anniversary, and so we can share books that way. Sweet!
- iBooks - all of those books from MobiPocket, eReader, MS Reader, and on and on through the wasteland of lost eBook formats of the last two decades, reformatted to ePub in Calibri.

Dorkington
Nov 11, 2010, 12:25 PM
Kindle is much better than iBooks, imo.

AndyMulhearn
Nov 11, 2010, 04:32 PM
Stanza for me...

jclardy
Nov 11, 2010, 05:51 PM
iBooks app > Kindle app IMO.

But when you add in selection plus the ability to read my books on many more devices (PC, Mac, Kindle, Android, etc.) makes the kindle app better for me.

ScottNWDW
Nov 12, 2010, 09:15 AM
I have all three ebook apps on my iPad. Most of the ebooks I have are in iBooks, but I do have several in the kindle app since I had that app on my iPhone long before I had the iPad. due to the iPhone size I never really used it as much as I've used the iPad for reading. I also have the Nook app on my iPad and all three seem to offer similar features. The kindle app though, seems to have the widest selection of titles.

Maagus
Nov 13, 2010, 01:39 AM
It depends what you need. I like Stanza the best because it has no distracting graphics like iBooks has, it reads anything I throw into it, integrates to "Open In" dialogue which together with Dropbox and my eBook collection there is a killer combo.

On the other hand when I am looking for books in English to buy I always use Kindle. Amazon offer is great and Kindle sync automatically across all my devices.

northy124
Nov 13, 2010, 10:58 AM
From the 2 iBooks I have in my collection I have found I like the way of reading within iBooks but Amazon (and B&N) have a better selection to choose from :)

If only I could add Kindle/Nook books to the iBooks app then I'd be happy :)

Edit: I'd like to add that looking through the Nook selection it seems 100x better than Kindle so I'd place B&N Nookbook Store in first :)

sparkomatic
Nov 13, 2010, 01:41 PM
I really like the iBooks app over the Kindle app but the Kindle selection can't be beat right now.

rockinred
Nov 13, 2010, 02:53 PM
The kindle interface blows. It has the biggest and best selection of books, yet it ranks very close to the bottom on user interface. iBooks is way better to read on than Kindle, but it has a piss poor selection of books. Stanza is cool interface. Nook, kobo, borders, free books, and just about all book reader apps to download have a more intuitive design for the reader than Kindle.

I am so disappointed with Kindle. The actual e-reading devices sold by Kindle have a really cool interface and if you ask me they left out the reader experience on the iPad App intentionally so that they would not lose market share on the electronic devices.

They rank at the bottom on feel and reading. I feel like I am reading off a blank piece of paper on the Kindle.

zoziw
Nov 14, 2010, 12:23 AM
Right now? The Kindle App as the Kindle Store currently has a better selection than iBooks. It also syncs my purchases across several platforms including my MBP, my Windows Desktop and eventually my BlackBerry (in Canada the BB Kindle app does not yet work...or at least didn't the last time I tried).

I can see myself purchasing more iBooks down the road simply because I frequently get iTunes cards for gifts and get use those to buy books.

JBazz
Nov 28, 2010, 07:59 AM
And you can redownload all of your digital content at any time with Amazon.com. I have had so many issues with iTunes and have lost so much content with no easy way to just redownload what I have paid for.

I am even doing Amazon for my music download too.

richpjr
Nov 28, 2010, 01:00 PM
I really like the iBooks app over the Kindle app but the Kindle selection can't be beat right now.

My thoughts exactly.

elmo151
Nov 28, 2010, 02:37 PM
why not use both?

K is far ahead in it's selection and I spend most of my time there

txa1265
Nov 28, 2010, 03:06 PM
And you can redownload all of your digital content at any time with Amazon.com. .

Um ... no.

MP3 music downloads are only available for a short period of time.

Piggie
Nov 28, 2010, 03:41 PM
Why can there not just be one store that everyone accesses?

It's stupid to have different stores for different books on different devices.

ScottNWDW
Nov 29, 2010, 10:19 AM
Why can there not just be one store that everyone accesses?

It's stupid to have different stores for different books on different devices.

Same reason you can buy clothes at Macy's, JCPenney, Kohl's, Gap, Limited, Target, etc. Competition.

Amazon has their bookstore for the Kindle e-reader and Kindle app (Kindle e-reader was developed for Amazon)
Barnes and Noble has their bookstore for the Nook e-reader and Nook app (Nook e-reader was developed for Barnes & Noble)
Apple has their bookstore for their iBooks app (for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
Sony has their bookstore for their e-reader

If you only want one source for books pick one and go with it. Your selection choice may vary or be limited though. Some books may be available across all platforms, but Amazon has been in the e-book business a lot longer than Apple, so of course their selection may be larger.

The Kindle and Nook apps are free for the iPad so I don't see a problem with downloading those apps and having the possibility of shopping their associated stores. sure the apps may have a few minor differences in features, but as long as it allows me to read the text I'm OK with it. On my iPad and iPhone I have iBooks, Kindle and Nook (Barnes & Noble reader on iPhone). If one does not have a book I really want to read, I will go to one of the others and can find it at one of the three choices.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble created iOS versions of their readers to open their marketplace to a larger audience. They understand that many who own an iPad may not want to buy an e-reader, or maybe after using say the Kindle app, may decide to buy a Kindle for themselves or as a gift for a loved one that may not necessarily want or need an iPad.

balamw
Nov 29, 2010, 10:22 AM
I buy unprotected ePub books from OReilly and also own a Nook WiFi so it's Nook > iBooks > Kindle on the iPad and iPhone.

(I do occasionally pick up the occasional Kindle only book despite not owning a Kindle).

B

foiden
Nov 29, 2010, 10:47 AM
There's no selection for both. I tend to use iBooks more, but I also use Kindle for certain books or certain book versions I can't get on the iBook store.

You know there's multiple versions of even a general freebie book like Alice and Wonderland? Yep. There are actual text differences between various versions. I believe I had to go look at iBooks and Kindle to nab different versions of the book.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 29, 2010, 11:09 AM
Kindle is the better reading APP on the iPad IMO. But iBooks isn't terrible...I just dislike it for low-light reading since it doesn't have a white-text-on-black-background option.

I will say that when surfing around the web I tend to find a LOT more free (legal) ePUB-formatted files however. That alone makes the iBook app worth keeping on there.

Piggie
Nov 29, 2010, 11:37 AM
Same reason you can buy clothes at Macy's, JCPenney, Kohl's, Gap, Limited, Target, etc. Competition.

Amazon has their bookstore for the Kindle e-reader and Kindle app (Kindle e-reader was developed for Amazon)
Barnes and Noble has their bookstore for the Nook e-reader and Nook app (Nook e-reader was developed for Barnes & Noble)
Apple has their bookstore for their iBooks app (for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
Sony has their bookstore for their e-reader

If you only want one source for books pick one and go with it. Your selection choice may vary or be limited though. Some books may be available across all platforms, but Amazon has been in the e-book business a lot longer than Apple, so of course their selection may be larger.

The Kindle and Nook apps are free for the iPad so I don't see a problem with downloading those apps and having the possibility of shopping their associated stores. sure the apps may have a few minor differences in features, but as long as it allows me to read the text I'm OK with it. On my iPad and iPhone I have iBooks, Kindle and Nook (Barnes & Noble reader on iPhone). If one does not have a book I really want to read, I will go to one of the others and can find it at one of the three choices.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble created iOS versions of their readers to open their marketplace to a larger audience. They understand that many who own an iPad may not want to buy an e-reader, or maybe after using say the Kindle app, may decide to buy a Kindle for themselves or as a gift for a loved one that may not necessarily want or need an iPad.

Not quite the same.

No one is stopping you from walking into any of the cloths stores and buying what you want.

To follow your scenario it would be like having to buy one expensive key and that key only allowed you into certain shops to buy their product.

seajay96
Nov 29, 2010, 12:53 PM
Not quite the same.

No one is stopping you from walking into any of the cloths stores and buying what you want.

To follow your scenario it would be like having to buy one expensive key and that key only allowed you into certain shops to buy their product.

And no one is stopping anyone from browsing the Amazon, Apple, Sony, Borders, or Barnes & Noble stores or any of the wonderful libraries supported by Stanza and buying anything they want. I don't get your analogy with the expensive key.

Personally, I use Stanza whenever I can because I usually read on my iPhone and I prefer the user experience with Stanza on the iPhone.

But, to the OP's original question: iBooks for UI, Kindle for selection. Can you imagine the kids these guys would have if they got married?

ScaryMerry
Dec 2, 2010, 12:04 AM
I prefer the UI and aesthetics of iBooks, but the catalogue of Kindle.

Alvi
Dec 2, 2010, 08:28 AM
Kindle books aren't available in many countries where iBooks is, the anims are also nicer, but if I was in the US I think I'd choose the kindle

kenmarable
Dec 2, 2010, 08:47 AM
iBooks app > Kindle app IMO.

But when you add in selection plus the ability to read my books on many more devices (PC, Mac, Kindle, Android, etc.) makes the kindle app better for me.
Not to "me too", but... well... me too!

I really prefer the iBooks interface and overall app (just need to add in some sort of folder/grouping functionality so you don't just have a single giant bookshelf).

However, because of the ease in reading a Kindle book on any computer (which I have used quite a bit), it wins hands down. The selection is of course a major factor as well, but I hope it balances over time, and I have worked on the pain-in-the-butt process of converting my Kindle books to work in iBooks. But it's a pain, and like I said, I can't read them on any of my computers or iPad and keep them synced.

If Apple made a simple iBooks program for PC/Mac (or extended iTunes to do it) with syncing your place and bookmarks across copies, then I would abandon the Kindle app altogether.

wirelessmacuser
Dec 2, 2010, 09:26 AM
As I see it, this question / discussion needs to be broken down into a few distinctly different elements.

1) The Device
2) The eReader software / UI
3) The eBooks themselves in their respective formats.
4) The possible ability to read the books across various platforms.

As a very avid reader I've been an early adopter of eBooks (in addition to my traditional library) and own both an iPad and each generation of Kindle models.

It should be noted that the newest Kindle device is far superior to earlier models, which frankly are terrible by comparison.

With many hours of reading experience with each of the devices I own, I remain convinced the iPads primary strength is not as an eBook reader, but rather a superb web browser, light reading like a newspaper, and all the other tasks we're all aware of.

As a purpose built single focus device designed for eBook reading, the latest Kindle is simply ideal. Inside or outdoors the new Kindke is optimized to deliver a great experience, a job it does very well. Ergonomics are also just right fir it's intended purpose. So yes, one is certainly free to read eBooks on an iPad, yet your cheating yourself out if a truly relaxing and enjoyable read as provided by the kindle.

For me, the perfect solution is my new Kindle for eBooks & my iPad for the web and everything else.

NATO
Dec 2, 2010, 09:36 AM
I use Kindle and iBooks equally, but the Kindle app is used for purchased content whereas iBooks is essentially my glorified PDF reader, mostly because the selection of books and pricing is better on Kindle.

Methinks one of the reasons that there isn't as big a selection and less attractive pricing is because publishers don't want Apple to have the de-facto monopoly on eBooks like what happened with music. But at least we can have the iBooks and Kindle app on the same device so it's not TOO much of an inconvenience.

OldSchoolMacGuy
Dec 3, 2010, 04:56 PM
I love my iPad but for reading books, my Kindle blows it outta the water. The e-ink display is so much nicer on the eyes, it's lighter so holding it for a long time isn't as tiring, and the book selection is massive. You can use the Kindle app on the iPad to access the entire Kindle library but using the actual Kindle is so much better.

As stupid as it sounds, when you're reading with a Kindle, it's nice to be able to hold it with one hand and change pages with that same hand rather than moving your other hand to flip the page as is required on the iPad. It's a small inconvenience but one that can be a bit of a pain when you really get into your reading and have to readjust yourself every minute.

The only thing I use my iPad for reading is color PDFs for a couple magazines as they look much better on the iPad.

Alucardx03
Dec 3, 2010, 08:06 PM
For serious readers, it's hard to beat the Kindle app. The sepia option, combined with low brightness is the only way to go. It's so easy on the eyes.

adnoh
Dec 5, 2010, 05:41 AM
Kindle for price and choice.

Piggie
Dec 5, 2010, 06:23 AM
Does anyone not think it's a mess that at the moment you buy some books in the iBook store that can't be read by the kindle app, and you buy other books in the Kindle store that can't be read by the iBook app?

It's almost like having VHS and BETA players under the TV and two collections of movies, one for each format.

I thought we've grown up past this stage by 2010?

Night Spring
Dec 5, 2010, 12:01 PM
Does anyone not think it's a mess that at the moment you buy some books in the iBook store that can't be read by the kindle app, and you buy other books in the Kindle store that can't be read by the iBook app?

It's almost like having VHS and BETA players under the TV and two collections of movies, one for each format.

I thought we've grown up past this stage by 2010?

There will always be format wars every time a new technology is introduced.

At least it's relatively simple to convert Kindle and iBooks formats to each other if/when the DRM is removable. The iBooks app trumps the Kindle app in this respect, because you can add any book in epub format regardless of where you got it, and it keeps your place and bookmarks synced across all your iDevices. The Kindle app only accepts books you buy from Amazon.

txa1265
Dec 5, 2010, 06:18 PM
Does anyone not think it's a mess that at the moment you buy some books in the iBook store that can't be read by the kindle app, and you buy other books in the Kindle store that can't be read by the iBook app?

Heck, you can say that for:
- Word processor docs
- Spreadsheets
- Presentations
- Music files
- Video games
- Movies
... and pretty much EVERYTHING else!

It would be surprising if that wasn't true ... not that I would mind ;)

I have a bigger issue with the hold-back of new books and stupid pricing.

opticalserenity
Dec 7, 2010, 06:59 AM
I like the iBooks app the most for reading books. It's light years nicer than the Kindle, Nook, Stanza apps. This isn't a shocker, iBooks is made by Apple, I expect the UX to be great.

That being said, I use all three (iBooks, Kindle, and Nook). Until book manufacturers can get off their ridiculous three hundred year old way of thinking and broaden their distribution methods, that's just how it is. I always look in iBooks first for a book, and only if it's not available, do I go elsewhere.

Also, you can at any time re-download an iBook. Just simply go to the iBooks app, tap on Store, and you'll see a purchases tab. Easy as that. No silly "archive" or other "whispernet" thing.

mKTank
Dec 7, 2010, 11:27 AM
I like the iBooks app the most for reading books. It's light years nicer than the Kindle, Nook, Stanza apps. This isn't a shocker, iBooks is made by Apple, I expect the UX to be great.

That being said, I use all three (iBooks, Kindle, and Nook). Until book manufacturers can get off their ridiculous three hundred year old way of thinking and broaden their distribution methods, that's just how it is. I always look in iBooks first for a book, and only if it's not available, do I go elsewhere.

Also, you can at any time re-download an iBook. Just simply go to the iBooks app, tap on Store, and you'll see a purchases tab. Easy as that. No silly "archive" or other "whispernet" thing.
What the hell are you on about?

The archive is exactly the same as the Purchased tab, except it requires less clicks to access.

txa1265
Dec 7, 2010, 12:24 PM
What the hell are you on about?

The archive is exactly the same as the Purchased tab, except it requires less clicks to access.

Exactly - all three majors offer easy access to everything you bought on your account. My son still had the B&N eReader App on his iPod Touch (hadn't updated to nook) and a book he was reading crashed, and when we updated the whole library became available to download again ... nice.

ngenerator
Dec 14, 2010, 07:01 AM
iBooks, but keep in mind that it would not have gotten my vote without pdf support. I used Good Reader for all my pdfs in the past, but now only use it for game guides and other non-book files. I just put off adding all my book pdfs to my iTunes library until a few days ago.

I only wish one could change the background on the pdf viewing page from the gray lines to just black. If you have ideas, let me know, and if it's available on the 4.x update, oh well. Guess I'll just live with the gray

JonMPLS
Dec 14, 2010, 09:09 PM
Like most of you, I have both. If the book is available in iBooks I buy it there, if not, go to Kindle. iBooks seems to me like it has smoother animation.

Mac In School
Dec 15, 2010, 10:36 PM
iBooks. Better for the Apple Pro Training Series books. Kinda hard to learn color correction from a black and white book.

I just wish iBooks would catch up to Kindle in selection and price.

ngenerator
Dec 16, 2010, 05:05 AM
Now that iBooks has "collections", I like it even more :)