iPad mini How to sync EPUB files to iBooks via iCloud?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by fxhun, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. fxhun macrumors newbie

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    #1
    First time owner of an iPad here - iPad Mini 3. Longtime user of Mac computers.

    I bought an iPad exclusively to do reading/highlighting. I have several EPUB files on my rMBP (Yosemite OS X 10.10.2). How can I sync these EPUB files to my iPad using iCloud? These eBooks were not purchased through iBooks. I do not want to plug-in a USB cable every time I want highlighting marks synced between the 2 devices. Is this possible? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. WilliamLondon macrumors 68000

    WilliamLondon

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    #2
    I use Dropbox for exactly this and it works a treat for me. Copy the file(s) to your Dropbox folder (on your rMBP), open it on your iPad (after Dropbox syncs the file(s) to the cloud). Dropbox won't recognise the file type, so click on "Open In..." (via the box with the up arrow icon at the top of the Dropbox window) and it'll list iBooks as an app you can try opening it on your iPad, click on that, and it'll copy it to iBooks and open it there without having to sync it via iTunes.

    If you don't have Dropbox, it's a great app/service, here's a way to get 6GB free storage (without having to spam your family/friends, which you can do to get even more free storage): click here.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #3
    I use DropBox as well, please note what WilliiamLondon says about what to do when Dropbox pops up the unrecognizable file type message because that's the thing most likely to trip someone up the first time.

    If the epub file isn't too large, maybe 1.5MB or less, I'll often email it to myself and then open it on my iPad and choose iBooks. It's pretty quick too.
     
  4. fxhun thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Hi WilliamLondon and CrickettGrrrl, thanks for the info.

    With this Dropbox method, you've explained how I can download files from my rMBP to my iPad. But what happens when I highlight a portion of an EPUB I downloaded on my iPad? Does Dropbox automatically sync the highlighting to the Dropbox cloud?

    I fundamentally do not understand how file storage works on an iPad, since there is no "Finder" or file browser. If I open an EPUB from the Dropbox app into iBooks, does that file still live in the Dropbox cloud, or has a new version been copied to the iBooks library?
     
  5. wksj macrumors member

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    Feb 20, 2015
    #5
    No. A new version.
    There's no need for Dropbox. Use iBooks on your iOS device and iTunes on your Mac/PC.
    Take a look at these two pages:
    http://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT4227 -says PDF but will work for EPUB files
    http://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT202759
     
  6. fxhun thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    "These PDFs will sync to your iTunes Book library the next time you sync your device with iTunes."

    Doesn't iTunes require a USB connection to sync?
     
  7. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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  8. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #8
    Your epub file, if opened in iBooks on your iPad, will store a copy on your iPad in the iBooks app. (But it will also leave the original file in Dropbox.) If you create bookmarks, etc. for that epub file in iPad iBooks, it doesn't sync stuff from iBooks back to Dropbox at all. Only iBooks/mobile device to iBooks/Mac computer.

    Re syncing bookmarks and notes and things: yes, if you turn it on in Settings on your iPad, or your iCloud settings, --I forget which, it was a while. It used to work great for me, opening up to the same page as my iMac, all my highlights, notes & bookmarks, etc., it was lovely until a couple months ago. Then it just stopped working. Frankly, I don't know why. I didn't change anything, except I have the original version iPad so I guess Apple dropped support for it.

    Using Dropbox or email to move the files to my iPad is so much quicker than synching through USB & iTunes. Ditto for Pages documents & image files.
     
  9. fxhun thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    If I understand what you are saying, this is tremendously inconvenient for a user who constantly goes between devices like me....and makes me think about getting rid of the iPad and just sticking with working on my rMBP.

    Say I have an EPUB file. I start to read it and highlight it on my rMBP. But then I want to continue my reading and highlighting on my iPad Mini. So, I upload the EPUB to Dropbox and open the file on my iPad Mini through iBooks. I continue reading and highlighting on my iPad for an hour or two. Then I have to continue reading and highlighting on my rMBP. So I manually upload the EPUB to Dropbox through my iPad and pull it up on my computer.

    I go back and forth with the same file from my laptop to my iPad very frequently, at least 5 times a day. So that means re-uploading the file 5 times a day and then downloading the file onto my iPad 5 times a day? What an unsophisticated solution for such a simple, primitive task.
     
  10. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #10
    No you don't. You only need to copy the EPUB from Dropbox to iBooks once. After that, notes, highlights and location is stored/synced automatically in iCloud (assuming you have that setting enabled). No need to go through Dropbox again. At least that's been my experience with iBooks on iPhone and iPad - don't have a Mac.
     
  11. dyt1983, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    edit: To remove personally identifying information not relevant to the thread.
     
  12. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #12
    EXACTLY what rui no onna said! You don't move things back and forth after installing the epub file on your iPad one time. The iBooks syncing is automatic if you enabled it.

    And yes to what dyt1983 wrote, Air Drop also works great if you're using the latest iOS & OS X versions. It's not available for older iOS operating systems. I love using Air Drop to move tons of big files between Macs.

    Once you get that epub file onto your iPad or iPhone, it's totally great & wonderfully convenient. Honestly, writing this stuff down step by step is way more complicated than just doing it. Try it, you'll love it.
     
  13. dyt1983, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

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    #13
    edit: To remove personally identifying information not relevant to the thread.
     
  14. CrickettGrrrl, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015

    CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #14
    On each iOS device, open the Settings app, then scroll down the list to Apps, then select iBooks, and flip the switch to "on" for syncing bookmarks. Note that my attachment is from an iPad1 running iOS 5.1 (yikes), so yours may look quite different. It syncs through iCloud and you only need to have the device connected to a wifi network. And of course, iCloud set up on your device. All devices need to be using the same iCloud ID too.


    EDIT: I found a great explanation by onekerato, it is dated late 2013, but still very helpful.

    Also, I discovered that bookmarks synch had (weirdly) been switched off on my iPad. Switched it back to on again and all my notes from my iMac are there, so thanks guys, I'm so glad I checked this thread today.
     

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  15. dyt1983, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    edit: To remove personally identifying information not relevant to the thread.
     
  16. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #16
    If I could use AirDrop with my iPad too, I would, --I love using it between Macs, so quick & easy.
     
  17. fxhun thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I will try later tonight. Why can't you use AirDrop with your iPad? Perhaps the question I should be asking is why haven't you updated your iPad??
     
  18. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

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    #18
    Because I can't afford to buy a new iPad. Knock wood, my old beloved 1 still works fine for me, especially for reading.
     
  19. fxhun thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Oh, you can't update the iOS of previous iPad models? I didn't know that.
     
  20. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #20
    You can up to a point. Original iPad only went to iOS 5. The iPad 2 was incredibly long lived going up to iOS 8. I don't think it'll get iOS 9, though. Hmm, or maybe they will given they're still selling the Mini. I've got to wonder how bad performance will be like, though.
     
  21. fxhun thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Per CrickettGrrrl's helpful instructions, I've got iBooks on my iPad to successfully sync EPUB highlights/notes to iBooks on my rMBP.

    There is one downside to this however. The annotations are linked to my iBooks account, instead of being attached to the actual ebook file. So if I wanted to share a highlighted document with someone else, that person would not be able to see my highlights. Or if I want to view the ebook in any other program other than iBooks, the annotations would be absent. Which also banishes me from ever viewing my annotated ebooks on a PC — not cool.

    I wish Apple gave us the option to sync the file, not sync the software. iBooks owns my annotations.
     
  22. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

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    #22
    Is there a reason you have to use iBooks? I think you might be better served by a third party app. Google Play Books might be a better fit, for example.
     
  23. fxhun thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    I have no particular allegiance to iBooks. Do you know how Google Play Books syncs annotations?
     
  24. Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

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    #24
    Most of my books in ibooks on my mac were not purchased through itunes, I just drag the epub's into it and hit sync. They sync to ibooks wirelessly on my phone and it's about as easy as it gets.
     
  25. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

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    #25
    In the past I’d done it with PDFs, not ePUBs but I’ve just done it. Note, even though I use Apple hardware, I live by Google’s services since they have the added benefit of working from a browser. Maybe you can do it with iCloud but I used the following apps:

    Google Drive
    Google Play Books

    Put ePUB in Google Drive.

    Went to my iPhone, opened Google Drive and tried to open ePub. Unreadable format so it asked what I wanted to open it with.

    Chose Google Play Books.

    Opened on my iPhone. Did some highlights. Made some notes (notes also highlight and when you press on the highlight, it displays the note), made some book marks. The app also has a section just for viewing book marks, highlights and notes.

    Went back to my computer. Opened a browser and went to Google Play Books. Notes, bookmarks and highlights were there. From Google Drive I can share with anyone.

    Hope this meets your needs.
     

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