Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
Here at T-GAAP, we have taken a closer look at the two top ebooks stores iBooks by Apple and Kindle by Amazon. We have looked at the iOS interface, syncing, and device availability. The next area we will look at is file format.
The ebooks file format plays a big role on all devices. It gives ebooks readers extra capabilities when reading text and viewing media. Some capabilities that both file formats include are the ability to change text size and spacing. While this may seem like a basic feature, viewing PDFs on a Kindle does not have this option and it makes it much more difficult to view. Which file format has the most capabilities?
The Kindle format started on the original Kindle and is setup for e-ink displays. E-ink displays are great for long battery life and for reading text, but poor for viewing graphics. With this in mind, the Kindle file format is really just a plain text and basic image viewing option. This works great for most books with limited pictures. The limits of the file format are shown when books include more structured content or detailed pictures. It also falls flat when adding more rich media content. The file format does not have any capability for adding any media other than pictures.
The iBooks file format was designed with the iPad in mind. The iPad with a Retina display is great for reading text, but it can do so much more. Since the iPad is capable of so much more than just text, the iBooks file format has the same capabilities and then some. Books purchased through iBooks can include highly detailed pictures with zooming features, movies, and creative text formatting. It is truly an interactive book instead of just text. For more interactive books or books with rich detailed content, iBooks is really the only option.
Most books are just text with a few pictures. These books are great on the Kindle with the e-ink display. Textbooks are a different story since they usually have more diagrams, images, and charts. With the iPad, these textbooks can include even more rich media to help in learning the subject. Ultimately, the iBooks file format can display both types of ebooks well and is the clear winner.
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