Next Up: the iPad

Meet an Author Monday

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Last week, you heard from a Kindle owner about how he uses and enjoys his eReader.  This week, author Killian McRae tells us about her iPad.

Killian is the author of the upcoming romantic suspense, 12.21.12, available on December 21 of this year.  You can check out her website at  Killian also pointed me to an article, And the Most Popular Way to Read an E-Book Is … which also tackles the question of eReaders.  It comes to the conclusion that it’s not what platform you read eBooks on, it’s where you buy them that’s the driving force.  The eReading population is expected to double again this year, so the market is still growing by leaps and bounds.

Which eReader do you have? How long have you owned it?

I got an iPad the day they came out last spring.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

What features do you like best?

My primary use of it is as an email reader, web browser, and e-reader. However, using any number of thousands of free and paid applications, I can also use it to play games, listen to music and watch movies (both from my iTunes library – stored on my iPad or any other device on my network, or streaming media such as internet radio, youtube, or movies via my Netflix account), manage and pay bills through my bank, edit photos, access Facebook and Twitter, make travel arrangements, Skype/Gchat/Google Voice, make dinner reservations or order take out, check the weather, participate in conference calls via Webex, read newspapers and magazines, bid on eBay, search real estate listings, manage my investments and do lite office applications.

How do you load books on your eReader? (wirelessly, connect to computer, other?)

The iPad has many options for reading. Below are the ones I use, along with their connection information:

  • iBooks (Apple’s own book store): Buy books from the iBooks store via Wifi, or important pdf docs into iBooks via email attachment or via a Sync cable to my computer.
  • Kindle App: Buy books from Amazon and download directly to my iPad via Wifi
  • Goodreader: Options to import file from Email, via a Wifi connection (through an intermediary website), or select other Apps on the iPad
  • Stanza: Import via Wifi or share epub and mobi files through a Sync cable and by making the appropiate settings in iTunes

What kinds of ebooks do you load on your eReader (formats – PDF, epub, other?) Do you load them from sources other than the default bookstore? (e.g. amazon for kindle or iBookstore for iPad)

I guess I answered this above? I will add that both the iBooks and Kindle applications have wireless syncing memory. If I read something on my iPad, then later get stuck in line at Starbucks, I can pull up the iPhone versions of both Apps and pick up right where left off on the iPad.

Where do you use your eReader? (in the car, outside, at work, at home, traveling)

My iPad goes wherever I go. It is a little bigger than a Kindle or most other eReaders, but it’s still light enough the it easily slips into my messenger bag without taking up too much real estate. I use it at work, at home (it actually serves as my alarm clock), and while traveling.

Does it have an annotation feature?  Do you make notes?

Yes, all four Apps I use for reading books have annotation and notes features. The iBook app is my favorite to use, and has the following features when a word or words are highlighted: Copy to another App, Dictionary, Highlight, Make a note, or Search for text throughout the book.

Turning a page on the iPad - the beginning to ...

Image by mikebaird via Flickr

Can you read your ebooks anywhere else? (on your computer or your phone) Do you?

Oops, guess I answered that above too. And yes, I often use the iPhone sync up to get a few pages in while I’m waiting for the kids in the parking lot or stuck in a long line. I do believe there’s a way to access both Kindle and iBook files on the computer, but I’ve never had the need to do it.

Do you share your eReader with anyone?

My younger daughter uses it to read Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh. My older daughter uses it sometimes to quickly look up information or play games.

What else do you do on your eReader? (browse the web, watch videos, read magazines, etc)

Listed above 🙂

How did you get your eReader? (buy in store, buy online, win it, receive it as a gift, other)

I received my iPad as a prize at work. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have bought it otherwise. Starting at $400, the iPad is a bit pricey. But honestly, I’ve been nothing but pleased with it.

What accessories do you have for your eReader?

I only have a docking keyboard that I use when doing word processing on my iPad. There are lots of accessories, but I just don’t have need of them.

How many books do you have on your eReader?  How many hard copy books do you have?

I have approximately 30 books on my eReader. Hard copy books: not sure, but not really that many. Unless I use a book as a reference or it deeply affected me,I generally pass along hard copies to charity or friends as soon as I’m done with them. Right now, I have perhaps a few dozen hard copy books.

Any other comments about your eReader?

If one is looking just for an e-reader, I don’t think it’s worth paying the extra expense to have an iPad, even though it is, in my opinion, by far the best one. Because it works with Apps, there’s rarely issues with proprietary formats. i.e. If I wanted to buy book from Barnes & Noble that are formatted for the Nook, I’m not going to have the problems I might with a Kindle. However, if you’re already an iPhone/iTunes user, or you want to be able to expand the usability of your e-Reader, this is hands down the best choice. There are a few down sides beyond the price: iPad is larger than  most other eReaders, so if you’re trying to maximize portablility, this might be an issue for you. Its battery life is also far less than most other eReaders. On a full charge, depending on the nature of its use, the battery will last 6-10 hours. Unlike the iPhone, using a sync cable to your computer to use it with iTunes will not charge the battery; the battery only charges with the iPad cable and adapter are plugged directly into a power outlet. Because it’s Apple, replacement parts or Apple-branded accessories are going to run you a pretty penny as well. For example, I was burned when I purchased the dock/keyboard from my iPad, that the accessory, itself priced at $80, didn’t come with a power adapter and required me to shell out another $30 for a secondary power source.


Filed under Reading

3 responses to “Next Up: the iPad

  1. killianmcrae

    I work at a big name university in Silicon Valley. The prize was given out for whomever came up with the “brand name” for the group’s new class video application. I won. Over a whole bunch of PhD and genises. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the informative post!

    One question: Killian, what do you do for your day job? You WON an iPad at work? *jealous* 😉 I just got a Nook and have yet to read a book on it, but I’m looking forward to the experience!

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