With the first iPad came iBooks, Apple’s default e-book reader for Macs and iOS devices. iBooks has always been somewhat quirky when it came to using local files. Of course, it worked fine with books that were purchased from the iBooks Store. But if you wanted to load your own PDF or ePub files into iBooks, you had to jump thru a series of hoops to make it work correctly. And if you wanted to sync those files between multiple devices, you had to rely on good old-fashioned iTunes syncing to get the job done. With the recent release of iOS 9.3, Apple added support for iBooks syncing via iCloud. This makes it possible to load your DRM-free files into the iBooks app on any device and then access them on all of your iCloud-enabled products.
I’ve done some testing with iBooks sync today and so far, it’s worked as expected. Here’s the steps I followed to set it up:
Make sure all devices are running their latest operating systems. OS 10.11.4 for Mac and iOS 9.3.1 for mobile devices.
Check the iCloud preferences for all devices and make sure iBooks syncing is turned on.
Launch the iBooks app on each device and enter your iCloud username/password if prompted.
Add ePub or PDF files to one device. This will transfer the files into your iCloud Drive.
Check iBooks on other devices. You should now see these titles available for download.
iBooks sync uses your iCloud Drive to store the files in the cloud until you choose to download them onto a device. With the old iTunes sync method, book files would be copied onto the mobile device and stored there. iCloud sync mimics the functionality of purchasing books thru the iBooks Store, so you don’t have to use up valuable on-device storage if you don’t want to.
While my experience with iBooks sync has been good, it hasn’t been a smooth transition for everyone. If you’re managing a very large library of books, you may run into some challenges. Hopefully, Apple will address this issues in the next iBooks update.
Outlook for iOS has been out awhile, but this is my first look.
Since I made the switch from Microsoft products to “other” products in 2008 or so, I haven’t looked back…. Until now.
My wife started a new job and received a Microsoft Surface (Not sure exactly what model) as her work machine. It came with Windows 8.1 which I wasn’t really impressed with. When windows 10 came out, I upgraded it for her. What a world of difference! I have to say, windows just became usable again. I have one older laptop that I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and it works great for what little I use it for. I’m not switching back from Apple for my desktop anytime soon, but I am impressed.
That being said, I notice that Microsoft is now putting out new office apps for iOS and Mac. I decided I would try Outlook for iOS for email.
I use gmail for my main email and my work email. I also have an icloud email account. I figured I would give it a full test and put all 3 in it. It was really easy, no server addresses, no SSL selections, it just worked (when is the last time you said that about a Microsoft Product?).
Outlook for IOS organizes things a lot like Gmail does. In threads. You can turn that off if you want. It also handles “priority inbox” in Gmail in what is called “Focused Inbox”. All in all, it’s a great email app and I’m 90% sure I’m going to dump Gmail for IOS as my go-to mobile email app.
Outlook also picked up my calendars from both iCloud and Google. The good thing is it didn’t make dupes like some calendar apps do. I’m thinking if Microsoft keeps making good stuff like this, they may convert some of the die-hard Apple Fanboys.
You will love the rack overheat alarm going off in the middle of the show. Adds for some comedy and bewilderment by me as I have never heard that alarm coming out of the rack. Lots of great tech news and the show goes way long tonight. Will get that back in check as I do not have to report on “All the News”
Yahoo gets caught up in a you scratch my back and I will scratch yours deal with TechCrunch, when will they ever learn. Lots of content to share tonight as always and some important announcements at the beginning. If show notes are a mess blame Langley and Tom as I was chatting with them in the chat room while doing the show notes.
One of the features that was released with iOs 5 was Photo Stream. Photo Stream takes the pictures you shoot with your iOS device and automatically uploads them to your iPhoto Library, Apple TV, and any other iOS device you have. For this to work you have to set up each device. On the iPhone, you go into Settings, then Photos and turn Photo Streaming on. Under that same setting you can also set up how you want the Photo Stream slides to run and whether you want to keep standard photos along with the HDR versions. Also make sure that Photo Stream is turned on under iCloud in Settings. Do the same thing on your other iOS devices. On your Mac go into System Preference and under iCloud there should be a check mark next to Photo Stream. You also need to make sure your iPhoto or Aperture application have been updated, if it has you will see Photo Stream in the left side bar. If you have an Apple TV you will need to update that also.
Once you have everything set up, anytime you take a picture on your favorite iOS device it will show up almost immediately on your Mac, Apple TV and any other iOS device you have. You can also set it up so that pictures you import from a digital camera to your iPhoto or Aperture library will go into your Photo Stream. When I say almost immediately I mean it. So if you share your iPhoto or Aperture library with someone else, beware that they can see the pictures you take as soon as you take them. If you are taking pictures of something that you shouldn’t be doing to show off to your friends make sure you turn Photo Stream off first. I can bet that someone somewhere is going to get in to a lot of trouble because of a picture posted by mistake to a Photo Stream. The other problem with Photo Stream is that once a photo is on Photo Stream it stays there for 30 days. The only way to delete a photo is to delete the whole photo stream. I like the idea of Photo Stream and if you don’t share your iPhoto library it’s a great feature. However as I said above I do see potential problems if you share your iPhoto or Aperture Library. Do you like Photo Stream or do you see it causing more problems than it solves.
24 hours after iCloud officially releases, talks are underway to fill your cloud drive with movies. In reports today, Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern will be the first of many movies you will be able to hold on your iCloud drive.
iCloud is a service available with iOS5 and at www.icloud.com. With iOS5, you can back up your phone to the cloud (what Apple is calling the PC-less setup and sync). So it only makes sense to also turn it into your all-in-one cloud device.
Hopefully, when Apple officially rolls out this service, that they will offer similar cloud options like Amazon. Things like free storage with any item purchased through Apple (so it doesn’t affect your personal storage limit). You get 5 GB free, then pricing starts at $20 for an additional 10 GB (15 GB total).
Is Apple’s Movie Service Too Late?
The real question is: Have you already committed to Amazon cloud service for movies? Would you switch back? Or would you want to skip the service and actually just get the physical DVD or Blu-Ray discs?
With iTunes still being a walled garden, it’s tough to commit to their services. At least with Amazon, one can get content to their iPhone, computer or Android. Apple really needs to look at this stumbling block, because we live in a cross-platform world.
The day of the DVD is numbered. Being able to access content without physical media is becoming reality. It’s just a question of where you get your content.
I give lots of Prizes away and also a chance to win some very exclusive prints from a cool artist. Listen to win and join me for a trip down memory lane, we kick it off old school with some intros that we have used in bygone years. Nearly 7 years of podcasting excellence all made possible by all of the Ohana that subscribe and listen to this show.
Big Thanks to Our Executive Producer Jack Ellis for all his work on all of our shows!