Saturday, August 28, 2010

iPhone as eReader, Part Deux

In my earlier iPhone as eReader article I talked about four iPhone apps that let you read e-books:

  1. Kindle for iPhone
  2. Stanza
  3. eReader
  4. B&N eReader (now discontinued)

Since then a lot has changed:

B&N eReader has been replaced by the free nook for iPhone app from Barnes & Noble. This app allows owners of the Nook, B&N's rival to Amazon's Kindle — as well as non-owners of Nooks — to read Nook e-books on their iPhones.

There is a new app from Apple, iBooks for iPhone. It's the iPhone app you need to use to buy e-books from Apple's iBookstore, an arm of its iTunes Store.

Kobo is another new e-reader app. It lets the iPhone read e-books meant for the new $149.99 Kobo eReader device being sold at Borders stores in the U.S. That device supports open ePUB, open PDF, and Adobe DRM e-book formats.

The Borders iPhone app is, as far as I can tell, exactly like the Kobo app except in minor details.

All of these apps are available (often in separate versions for the two devices) for the new Apple iPad, not just the iPhone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Turning Amazon Kindle DRM'ed eBooks into iBooks

I have an iPhone 3GS. The iBooks app on it allows me to read e-books in the open EPUB format. In earlier posts such as Turning DRM'ed PDB eBooks into iBooks, iBooks♥B&N: Let's Get Ignoble!, iPhone: Reading Adobe/EPUB eBooks, and Breaking Adobe DRM — Tips, Tricks, Workarounds I talked about how to remove the Digital Rights Management encryption for various types of e-Books (those in the eReader PDB format; those in the Adobe-encrypted EPUB format used by Barnes & Noble; those in the Adobe-encrypted EPUB format used by Adobe Reader software) so that they can be read on an iPhone or an iPad.

Now I've discovered how to do the same for e-books from the Amazon Kindle Store.

Click on this image ...

... to read how I did it for Kindle books I'd purchased somewhat earlier for use in the Kindle app on the iPhone. They still work in that app, of course, but I want all my e-books in iBooks so I don't have to keep track of which e-books are where!

The same basic procedure should work in the future if I buy more Kindle e-books.

The procedure is geared toward Mac users. The Skindle app that decrypts the e-books runs on Windows, meaning that I have to run Windows in Parallels Desktop for the Mac, available here. As far as I know, there is no equivalent on the Mac platform to Skindle for Windows.

If you have a Windows platform, the basic procedure still works — with fewer complications! You will need Skindle (available here) and calibre (available here), to go with Amazon Kindle for PC (K4PC), available here. When you follow the procedure linked to by the image above, some of the steps which are intended to bridge between the Windows/Parallels and Mac environments drop out. Instead of running calibre in the Mac environment, you will run it in Windows. Ditto, iTunes.

Be aware that Skindle Version 06 works with K4PC Version 1.2.0 (30413) and possibly with some earlier K4PC versions. Amazon has in the past modified its DRM for new versions of K4PC such that decrypters like Skindle no longer work ... until their authors revise them for the new K4PC version!