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iBooks 1.1 doesn’t deliver what Apple promises

Apple touted iBooks 1.1 as a major upgrade which allows users to sync and view PDFs from their computer to the iPad. While Apple has delivered the ability to sync and view PDFs in iBooks 1.1, there are some major limitations, including some features that iBooks 1.1 is advertised as being able to do, but actually cannot.

The problems with this is that you can’t actually flip through pages or add highlights to a PDF. There’s a difference between flipping through pages and swiping. iBooks 1.1 lets you swipe one page off the screen in order to bring on the next. That’s very different than flipping the page as you do with an ebook in iBooks. As for highlighting – well, the feature just isn’t there.

The iBooks 1.1 PDF features that actually are in the app are limited at best and not what most people were expecting when Jobs announced PDF support for iBooks at WWDC earlier this month. Since you can’t highlight text, there’s no options to use the built-in dictionary, create notes, or copy text. Surprisingly there is no landscape or side-by-side page display. You can only view one PDF page at a time. It’s as if iBooks treats a PDF as if it were simply a photo.

The added book features in iBooks 1.1 are great (notes, bookmarks, etc.) but iBooks PDF viewing features lack a lot. It’s obvious iBooks 1.1 was a rush job, but it’s baffling that Apple advertises features on its website that the app can’t perform. Hopefully Apple will address these missing features soon.

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