Adobe Digital Editions is a popular application for reading ebooks on Windows and Mac computers. The app is free and fairly simple to use. Now, the Digital Editions is also available for the Apple iPad. On the iPad, however, many established ereading apps have already won the hearts and minds of reading public. Do we really need yet another ereading app on the iPad?
Every new Apple iPad comes with the iBooks ereading app (it is possible to download iBooks to old models from the App Store). iBooks is probably the best ereading app available at the moment. It can open books that only include text and books that feature audio and video. iBooks can handle EPUB2, EPUB3, PDF and Apple’s own multimedia book format.
So, do you need Adobe Digital Editions at all? Adobe says the app can open EPUB2, EPUB3 and PDF books. First and foremost, the Digital Editions is for reading books that are copy-protected with Adobe’s technology. If you buy a book from Kobo or Google Play Books, or from many other bookstores, the book is copy-protected. You have to use your Adobe ID to open the purchased book, and this is the trick the Digital Editions can manage (and iBooks can’t).
It is not possible to read books that require Adobe ID in iBooks. It is, however, possible to download free and easy-to-use reading apps like Bluefire Reader or Google Play Books that can open books protected by Adobe’s technology.
Adobe Digital Editions suffers from minor teething problems common in the first releases of practically any software product. The Digital Editions can’t properly layout a book when you hold your iPad in landscape mode. There is no way to remove books from a bookshelf. One of the biggest benefits of EPUB3 standard is the possibility to include audio and video in ebooks, but the Digital Editions couldn’t play any audio or video. Yet, Adobe claims the app is compatible with EPUB3.
Who should take the time and install Adobe Digital Editions on the iPad? If you don’t already have an ereading app on your iPad that can open ebooks that require Adobe ID, the Digital Editions is an app worth considering.
Adobe Digital Editions for the iPad can be downloaded from the App Store. More about the Digital Editions app at Adobe’s web page.