Monday, April 16, 2012

Put Harry Potter on Your iPad in 5 Easy Steps

NOTE: This post does not offer workarounds for iPad users intent on enjoying Pottermore’s Potions and Wizard’s Duel activities, which require the Adobe Flash Player.  It’s my understanding Adobe Flash is (and will forever remain) unsupported on Apple’s mobile devices.  Sorry!

Pottermore Shop doesn’t yet have an official relationship with Apple’s iTunes store—one that, were it in place, would presumably allow anyone to link an iTunes account to Pottermore Shop and send a purchased book directly to an iBooks bookshelf. Instead, here’s the rather involved 10-step procedure Pottermore Shop recommends for iBooks users:
iBooks App:
  1. Purchase your eBook (or collect it, if it is a gift)
  2. Your eBook will then appear in 'My books'
  3. Click the 'Select' button under the eBook you wish to download
  4. Choose the 'Direct download' option
  5. Click the 'Yes, download this book' button. Your eBook will now be prepared and download to your computer. If you are prompted to save it to your computer, click 'Yes' or 'Save', taking care to note where it is being saved
  6. Open iTunes on your computer
  7. Locate your eBook on your computer and use your mouse to drag and drop it into the 'Books' section of iTunes
  8. Download the free iBooks App to your device
  9. Connect your device to your computer and sync it with 'Books' in iTunes
  10. Open the iBooks App on your device and access your eBook
However, if you’ve got an iPad, an iTunes account, and the iBooks app you can cut these 10 steps in half and simply direct download the Harry Potter ebook to your iPad.  Which means you’re beginning as Pottermore Shop suggests above ...

To add a Pottermore Shop ebook directly to your iPad, select the Direct Download option
... but after Step 5 you’ll see this helpful message on your iPad:

Once the direct download is finished, your iPad will invite you to open the file in your iBooks app.  It will also place the book on your iPad's bookshelf.
I suppose there are other ereader apps available for the iPad, which is why you’re also given the choice of using the Open in... button.  I used Open in “iBooks” and found the DRM-free epub file opened flawlessly (which it should, since iBooks supports its epub file format).

Granted, Pottermore Shop may recommend its laborious 10-step approach to ensure that you place the DRM-free copy of your Harry Potter ebook on your Mac or PC for safekeeping.  That way should your iPad meet an untimely end and you require a new (or reformatted) one from Apple you won’t use up another of your 8 (or fewer) allowable downloads obtaining a new copy of your ebook.  Instead, you can simply synch the replacement iPad with your computer and voilà!—your Harry Potter ebook is once again ready to travel.

On the other hand, if you’re impatient to read and would like to skip a few steps ... my approach will save you serious time.

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