Tuesday, August 30, 2011

iPad FAQ Sheet

Can I use OverDrive?

Do I need a separate computer to use OverDrive?
No, with the OverDrive application for the iPad, you can select, checkout, download, read, and return books directly on the iPad.

How many books will it hold?
The iPad is available with 16GB, 32 GB, or 64GB of memory. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is 453KB in the EPUB format, so a 16GB iPad could hold about 35,320 copies of The Help. Of course, not all 16GB is available for storing books; the operating system occupies some of that memory.

How long does the battery last?
* Built-in 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
* Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
* Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system

Can I read the screen in sunlight?
The LED backlit display gives an effect that is more like a computer monitor than a page in a book, and can be hard to read in strong daylight. However, there are anti-glare screen protectors that can be purchased separately, and the brightness of the display itself can be adjusted from within the reader applications. The background can be changed from white to a pale sepia.

Screen resolution?
1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)

Size? Weight?
Height, 9.50 inches (241.2 mm); Width, 7.31 inches (185.7 mm); Depth: 0.34 inch (8.8 mm); about 1.33 pounds (601 g)

How large / how many sizes can I make the words display?
The font size is adjustable from within the OverDrive reader app in nine (9) steps, from 64 lines per page (very small) to 23 lines per page (very large) in portrait mode. The font size, as well as the font face, can be similarly adjusted from within the other reading apps.

How do you turn the page?
Touch or swipe the screen from right to left to turn to the next page, or from left to right to go to the previous page.

Does it remember my place?
Yes, when you reopen a book you were reading, it opens at the last page you were reading. You can also set bookmarks and go to the beginning of any chapter.

How much does it cost?
A new iPad 2 starts at $499 for the WiFi-only model with 16GB of storage, and runs all the way up to $829 for WiFi + 3G with 64GB of storage. My Library bought a refurbished iPad 1 with 16GB and WiFi for $349.

Do I have to subscribe to a service?
The WiFi model works with any wireless network. The WiFi+3G model works with both wireless and with the 3G cellphone network. The 3G service can be turned on and off as needed in a pay-as-you-go system; no contract commitment is required.

Are the batteries self-replaceable or does it need to be sent in when they die?
The batteries are not replaceable. When the battery is no longer holding a charge, you can send your iPad to Apple and receive a replacement iPad for a $99 service fee. (Free, if it’s a new iPad still in the warranty period.)

Can I use it with multiple formats?
Yes. In addition to the OverDrive app for borrowing books, there is a Kobo app, a Barnes & Noble Nook app, all of which offer books in the EPUB format. There is an Amazon Kindle app, supporting Amazon’s proprietary amz format. There is also Apple’s own iBooks app, which lets you purchase and read books from the iBookstore. There are apps to read and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that are compatible with Microsoft Office Suite. Articles from our EBSCO subscription databases can be read, whether they are in PDF or HTML format.

Can it connect to the Internet?
Yes. With a web browser (Safari is already installed) you can visit any website. The only limitation is that the iPad does not support Adobe Flash, so a few sites will not display properly.

Can I use it to watch video?
You can play videos at YouTube. You can watch streaming video from Netflix using the Netflix app for iPad, but you can’t watch streaming video from Amazon.

What else does it do?
The iPad can send and receive email, surf the Web, store your photos, music, and videos, keep your calendar and your notes, and display maps. The iPad with WiFi+3G gives you real-time navigation instructions using GPS. Because of the large format and the screen resolution, the iPad works comfortably with most websites without having to resort to a special mobile app. It has a true multi-touch screen and the web browser display can be zoomed in and out easily by “pinching” the display with two fingers.

Excellent general purpose computer, in addition to offering a great reading experience. I would recommend the iPad to anyone who wants basic functions such as access to email, the Web, photos, music, e-books, shopping online, etc., but who has never used a traditional computer with a keyboard and mouse. It's also a fine device for experienced computer users who travel or frequently attend offsite meetings and conferences.

Where can I get more information?

UPDATE: For the best searching and browsing experience in OverDrive, you'll want to use the iPad's web browser to select and check out your e-book, and then sign into your OverDrive account from the iPad to download the books to your iPad. Or you can select a book to borrow using a more traditional desktop or laptop computer. The app isn't quite there yet, and won't, for example, let you specify "show me all ePUBs that are available to borrow right now," like the OverDrive website will. Soon, though!


  1. Good summaries. I have (and love) both devices and learned something I didn't know about each.

  2. Thanks, Mark, glad to hear it!

  3. black ops 2 Multiplayer tops the angle when it comes to most enchanting online games. The human artifact about this occupation is the knowledge of the player to make the gritty according to his perceptiveness.