iPad & eBook Compatibility
- Short for "electronic publication," the EPUB format is a free open standard developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum. A major aspect of the EPUB format is its ability to adapt the text in an ebook to fit different sized screens. The iPad can display EPUB ebooks through Apple's own iBooks application, which also uses the EPUB format for all ebooks sold through its online iBookstore. The Stanza and Kobo ereader applications are also compatible with EPUB files, making this format one of the most widely accepted ebook formats on the iPad.
- Amazon.com developed the AWZ ebook format for use on its Kindle digital reading and publishing platform. The format allows for copyright protection methods and author-configurable licensing to be applied to ebooks, and all electronic reading material downloaded from the Amazon.com online bookstore uses the AWZ format. The iPad is compatible with AWZ files through the free Kindle application, which also allows you to purchase and download AWZ files from the Amazon.com store. The Stanza application can also load unprotected AWZ ebooks.
- Developed by French digital publishing company Mobireader, the MOBI ebook format was one of the first to popularize electronic reading through Palm Pilot devices and computers. Amazon.com bought Mobireader in 2005, and used its MOBI ebook format as the basis for AWZ files. The iPad's Kindle app is therefore fully compatible with unprotected MOBI ebooks, as is the Stanza ereader application.
- The Portable Document Format was developed by Adobe in 1993 as a way to create cross-platform documents that maintain their layout and appearance regardless of the hardware, software or application. The iPad is compatible with PDF ebooks through its iBooks application, the Kindle application or using the independent Stanza app. PDF compatibility with the iPad has some limitations with documents designed to fit paper or screen sizes that differ from the iPad's display size and ratio. Many ereader applications therefore consider PDF support to be experimental.
CBZ And CBR
- Digital comic books are widely available using the the CBZ and CBR file formats. These files are actually compressed containers, with CBZ representing a series of sequential JPEG images stored in a ZIP file, and CBR compressing the images into a RAR file. The iPad's Stanza application is able to open CBZ and CBR files, and display the images in the proper sequence. The CloudReaders application is also designed to be compatible with contained digital comic ebooks.