Upload Textbooks Files to iPad Without iTunes

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by ipaduser4life, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. ipaduser4life

    ipaduser4life
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    I bought a iPad for school for the sole purpose of reading my textbooks while commuting. This is my first iPad and all my other devices are Android-based. Surprisingly, unlike any of my Android devices, I cannot simply connect my iPad to my computer and transfer files directly to the iPad. All of my textbooks are either in .pdf or .epub format. I simply want a way to store all of my textbooks on my iPad and view them from either iBook or Adobe Reader. I have well over 100GB of space on my iPad so that is not an issue.

    I already thought about emailing a version to myself but most of my textbooks are well over the email size limit. I also tried Google Drive (since all of my textbooks are already synced through that) but I get, "Unable to Open File. Try opening this file in another app." If I click on the Open In... button, and then click on the "Open In" option, I get, "The file could not be downloaded." If I click on "Add to Reading List" and then go to iBook, the .pdf does not appear. The issue is definitely not my textbooks since all of them can be opened and downloaded on every computer I have. I just want a way to store my textbooks and view them as I choose.

    I do not want to use iTunes; however, I would consider jailbreaking the iPad if this would allow me to use it similar to my Android devices.
     
  2. Elizellen

    Elizellen
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    I use Dropbox for this
    Not sure what their limit is for free use, so it might not hold all of your books for free, but you could transfer all of your books some at a time.
     
  3. ipaduser4life

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    Thanks but that does not answer the original question. Google Drive is a Dropbox alternative. I do not see a reason why I cannot simply store the textbooks on my iPad instead of using it as essentially a conduit.
     
  4. scifan57

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    If the textbooks you're trying to open in iBooks are DRM protected, the iBooks app will not be able to read them. That could be why iBooks does not appear as an "open in" option when trying to download the text books.
     
  5. ipaduser4life

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    Thanks, scifan57. That is a good point. However, the textbooks are not DRM protected.

    So, based on these responses, am I to presume there is no way to simply store files on an iPad? iDevices are essentially just devices through which I view but not store content? There has to be a way to bypass iTunes...or do I have to resign to the fact that I need iTunes in order to accomplish what I want? If I have to use iTunes, what is the process? Can I add textbooks per semester without affecting the textbooks already stored on the device (if that is even possible)?

    The iPad has iOS version 8.4.1 on it. From what I have read, this version cannot be jailbroken. Is this true?
     
  6. superfish

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    I did it!!!
    I have an app called "File Browser". You may need to buy the full version but it works.
    FB will find "scan for" all the PCs and iOS devices on your LAN. You can open PDF files on your iPad. This is like viewing them on dropbox. But...After you open a file there is an option to save to iPad. This is inside of FB,in a section called "My Files", and you can view the file at any time.
     
  7. scifan57

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    Have you tried adding your textbooks to the Kindle app? It accepts PDF files as well as the ebooks sold in the Kindle Store. Kindle is a free app in the App Store.

    You're correct in that iOS 8.4.1 and all newer iOS versions are not jailbreakable at this time.
     
  8. twerppoet

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    You probably know some, or even all, of this. But I'm going to cover it anyway, just in case there is a clue here that will help.

    There are a large number of PDF reading/annotation apps for the iPad. If the iPad is not recognizing those files and offering to "Open In" iBooks or any other PDF app you're downloading, then there must be a file compatibility issue.

    Make absolutely sure the PDF file has it's .pdf extension. Most PC operating systems these days can look into the the file headers and pull the file type from there. iPad's still need the extension.



    PDF is not as standard as we would like. The vast majority of PDF files adhere to the basic standards, but occasionally you run into variations that need more support from the reading app. Textbook files, especially those created by colleges, are notorious for using super-compression algorithms that the iPad doesn't understand.

    The only workaround for this is to open the PDF on a computer that can handle the file, then convince the PC app to save it as a new copy with more standard settings. This usually results in a much larger file.

    Note, I don't think this is your issue. I'm just mentioning it as a side note.



    Both DropBox and Google Drive offer favorite/local storage abilities on the iPad. When you enable this for a file in the respective app then the files are local, and can be opened without an internet connection. Besides this, once a file has downloaded to Dropbox's quick view, you should have the option to copy and open it in another compatible app; which would store the file locally.

    Apple's own iCloud Drive stores files both locally and in the cloud, keeping the two synced. You can add files directly to apps (that support it) by going to icloud.com on PC. While most folders are app specific, it is possible to create your own folders (though I've only been able to do this from a Mac). iCloud Drive storage is rather limited on the free tier, but should be good for a few books, especially if you keep your backup sizes trimmed.

    Other than this, local storage is limited to specific apps. You store your files in an app like iBooks or my favorite PDF annotation app; PDF Express.

    I hope some of this helped.
     
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  9. ipaduser4life

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    Thank you all for your comments.

    First, I find it utterly ridiculous that one cannot simply connect the iPad to a computer and use it as a flash drive similar to Android devices. That being said, SuperFish gave me the information I needed to get around this, albeit a much longer path than I needed to travel.

    The .pdf textbooks in question average about 100MB (some pushing upwards of 200MB). Originally, all options failed when I tried to open the entire textbook (even through File Browser). However, as a test, I used Adobe Acrobat to save a specific chapter of one of the larger books. After extracting a single chapter, the file size of that one chapter was just over 13MB. I was able to view the chapter under any media I wanted (i.e. Google Drive (app and web), iBook, and File Browser). But, what really set File Browser apart was that, as SuperFish stated, I could access my home network and sync all of my textbooks for this semester through the app. I can then choose to save the file locally to the iPad.

    This is exactly what I wanted. It is not as clean as I would have hoped but I can perfect the process later.
     
  10. twerppoet

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    My take on the file system situation. Feel free to ignore.

    Apple is pretty serious about the security of iOS, and the sandboxing of apps is one of the ways they approach this. It's true an open file system is more convenient for a lot of things, it's also a lot harder to keep secure.

    Most computer OS's started with an open file system, and have been working from that base to make things more secure. When Apple made a new OS for it's mobile devices, they decided to start secure and work from that point. Each year iOS becomes a little more flexible, though not in exactly the same way other OS's are. The new iCloud Drive is file-system-like, and yet not a true file system, and missing a lot of the power of a traditional file system. I expect it will become more flexible and powerful each year, but Apple won't compromise on security while doing so. So, it will be gradual progress. Not a sudden jump to a fully mature file system with all the power and flexibility of a computer's.

    There has always been a trade off between convenience and security, and that's not going to change anytime soon. How we feel about the features we have, and don't have, has a lot to do with how much inconvenience we are willing to tolerate for the sake of a little extra security.

    I'm not saying Android is particularly insecure, but it's security is very much in keeping with the same models as older OS's. Whether Apple's approach to mobile OS security turns out to be better has not been determined, not for the long haul, but it has done pretty well by it's users so far. Admittedly, at the price of convenience; mostly to those that understand, expect, and want the flexibility and power of an open file system.

    Many users don't seem to notice, or don't' mind when they do. It probably comes down to expectations, and what exactly you need to accomplish.
     

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