Transfer .mobi & ePub eBook Files to an iPad for Easier Reading & Viewing
Have some ePub and mobi ebooks that you want transferred over from a Mac or PC to an iPad for easier mobile reading? The quickest way to transfer the ebooks is through email sent from the computer to iOS device, but you will discover that a few additional apps are necessary so that you can read the files and to insure compatibility with not only the epub and mobi format, but just about every other ebook filetype that you may come across. Don’t worry, the apps are free and are excellent to have around anyway. Read on to follow the entire process of getting ebooks to the iPad from start to finish.
1: Get the eBook Readers for the iPad
These are both excellent free apps from the App Store, iBooks is from Apple, and Kindle is from Amazon:
Once the apps have been downloaded to the iPad you can now transfer the ebook files over and read them.
2: Transfer the ePub or Mobi eBook to the iPad
Using email is the simplest way to move an ebook from a computer to an iPad:
- From a computer with the ebook file, attach the MOBI or ePub files to a new mail message and email them to a mail address that is setup on the iPad
- Open the mail message from the iPad and tap and hold the attached mobi or epub file until an “Open in Kindle” or “Open in iBooks” dialog menu appears, then tap the appropriate choice
The ebook will then open in either iBooks or Kindle app, depending on the file type. If the ebook is in a PDF format, you’ll be able to view it natively through the Mail app, Safari, or save it to iBooks or Kindle to read later.
Here is an ePub ebook accessible in Mail, looking to launch through iBooks:
And here is what a .mobi file would look like ready to launch into the Amazon Kindle app.
If you prefer one app or book format over the other, you can manually convert the ebook format using a free tool like Calibre on a Mac or PC, though there can be issues with formatting for some ebooks with complex layouts. That conversion process may be necessary to view certain other ebook formats, but it’s exceedingly rare.
Technically you can sync ebooks from the iTunes application as well, but that requires a computer connection and is more cumbersome than using email. You can also send them over and open ebooks with DropBox, but I find email to be the fastest solution that requires the least effort. One exception is for Mac users, because OS X can use iMessage to transfer files between Macs and iOS devices just by sending yourself a message containing the file as an attachment, and PDF and ebook files work that way as well.