Better ebook sync for my Mac and iPhone
April 12, 2015 9:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm using iBooks to read ebooks on my Mac and iPhone. But I generally don't buy my ebooks from Apple, and iBooks will only wirelessly sync books that one bought from the iBooks store. If I want to copy a new ebook from my Mac to my phone, I have to connect the two over USB and use iTunes to sync. Ugh. There has to be a better way. What apps should I be using to get better wireless sync?

To be clear, iBooks will (unreliably) sync metadata about the book — the page I'm on, collections of books, etc. — but not the ebook file itself. If there's a way to get iBooks to wirelessly sync books bought outside the iBooks store, that would also solve my problem.

Since I read books on both my phone and my Mac, I'm looking for readers on both platforms — not just a way to load up books on my phone.

Most of my books are DRM-free epub files I bought straight from the publishers. They generally also come with mobi files, so switching ebook formats isn't a big deal.
posted by Banknote of the year to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just send the epub to my Gmail account from one device, then open it on the other device (if you download / open an epub in Safari on iOS, it'll ask if you want to open it in iBooks - just say yes).
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:16 PM on April 12, 2015

Best answer: I have a physical Kindle, I also use the Kindle apps which are available for these platforms. They feature WhisperSync and there's no reason you couldn't just use the apps standalone along with the Send to Kindle applet which will allow you to send your Mobi files into the Kindle cloud and back to both devices. The sync is automatic from there.

You'll need an Amazon account if you don't already have one. Sign in on both apps after downloading and installing and you're good to go. It will also provide you with a nifty backup of your books.

You can also use the Calibre book management app to convert any books that you don't happen to have a Mobi version of.
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 11:33 PM on April 12, 2015

Wi-Fi syncing your iOS device to iTunes can be a little flaky, but that how I get the ebooks I want on my iOS devices.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:17 AM on April 13, 2015

Best answer: I use the Kindle app between my three iDevices. It works really well.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:19 AM on April 13, 2015

I use Calibre with the library in Dropbox... calibre can deal with DRM (although not sure about ibooks) and it can send your books to whatever device you like. If you get Marvin on the iPhone you can link it to the same dropbox account and now you have all your books whenever you like.
posted by Huck500 at 7:33 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone!

I got my books syncing between the Kindle apps on my phone and my Mac. However: the Send to Kindle app doesn't seem to add things to my Mac's Kindle library. So adding an e-book is a two step process: (1) add to Kindle for Mac, (2) use Send to Kindle to add to iPhone.

Is that normal? Is there something I'm missing to add to both apps in one step?
posted by Banknote of the year at 11:14 AM on April 14, 2015

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