Mobileread
Calibre with Kindle on the iPad
#1  AngryD 09-19-2021, 12:24 PM
Hey guys, my apologies if this has been posted/answered before, but I ran several different searches and couldn't seem to find it so I figured I'd ask and if someone tells me the answer is located in XXXXX spot then I'll delete this.

I have an Amazon Kindle 10thGen (What they called the "all new" kindle a couple of years ago.). While I like it, I've found lately that I'm doing more and more reading on my iPad due to travel. (I am military and my branch spends a lot of time traveling via water where there is no internet connection.) With a few games and some movies and the like, my iPad is a more versatile entertainment platform than my Kindle, so I've been defaulting to that when I want to travel light.

I am highly resistant to the idea of ever plugging my iPad into my PC. For years this was because iTunes was to computers what hemorrhagic dysentery is to restaurants: You might live through it but you won't enjoy the experience. However, I have no problems plugging in the old Kindle and using Calibre to load it up. (Although the terrible default eBook organization of the Kindle makes that a short, sharp shower of sh*t most of the time as well. Seriously, Amazon developed a way to carry 1400 books in your pocket and figured "a huge pile" was the best way to lay them out?!)

I'd really like to use Calibre to manage the Kindle app on my iPad, preferably by plugging it in with the standard USB/lightning wire cable and sideloading books from PC that way. Is this possible? I am not impressed with Calibre Companion and would rather not purchase it until it has a developer that cares about it. Does anyone have suggestions or sources for ways I can do this?

I'd also like to share some of my eBooks with my wife. Amazon, in their blistered stupidity, has made it possible to share eBooks with family members only by also sharing your wallet... because when you give your cousin Larry a copy of The Idiot's Guide to Idioting, you always give him your American Express too, right? It would be easier to just hand her a copy of my Calibre library (or give her access to the Dropbox folder where it resides) and let her load what she wants from there.

Keep in mind that I am not against using other eBook readers on the iPad, but since several of the series I'm reading now are direct Amazon purchases, it's a little easier to keep them all in one reading app, and as far as reading itself goes, the Kindle app of iOs is actually pretty good for me. (Although I miss Moon+ on the Android.)

So, if anyone can point me to some ideas for making this work, I'd appreciate it. Thanks to everyone for suggestions and comments and special thanks to Kovid for such an amazing program that has truly changed my life.
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#2  tomsem 09-19-2021, 01:46 PM
If it is in Dropbox, you can open from there using Share option. I think it needs to be (dual format) .mobi. Pick Kindle and Send To Kindle dialog will appear. You do not need to Save to Kindle Library, just have it sent to the device you are using.

Otherwise, if you have USB wire, and iTunes loaded, I think calibre is smart enough to find the Kindle storage folder that will be mounted. But it has probably been 8 years since I did any of this. The calibre documentation should cover this scenario.

Personally, I would use something other than the Kindle app for this side loading stuff. Convert to ePub and there are better options. I don’t have current knowledge of which apps to check out.

For me, Apple Books would suffice. You can just open from DropBox, and if you choose it will store in iCloud and sync between Apple devices. It’s also one of the few reading apps that has full Accessibility support (in particular Speak Screen, if you want TTS like function).
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#3  AngryD 09-19-2021, 04:19 PM
Quote tomsem
If it is in Dropbox, you can open from there using Share option. I think it needs to be (dual format) .mobi. Pick Kindle and Send To Kindle dialog will appear. You do not need to Save to Kindle Library, just have it sent to the device you are using.

Otherwise, if you have USB wire, and iTunes loaded, I think calibre is smart enough to find the Kindle storage folder that will be mounted. But it has probably been 8 years since I did any of this. The calibre documentation should cover this scenario.

Personally, I would use something other than the Kindle app for this side loading stuff. Convert to ePub and there are better options. I don’t have current knowledge of which apps to check out.

For me, Apple Books would suffice. You can just open from DropBox, and if you choose it will store in iCloud and sync between Apple devices. It’s also one of the few reading apps that has full Accessibility support (in particular Speak Screen, if you want TTS like function).
Thanks, Tom. I don't have iTunes loaded and probably wouldn't install it on anything I own without an overt threat from Apple that involved one of my nostrils and a bottle brush. iTunes was crap ten years ago, and the last decade has not improved it, more solidified it. I understand they pretty much removed support for it, and good riddance to that coprolite of programming.

I've not used Apple books or iBooks or whatever it's called although on your recommendation I'll give it a whirl and see what happens.

The main thing about using the Kindle app for sideloading is a certain level of convenience when it comes to books I've actually purchased from Amazon. Hitting the 13th book in the Demon Accords series and automatically being told "This is the 14th, would you like to open it?" is useful. One of the drawbacks to Calibre is that I haven't figured out how to make the metadata automatically load series and series order, so, for example, consider the Magic of Xanth by Piers Anthony that has at least 30 books in the series. Which one is in what order?

There may be an easier way to do this all the way around, but I'm not sure what it is. I know that the Kindle is, at best, average for organization of eBooks. I've created my own collections (and exploded when Amazon removed the ability to sideload collections onto the Kindle from Calibre. Typing each damn collection name into their crappy little on-screen keyboard for 90 different collections spanning some 1100 books took me almost three weeks. That was why I gave the 10thGen Kindle a two star review.)

I'm going to continue to play with it, including using external drives that work with iPads to sneakernet books onto the various reading devices, but the USB transfer method would be much faster if I only knew how to do it properly.
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#4  tomsem 09-19-2021, 06:33 PM
I think there are alternatives to iTunes to get access to the storage over USB cable. It just has not been my use case for a long time.

Apple does support iTunes for Windows, and it gets frequent updates. They pretty much have to, as it is the only way to backup an iOS device (apart from using iCloud) if you don’t have a Mac. Also to access iTunes purchases.

Yet another option might be to connect wirelessly to the Windows machine with the Files app, using Connect To Server (after setting up a shared folder on the Windows machine), using SMB protocol. Then you can feed things to whatever reading app you wind up using.
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#5  AngryD 09-20-2021, 06:27 PM
Quote tomsem
I think there are alternatives to iTunes to get access to the storage over USB cable. It just has not been my use case for a long time.
Well, I appreciate the feedback and the ideas no matter what. Thank you.

Quote tomsem
Apple does support iTunes for Windows, and it gets frequent updates. They pretty much have to, as it is the only way to backup an iOS device (apart from using iCloud) if you don’t have a Mac. Also to access iTunes purchases.
My experience with Apple has been less than pleasant. I don't have a single Apple product that works entirely the way it's supposed to work. Even my iPad, which I actually like a great deal, doesn't work 100% the way it's supposed to because iMessages never updates with new messages. (I'll be dropping my iPhone and Apple Watch in favor of an android here soon. I'm sick of the watch needing to be unpaired before it'll update and don't even get me started on Apple maps.)

I honestly believe that Apple doesn't give a rip about any customer who has any Apple products who doesn't have one of their overpriced computers. iTunes may still be supported, but not as an application. It is now an app and it runs like flushing a Greek toilet: you know what's supposed to happen, but all you can do is stare in sick fascination as the opposite takes place.

Quote tomsem
Yet another option might be to connect wirelessly to the Windows machine with the Files app, using Connect To Server (after setting up a shared folder on the Windows machine), using SMB protocol. Then you can feed things to whatever reading app you wind up using.
I... didn't even know that would be a thing. I have an app called "FE Files Explorer" that I paid for and love. It allows me to stream video and audio files from my computer through my iPad as long as it's on the same network. No clue how to make that work with the files app, but now that I know it's a thing, I'll research it.

Thanks for the suggestions. Very much appreciated!
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#6  Deskisamess 09-22-2021, 11:26 AM
I've never had to unpair my Apple Watch before updating.
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#7  JSWolf 09-22-2021, 02:48 PM
Quote Deskisamess
I've never had to unpair my Apple Watch before updating.
Same here.
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#8  leebase 10-06-2021, 09:18 AM
I use the fbreader app. You load books to the fbreader network (they are stored in your google drive). Then you can download them from within the app on any of your iDevices or Android devices.

So I buy books from Amazon. DeFumigate them with Calibre, export out epub, load to fbreader network.
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#9  kyrilson 10-19-2021, 02:21 PM
Quote leebase
I use the fbreader app. You load books to the fbreader network (they are stored in your google drive). Then you can download them from within the app on any of your iDevices or Android devices.

So I buy books from Amazon. DeFumigate them with Calibre, export out epub, load to fbreader network.
This is the same thing I do. And note that since it's on the fbreader network, it will sync between Apple and Android devices. fbreader also supports .mobi files, which are Amazon specific format, although you would likely have to convert them from .azw3 or .kfx if you download them from Amazon or your kindle as Amazon has moved on from .mobi, for the most part. I just convert them to epub for fbreader, myself.
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#10  paul114 10-21-2021, 04:55 AM
Quote Deskisamess
I've never had to unpair my Apple Watch before updating.
Same too.
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