Google Books PDF Death Match 3: iPad 4 With Retina Display

It’s time to get real.

Previously I’ve used Success: A Novel (catch up here) as my Google Books test PDF. Most mainstream devices can now do that. So it’s time to up the ante to the full Monty of what I need a device to do.

I’ve already tried this twice:

Samsung Galaxy S III Test
Second Samsung Galaxy S III Test

I wanted to use the same PDF but problems erupted. I had to use a different issue of The American Magazine. The one in those first two tests was 203MBs. The one in these tests is a whopping 290MBs. How’s that for going nuclear?

If you want to play at home:
Google Books: The American Magazine, Volume 89
Google Docs: American Magazine (for those outside the U.S.)

I will repeat this introduction on all four posts in this series since I doubt people will read all of them.

Now onto the iPad 4 with Retina Display.

The iPad 4 with Retina Display is the most powerful tablet Apple makes. It’s arguably also one of the most powerful tablets out there. I want you to keep that in mind here. This is Apple’s top of the line device, unlike the iPad Mini in the prior test.

I’m logged into my Google Books account and I’ve already selected the American Magazine issue:

GBDMi401

Here it is open in Mobile Safari:

GBDMi402

Under the Gear icon is Download PDF. Which I selected and behold, the damn Google Books CAPTCHA, which I always have to zoom into to use:

GBDMi403

And I hate the fact that iOS does an Initial Cap when I type into that field. I always have to type the first letter twice then go back and delete it. That sucks.

The download is in progress, with the screen going black (explained in the iPad Mini test):

GBDMi404

And here something worked slightly differently when the download completed. This stupid gray fake linen screen stayed there long enough for me to get a screensnap:

GBDMi405

And then, huzzah!, I got the two buttons. But no matter how many times I tapped on Open in iBooks, nothing happened! Hence my hitting the second button and getting this balloon:

GBDMi406

Why would I choose Evernote? I don’t plan to ever get or use it. I want iBooks. Tap tap tap and nothing!

The PDF shelf in iBooks shows just that in terms of the American Magazine PDF — nothing:

GBDMi406a

Apple’s most powerful tablet also can’t do a 290MB Google Books PDF!

Let me repeat from the Nook HD+ post:

Some of you out there might think this is an unfair test because I wasn’t using software designed for PDFs. Too bad. I can’t use special PDF software on an iPad or any other device in a store. And I’m not going to buy devices to test and then return them. That’s unfair to the seller. This is what demo models are for — and posts like this so people can try it for themselves with PDF software and report in Comments (hint hint).

My overall point now with these Death Match posts is this: Tablet makers are using games as the benchmark of how muscular their devices are. That is nothing but bullshit. GPUs can always be added to get things going. It’s these massive Google Books PDFs that really show what a device can do.

End of repeat.

For the sake of completists, I called up some pages in Mobile Safari that appeared in the Nook HD+ test and that will also appear in the next test, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0:

GBDMi407

GBDMi408

GBDMi409

And to repeat from the iPad Mini test:

What kind of FAIL is that? If a crappy and slow Nook HD+ can download it and at least try to display it, what does that say?

To me it says that Android has a real chance to kick Apple’s ass just as Windows kicked Apple’s ass back in the day. Apple is already in deep shit and doesn’t even know it.

End of repeat.

I am so glad I was never able to get the iPad 4. I would have been exactly what Bill Gates was talking about yesterday:

GN8F05061306

The final post in this series is this test done on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.0 Could it possibly succeed where the iPad Mini and iPad 4 failed?

The Google Books PDF Death Match series of posts:

– Part One: Barnes & Noble Nook HD+
– Part Two: iPad Mini
– Part Three: iPad 4 with Retina Display
– Part Four: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
– Epilogue: Google Books PDF Death Match: Aftermath

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5 Comments

Filed under Google Books PDFs, iOS

5 responses to “Google Books PDF Death Match 3: iPad 4 With Retina Display

  1. Jontte

    I don’t have the new iPad, but on way slower iPad 3 tapping “open in iBooks” works, too slowly, but as expected. After quite a long wait iBooks opens and the American Magazine can be found in the PDFs section, with preview of the first page. Browsing it is, again, quite slow but works. Rendering a page takes 2–10 seconds depending on the page.

    iBooks seems to render the next few pages (in half resolution) in the background so if one actually reads the pages, the wait time is more tolerable than the rendering time alone would suggest.

  2. Fred Duck

    Hi, I happen to have the latest iPad with Retina display.

    In Safari, I clicked through the Books link from this post.
    The file completely downloaded.
    15 seconds later, the “usage guidelines” page showed up.
    I touched the screen and got the two buttons.
    I touched “Open in…”
    I selected “Open in iBooks.”
    13 seconds later, iBooks opened.
    27 seconds after I selected “Open in iBooks,” it displayed in iBooks.
    Thumbnails slowly filled across the bottom.

    After that was done, I tapped random thumbnails. Most pages appear in 2 seconds. Some took 3 or 4 seconds. These are the low-res versions. The full-res images take another 2-3 seconds to load.

    Paging back and forth, 3 full-res pages are kept in memory. I tried to see how many low-res pages are kept in memory, but every time I went back and forth, it remembered more and more, until it had 30 in a row and I stopped.

    If you were actually going at reading speed, you could go back to the previous page and see the full-res page with no delay. Going to the next page gives you the low-res version immediately, and then it’s about 2 seconds to load the full-res version.

    Oh, I just remembered that this is iBooks 2.2 (931) on iOS 6.1.3 (10B329).

    I’ll head out and see how it is at an Apple Store, where they probably have iBooks 3.1.

  3. Fred Duck

    Hi, I’m back from the Apple Store where I did the test again.

    Strangely, none of the six iPads I tested have iBooks 3.1. Some had iBooks 3.0.1 and some had 3.0.2.

    3.0.2: “iBooks 3.0.2 resolves an issue where iBooks may unexpectedly quit.”
    3.1 added manga support, so it might not have any impact. I wonder if the iPads you tried had 3.0.1 and whether that made a difference. (I didn’t think to test 3.0.1 until too late.)

    In Safari, I clicked through the Books link from this post.
    The file completely downloaded.
    10 seconds later, the “usage guidelines” page showed up.
    I touched the screen and got the two buttons.
    I touched “Open in…”
    I selected “Open in iBooks.”
    12 seconds later, iBooks opened.
    25 seconds after I selected “Open in iBooks,” it displayed in iBooks.
    Thumbnails slowly filled across the bottom.

    After that was done, I tapped random thumbnails. Full-res pages appeared in 3-4 seconds with no low-res page.

    Paging back and forth, 3 full-res pages were kept in memory. Apparently no low-res pages were kept in memory.

    If you were actually going at reading speed, you could go back to the previous page and see last two full-res pages with no delay. Going to the next page gives you the low-res version immediately, and then it’s about 2 seconds to load the full-res version. Even though I say low-res, at least to my eyes, it’s legible at a normal viewing distance.

    This is iBooks 3.0.2 on iOS 6.1.3 (10B329).

    • mikecane

      >>>12 seconds later, iBooks opened.

      It seems to me I waited longer than that, but it could have been my imagination due to the pressure of it not opening immediately, as I expected.

      I didn’t check the version of iBooks. Maybe I need to go back and try again now that I have some sort of expectation of how long to wait.

      But someone else also commented and said it took about a minute to open. Either way, I’ll keep this in my to try again at a later date.

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