Troubleshooting Ebooks in the Amazon Kindle App for iOS


Last updated 24/11/17 by Amanda Greenslade

Background information
Some ebooks may not function well on the Amazon Kindle App for iOS (Apple devices). For example, ebooks with an embedded font instead of tags for italics will only bring across the italics to the Kindle App for iOS, once in mobi format, if the font used is an Apple font. Otherwise they will appear in normal text (not italics). There are potentially dozens of other issues that can arise from fonts not being allowed to be embedded on Kindle App for iOS.

It is not possible to test mobi files in kindle app on iOS because we know that Amazon changes things after we upload even a mobi file. The mobi file that you or your developer has created might be perfectly formed, but this file should not be side-loaded onto an Apple device for testing. Why? Because Amazon changes ebook files after upload, and it does so for a reason. Amazon has to create a special format for its Kindle iOS app (and potentially its other apps also, each have different code going on in the background).

We know how to download a test file that has been meat-grinded by the Amazon system. This file can be sideloaded into Apple iOS for testing, but no other mobi, azk or any other files should be considered relevant for testing the Amazon Kindle App for iOS. This problem is further complicated by the fact that in September 2017 Apple removed the file-loading-to-apps function from iTunes. This is an issue between Apple and Amazon, who are rivals.

The team at PublishMyBook.Online have been at the cutting edge of ebook conversion since 2011, trading as Australian eBook Publisher, and we are positioned to provide advice, consultation and ebook conversion services globally. So if the below information helps you, please drop us a line and let us know.

If you need more specific help we can offer our expertise to help you finish your own ebook conversion project successfully. See publishing consultation.

Remember, this issue only comes about basically because of the rivalry between Apple and Amazon—their competition in the marketplaces of selling online content and devices.

It can take a lot of extra time to deal with the issues for the Amazon Kindle for iOS App. In mosts cases, it cannot be tested prior to publication. The ebook must be purchased from Amazon to determine how it is really going to look for someone on an Apple device.

Using Apple Fonts in Amazon Kindle Ebooks
Funnily enough, it may be best to use Apple device fonts in your Amazon Kindle ebook. That way you can be sure of how your ebook will display on Apple devices, when viewed in the Kindle App. Embedding fonts in ebooks requires the destination device to allow the installation of fonts. Apple does not allow this. So, if the device doesn’t have a particular font installed, it’s not going to show it.

When you are testing and quality controlling an ebook you designed, you already have the fonts installed on your desktop computer (whether PC or Mac) but when it goes to someone else's computer or device, their devices may not have the fonts, and may not allow the installation of fonts by the software they are using to test the ebook.

So for instance if a Mac has loads of fonts, and someone also has the Kindle App, all fonts may be showing on the app so the display of the mobi file on that Mac may appear fine, when in fact it will not be fine for almost all users after purchase. The same book on an iPad (with limited fonts) will not display the text in the correct font.

The solution?
Apply Apple fonts to your ebooks whenever possible to avoid any potential problems with embedded fonts.

Summary
Over the years PublishMyBook.Online has trained all of its ebook technicians to resolve most issues to do with the Kindle App for iOS, but other people may still be having all kinds of problems with the display of mobi ebooks in Apple devices (Kindle app for iOS).

Issues with Amazon Kindle App that we have observed, and some of which we already know how to resolve, include:

—Italics not working in mobi when checked on a Apple device
—Actually the above issue is part of a larger issue to do with embedded fonts not working on Apple devices (when embedded in a mobi)
—Stylised bullets using images don’t function
—Images seem to reflow like the content
—Issues with table padding
—Four pages being displayed instead of 1 or a two-page-spread
—Unreadable fixed layout Amazon ebooks
—Tiny ‘stamp’ sized images (due to resolution issues)
—External website links not working
—Application of Amazon DRM breaking aspects of the ebook formatting

Every ebook is different, so for expert advice, please book a publishing consultation with PublishMyBook.Online!


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