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How to read bionic books on iPad and iPhone

Bionic book in Amazon Kindle app on iPhone
A bionic books in the Amazon Kindle iPhone app. I recommend using a Helvetica font (on the right) for better results.

Bionic books are just regular ebook files with a special formatting. You can read them right now with any book-reading app on your iPad and iPhone.

Bionic reading is a new revolutionary method of reading that will help you read faster, comprehend more, and stay focused for longer.

Developed by the Swiss company Bionic Reading GmbH, the tool is free to use and comes with an API, so that developers could create dedicated bionic apps and extensions. 

We expect several apps for iOS and Mac to be released in the coming weeks, as the tool is relatively simple to implement. With these bionic-based tools, you will be able to read not ebooks, RSS feeds, and websites.

When it comes to ebooks, the best thing about bionic reading is that you don’t have to wait for new, bionic iOS apps to arrive. You can read bionic books in a matter of minutes, using the iOS book-reading app of your choice.

Bionic reading for iPad and iPhone – things to know

Bionic reading facilitates the reading process by guiding the eyes through text with artificial fixation points. To put it simply: some parts of the text are shown in bold. Thanks to that, your eyes switch between the highlighted passages, letting your brain autocomplete the rest.

▸ Bionic reading is not a “completely new reading experience.” It’s not revolutionary but evolutionary. You don’t have to learn anything to start using it.

▸ Most importantly, you can read bionic-formatted books right now, with your iOS or iPadOS book-reading app. Maybe that’s why so many readers are so excited about it.

▸ Bionic books are nothing more than ebooks in epub format. Epub is the most popular ebook file format that’s supported by all book-reading apps on iPad and iPhone. You can add bionic-formatted epub files to your Kobo, Nook, or Google Play apps.

▸ Now, you can also add epub ebooks to your Kindle. Therefore, you can read bionic books with an Amazon Kindle app on your iPad or iPhone, as well.

▸ To save you some time, I have run 10 most popular classic novels from Project Gutenberg, run through the bionic formatter, and uploaded to a Google Drive folder. The only thing to do is to add these bionic books to your book app. Among them, you will find Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Download free bionic books

▸ You can use the official online bionic formatter to convert any ebook you want to the bionic version. The only thing you have to remember is that the book should be in epub format (not mobi) and without DRM protection. If you download an ebook from Kobo or Nook to your computer, and would want to run it through the formatter, you will most probably fail, because most Kobo and Nook books come with DRM protection.

How to read bionic books on iPad and iPhone

You can add bionic-formatted books to your iOS book app in two main steps.

1. Create a bionic-formatted epub file

1. Find the book you want to read in bionic formatting. The best source for free – and legal – ebooks is the legendary Project Gutenberg. The preferred file format is epub, as all iOS book-reading apps accept it. Epub is now also compatible with Amazon Kindle, so there is no need to convert the book to and from mobi any longer. Alternatively, you can pick up txt or rtf file format.

2. Open Bionic Reading online formatter (please note that the server may be overloaded). Click on the “Browse File” button and add the book. The tool will start converting the file. It may take a while.

Format bionic book for iPad iPhone

3. To download the bionic formatted book, click on the arrow icon in the bottom right. Please note that, due to heavy formatting, the bionic books may take up to 50% more disc space.

Download bionic formatted book for iPad

4. In the dialog box, pick up “EPUB” on the right.

Choose epub for bionic formatted book iPad iPhone

5. Now, you have the epub file with bionic formatting on your computer. You can add it to your ebook platform the usual way. You can also send the file via email (see the instructions below).

2. Send the file to your e-reading device or app

The bionic-formatted document is a regular epub file, and you can add it to your current e-reading program without any problem. The easiest way is to send it via email. 

All apps except Amazon Kindle

1. Open an email app on your computer, start a new email, and add a bionic book as an attachment.

2. Send the email to your own email address, and open this email on the destination iPad or iPhone.

3. Tap the attachment icon, and then the share menu in the top right corner. Choose the book app you want the file to read with.

Add a bionic book to iPad or iPhone book app

Amazon Kindle

1. To add the file to your Amazon Kindle app, send the attachment not to yourself but to your Kindle email address.

2. After a few minutes, open the Amazon Kindle app on your iPad or iPhone, tap “Library” in the bottom navigation bar, and then “All” at the top. 

3. The book should be already on the shelf. If you don’t see it, tap the slider icon in the top left corner, and then tap “Docs” in the menu. You will see the full list of the books you added yourself to the Kindle library.

Add bionic books to Amazon Kindle app iPad iPhone

Happy reading!

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