03 July 2010

First Trip to iBooks

So, I load up iBooks for the first time and find that three of the top ten paid books are by Mormons, two by Stephenie Meyer and one by Glenn Beck (a novel, ghostwritten). I've puzzled on this before. Mormons seem to have a disproportionate presence in politics, popular fiction, and multilevel marketing companies. In all those areas we are consistently an embarrassment. Can someone decode this for me?

Apple is reported to have added 30,000 free titles from Project Gutenberg. Searching for "Gutenberg" will get you to quite a few. But trying Treasure Island out on the iBook reader, it doesn't impress me. There are basically no configuration options. Parts of the copy of I downloaded do not scale to portrait orientation, so you have read it landscape, ten lines at a time. When you change orientation, the iBook reader takes a five full seconds to respond. The book has plates, but again, they only display landscape and are a bit scrambled. Etc., etc. Stanza beats this reader to pieces. Color me unimpressed.

1 comment:

Mister Fweem said...

My beef with iBooks is that they're carrying over an anachronism from printed books -- making me "turn the page" to continue. I'm constantly flicking at the screen as if I were wiping bugs off. I want to SCROLL through my books; that movement seems more natural to these devices.

True, the Kindle doesn't let you scroll -- but they let you "turn" the page by pressing a button. That's a lot easier than pecking constantly at the screen.

It's odd that Apple would make this choice -- they're typically better at UI than other companies, but they seem to be stuck in the same "give them all the print book gimmicks" rut that others are in, without taking full advantage of the technology.

I look at my scripture apps. They let me scroll, pinch and expand to enlarge, do all sorts of fun things with the text to make it legible and easy to get through. Why didn't that translate over to the books? It can't be that expensive to do . . .