iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

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iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby Jumble » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:03 pm UTC

Apologies if this is better suited to the Rant thread, but I want to know if anyone else has had a better experience of the iBooks software. Besides, they are having a serious discussion about anti-terrorism and the use of pepper spray so I don’t want to interrupt with undiluted geekiness.

The concept of the iBook should be brilliant, and should suit me perfectly. I cycle a lot, I don't carry a bag if I can avoid it so I often don't have a book to read when stuck on trains, etc. However, I always have my iphone. So I downloaded the free iBooks software – I mean, it’s free! How bad can it be?

• it runs like a dog on my iphone 3g. This thing will happily animate hi-res games and play videos, but if I want it to display a page of static text it has to go off to think about it for a minute. It’s so slow it’s almost unusable as I keep thinking the thing has crashed and so go back to the menu to see if it’s still responding – then I have to start all over again.
• There aren’t any books! I mean, there’s almost nothing available. My wife uses the Sony reader thing and complains about the range available, but the limit there is that books are in print for a few months before they are available electronically. I looked for ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ this evening and it’s not there! I looked for Sagan, Pratchett, Le Carre & Banks yesterday and found 1 book (which I’’d already read).
• The books cost more electronically than they cost at my local Waterstones.

So, to my mind it’s a colossal waste of time and missed opportunity. Anyone had a better experience?
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Re: iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby J the Ninja » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:11 pm UTC

I've just played around briefly, and downloaded a free collection of Poe's works to test it. It runs fine in the iPhone 4, and the high-res screens makes print look extra nice. The whole page-turning thing feels a little like a "reality" gimmick at the expense of usability. I keep wanting to drag down to go the next page. At least they made it so you can tap the page edge to go the next page, instead of having to do the whole drag-the-corner motion every time. Apple's put out worse software (Like that iDisk thing. Also, iTunes itself), but I don't think it is that great.
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Re: iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:16 pm UTC

I haven't played with it too much on my 3GS - just looked through Winnie the Pooh a bit and it's not bad. It could be faster, but the page transitions are faster enough for my needs. Have you tried the Kindle app?

Is there any way to search for free books or do I just have to know about them?

Also, you don't have to drag the corner. Swiping across the screen switches pages, as well.

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Re: iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby Cane » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:25 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Is there any way to search for free books or do I just have to know about them?

Click "Store", then "Browse", then "Top Free" for a list of a few hundred authors with free work. Found some classics in there. Mostly Project Gutenberg stuff, I believe.

I've found the program fine on my iPhone 4. But mostly I want it for a convenient way to read PDFs. I agree that the pricing isn't where it needs to be, mostly because my family passes around actual books to everyone or I just get books at the library. Some of the PDFs I've added have had messed up graphics and I haven't had a chance to look around in the options to see if there is something to change for images to load properly.
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Re: iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby MysteryBall » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:20 am UTC

I believe they're getting in more books recently. As for the speed, you're using an application released for an iPhone 4 on a 3G, the weakest of the devices (there's a reason you're not getting the 4.3 update), what did you expect really?

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Re: iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby zmatt » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

Call me old fashioned, but when I read iBook, I thought this;

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Re: iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby KittenKaboodle » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:32 pm UTC

Jumble wrote:Apologies if this is better suited to the Rant thread

Well, if it was I'd wouldn't get in trouble for saying:
"what [is/was] Apple thinking" -- Assumes facts not in evidence!

I looked for ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ this evening and it’s not there!

Not having an iPhone or iBooks, I used Google to look for it, and it seems a legal version of To kill a Mockingbird is not avalable as an e-book for any reader, so one can't fault Apple for that.
I looks like the IBook app will read a non-DRM epub file, if you just want someting to read when you don't have anything better to do, there are lots of intersting old titles on Project Gutenburg.
All the books I have on my Sony Reader and Pandigital readers are from Project Gutenberg. I doubt I will ever buy an e-book, for two reasons, first the both versions of portable e-reader I have suck, and second, in many cases the e-book is only pennies less (or in one case I've seen, twice as much) as a paperback which provides a more plesant (IMHO) reading experience.

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Re: iBooks - what are Apple thinking?

Postby SCE » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:48 pm UTC

It's not always Apple's fault when it comes to the limited selection of books. For example, the novel To Kill a Mockingbird actually is not available anywhere in eReader format, including iBooks, Kindle, Nook, etc., and the text of the novel is still not available online -- the book is still under copyright and tightly controlled by the owner and/or publisher. Apparently they don't want to release it in that form. I teach the novel in a high school English class and was hoping for alternative ways for my students to have access to the novel, but I couldn't find anything except notes and commentaries about the book. Disappointing!

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