I feel sorry for Apple

I feel sorry for Apple. Their master stroke of the last decade was creating a compelling ecosystem of music player and music store. Having mastered that, and I tip my hat to them, they must have thought video content would go much the same way. Except it didn’t. I have an AppleTV so I feel justified to comment. So since that wasn’t going swimmingly, they decided to tackle books. Not much joy their either. You cold even argue, after iPhone 4 that they weren’t that great at phones. It’s just that they convinced you that we didn’t really want a phone that did other stuff, we wanted a mobile computer that was also a phone. On that point, they were absolutely correct, and it’s functionality for making calls was a side issue. But this post is actually about iBooks 2, a more confused non-compelling application I haven’t seen in a long time. I gave it the 3 year old test (who is, by the way, pretty darn proficient on the iPad) and it failed abysmally. While the Kindle promotes the concept you will forget its a device, there was no getting away from it in iBooks. The interface was confusing, with miss timed clicks not interacting with the page but instead turning it. Double tapping on the video because it was slow frequently jumped forward two pages. When looking to click on something interactive the cut and paste boxes kept appearing in distressingly ugly ways I haven’t seen since client-side maps were introduced in HTML. The page would zoom in and out, requiring constant resizing and scrolling. It was horrid. The 3 year olds verdict? He wanted one of the myriad of interactive books on iPad that are apps, and I couldn’t have agreed more.

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