My completely amazing mom-in-law, who knows I am broke (got a lot of mouths to feed), gave me an 8gb iPod Touch for Christmas.
It is one of my favorite devices of all time. I have a small number of free apps and use it to surf the web, tweet, and play music. I was pretty content in my iWorld.
But then came the iPad.
I did not really see the big “need” for the iPad until my pastor let me see his. The standout feature? iBooks!
He demonstrated the features and told me how he had practically used it in his personal reading. I was blown away. Suddenly, iOS 4.0 could not come fast enough. I NEEDED this application.
Yesterday was the day…
iOS 4.0 Update
I backed up my iPod and ran the 4.0 update. It was the longest 15 minutes of my technological life. After a lengthy reboot, I went to the app store and downloaded iBooks. There it was in all its glory, on my iPod.
I quickly downloaded my free copy of Winnie the Pooh and began to browse through the book. I hate to say it, but it was not as cool as the version on the iPad. Before I make this post a complete “downer,” let me tell you what I liked.
The iBooks Store – I have not had extensive time with any of the e-readers, and I know the Kindle has the largest amount of available titles, but the iBooks store is pretty packed. Not all titles are $15 either. I found Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion for .99 cents (I paid around $50 for the hard-cover version, doh!).
It’s crisp – I feared reading too long on a LCD or OLED would burn my eyeballs out. Maybe it is, but I did not feel eye fatigue after 30 minutes of reading. I believe the ability to switch to sepia tone helped. The letters are clear and easy to see. You can adjust fonts and letter size to suit your liking.
Research – Come across a word you do not know? Access the dictionary (which has to be downloaded separately), Wikipedia, or your favorite search engine.
Make a note – While Pooh and Tigger do not require many notes, your Bible or Calvin’s Institutes might. You can type a quick note by highlighting a word or sentence and selecting notes from the menu.
Book mark it – Can’t finish a chapter? Need to remember a page? Just tap the bookmark in the upper right and come back to that page at a later time.
TOC – The table of contents is hyper linked (like some PDF’s). Just tap the chapter you want to start with and BOOM! You’re there.
Other stuff – The ability to re-download previously purchased books is nice and easy. Being on my small iPod screen did not bother me at all and the easy access to the search feature (for the book, not the web) was outstanding.
Slower than really slow things* – The version I saw on the iPad was what I would call “zippy.” My iPod version…yea, not-so-much. The books I have failed to load the first time due to “resources being unavailable.” Loading the app and the books seems to be pretty slow as well. Once loaded, there are some delays until it builds up steam.
Sepia is the only option – On the iPad, you can change your text from black to white (the page color will change from white to black) for easier reading in low light. I could not find this feature on any of the books I have.
Copy and Paste – Come on, Apple. Have we not told you we want the ability to copy and paste before? I understand this may be a limitation from the publishers, but it would be nice if we could select a chunk of paste, especially from books in the public domain or Bibles, to quote.
*This was tested on an 8gb iPod Touch. You may see a snappier response on the 16 and 32gb models.
I like the app, I really do. My biggest issue is the speed. I am not sure why it is so choppy on the iPod touch (probably the processor). It seems Apple would want this app to work fast to appease users. Releasing something so clunky seems unlike them.
In reality, I feel the need want to save my money to get an iPad (which could take awhile, cuz I’m broke…unless there are any REALLY generous readers out there…anyone? I think I hear crickets.) to utilize this feature at its best. This does not mean I won’t use it, just not to the extent I was hoping to.
What about You?
Have you tried it on your iPod or iPhone yet? What is your experience? If you have, what books have you downloaded thus far? Anything you would change?