On ePub, or Why Our Buyers’ Guides Aren’t Coming To iBooks
A couple of readers wrote to ask us why we hadn’t published the iPad Buyers’ Guide + iPod/iPhone Book 5 as an ePub download for iBooks. Even though the answer seemed pretty obvious on this end, I wanted to post these shots to give readers a sense of what happens when someone outputs a 150-page PDF-format book or magazine as an ePub document.
The result is between 220 to 328 “pages” long at the minimum font size depending on how you hold the iPad, while missing many of its graphics and all of its original layout. It doesn’t look, feel, or read anywhere near as well as the Book does as originally designed—it’s a glorified text file—and under the best circumstances, there’s a lot of unnecessary extra page flipping to be done, while losing the ability to zoom in on pictures.
If Apple does what really needs to be done to “save traditional media”—namely, to create a universal framework for publishing next-generation newspapers and magazines, complete with easy UI features and a proper development backend for publishers—we’ll be thrilled to offer our publications in that format. But for the time being, PDF is an extremely usable format that allows us to deliver most of the experience we want across multiple platforms. For free. We’ve discussed the idea of turning our Books and Guides into apps, offsetting the added development costs with a small charge, but haven’t done so for a number of reasons. By comparison, ePub strikes us as a huge step backwards for publications like ours, with no benefits apart from iBookstore distribution, and we’d rather give up that added distribution than put out something that looks like this in iBooks. We’d sooner spend any necessary additional development and reformatting work on a more powerful application than on a stripped-down text file. Your thoughts and insights on the topic would be welcome.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Upcoming iPad Air to have gold color option
- Apple Q4 earnings call coming October 20
- European magazine gets blacklisted by Apple for posting “Bendgate” video
- “Reset All Settings” in iOS 8 may also erase iCloud Drive content
- Apple’s tax deal in Ireland may be illegal according to EU regulators
- Apple releases first iOS 8.1 beta to developers
- iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus hit China Oct. 17, pre-orders Oct. 10
- Report: iOS 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 in simultaneous development
- French fashion retailer Colette to hold in-store Apple event
- iLounge Weekly coming Monday, sign up now
- Griffin Survivor All-Terrain, Core, and Slim for iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus
- Griffin Identity, Reveal cases for iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus
- Orbotix Ollie by Sphero
- IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD
- JBL Charge 2 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
- Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 In-Ear Headphones
- Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus
- Speck CandyShell, Card, Grip + Inked cases for iPhone 6
- Incipio DualPro Shine, Edge for iPhone 6 + NGP for iPhone 6 Plus
- PureGear DualTek Extreme Shock Case, HIP Case+ and Slim Shell for iPhone 6
- iLounge’s Top iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus Case Picks (Fall 2014)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.0
- Multi-Editorial: On Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus + Apple Watch
- What’s New In Apple TV 7.0
- What’s New in iTunes 12
- iLounge Picks: Five Great Summer Party Speakers
- Editorial: Endings And Beginnings
- Live From CE Week 2014: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- What’s New In iOS 8 For iPad, iPhone + iPod touch
- iLounge Multi-Editorial: WWDC 2014’s iOS 8, OS X Yosemite + More