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.
- Apple wants networks to handle streaming for its web TV service
- Pandora CFO calls Apple a ‘frenemy,’ says service will be available in CarPlay
- Apple now accepting all Apple Watch app submissions
- Apple hires former Dolby executive
- ITC to investigate Apple over Ericsson complaints
- Apple Q2 earnings call coming April 27
- Alleged ‘iPad Pro’ photos show second Lightning port?
- Apple expands iPhone trade-in program to non-Apple devices
- Alleged ‘iPhone 6c’ rear shell photos leaked
- Gear section, Disqus comments added to iLounge
- VERT Wearable Fitness Monitor
- OORT SmartFinder, SmartLED + SmartSocket
- RooCase Exec Tough for iPhone 6 Plus
- Pronto Smart Remote System
- iWalk Extreme Spartan
- EnerPlex Surfr for iPhone 6
- IK Multimedia iRig 2 Guitar Interface
- PowerSkin Pop’n 3 for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Coogobox Symphony Dock for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- PowerSkin Spare for iPhone 6
- Can I turn off the app icons that appear in the bottom corner on the lock screen?
- Why do I have two separate conversations with the same person in Messages?
- Can I transfer the existing version of an app to my new iPhone?
- How do I quickly erase all of the contacts on my old iPhone?
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?
- How do I stop Siri from randomly waking up?
- How do I cancel a print job on iOS?
- How do I make my camera LED flash when my iPhone rings?
- How do I re-sync contacts to my vehicle after switching to a new iPhone?
- How do I move away from a shared Apple ID for iMessage?