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My review: biggest issue: book reading aps are not up to par.

Discussion in 'iPad Reviews' started by Ripplinghurst, May 18, 2010.

  1. Ripplinghurst
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    Last Tuesday, got an email saying my 3G iPad was available for pickup, when I get there I pretend I was just a regular customer, asked for what I wanted they said I would have to wait for up to two weeks...huh.

    I was kind of busy lately I couldn't play much with it, but today. I recorded and watched the F1 Monaco qualy and launched my F1 timing app. Whoa, what was impressive on the iPhone turned out to be amazing on the iPad. Really the graphics are to die for. I could pause the tv and sync the app with the recorded timings and it was amazing. I had to use my tablet to post on the F1 forums though, because the app would pause (and so get out of sync) if I simply switch to the browser and post/read something. No multitasking there.

    I'll spare you of the compliments, pretty much everything good said about it it's true. And THAT is great and it completely justifies my investment.

    It's a great chick magnet too, so if you're single that's great. [​IMG]

    Couple of disappointments though:

    1. It badly needs USB 3.0. Sync can take hours. Literally. And I have a quad core running at 3.2GHz+, I am transcoding music to 128Kpbs and it takes a long time. Very long. I was using genius playlists, so if I change the applications display order, or deselect a podcast, the whole freaking thing was apparently re-updating my whole library...again. And I had listenend to nothing yet, I thought iTunes kept track of that? I haven't been using an ipod for a long time, and didn't remember how slow syncing can be I guess. I bet USB 3.0 would work wonders to quickly manage content on the iPad.

    2. Surprisingly, the screen is actually readable under direct sunlight, despite it's glossy, mirror-like finish. The capacitive layer must have been optically bonded, and for sure they have used AG coating somewhere on the LCD panel, but they left the outer layer completely glossy. Apparently just to make it pretty. It's not perfect, but it works, kind of. First thing I'm going to buy is a matte screen protector for it, which will completely eliminate the fingerprint issue (like it did with my LE1700).

    3. The iBook app, like the Kindle app, is a disappointment. They have absolutely no respect for books. That makes them unusable for students and professors, since you can't refer to a page number - they're meaningless. I'm not saying they should have used the scholarly standards throughout, like Bekker number for Aristotle's work (although that would be awesome), but they should have used whatever hard copy they based their version on, at least. Just a note where there's a page break with a page number on the sides. That would help things. What you're going to say now, p. 37 on the iPad and page 65 on the iPhone?

    What I think they did is to get, say, a Gutenberg project plain text file and then just cut and paste into their zip like format. I wonder how a concrete poem will look like with all that care [​IMG]. Would it hurt to use a scanned .pdf, what format do they use at Apple? I thought Page Maker was big This should be simple as of now, for instance Google is doing it, Amazon store can display some of the books actual pages with the intended published format, why can't the ipad/kindle use this, instead of plain text? Mind you, this happens even with paid books, not only with the free classics.

    To give you a real example. Wife bought a vampire book (New Moon, S. Meyer), page 8 on the iPad was actually page 3 on the actual book...funny thing is, when you turn it sideways into widescreen format, page 8 turns into page 10...WTF?! ROFLOL [​IMG]

    I don't know why I don't see this criticism more often...Very angry at that. It's not big deal, they only saved file size, since the technology is easy (just scan the whole thing).

    4. The iPhone apps actually look pretty tiny on the iPad screen. There's a "2x" to blow it up and fill the screen, but it does not look pretty at all. The font text gets huge, and you clearly see there's a lot of unneeded navigation involved. Same thing with games.

    So this 200K iPhone apps on the iPad is kind of lame.

    5. I trully miss some kind of palm rejection software. I got used quickly to touch the screen everywhere on my LE1700 and I think this is pretty cool. On the iPad you feel you have to "respect" the screen more, look for where and how you touch it, etc.

    6. So far my impression is that if you want to be "productive" it's hard to beat the stylus. Writing, drawing, producing or editing a new document, whatever it is. Now web browsing and using software where you access data, then I think the iPad is better. Plus, it has a lot of apps available, like the Formula 1 real time GPS based timing software above (which must be seen to be appreciated, it's absolutely fantastic - you feel like an F1 manager). Mind you, this is my first impression I have yet to test (and find!) more productive software. Is there any .pdf annotator out there?

    Also, the Fennec Firefox browser for touchscreen might be good enough to provide a similar browsing experience, and I hope that's the kind of feel we're going to see in the future Tablet, not only for browsing, but other apps as well.


    Now I'm going to see if I can sync music with Media Monkey, maybe this way is faster? Will see about that.


    Cheers,

    RH.
  2. Bremen
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    Bremen iPad Addict

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    Nice review... After the first sync, it should be quicker. Mine takes maybe 90 seconds to 3 minutes depending on amount of changes.... And I sync with a single core atom netbook.....lol

    The first time took forever as it optimized photos, transferred mp3's and such.....
  3. USBill
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    USBill iPad Enthusiast

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    The iPad has serious sync issues, which seem to follow the device, rather than the computer. One user reported the same issue on his OSX machine and on Windows 7.

    Apple replaced my first device and the synch one the new one was VERY fast for a week or so. I transferred my purchases, did an on-device wipe, and synched iPad #2 as a "new" device. It was very fast. The Kindle reader now thinks I have three iPads! :)
  4. Krew
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    Krew iPF Novice

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    Nice review :) About the page numbers on the ebooks, I think to have the page numbers be consistent it would have to be a scanned document like a pdf or whatever. But then you would lose the functionality of changing the font, changing the font size, etc. I guess they could have a way of keeping the pages numbers consistent but in order to have the other functionality, if for instance you made the font way bigger, then as you turned pages it might go... page 8, page 8, page 8, page 9. Because (in my made up example) it takes 3 screen pages to display 8 at the larger font... if that makes sense.
  5. Ripplinghurst
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    Thanks guys. I'll pay more attention to my next sync and we'll report back after a couple of updates (media+apps). Maybe I have a bigger issue and have to replace the iPad.

    As for the iBooks, I can understand the functionality of changing fonts and zooming the text in or out. I know that could help many people in different circunstances, like running on a treadmill or making legally blind people to read again, so I know that functionality is great. However on the text itself, perhaps optionally, you could insert a mark with a original page number on the sides. That would be tied to that particular point in the text where a page ends. Like this:


    ajkahasjkfsajkfaskf sklfasksaf fjaskvas lf jasklvjaskl aklmask|asjasklf askfjasklfjaskl 282
    asfjaskfaskfaskf askldjfaskl sdfjas asklfjaskl akfjaskf asfkdjask asfkjask
    etc.

    So the "|" + the number 282 would indicate page change (page 282 from that point on) on the edition the e-book was based on. That would make it worth using the e-copy in academic circles. Otherwise you'd have to ask the students to work only with hard copies. The editor would simply write a program to search for the last word on each original page on the print edition and insert the above code to the e-book. How difficult is that?

    (That's how Aristotle's Bekker numbers work btw. All serious (meaning: that you can cite for undergraduate and graduate studies) translations and reprints must have those numbers.)
  6. Krew
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    Krew iPF Novice

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    Oh ok I see what you mean. Yah that would be a good idea so that everyone would know exactly what page u were on. Hmmm. I wish they did that.
  7. IpadOne
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    One of the wifi only we receive took time for be sync after that now it’s fast as the second one
    concerning my 3G even he his fully charger in various media he didn’t take time for sync only too long for charge thru my MacBookPro … but when i use our home charger that 200% faster if it’s not more (BUT I KNOW WHY)

    other than this i really don’t big complain
  8. Bremen
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    As far as the page number issue.... I think it would be nice to have that as an option, but I and many others like it the way it is. It is relevant for me to know page turns of the format that I am reading, not the format of one in a library some where.

    But as an option it would be great for those that it is important to...
  9. MLimtiaco
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    MLimtiaco iPF Novice

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    I'll go take a look at more research, but I suspect the page number thing may become a thing of the past as vendors move towards the EPUB format. This reflows the book content depending on the device screen...which means that page number references will only work with a fixed page format, a la PDF.

    The conflict arises when you consider the "book" paradigm vs. a "screen" paradigm. Should an e-book look like a book, or like information on a web page? Good luck getting a consensus!

    To get around this, you'd have to figure out how to make page references into content references, like web pages or online Help systems, which means further abandoning the printed book paradigm. And there will always be people that prefer one or the other.
  10. Ripplinghurst
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    Well, it's going to be hard to go paperless if a simplistic format like epub is the future.

    PDF can scale very well, and it keeps tables, exquisite formating (graphics, poems, whatever) and it can be used for reference numbers.

    To make matters worse, the heaviest books (the ones you'd benefit more from going paperless) are technical and reference books.

    IMHO most e-books, as they are implemented now, may be great for cheap best-sellers you buy at the airport. But that's about it.

    If you go to college and/or you want to build in your own library I would strongly advise against investing on e-books (unless they're in pdfs), as they are right now.

    Any term paper you produce in college will be worth nothing without following proper citation format, so even if you use an e-book for your source, you'd have to go back to the library and find out all the pages you wanted to use and put them back into your files. But that can be a lot of hard work...

    And even at the book club level. How can you all open on the same page, if the same book on the kindle is one page, on the ipad another, and it differs if you're in widescreen or portrait mode, font size etc.

    Agreed that this has not a problem, I have yet to see anybody talking about this on the press. Made there's no market for this (but as I pointed above, could have a very simple solution). Makes me feel marginalized! :)That's the way things are. In the meantime, I'll use the ipad for other non-serious stuff.
  11. NumbLock
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    A fix for your number one issue is this: Stop converting your music. Uncheck that 128k option. It is not the USB speed that is taking so long, its because it has to convert all your music! And yes, that takes HOURS.

    I can also clearly hear the inferior quality with headphones of my downsampled music library.
  12. Ripplinghurst
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    Yeah, I may have to try to do that. I have a 200GB song (lossless and up to 320kbps mp3) collection, that may restrict my playlists a lot. I'll see what happens. I last copied 40+GB of songs though, I had the option " (_) automatically fill free space with songs" checked...so maybe I was copying extra songs I don't even know what criteria iTunes was using....
  13. Rasputina
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    Page numbers aren't consistent in print books unless they are all the same edition anyway.
  14. Ripplinghurst
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    That's why when you cite them, you must state which edition you are referring to.
  15. Star56
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    I completely disagree. I have a library of over 2000 real books. I have been a college professor for 25 years and counting.

    I own two Kindles, three sony e-readers and two ipads.

    Other than textbooks, I have purchased ebooks exclusively. My library is rapidly becoming dominated by virtual works.

    Your concern about page numbers is trival and frankly unimportant. Citations can be done in any number of ways and your insistence on all versions having the exact same page numbers is somewhat strange.
  16. Ripplinghurst
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    Care to share how do you cite an e-book in a paper? I'm curious.
  17. leeaustralia
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    leeaustralia iPF Noob

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    Hi I basically just registered here to try and help with your question as I too was wondering the exact same thing!

    I live in Australia and I am seriously considering purchasing the ipad to assist me with external university studies at Murdock University here in Australia.

    I have been researching the capabilities of the ipad which led me here to this forum - to see what the actual users think and more importantly what students think.

    You brought up a very good point about referencing/citing e-books. It is an important issue for any student! - a shame that professor did not get back to you as he of all people should know!!!

    Anyway I found out for myself. At Murdock University they have a page in their website dedicated to explaining all the different styles of citing references and under each style they tell you how to cite references/ bibliographies from e- books.

    I am in Australia they might do things differently but i would imagine most Universities and colleges should take into account referencing e- books etc.

    i will add some links for you to check out but this forum will only allow me to post links after I have made 3 posts :)
  18. leeaustralia
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    leeaustralia iPF Noob

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    ......continued..
    on the website, When you click on each referencing style for example chicago or vancouver or ieee etc footnotes etc it takes to to that page and includes a section on how they want you to cite electronic references and e -books etc.

    for example I clicked on vancouver style and then under the Electronic Documents section it has this note

    Note: When you cite an electronic source try to describe it in the same way you would describe a similar printed publication. If possible, give sufficient information for your readers to retrieve the source themselves.
    If only the first page number is given, a plus sign indicates following pages, eg. 26+. If page numbers are not given, use paragraph or other section numbers if you need to be specific.
    An electronic source may not always contain clear author or publisher details.
    The access information will usually be just the URL of the source. As well as a publication/revision date (if there is one), the date cited is included since an electronic source may change between the time you cite it and the time it is accessed by a reader.


    ... then further down it gives examples of how to reference e- books, by reading this it sems to me that the actual page number is not important but getting the edition right is and date? (but not sure as I am not a student yet and have not learnt about bibloigraphy and how to cite references.)


    I hope that this helps in some way! :)
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  19. leeaustralia
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    leeaustralia iPF Noob

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    .......here is an example of what they want using the Vancouver style of citing references from an e -book

    E-Books

    Standard format
    #. Author A, Author B. Title of e-book [format]. Place: Publisher; Date of original publication [cited year abbreviated month day]. Available from : Source. URL.

    1. van Belle G, Fisher LD, Heagerty PJ, Lumley TS. Biostatistics: a methodology for the health sciences [e-book]. 2nd ed. Somerset (NJ): Wiley InterScience; 2003 [cited 2005 Jun 30]. Available from: Wiley InterScience electronic collection.

    2. Sommers-Flanagan J, Sommers-Flanagan R. Clinical interviewing [e-book]. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 2003 [cited 2005 Jun 30]. Available from: NetLibrary.


    I am sure your colleges and uni should have similar pages in their websites explaining how to cite refernces fo re -books

    also, thanks for your review because it prompted to look into this!:D
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  20. leeaustralia
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    leeaustralia iPF Noob

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    .......well this is my 3rd post so here is that link I could have added to the first one! ;)


    How to Cite References

    It is pretty cool there is a section to explain which style to use etc and it seems there are international standards so we all do it pretty much the same way!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010

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