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Daniel Steinberg on Apple’s Lack of Passion for Books

What happens when Apple isn’t passionate about a product line or service? Look no further than iBooks, iBooks Author, and the iBooks Store. After an initial burst of enthusiasm, both iBooks and iBooks Author have languished, iCloud Drive’s integration with iBooks is flaky, and the iBooks Store never recovered momentum after Apple was found guilty of ebook price fixing back in 2013. In a blog post, well-known programming author and speaker Daniel Steinberg emotes about Apple’s lack of passion for books and his frustrations with the iBooks Store, which we’ve experienced as well. “It’s a shame,” he concludes, “that there isn’t a nexus of passion about books and education at Apple like there is about health and music.”Generic Globefollow link


Comments about Daniel Steinberg on Apple’s Lack of Passion for Books
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Richard Rettke  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-02-07 15:18
I have to agree. I use iBooks a lot, never use the Kindle or Nook apps. But it all good be better with a little love from the mothership.
Charles  2017-02-07 16:21
You can hardly blame Apple for slow progress on books, after they went all the way to the US Supreme Court over ebook price fixing. They got saddled with a "Special Master" to "oversee compliance" but that just meant the lawyer charged Apple $1000 an hour to meddle outside his jurisdiction.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-02-08 11:29
We discussed that internally. Yes, that probably hasn't helped matters.
iBooks Author Conference  2017-02-08 10:59
It's a thought-provoking piece that Daniel wrote, and while we have one main issue with it, we largely agree with everything he said.

Our response, "I Wish Apple Loved Books, Too," is here:
Tonya Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-02-09 08:53
As they say on Facebook, "like."
Tom Gewecke  2017-02-08 11:00
For me the best evidence that Apple does not care is their failure after 7 years to produce an iBooks app for Windows or Android. Most books purchased from the iBookstore can only be read on Apple devices, while books purchased from Amazon and other stores can be read on any device, thanks to the free ereader apps they provide for all platforms. It seems dumb to limit your market that way, even when your main goal is to sell hardware.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-02-08 11:28
When I buy ebooks, I tend to do so from Amazon, because they have that multiple-platform support, but also because the Kindle devices are so much better for reading than a phone or tablet. I tend to use iBooks to sync PDFs and EPUBs that I've obtained elsewhere.
I do exactly the same thing
John B  2017-02-08 13:47
I think the iBooks app itself is quite good. One example: I recently tried to find a single ebook-related app that supports Speak Screen as well, and there are none. Only iBooks flips the page even when the screen is off, and highlights individual words.

Never had a problem with iCloud sync either of my own files.

The lack of selection on the store, its high prices, and the lack of any compatible e-ink reader keep me from iBooks, however. Would it kill Apple to strike a deal with Kobo or Barnes and Nobel?