Giving this a test drive on my iPad

iBooks Author

iBooks and iBooks Author

Giving this a test drive on my iPad. Apple just released the updated version of iBooks today. They seem to be adding textbooks as I look. I’m downloading a free version of “Life on Earth: An Introduction” to see what it’s like. Text books are $14.99 or less!

NB – I posted this using HootSuite. Wasn’t sure how it would come out and I’m not enitrely happy with the result, but I’m editing it so I can keep it here.


After installing the free textbook “Life on Earth: An Introduction”, I opened the book to see what it looked like. It started with a video that only played the audio and, when done, I found myself stuck in the app with nothing more than a grey, linen-like background and no discernible way to exit the app. I’m not sure how I eventually got out of it, but I did. I invoked the book again and this time the video played nicely. When it was done a table of contents appeared and started to skim the book. There is lots of interactive content available. However, after tapping on one of the numerous videos I was completely dropped out of the app (a problem that happens all-too-frequently with my iPad, I’m afraid) and, when I returned I was brought back to the very beginning, having to listen to the introduction again. I resumed my exploration and once again had problems with a video not playing properly, leaving me with that dismal grey screen again. This time I shut down the device and started it again. I assume that’s the equivalent of a cold boot.

After exiting the app entirely, I just started it up again. Unfortunately, although it brought me to the page I had left from, no sooner did it load then it dropped me back to the grey screen of death. At least I’ve been disabused of the notion that Apple’s just might be far superior to PCs. Sometimes I find myself sorry I didn’t spend my money on something else. I’m not pleased at this point. What I’ve seen of the textbook I have is exciting and makes me wish I was a few decades younger, as I think learning in school would have been far more interesting had I access to this type of book. Now I just need to figure out why the damn thing keeps dropping me out so thoroughly.

About Rick Ladd

I retired nearly 13 years ago, though I've continued to work during most of the time since then. I'm hoping to return to work on the RS-25 rocket engine program (formerly the SSME) which will power our return to the moon. Mostly I'm just cruising, making the most of what time I have remaining. Although my time is nearly up, I still care deeply about the kind of world I'll be leaving to those who follow me and, to that end, I am devoted to seeing the forces of repression and authoritarianism are at least held at bay, if not crushed out of existence. I write about things that interest me and, as an eclectic soul, my interests run the gamut from science to spirituality, governance to economics, art and engineering. I'm hopeful one day my children will read what I've left behind. View all posts by Rick Ladd

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