Apple iBooks is crap

Ken writes:

I like Apple computers a lot and I think the operating system as a whole is one of the best things about them (along with design, obviously). But that doesn’t mean their software is the best. For instance, iTunes is an awful program. And iBooks, the epub and pdf reader, is shit. No, it’s actually alright for epubs, but I don’t have many of them. I mostly use iBooks for reading .pdf files since these are what you get if you download a journal article from a university library for instance. It doesn’t have a BACK button to return you to where were previously. So if you want to skip to or from the endnotes of an article, you have to find the page using a thumbnail display either at the bottom of the page (extremely tiny) or by switching to a different view (tedious). It doesn’t seem to support hypertext links in .pdfs (although maybe the .pdf I was viewing simply had broken links). It lets you bookmark parts on a .pdf, but as far as I can tell there’s no way to quickly jump to the bookmarked places. You still have to scroll to them or jump to them from a thumbnail (bearing in mind these are quite small and often the number of the page is not the same as the page number in the publication because where .pdfs are concerned ibooks takes no account of the difference between roman numerals (for front matter, prefaces etc) and arabic numerals. Occasionally I read .doc files using iBooks, if someone wants me to read their essay, or as is most recently the case, when I have been studying for my brewing exams and downloading the course notes and information in .doc format. iBooks doesn’t cope at all well, which is bizarre because Microsoft Word is THE word processing program. Although Pages and Keynote seem like excellent programs, there’s really only enough space in my head to handle one office suite and that is presently occupied by Microsoft Office. I’m sure many people are the same. iBooks doesn’t seem to display Greek characters like beta, rho and mu when the occur in .doc documents. What’s up with that?! It is a serious failing. I’m trying to memorise formulas for an exam and the wretched book I’m studying from isn’t displaying properly. Grr.


5 thoughts on “Apple iBooks is crap

  1. laura

    Don’t think I’ve tried any of those programs, but I save files in pdf format and read them with “Preview”. The hyper links work and I scroll or use the thumbnail viewer at the side. Isn’t this a different program from the “pdf reader” you mention? I am going to try looking at a doc with Greek characters to check, but Russian characters show up normally.

      1. laura

        I have used it to open “.docx” files and those that won’t open in Preview, I try print/save-as-“.pdf” to then open in Preview. Yes, my round about process probably reveals that I am ancient!

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