Many of you who have followed my career will know that I’ve been playing with online and interactive stories for a long time. Once eBooks and apps got going, I kind of felt that I’d been there and done that. The one thing I’d learned was that there was no future in it for authors. eBooks are too easy to copy and pirate. It’s just not worth doing the work – except for the age-old reason of vanity. I’m trying to make a living!
But the iPad has made me look at things differently. I’m amazed how visceral is some of the criticism that gets hurled at Apple and the iPad. This comes from those who don’t want to pay for other people’s hard work, from tekkies who want to be able to fiddle about with your machine and fill it full of their code, like dogs weeing on lamp posts.
Those who love iPads – and boy do they love them – don’t want updates going on in the background. They don’t want anyone having control of their machine, changing the settings while they’re asleep. They want to be able to switch on and instantly get to grips with the job in hand – and that is what the iPad does, uncomplainingly, every time you swipe it on. It’s fast efficient and faithful.
And it doesn’t have Flash. That is THE main criticism – constantly repeated by those who don’t really know what Flash is. I’ve had an iPhone for about three years and I’ve not missed Flash at all. I used to be Flash’s greatest evangelist, but I get completely why Apple say no. Besides, HTML5 will soon do most of the things people miss from Flash.
I’m now using Flash to build my first iPhone App – That’s the only way you will get your Flash onto an iPhone or iPad. The coding in Flash as you experience it on the web makes it a competing operating system that allows anyone to do anything they like to your machine. People pay a premium for iPads precisely because it doesn’t have Flash and so stays as a safe as possible from outside interference.
As for ebooks, well, there is not a eBook reader yet that handles children’s picture books, where the text and pictures are so closely related, but the ipad app is perfect – which is why primary schools are beginning to swap to iPad. Easy to maintain, easy to use, transport and teach with, and a wonderful medium for Children’s books.
Having tried for so long and almost given up, I now have Shakespeare’s words of Julius Caesar ringing around my head:
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
These are very interesting times!