In 2009 former U.S. Vice President Al Gore released a follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth titled Our Choice. Gore has partnered with Push Pop Press to turn that book into an iPad app, which is now available in the iTunes App store and costs $4.99. Putting aside the issue of whether or not you agree with Gore’s stance on climate change, the app is worth looking at because it is being promoted as an example of publishing for the iPad done the right way. The app takes full advantage of multitouch to encourage the reader to interact with the information presented. Our Choice contains plenty of infographics, pictures, video, and audio.
I'm fascinated with what people perceive as being the "right way" to do an app - or book, for that matter - for the iPad. Is this new book app by Gore and Push Pop Press an example of the "right" way? What is the right way?.
Yes, I'll be downloading it to check it out, but I'm worried about being, once again, disappointed. I'm one of those iPad users who hasn't yet fallen in love with my iPad. I'm exploring its uses in a variety of ways including for audio podcasting (using the iPad Camera Connection Kit - a trick I just learned at SXSW) and as a stand-in for my laptop when I travel (#fail).
I tend to blame the apps - they just aren't yet taking full advantage of the platform or pushing it beyond. Of course, as I get into apps development myself, I realize that the challenges in this area tend to be our own preconceived notions and "traditional thinking." Very hard to push back and through years (decades) of seeing things a certain way or doing things a certain way. While I want to create something fresh and forward-thinking, I end up creating something in the space that doesn't exist or try to improve on something that does - but is it really groundbreaking or platform pushing? Probably not.
Since I don't yet have this app, I'll reserve specific commentary until that time.
I will say that the last time I brought a "groundbreaking" app - for $7.99 at the time (now, lucky people, it is down to $4.99) - it was the Martha Stewart Makes Cookies App. Not only was it a ridiculously useless and unimaginative electronic cookbook dressed up in gorgeous imagery, it is now something that - for the life of me - I cannot remove from my iPad no matter how hard I try. It is the largest, most cumbersome iPad app ever and is so pervasive that no amount of deleting can eliminate it from my world.