“Best iPad Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders” promises to provide a guide to the best iPad apps available. The apps featured are, largely, excellent choices. In fact, thanks to the book, I discovered my new, favorite writing app, iA Writer (which I’m using to write this review…the app’s amazingly-useful fifth row of keys on the virtual keyboard alone is worth the price of purchase).
That said, however, it was difficult to actually enjoy this book. The main culprit? Author Peter Meyers’ unending and (after a few pages) grating attempts at snark, forced informality, and self-aware flippancy. The average review probably contains 10 sentences, a third of which contain some “clever” alliteration, faux-folksiness, or flat-footed attempt at hipster humor/coolness. The writing style is a real distraction, and a significant impediment to the book’s utility.
I was also left wondering about the book’s long-term utility and value. With the constant stream of new and noteworthy apps appearing in the app store every day, how long can a reference work such as this remain relevant and up-to-date? Hopefully, O’Reilly will create an online counterpart to this book (after assigning Meyers a new editor, that is) to make sure that readers can discover new, noteworthy apps that come out subsequent to the book’s publication.