iPad Made Simple, as you may have guessed from the title, is a beginner’s guide to all things about the Apple iPad with a ton of screenshots, tips, and in depth explanations. It’s produced by a company called Apress, and if you know someone with an iPad, who isn’t too familiar with iOS or computers in general, this is definitely the book for them.
When I first saw the book, I had very high hopes, partly due to the sheer size of the thing. It manages to pack in 702 pages of explanations, so you’ll definitely not be left short if you’re looking something up. It is split in to 26 chapters on a variety of topics, ranging from setting up the 3G internet connection to using Google Maps functionality and browsing your photo library.
What I Liked
In any book like this, there is a risk of information overload. When a beginner picks up a guide to a new product, or piece of software, the last thing that they want the author to do is overwhelm them with information that they’ll most probably never retain after reading.
I found that the great thing about this book is that each chapter has a really specific topic, using a particular application such as Safari for example. This means that to find what you need is really easy, and you don’t have to read the entire book to get to what you need.
Another thing that I liked about the book is the fact that there are numerous hidden treasures scattered throughout the various chapters. With any book that’s this big, you are bound to find out something that you didn’t know before. I like to think of myself as being pretty knowledgeable when it comes to technology, but there are little things that I didn’t know existed in iOS, such as the ability to use two fingers at once to select an area of text, without having to drag the pointers in to place after selecting one word.
That is just one example, but you’ll find a lot more if you go through this book in a bit of detail, and it’s definitely worth having as a reference.
What Could Be Better
One of the books biggest pro’s is actually a slight disadvantage in a way as well. This book is so thorough in describing every little detail that it is absolutely huge. I have a number of college textbooks, and this is probably double the size of those, so you would definitely feel it in your bag if you were taking it with you on the go.
Its attention to detail also brings another problem in to play as well. This book goes in to every single detail about not only the operating system itself, but a number of applications too. As we know, the iPad is going to be updated to iOS 4 before the end of 2010 (November has been thrown around as a possible release date, although Apple simply said “Fall” in their keynote), and when it is, you can bet that there will be a lot of new features and changes to current features.
Naturally, you’ll have to buy an updated version of the book if you still want to keep using it as a reference guide to your iPad, so be sure to keep this in mind when selecting it.
Conclusion and Availability
All things considered, “iPad Made Simple” is the most thorough guide to the iPad I have come across, leaving nothing left uncovered, and making sure that you can find just about anything iPad related in there.