Friday 26 September 2014

App Update Blues

       It is always stressful whenever an old friend heads off in a new direction,and the bond between you begins to strain.  That seems to be happening more and more with me and Apple.  I have been a big fan of Apple products since I got my first computer many years ago.  Lately it seems, Apple has been doing things that are beginning to irritate me.  Let's start this rant with something superficial,--the look.
     While Apple products continue to be well thought out and beautifully designed, the interface they use has become boring, ugly, and wimpy.  Apple's app icons used to show color, boldness, and depth, now they are lackluster and flat, with thin lines (notice Apple's orange iBook icon in the middle of the photo and compare it to the two beside it).  When iBook used to be opened, you were presented with a three dimensional wooden bookcase upon which the covers of your books were sitting, now when you open it you get a white background and the book covers are sitting along a thin gray line--boring in the extreme.
     Of course when you update your apps, you are given a brief description of what is new, something like "-bugs fixed" or "-new interface".  You really don't know what you are getting and you assume it will be something better, so you install.  Then, too late you find that what you have, is something inferior to what you had, but it is too late, you can't have what you lost, back.  In the brief description, they should have said, "-ugly, plain, new interface" or "-prevents app from working without WiFi," which is another complaint I have with Apple.
     I use my iPad mostly for reading books.  I used iBook a lot, downloading books onto it, so that I would always have a book there to read. (I have a fear of not having anything to read.)  I hadn't used iBooks for a while because I was using Overdrive, which accesses library books.  I was distressed when all of a sudden after an Overdrive update, I could no longer read a book, unless I had a WiFi connection.  This made me mad, because I often liked to read when I was away somewhere or if there was a power outage.
     The day before I was making this trip, Joan suggested that I take a regular book along to read on   tthe plane, or at my Mom's house which doesn't have WiFi.  Don't worry, I told her I still have some books on iBook.
      Well, to my surprise and displeasure, I found out that the books that used to be sitting in my iPad, had, with the last update, had been moved to iCloud, which meant I couldn't read them on my long plane flights, or waiting for them in an airport, without WiFi.  I was pretty mad at Apple and had I known, I would have never updated iBooks.
     Fortunately, I still had my Kindle app, which didn't require WiFi and was able to start re-reading an older book that I had already finished, such was my desperation.  I tried to Google a solution to my iBook problem, but without WiFi I couldn't do that either.  I plan to do that later today when I have access.
     I guess my rant boils down to:  I wish I really knew what I was going to get when I update an app, and I wish I could go back to older versions of the app if I was dissatisfied with an update.

     After I wrote this blog, I was able to get to a WiFi to post it out.  While connected I opened iBook and clicked on one of the books I had.  It did download it again to my iPad, and I can now once again read it offline, without WiFi,  I guess, since it put them on iCloud for me, they then had to be downloaded back to the iPad before they could be read offline.  I apologize for bad mouthing Apple on this matter.

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