January 31st, 2010
A few days ago, I posted a blog entry on my initial impressions of Apple’s iPad tablet device. I explicitly did not go into the reading implications as I wanted to save those thoughts for this post. I have a lot to talk about, so thank you for your patience reading this.
First of all, let me address the iPad from the Codex perspective. Overall, I think that the device is a net win for Codex given Apple’s adoption of ePub as the publishing format. In short, this means that content that you create in Codex should be accessible via iBooks (assuming a way to push unencrypted ePub files to the device). Instead of focusing on a native Codex viewer for the iPad, I can instead focus on making your book metadata as accessible as possible within the new iBooks application. (I’m kicking myself for not adopting and trademarking that name years ago.)
In terms of reading content acquired from the Apple online book store, Codex should be able to read the metadata and catalog any Apple-ePub files that you can transfer from your device to other platforms. Assuming that Apple has implemented their DRM in the same general manner as others (metadata is in the clear, images and book text are encrypted), iBook files will have the same level of accessibility as files purchased on the Nook or through Sony’s online bookstore.
While I am not initially prioritizing the creation of viewer for Codex-generated content on the iPad, there may be some potential for a portable editor. Since I have a full plate working on the desktop application, I am waiting until I have an iPad before making the decision to port Codex to the platform as an editor. However, I will keep the iPad in mind as I continue the Codex UI development so that I can minimize the differences between the desktop and mobile interface. Since the iPad sports a 1024×768 display, the only major deviations that I will tolerate are differences between the input methods (touch vs. keyboard & mouse).
Those are all the thoughts that I have now that directly pertain to Codex and the iPad. If you’re interested in my more general thoughts about what the iPad means for the electronic reading ecosystem, please continue onward.