Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Help For the New (Or Bewildered) iPad Owner: iPad Manuals in the Amazon Kindle Store

By Tom Dulaney, Editor

As a fairly new iPad user who never owned an Apple computer, it's hard to admit being lost and intimidated.  This shiny new toy came with no printed instructions, no huge poster-sized page with easy-to-follow photos and text like new printers or PCs enjoy.

“Apple people” are definitely different from “PC people.” Both worlds communicate in different dialects of the digital age. Apple people just seem to know things about the iPad when they pick it up.  PC people spend a lot of time looking for the “Start” button on the screen.

To the rescue of new iPad owners come several guide books and user's manuals, all available in the Amazon Kindle store, none written by Apple.

The top of the heap, the bestsellers in the list generated by a search for “ipad manual,” are true guides to the buttons and features of the iPad.

At the top of the list is iPad: The Missing Manual by J.D. Biersdorfer. It gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from reviewers, and ranks in the top 5 on subcategory lists on Amazon for books about computers.  It's  $9.99 in the Kindle Store, $13.74 in paperback from Amazon. 

She writes a weekly Q&A column on computers for the New York Times, most recently about  "Organizing Photos on an iPad.”

iPad For Dummies, by Bob LeVitus and Edward C. Baig, is $11.99 in the Kindle Store and $16.49 as paperback. 4.5/5.0 stars from 8 readers. Baig is the Personal Technology columnist at USA Today

The iPad Survival Guide -- Step-by-Step User Guide For Apple iPad:  Getting Started, Downloading FREE eBooks, Photos and Videos, and Surfing Web (Mobi Manuals) is the long-titled offering from Toly K.  At 95 cents, it's bargain priced.  There is no biographical info on the author, but Toly K has 9 survival guides selling on Amazon:  For the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, HTC Droid, and Sony Reader.

Damon Brown's Simple Guide to the iPad (3G iPad Update), is also bargain-priced at $1.79 in the Kindle Store (only).  It has 4.5/5 stars from 3 reviewers. Brown “writes about sex, technology, music and video games for Playboy, the New York Post, and Family Circle.

The remaining books that come up in the search aren't specifically guides, or are by authors without “authors pages” on Amazon. There are several books in the list specific to writing and publishing to the Kindle Store with a target reader audience of anyone with a device that can display the books. I'll cover those in a different post.

And as a person prone to trip over every obstacle a new technology presents, I will share from time to time the errors of my ways, so you don't have to step in the same holes as I.

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