The recent announcement by the Pragmatic Programmers that they would have their books available in other formats besides PDF piqued my interest because I have a lot of their books in PDF today. I was particularly encouraged by the iPhone support and wanted to give it a shot.
One of my latest projects it to learn Objective-C and become proficient as an iPhone developer, both for freelance work and some product ideas of my own. So one book I wanted to try was the iPhone SDK Development book by Bill Dudney, Chris Adamson and Marcel Molina. This is a great book with so much practical advice for the aspiring iPhone developer. A word about the book, it does seem to lean toward folks who have had background in C++, C# or Java, which is perfect for me.
Pragmatic is providing three types of downloadable formats now; PDF, epub (iPhone) and mobi (Kindle). Getting setup to read documents on the iPhone is pretty simple.
- The first thing to do is to install Stanza, the free ebook reader, on the iPhone from the Apple App Store.
- Browse to the Pragmatic Programmers site from the iPhone and login to your account.
- Download the ebook you want from the site.
- Run Stanza on the iPhone and it will pick up the newly downloaded book.
Viewing the Results
Stanza loads up and lets you use gestures to move through the book, selecting the Table of Contents lets you choose which chapter to view. Going from page-to-page is easy too with just a flick across the iPhone screen. I was really amazed how good the quality of the text is:
You can see the nice crisp letters on the white background are easy on the eyes. Images also show very well:
One area I was concerned about was view code. As you can see, code looks good too:
Granted, the need to scroll may be annoying to some but it is acceptable to me. The main goal for me it to actually read the text and not really focus on the code. I don?t know how this would be with pages of complex Objective-C here but time will tell.
I am curious what type of battery life I will get with reading for long periods of time or how the reading experience will be over long periods either. I guess I need a chance to use it for a while.
One nice thing about Stanza is they have over 100,000 books and periodicals available. Sure, it is not a Kindle but the iPhone is already paid.