Cool Toys Pic of the day – American Red Cross Text-book on Home Hygiene and Care of the Sick

This is a love/hate kind of post. I am all about ebooks and apps for survival, crisis response, disaster response, etc. First aid? A classic first aid and home care book converted to an app? Access when the network is down? Oh, I like this idea. But. So, what’s right with it, and what’s wrong? The original text is from the Red Cross. That’s good. The app is not, and doesn’t (within the app) say who it is from, provide error reporting or contact information. That’s bad. If you dig around in the app store you can find that the company selling this (yes, $0.99 for an ebook in an app that is available FREE for the Kindle as well as from Archive.org and Gutenberg) is called DMBC under the identity of Roger Lichfield at the website for EBookApp: http://ebookapp.com/ .

This ebook app version includes the fulltext, nicely sorted into chapters, with an attractive interface. That’s good. There is no index (bad), but there is a search button (better). Unfortunately, the search button only appears at the chapter level (bad), and for everything I searched gave results of “Nothing found.” (bad, bad, bad). I think the reason I couldn’t find some if the things I searched for is because it turns out this is a World War I era edition (both good and bad), but they don’t tell you this in the description, either in the app (which lacks the title page information) or in iTunes Store. Bad, bad, bad. By checking online, i was able to find that the book was published in 1918, the year of the pandemic. Anyway, I’ve now learned that frostbite was not a commonly used word until the 1940s, peaking in the 1960s, both well after this book was written. Trying to read and scan the book is challenging because of the background image of the cover behind the text you are trying to read. The App Store description makes it sound like it is easy to control font size, but it wasn’t immediately obvious to me. Granted, I was distracted by more immediate usability errors. I could go on, but I won’t right now. Basically, I love the idea, but for the implementation, I’d encourage you to save your money and get the free version in your favorite ereader app. The structure of the table of contents is superior, browsing and searching are superior, and you get the pictures (which have evidently been redacted from the app version in this review). Yes, bad, bad, BAD!

Photo

Sent from my iPhone

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