The iPhone is being touted as the next great ebook reading platform. Well, let’s not argue about whether there IS a great ebook reading platform. There are some things about the iPhone-as-ebook that are appealing. Its size, form factor, and general aesthetics make it fun to use. The multitouch screen is amazing. The iTunes app store makes it easy to add new applications and content. Reading platforms like Stanza and eReader are now available for the iPhone. The Stanza app is especially interesting because it would open up the iPhone to the epub, platform-agnostic standard.
One recent development that I DON’T like, however, is the impulse to release individual books as individual apps. Scrollmotion is one of these developers who have plans for a line of one-book-per-app releases. Each app that you install on the iPhone is displayed on the desktop or home screen (or screens) of the iPhone. If each book were an app, you would begin to have many many screens to display a library of any size. Imagine a library of 300 books on the iPhone desktop!
I hope not too many publishers go down that road, unless Apple comes up with a better way to organize the iPhone desktop–file management or something. Having your library stored WITHIN an app like Stanza or eReader is an approach that would optimize the whole library as one app. Except Stanza and eReader don’t seem to enable searching across your whole library. Hrrrmmph! All these details are yet to be worked out, it seems, before the iPhone becomes a killer ebook app itself.