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I am accustomed to good books from O'Reilly/Pogue Press, so I just bought this one, without checking it out first. BIG mistake. The book no doubt will please some users (as other reviews attest). This is most likely due to the fact that it is admittedly very pretty, and its small, pleasant format that fits snugly in your hand is very "user friendly" and cute. Although I think there are some legibility issues (compact, grayish font next to some pictures IS hard to read), if I were to rate the book's graphic design, it would be a well-deserved 4 stars.
However, as a software book, and especially one published by O'Reilly, this title has two rather serious, unforgivable flaws:
1 - NO INDEX: This is the only O'Reilly-published book I own that has NO INDEX. So, if you are trying to find out if there is a n app to TRACK your PACKAGES sent though UPS or FEDEX (all caps would be potential index entries), you are out of luck: you will have to flip back and forth through this small, but still 200+ pages long book and try to find the answer (the answer is: there is). I do understand this is not "Photoshop Bible" or "Real World InDesign," and I did NOT expect a similar degree of index detail, but no index at all makes this pretty useless, especially if its declared aim is to let you find apps you need for a specific purpose.
2 - Arbitrary selections, which make me think the author simply didn't do his homework very diligently, are the book's real, core problem. Take something as simple as UNIT CONVERSION apps. The author chooses Convertbot as "best" in this category. But what he really does, is choosing the PRETTIEST conversion app. Yes, I love to play with Convertbot too - it's VERY, very cool, and beautifully designed; and it makes futuristic sounds like something right out of Transformers. And it works just fine for many things. But just wait until you have to actually USE IT for converting things such as type. It's obvious the author doesn't realize the apps failings, which only become obvious if you put it through its paces, and actually use it. Try converting 40 points to picas using Convertbot, and if you are a designer, you will know what I mean when I say that the result calculated is 3.333. Yes, there are apps that convert things like that BETTER (3 picas 4 points is more practical to know), but they aren't as pretty as this one.
I am not trying to say that the book is not good simply because I disagree with many of the author's "best in category" choices - that's NOT my point - a good book would tell you that while Convertbot looks pretty, and might be "overall best" it's not recommended for designers who work with type (and it would tell you what is); it would also tell you that the most popular conversion app you will see in the app store (Convert) has serious deficiencies in currency conversions, so it's not a good choice for an overseas trip to Central Europe.
Another example would be time-tracking apps. Once again, we get a recommendation for a nicely designed, attractive-looking app (Jobs), which unfortunately cannot tell you how much time you spent today (overall) on project X, or tell you how many hours (total) you spent working for client Y LAST WEEK. There are apps that can easily do that, including specific ranges of time or other parameters for export, but they aren't even mentioned here. So if you follow the author's recommendation, and buy Jobs, and you need to get daily total of times worked on all projects, you will not be very happy. Postino for E-Post Cards? Yes, sure, if you don't mind the fact that the post cards arrive in your friends' e-mailbox with fairly obnoxious company branding (even though its a paid app), and from an address your friends are likely to direct right to their spam folder. Many descriptions are misleading (although I am sure not intentionally), for example the author doesn't tell you that the "databases" some of them use are sumply "crowdsourced" user submissions, which means that while some metropolitan areas like NY or SF might be well covered, many other areas may not be(e.g., OpenTable, SotOrSquat).
Although it is inevitable, some information is already out of date (of recommended RSS readers NetNewWire has discontinued service, and TweetDeck, one of the most function-rich Twitter apps is not even mentioned in the book, etc.)
The list goes on, and although I do NOT know all the apps listed in the book (but I have at one point tried about 85-90% of the non-game apps mentioned in the book) the point is not that I do not agree with the choices, the point is that the descriptions frequently omit shortcomings that are serious enough to make many apps unusable for many people, and omit choices that are likely to work better.
I am accustomed to expect useful advice from O'Reilly (and Pogue) Press books and I found this book (like many apps it recommends) pretty, readable, and pleasant, but seriously lacking in functionality and substance. It goes back.