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Review iPhone: The Missing Manual

Discussion in 'Articles, Reviews and Interviews' started by tripwire45, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Author: David Pogue
    Format: Paperback, 304 pages
    Publisher: Pogue Press (August 6, 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0596513747
    ISBN-13: 978-0596513740

    Review by James Pyles
    November 11, 2007

    Missing Manual guru David Pogue himself wrote this sleek, informative book on Apple's latest technology for the masses, making me wonder if he's an avid iPhone user and fan rather than just writing this "manual" to satisfy the demands of the public. Actually, despite the fact that only Pogue is given cover credit as the author, I discovered in the "Missing Credits" that J.D. Biersdorfer (I thought the days of female author's needing to disguise their gender by using initials for their first and middle names were long gone) wrote the iTunes, syncing, and accessories chapters. I've said in the past that no one person writes a book and in fact, it takes a talented and dedicated team to see a book from conception to book store shelf (or Amazon.com) and this credits section supports that statement completely.

    The book doesn't really say (unless it's hidden in some nether region within its pages) if Pogue is an iPhone user, but I suspect he is...or at least was for the time he and Biersdorfer were authoring this text. It's everything I've come to expect from a "Missing Manual" and when it comes to this series, I expect a lot. Maybe it's just that I haven't reviewed a book from this series in a while, but the first thing that caught my gaze (as opposed to my eye...it seldom actually pops out of its socket, requiring catching) was the snazzy black and green color theme of the cover. Opening the pages, I saw that full color was used in many (but not all) of the screenshots and other graphics. You may say that this isn't a critical issue, but it does lend to the experience of actually using an iPhone...especially if you are reading this book and have yet to actually purchase the Apple product.

    Chapter 1: The Guided Tour is probably much more than the little foldout insert that Apple includes with their iPhone contains but it's only an appetizer. Course after delicious course in this extravagant meal both satisfies and makes you want to consume more of whatever is next on the menu. As the book explains (and you probably already know), the iPhone is much more than just a way to call the Missus/significant other while you're at the store, asking again for the details of what you're supposed to buy (as opposed to guessing and finding out when you get back home that your guess was sadly wrong). The iPhone is an iPod (I guess that means you don't need *both* an iPhone and an iPod), calendar, address book, RSS reader, and on and on and on.

    Pogue and Biersdorfer expertly cover both the "phone part" as well as all the "on and on and on" parts. My guess is that the average user won't be touching on every single detail covered in this manual, but they (and you) will have whatever information you want and need at your fingertips should you so desire. You can say "when" after finishing five courses or carry on and keep on eating. You may stretch out the meal for weeks or even months as you become more accustomed to the iPhone, deciding what is enough to know for now and when it's time to dig a little deeper into the bowl of knowledge this book offers.

    Regardless of whether you're an iPhone owner who wants to know more about your shiny new product or you're a prudent consumer who wants to find out all they can before making a purchasing decision, iPhone: The Missing Manual will not fail to give you whatever you need to decide if an iPhone is in your future or to help you discover whatever hidden mysteries await you in using your recent acquisition. The book is easy to read, informative, and comprehensive. As usual, this book really is "The book that should have been in the box".
     
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  2. Phoenix
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    Just finished reading the book on safari, I'm not sure what i was expecting, being new to the iphone i figured there may be a few things I had not worked out myself, but everything covered in the book was pretty much a given to a tech/smart phone user

    I think its probably geared a bit more towards the standard apple consumer demographic
    good book none the less, just not much in it for me :)
     
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